HC Deb 16 December 1970 vol 808 cc1325-6
9. Mr. Wellbeloved

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he is satisfied that his powers to take action to eliminate the nuisance caused by offensive odours are sufficient; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Walker

Under the Public Health Acts it is the responsibility of the local authority to require, and of the courts to enforce, the abatement of offensive odours which are a nuisance.

Mr. Wellbeloved

Will the right hon. Gentleman draw the attention of the London Borough of Bexley to those provisions? Is he aware that in my area there is a major sewerage works which gives off a most distressing and nauseating stench? While it may not be harmful to health, it is certainly most inconvenient to my constituents.

Mr. Walker

I note what the hon. Gentleman has said.

Mr. David Stoddart

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this is quite a widespread problem, and that in the Shrivenham Road area in my constituency people are plagued by smells from burning animal carcases? It really is a most horrible smell. Will the right hon. Gentleman consider whether he should strengthen the powers and ensure that local authorities use those which they already have?

Mr. Walker

They have considerable powers and, likewise, the courts have powers to enforce them. I am sure that the people in the area referred to by the hon. Gentleman should contact the local authority about this problem.