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

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Chelsea 1928

Annual report of the Medical Officer of Health for Chelsea, 1928

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At intervals very serious nuisance has arisen owing to the emission
of smoke and grit from the Generating Station of the London Electric
Railways, situated in Lots Road. During the year a conference was
held in conjunction with the Public Control Committee of the London
County Council. Representatives of the Electric Railways Company
attended and the measures being adopted by the Company to deal with
the nuisance were fully discussed. These include the provision of new
boiler plant and suitable grit arrestors. The company gave an assurance
that the work in connection with the installation of these would
be carried out with all possible speed. It was arranged to hold a further
Conference on the matter if necessity should arise.
Fouling of Footways by Dogs.—The Borough Council have obtained
sanction for a by-law to deal with this nuisance. It has already been
found useful, the condition of footways having improved considerably
since the measure came into operation. During the year two prosecutions
were taken for infringement of the by-law, a conviction being
obtained in each case.
Rats and Mice (Destruction) Act. —During the year the Council
has provided rat catching varnish to applicants for the destruction of
r ats and 110 bait traps were prepared and issued. In conjunction with
the Works Department, investigation was made of a number of old
sewers likely to be infested with rats and a large number of baits were
laid. During the year many persons were advised as to the best means
of dealing with the rat nuisance so far as it affected their respective
The cost to the Council of rat catching varnish during the year was
£7 16s. 0d.
Nuisance caused by Pigeons.—During the year further complaints
were received from residents in the neighbourhood of Chelsea Embankment,
Elm Park Gardens, and Draycott Place regarding nuisance arising
from the large number of pigeons in the area.
On investigation, it is invariably found that very serious nuisance is
being caused by these birds. In addition to accumulation of excreta
in rain pipes and gullies, pipes are blocked by the nests of the birds, and
the areas and walls of houses concerned are in an insanitary state
generally. Further, the birds pick out portions of mortar and cement
from the structures, tending to cause dampness within the houses. The
removal, cleansing and replacement of rain pipes ; the cleansing of areas
and walls ; and other repair work involves the owners of such property
in considerable and recurring expense.
Until recently a Sanitary Authority had no powers to deal with nuisance
caused by pigeons ; in fact, there were restraining enactments which
Prevented steps being taken to reduce the nuisance, e.g., under the
Larcency Act, 1861, section 23, there is a penalty of £2 if pigeons are
shot or trapped and this may be claimed by a common informer.
The London County Council (General Powers) Act, 1927, now enables
a Sanitary Authority to take necessary steps to reduce the number
of pigeons within its area. The Borough Council has made arrange-

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