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

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Greenwich 1961

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

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Public Health Committee for authority to serve a Statutory Notice
to enforce abatement of the nuisance. The premises are re-inspected
by the Public Health Inspector, and, if work required is not executed
within a reasonable period, Statutory Notice is served. In cases of
non-compliance the Town Clerk is instructed to institute proceedings.
(2) Housing Defects.—These are cases where the conditions are
such that they cannot be remedied under the procedure of the
Public Health (London) Act, 1936, and are dealt with under the
Housing Act, 1957, as being houses unfit for human habitation.
Representations are made to the Public Health Committee to consider
as to whether such houses can be repaired at a reasonable
cost having regard to the value of the premises, or whether Closing
and Demolition Orders should be made.
Pigeon Nuisance.—A local authority is enabled by Section
121 of the Public Health (London) Act, 1936, to deal with a nuisance
arising from the congregation of pigeons believed to be ownerless
and it has been the practice of this Council to authorize a pigeoncatcher
to deal with pigeons on the highway and other public
During the year some 9 complaints were received and, where
justified, arrangements were made to reduce the pigeons to a reasonable
Remarks concerning this matter bear constant repetition, viz.,
that whilst there can be no objection to the feeding of a limited
number of pigeons in any particular area, it is reprehensible that,
persons who are so inclined, make available supplies of food of
such proportions that birds lose their natural feeding habits and
tend to congregate in the vicinity of the source of their sustenance
to the detriment of the surrounding property.
River Pollution.—Although no complaints were made to this
department during the current year, many have been lodged in
previous years, not only with this department but with other
riverside boroughs, concerning obnoxious smells arising from
pollution of the river by sewage effluent. This has brought into
relief the whole problem of sewage disposal.
In the London area, sewage and its disposal, amounting to a
daily dry flow of approximately 300 million gallons, is under the
control of the London County Council and after treatment at the
northern and southern outfalls at Beckton and Crossness respectively,
the resultant sewage effluent is discharged into the Thames.