HC Deb 17 October 1946 vol 427 cc1047-8
31. Mr. Mitchison

asked the Minister of Health for how many, and which of the parishes in Northamptonshire, which, on 28th March, 1946, were without, or substantially without, piped water supplies, such supplies have now been provided; and whether he will make a statement on the results of his consideration of the unsatisfactory conditions of water supply in rural parts of the Kettering Division, on the progress of the schemes which on 28th March had been prepared, or were in course of preparation, and on the coordination of water supply under local authorities in Northamptonshire.

Mr. Bevan

No parishes in the Kettering Division which were without, or substantially without, piped water supplies on 28th March, 1946, have yet been provided. Of the schemes prepared, or in the course of preparation, on that date, two for nine parishes are nearing completion; a local inquiry will shortly be held into two schemes for 21 parishes, and a scheme for three parishes is under consideration. To remedy the unsatisfactory conditions in the rural parts of the Division, a joint scheme for this and adjoining areas, by the exploitation of a source at Pitsford, is being prepared by a joint committee of authorities, and I am hoping that such a scheme will prove practicable.

Mr. Mitchison

Is the Minister prepared to stress to the local authorities, whose coordination in this matter has been far from perfect, as I think he knows, the extreme urgency of the water supply question in the rural areas in this Division?

Mr. Bevan

The joint committee, to which I have referred, was called on the initiative of my Department, which is evidence of our sense of urgency about this matter.

Mr. Manningham-Buller

Does the Minister recognise the desirability of taking into account alternative supplies, in addition to the supplies contemplated from Pitsford reservoir, particularly in view of the fact that there is still a village whose inhabitants get their water supply from dustbins?

Mr. Bevan

The provision of a piped water supply to this area is extremely urgent, and it has been urgent for the last half century.