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

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Greenwich 1969

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

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Defective Dwellings
Repairs—With regard to houses found not to be in a reasonable
state of repair, the following procedure, classified under two headings
is generally adopted:—
(1) Complaints from or on behalf of the occupier—The District
Public Health Inspector makes inspection and a preliminary Notice
is sent to the owner specifying the work necessary to abate the
nuisance. Where necessary, the circumstances are reported to the
Health Committee for authority to serve a Notice to enforce abatement
of the nuisance. The premises are reinspected and, if work
required is not executed within a reasonable period, an Abatement
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 Act, 1936, and are dealt with under the Housing Act,
1957, as being houses unfit for human habitation. Representations
are made to the 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 74 of the Public Health
Act, 1961, to deal with nuisance arising from the congregation of
pigeons believed to be ownerless.
During the year, 41 complaints were received and, where
justified, arrangements were made to reduce the pigeons to a
reasonable number by members of the Rodent Control Staff.
In one instance and with the co-operation of the Ministry of
Defence, narcotic treatment, authorised by licence from the Ministry
of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, was carried out in the
Royal Arsenal in an attempt to reduce the number of pigeons in
Beresford Square.
As a further means of controlling the numbers of pigeons,
trapping was carried out at five separate sites throughout the
The total number of pigeons caught and destroyed during the
year was 1,198.
River Pollution
In London, sewage and its disposal, amounting to a daily dry
flow of approximately 450 million gallons from an area of 500
square miles serving a population of 7 millions, is under the control
of the Greater London Council and, after treatment at the
northern and southern outfalls at Beckton and Crossness

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