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

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Islington 1960

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

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Two smoke control orders came into operation in September, viz. the Canonbury and
North Islington (No.1) Orders respectively. Good public relations are essential in all
aspects of the Department's work and particularly is it necessary where smoke control
areas are concerned It is gratifying to record that in connection with the implementation
of the first two smoke control orders the utmost co operation of the public was received
and this was substantiated by the fact that no objections were raised against the making of
the respective orders This is due in the main to the work of the inspectors concerned and
to the fact that a "clean air" exhibition was arranged and held in the Town Hall In
addition, the Solid Smokeless Fuel Federation Mobile Unit exhibited throughout each area
when representatives of the Federation were available to explain the various appliances and
fuels and to assist the public in the choice of solid fuel appliances. In both the exhibition
and the Mobile Unit, appliances under fire were demonstrated and the former was supplemented
by suitable film showings and talks Contraventions of the respective orders occurred which,
upon investigation, were found to be due to the persons concerned using existing stocks of
coal. Informal action was taken and the nuisances ceased
The Council is very conscious of its responsibilities under the Clean Air Act and in
order that the programme can be accelerated it authorised the appointment of two technical
officers to assist the Public Health inspectors engaged in this work
Numerous complaints were received due to the use of vacant sites for the breaking up and
burning of motor vehicles. Warning letters were sent where appropriate and no further action
became necessary.
Industrial installations were the cause of some concern where it was found upon investigation
that small quantities of industrial waste were being burned The occupiers co operated and the
practice ceased.
It is pleasing to record that in the case referred to in the previous report and which
was the subject of repeated complaints due to the emission of oily smuts from an oil-fired economic
boiler no complaints have been received during the year under review This is due to the fact
that in December, 1959 the metal stack was insulated with aluminium cladding which has resulted
in an increase in the stack temperature
Smoke from railway engines is on the decline but the discharge of diesel fumes from road
vehicles continues to be heavy particularly in regard to those travelling up the Archway Road
The practice of drawing the attention of those concerned by means of a letter continues and
the co-operation of the owners is sought and usually obtained

The Council is represented on the London and Home Counties Clean Air Advisory Council by Councillor L Ross and the Medical Officer of Health.

Number of applications received for prior approval by local Authority as to plans and specifications for new furnaces (Section 3 (2))4
Number of applications for prior approval granted re above4
Number of applications for temporary exemption as to alterations to furnaces (Section 2)Nil
Number of applications for exemption granted re aboveNil
Complaints received31