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

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Dagenham 1952

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Dagenham]

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In conformity with the recommendations of the Ministry of
Food (Circular MF 20/51) in respect of Dogs in Food shops,
Restaurants, etc., notices were distributed to all food premises
requesting customers not to bring dogs inside. The notice consisted
of a small paint transfer to be fixed to the shop window. There was
a very good response from the traders and the notices were invariably
sited in a good position at the entrance to the premises. This type
of notice was chosen because it was considered to be durable and it is
pleasing to observe that the majority, after over one year's display,
still have a clean and tidy appearance.
Food Poisoning Outbreaks
During the year 25 cases of food poisoning were notified;
in only six single cases were the causative organisms identified.
After the Housing and Town Planning Committee had agreed
to rehouse the tenants the necessary statutory procedure was commenced
with a view to the demolition of a very old house in Chadwell
In view of the long waiting list for housing accommodation, it
has been the policy of the department to keep up the old property
in the Borough so long as it provides reasonable shelter. This is
the first house to be dealt with by this Authority under the provisions
of the Housing Acts since 1939, but with the increasing dilapidation
of many of the very old premises it is inevitable that similar action
in other cases will become necessary.
Overcrowding. A licence was issued under Section 61 of the
Housing Act 1936 allowing two persons more than the "permitted
number" of three to live at the house. The landlord had served
a notice to quit on the tenants on the grounds of overcrowding.
Later the tenants found other accommodation and the licence was
Tents, Vans and Sheds. Two further applications for land in
the Northern part of the Borough to be used as sites for caravans
were refused.
Proceedings were instituted in one case where the owner continued
to use the site after his appeal against the Council's refusal
to grant a licence was dismissed. He was fined £2 and ordered to
clear the site.
Legal proceedings were instituted in two cases where two garden
sheds were occupied each by a family with three young children.
The sheds were grossly overcrowded and altogether unsatisfactory.
Action was taken under the provisions of the Public Health Act,
1936, Section 268, and Court orders were obtained requiring the
occupants to vacate the huts within 28 days. The orders were complied