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

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London County Council 1896

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for London County Council]

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Number of common lodging-houses. Authorised number of persons. Number of houses registered by the Coui cil in 1896.

St. George-in-the-East19506
Mile-end Old-town6226
St. Saviour, Southwark19932
St. George, Southwark321,571
St. Olave1533
Port of London

Parker-street common lodging-house.
In July the Housing of the Working Classes Committee reported to the Council concerning the
common lodging-house erected by the Council that the statements of accounts for the year ending
March, 1896, showed a balance of £119 10s. 2d. after payment of all costs in management, for repairs
and for interest and sinking fund. The report of the Committee was as follows—
In accordance with the Council's standing order, we submit statement of accounts showing the
receipts and expenditure in respect of the Parker-street lodging-house for the year ending 31st March,
1896. From the statement it will be seen that the financial condition of the lodging-house is satisfactory,
but in submitting the accounts we take the opportunity of pointing out that more important than, and
apart from the financial question, the Council may be well satisfied with the impetus that this undertaking
has given to the work of improving lodging-houses, not only in London but in other large cities.
Committees and public bodies and officials from many large towns have visited the lodging-house from
time to time, and have expressed themselves as being much pleased with the building and the
arrangements generally, and there is no doubt that the Council has advanced the improvement of this
class of building. Parties of students from the Sanitary Institute have on more than one occasion
visited the lodging-house, and the institute has intimated that their classes have derived great benefit
from these visits. That this class of building is filling a public want is patent, from the fact that since the
house has been opened applicants for beds have, with the exception of a few weeks in the year, been
turned away nightly for want of room. Our experience leads us to believe that a model common lodginghouse
for women would meet a want, and that if such a house were erected, it might initiate a movement
that is much required.
Common shelters.—In May, 1896, the Public Health Committee reported to the Council the
result of proceedings instituted by the Vestry of St. George, Southwark, in respect of overcrowding in
a salvation army shelter in that district, the vestry having received a copy of a special report which
the medical officer of health of that district had presented to his authority. The Committee, later,
presented to the Council a report showing the results of inquiries made by Dr. Young as to the
character of the accommodation which the various shelters in London provided. It was found that in
a considerable proportion the cubic space per head in the dormitories was less than that required in
common lodging-houses, and that in like manner the provision of water-closet accommodation and for
washing was below the common lodging-house standard. A copy of the report will be found in the
Appendix (see Appendix V.).
Customs and Inland Revenue Acts, 1890 and 1891.
The annual reports of medical officers of health show that certificates were granted in the
following districts—
Fulham.—" Certificates for exemption from inhabited house duty were granted in respect of 38
houses and refused in respect of 45."
Westminster.—" Certificates were granted to the owners of Peabody-buildings (Old Pye-street
and Orchard-street), Lime-buildings, Westminster-chambers, St. John's-chambers and No. 1, Dorsetstreet.
In the cases of Lion-buildings and St. John's-chambers the certificates were not granted until
extensive alterations and repairs had been carried out."
Hackney.—There was only one application for a certificate which was granted.
Strand.—340 applications for certificates were received, certificates were granted in 279 and
refused in 61 cases.
Holborn.—During the last four months of the year applications for certificates were received in
respect of some 20 buildings representing 917 tenements, of which a large proportion are one or two