HC Deb 14 November 1929 vol 231 cc2217-8

asked the Minister of Health whether the casual wards of Carnarvon, Sheppey, and Cardigan are still unheated in winter and were reported to the Ministry as being unheated when the official survey of casual wards was made in 1923–24; and what steps, if any, were taken to induce the guardians to introduce heating during the cold months in these wards?


The official survey to which the hon. Member refers disclosed 50 unheated wards, and as the result of persistent pressure from my Department this number has been reduced to the three referred to. As regards Carnarvon and Cardigan the absence of heating is only one of the defects of the existing wards, and the question of effecting improvements has been the subject of frequent consideration in the Department and discussion between my inspectors and the guardians. I fear that the only means of obtaining a satisfactory standard of administration of relief to casuals in these two unions is the provision of entirely new wards. In view of coming changes in Poor Law administration and of the uncertainty as to the most suitable sites for the new wards I am not in a position to require immediate action to provide new wards. As regards Sheppey, it is probable that the new Poor Law Authority for Kent will decide to close these casual wards. I am calling on my inspectors to discuss with the guardians immediately the question of temporary provision of heating apparatus.

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