HC Deb 02 November 1911 vol 30 c1147W

asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he has considered the report of a Departmental Committee, dated January, 1909, dealing with the question of machinery and engineering staffs in Poor Law institutions; whether any steps have been taken by his Department in the direction of adopting the recommendations contained therein; and whether he will acquaint the House with the nature of such steps?


I have given the Report of the Committee my consideration, and steps have been taken in the direction of some of their suggestions. In particular, the recommendations of the Committee as regards special kinds of plant have been usefully borne in mind in deciding on proposals submitted to me by guardians. I have not found it necessary at present to appoint a special engineering inspector for Poor Law purposes as recommended by the Committee, as the services of the existing staff of engineering inspectors, who are constantly travelling about the country, have been available for the purposes contemplated. I have reason to believe that the suggestions contained in the Committee's Report have been of assistance to boards of guardians in connection with engineering work under their control.


also asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that in some Poor Law institutions situated within the same curtilage or in near proximity to each other separate engineering plants are used for warming and other services; whether the principle of centralisation could be adopted in such cases; whether he has received any applications from boards of guardians asking for approval of centralisation schemes; and whether he proposes to give favourable consideration to such application?


The question whether a scheme of centralisation is desirable depends upon the local circumstances, but I may say that I have sanctioned arrangements of this kind in some places, and that I am strongly in favour of such an arrangement where it can be carried out with economy.