HC Deb 12 March 1934 vol 287 cc12-4
36. Mr. LEVY

asked the Minister of Health if his attention has been called to the serious situation at Kirton, Lincolnshire, in consequence of the closing of the normal water supply of several hundred people, including school children, on the ground that the supply is polluted; and what action he proposes to take?


An engineering inspector of the Ministry has visited the locality to examine the position of the water supplies. At Kirton a private well on school premises was found to provide water below standard. Immediate steps are being taken to purify the water, and in the meantime other supplies are being used.


Is my hon. Friend aware that the only source of supply to the pump in question is what is known as soakage water and that there are no local springs available; and will he take steps to see that a pure water supply is provided?


And will he also take: steps to see that these matters are left in the hands of the Member of Parliament for that division?


As my hon. Friend knows Boston has already taken steps under a Private Bill to improve its water supply.

38. Mr. LEVY

asked the Minister of Health if it is proposed to give the regional advisory committees statutory powers to enable them to carry out schemes of regional water supply?


No, Sir. The committees have been formed for advisory purposes only, their functions being to survey the needs of their regions and resources and advise on measures to be taken. It is for the water undertakers in the region to decide how the recommendations of the Committee should be implemented.


Is my hon. Friend aware that at a recent meeting of the regional committee a resolution was passed declaring that further meetings were futile in the absence of some statutory power; and will he consider whether it is not advisable to provide them with some statutory authority, because this view is shared by other regional committees?


I cannot accept the hon. Member's statement of fact.


asked the Minister of Health what replies have been received by him to his recent circular sent to rural district councils on shortage of water due to drought?


Four hundred and seventy-five rural district councils have so far replied to the Circular. Of these 315 report that their districts are not suffering from shortage; the remaining 160 report shortage of varying degree in parts of their districts, and indicate special measures which are being taken. As the details are somewhat long, I will with my hon. Friend's permission circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a summary of the replies.

Following is the summary:

Summary of replies received up to to-day in answer to Circular 1380 sent to all rural district councils in England and Wales on the 22nd February, 1934, referring to this subject:—

Three hundred and fifteen rural district councils report that their districts are not suffering from shortage, and 160 rural district councils report shortage of varying degree in parts of their districts. A total of 475 rural district councils reports.

Where shortage is reported, the replies indicate that, with few exceptions, special measures are being taken. The following summarises the information received of principal measures taken in the rural districts in which shortage is reported:

Districts in which alternative supplies are available relatively near and being used 24
Districts in which carrying and carting from more distant sources are necessary and being undertaken 43
Districts in which shortage has been met by deepening of wells 12
Districts in which shortage is met from neighbours' wells and private supplies 42
Other measures 5
Districts in which it is stated that no special action required beyond economy notices 34

Where the replies suggest that further action is required, a visit is made by an engineering inspector of the Ministry of Health. Additional engineering staff has been engaged to enable this to be done. The inspector advises and assists the authority with emergency measures for the supply of water.

Forward to