§ 59. Mr. Gordon Macdonald
asked the Minister of Health whether he has considered the representations of the Ashton-in-Makerfield Urban District Council about a nuisance arising from a burning pit-heap, formed by the Garswood Hall Collieries Company, Limited, Bryn, near Wigan; whether he is aware that the said colliery company have declined, notwithstanding repeated appeals, to take any steps to abate the nuisance; and whether he will take the necessary steps to have the nuisance abated?
§ Mr. Elliot
I have not received any representations from this council, but this heap is one of a large list recently reported to me which I am having investigated by my alkali inspectors. I am arranging for this particular heap to be visited very shortly.
§ Mr. Macdonald
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that for 10 years this colliery company has been requested by the council to deal with its pit-heap, and has refused to do so? In view of the fact that a neighbouring colliery, with a similar pit-heap, has dealt with it, will the right hon. Gentleman bring pressure to bear On this colliery company to do the same?
§ Mr. Elliot
I have not actually received any representations from the council, but am myself sending down an alkali inspector.
§ Mr. Tinker
Would the right hon. Gentleman go and see the heap himself? He wants special knowledge on this matter, and this would be a good opportunity for him to see what is happening.
60. Mr. David Adams
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn by the Consett Urban District Council to burning refuse heaps at numerous collieries within the county of Durham, which in addition to being a serious menace to the health of the inhabitants, would, in the event of war, serve as beacons to enemy aircraft; and whether suitable steps will be taken to deal with these refuse heaps and for the prohibition of the dumping by colliery companies of refuse material on the surface of land adjoining coal mines?
64. Mr. W. Joseph Stewart
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the burning refuse heaps at a large number of collieries within the county of Durham which are a serious menace to the health of the people; and whether he is taking suitable steps to deal with these refuse heaps and to prohibit colliery companies from dumping refuse material on the surface near coal mines?
§ Mr. Elliot
I have received a resolution in this sense from this and other local authorities in Durham. Arrangements have been made for my alkali inspectors, the staff of which has recently been strengthened for the purpose, in conjunction with the Inspectors of the Mines Department, to visit the burning pit-heaps and consider means of abatement and prevention.
Will the right hon. Gentleman in the near future seek to introduce legislation, or adopt some other means that will be worth while, to deal with this menace to the public health and prevent colliery proprietors from dumping combustible matter on the surface near to the dwellings of the people in the mining districts?
Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that his reputation, which is so high at the moment, will fall to zero if something is not done in this matter?