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

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Kensington 1938

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Kensington Borough]

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33
Much of the good work carried out by the council, however, is nullified by the persistence of a
small proportion of the residents in feeding the birds. Persons known habitually to throw food to
pigeons are visited by one of the council's officers and an endeavour is made to persuade them to
cease this practice. In most cases, unfortunately, the officer is met with a blank refusal, and, until
the council can obtain legislation enabling them to control this indiscriminate feeding of wild pigeons,
it is doubtful if further progress can be made.
Since the council first started to deal with this problem in 1929, 2,203 pigeons and a large number
of eggs have been destroyed.
Fouling of Footpaths by Dogs.
It was as far back as 1921 that the council, after prolonged negotiation, succeeded in obtaining
a by-law enabling them to deal with the fouling of footpaths by dogs. At that time, they were much
criticised for this innovation, but the same by-law has since been adopted by a large number of local
authorities throughout the country.
As a result of repeated representations, some modifications of the original by-law have been
made, and the borough council now have the most stringent measure the Home Office will approve.
Eighteen years' experience has shown, however, that the by-law does not provide an adequate
remedy.
Seventy summonses were issued and 65 convictions were secured during the year in respect of
nuisances by dogs, but the footways in the borough, more particularly in South Kensington, still
leave room for considerable improvement.
As in previous years, the attention of the public was drawn to the by-law by means of handbills,
posters, and notices posted on lamp-posts and sandbins, but the time has now come when some more
intensive propaganda work must be undertaken with a view to convincing the people in the borough
that the council must very largely rely on them to secure footpaths free from nuisance by dogs.

Cleansing of Verminous Persons.

Scabies.Vermin.Impetigo.Other conditions.
Persons.Cleans-ings.Persons.Cleans-ings.Persons.Cleans-ings.Persons.Cleans ings.
Adults.
Kensington1804484849715
Other boroughs ...239702262837
School Children.
Kensington2352353,4613,46130984811
Other boroughs ...9018848648679211
Children under 5.
Kensington481302424
Other boroughs ...298422
Lodging-house cases...133133329329
Totals......8211,7874,1804,1833881,059340352
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The total number of persons cleansed during the year was 5,729 ; the total cleansings numbered
7,381. This shows a considerable increase over the figures for the previous year, which were 5,287
and 6,927 respectively.
The clothing worn by persons on their visit to the medicinal baths is disinfected, together ivith
such other articles of clothing as the patients may bring. Altogether 20,716 articles were so dealt
with and, in addition, 754 blankets and sheets, and 607 articles of night clothing.
Of the 4,661 school-children cleansed at the medicinal baths, 642 were compulsory cases ; the
remainder attended voluntarily.


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