HC Deb 29 May 1956 vol 553 cc36-7
  1. (1) If it appears to a sanitary authority that a sanitary convenience provided for the use of workers employed in agriculture on an agricultural unit within their district (being a convenience provided on the unit or provided in pursuance of regulations under section four of this Act elsewhere) is not being properly maintained or is not being kept clean, they shall, by notice to the occupier of the unit (or, where the convenience is provided in pursuance of such regulations as aforesaid to the person who provided it) require him, as the case may be, to take, within such time as may be specified in the notice, such steps for the purpose of securing the proper maintenance of the convenience as may be so specified or to cleanse the convenience forthwith.
  2. (2) A person who fails to comply with the requirements of a notice under this section shall be guilty of an offence;
Provided that, in any proceedings under this subsection for an offence consisting in a failure to comply with the requirements of a notice requiring the taking of steps for the purpose of securing the proper maintenance of a convenience, it shall be open to the defendant to question the reasonableness of the requirements of the notice.—[Mr. Amory.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

3.36 p.m.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. D. Heathcoat Amory)

I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.

The object of this Clause is to ensure that appropriate sanitary conveniences are not only provided on farms, but maintained and kept clean. Its provisions will apply to sanitary conveniences provided on the farm by the occupier or landowner and also to those provided under Clause 4 by contractors. In our earlier discussions on the Bill there was general agreement that provisions of this kind were required.

The Clause will empower sanitary authorities to issue notices to fulfil the object I have mentioned. There will be separate provisions made later for Scotland, where the responsibilities of local authorities in this matter are wider. A consequential Amendment will be required to Clause 10, and we shall come to that later. The wording of this proposed new Clause may appear to be formidable, but I am assured that, for technical reasons, this is the smallest number of words with which the object could be met. I am glad that we have found means of complying with what I recognise was the general wish of the Committee.

Mr. R. Moss (Meriden)

When this matter was discussed during the Committee stage, the Parliamentary Secretary said that sanitary facilities, when they were provided, must be kept clean. I wish to thank the right hon. Gentleman for keeping that promise. Obviously, it is of the greatest importance that sanitary conveniences should be kept clean lest they deteriorate and become a nuisance to health and well-being.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.