§ Mr. WILLIAM THORNE
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he can say what number of cesspools now exist in the Croydon rural district area; whether, as a result of the additional powers which have been conferred upon the Croydon Rural District Council, according to his statement in the House on 27th July, the number of cesspools has been reduced; and, if not, whether, in view of the seriousness of the existence of cesspools within water-supply areas, as is evidenced by the case of Gravesend in the report of Dr. Reece to the Board, he will say what action the Board will take in the matter?
The HON. MEMBER
also asked the President of the Local Government Board whether, in view of the seriousness of the menace to the public health of Croydon by the existence of cesspools in the Croydon rural district area, as stated in the reports of the medical officer of health for the borough and the borough engineer, he will request the Croydon Rural District Council to cause reports to be made to them by the medical officer of health, surveyor, or inspector of nuisances of the rural district on the question and the extent of the danger, so that the rural district council may take action under Section 46 of the Public Health Acts Amendment Act, 1907; or whether he will see fit to direct a local inquiry into the matter under Section 293 of the Public Health Act, 1875?
§ Mr. BURNS
It is estimated that there are 11,900 inhabited houses in the Croydon rural district, and that approximately 400 properties drain into cesspools. Of these, 270 are outside the areas in respect of which there is an agreement between the councils of the borough and of the rural district for the reception of the sewage into the sewers of the corporation, and these houses are stated to be for the most part in rural portions of the district, and at a considerable distance from an outfall sewer. In one parish, Woodmansterne, it is stated that there is urgent need for main drainage for about 90 houses near the 1444 boundary of Coulsdon which could be connected with the borough sewers, but this parish is outside the areas from which the corporation receive the sewage, and I am informed that they refuse to extend these areas except upon terms which the district council are unable to accept. The rural district council, who have spent some £220,000 on works of sewerage and sewage disposal, have schemes already sanctioned or in course of preparation in respect of 70 of the properties in the parishes of Beddington, Coulsdon, and Sanderstead, parts of which are included in the drainage areas, and it is stated that the remainder of these properties are, with a few exceptions, in isolated places where at present the cost of sewer extension would be unreasonable. It is added that in every case where a public sewer is within 100 feet of the property draining into a cesspool, the owner has been urged by notice or otherwise to connect with the sewer. The rural district council have offered to instruct their medical officer of health to prepare a report upon the matter referred to in the second question of my hon. Friend, and I have requested that this may be done.