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Holborn 1927

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

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6. So far as practicable any process connected with the demolition likely to cause
nuisance from dust should not be carried out during ordinary business hours, particularly if
the building to be demolished is in a main thoroughfare.
7. On completion of demolition all necessary steps should be taken effectually to seal off
all drains so as to prevent any nuisance from rats.
In connection with the power now conferred on the London County Council to make
these by-laws, it may be of interest to recall that as long ago as the year 1915 the Holborn
Council asked the Local Government Board to sanction the making of a by-law to control
the demolition of old buildings with a view to the prevention of nuisances from dust. The
Board was unable to assent to the proposal and suggested that proceedings should be taken
for the abatement of any such nuisance under Section 2 of the Public Health (London) Act
1891. Subsequently proceedings were so taken, the summons being dismissed by the
Magistrate at the Police Court on the ground that the nuisance did not arise within
Section 2 of the before-mentioned Act.
Nuisance from Pigeons.
The London County Council (General Powers) Act, 1927, gave power to Local
Authorities in London to take steps for the purpose of abating or mitigating or
preventing or minimising any nuisance, annoyance or damage caused, or which
might be caused, by the congregation at any place in the County of London of
house doves or pigeons having, or believed by the Local Authority to have, no
owner. The Act gave power to Local Authorities to seize, destroy and sell or
otherwise dispose of such doves or pigeons in excess of such number as the
Authority might consider reasonable.
Attention having been drawn by a Local Authority in London to nuisances
arising from pigeons, a conference of Medical Officers of Health of areas concerned
was convened and held at the County Hall with a view to considering the best
steps to be taken for putting into operation the powers above referred to. In
Holborn, ownerless pigeons have, from time to time, given rise to nuisance. It
was found that a large number of such pigeons lived on and around the British
Museum buildings, and H.M. Office of Works expressed willingness to
co-operate with the Council in dealing with the matter. Nuisances from similar
sources were also found to exist on certain churches and in connection with some
other buildings in the Holborn area.
A suggestion was made at the Conference above referred to, that concerted
action should be taken by the Local Authorities of the districts particularly affected
and it was agreed that action was desirable for the purpose of (1) reducing the
number of pigeons by one-third to half of the present number and (2") preventing
the access to and the breeding of pigeons in churches and other buildings where
complaint is made of nuisance. It was proposed that a " trapper " should be
employed for trapping in the early morning and the removal alive of the pigeons in
suitable baskets to a fixed centre where ringed birds would be separated from the
others for handing over to the Homing Union, the ownerless birds being lolled.
Communications were opened up with a number of firms dealing with the
catching and killing of vermin and quotations were obtained from these firms for
undertaking work connected with the killing of pigeons. Difficulties, however,
supervened and negotiations between the London County Council, the Local
Authorities concerned and the firms who were invited to undertake the work of
trapping and killing the pigeons in the London area were continued for some time.
Ultimately, in the early part of May, 1928. a Conference of Medical Officers of
Health, held at the County Hall, recommended the employment under contract


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