London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

View report page

Plumstead 1897

Annual report of the Medical Officer of Health, 1897

This page requires JavaScript

I had had to report that the collection was unsatisfactory
under the former contractor, but, since the contract was transferred,
matters have been far worse, and came to a crisis at
Christmas-time, when the collection quite broke down, and in
a large number of streets the dust was not collected for three
The Public Health Committee, on the 8th December, ordered
proceedings to be taken against the Contractor, but, as it
appeared that the Vestry had power to exact a fine without
proceedings, no summons was applied for, nor, in the end, was
a fine inflicted. The Works Committee instructed the Surveyor
to employ men and carts to collect the dust at the Contractor's
expense if he did not re-establish a proper collection before a
certain date. This threat had the desired effect, and since
then the collection has been more satisfactory, though there is
still much room for improvement.
The dust carts were frequently noticed to be over full and
insufficiently covered; the attention of the Contractor was
called to this and there has been some improvement, but
until proper carts with hinged doors are provided the collection
must necessarily be slovenly.
In view of the fact that there is now no dust inspector it is
of all the more importance that any discovered failure to fulfill
his contract on the part of the Contractor should be severely
dealt with, for it is more than probable that for one complaint,
there are a dozen cases of omission to remove the dust.
67. Smoke Nuisance.—Nuisance by black smoke from
the Arsenal chimneys was not so pronounced as in some former