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

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Harrow 1961

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Harrow]

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These birds again became a nuisance particularly in South Harrow,
the sites affected being, as before, the Railway Arches, the Gas Works
Yard and the shopping arcade. This year there were numbers of birds in
the shopping centres in Station Road and College Road, Harrow, of
North Harrow and Pinner; of Wealdstone and Stanmore. The treatment
which had been carried out at the Railway Arches and the Gas Works in
1958 had resulted in a marked reduction in numbers. It was appreciated
that similar treatment would be needed periodically, as long as these
places are unguarded and so provide facilities for the pigeons to roost.
Difficulties are increased because so many people make a practice of
feeding the birds.
Section 74 of the Public Health Act 1961 gives Local Authorities
greater powers than they had before to "take steps for the purpose of
abating or mitigating any nuisance, annoyance or damage caused by the
congregation in any built-up area of housedoves or pigeons or of starlings
or of sparrows. The Local Authority may take reasonable steps to cease
or destroy or sell or otherwise dispose of housedoves or pigeons which,
in their belief, have no owner." The question of what action under these
added powers might be taken was being considered at the end of the year.
The provision of the Noise Abatement Act, 1960 making noise or
vibration a statutory nuisance were much the same as the powers contained
in Section 313 of the Middlesex County Council Act 1944 which has been
in force in this district all these years. Probably because these added
powers were better known, on the introduction of the new Act, more
complaints were received about noise. One related to that from the
machinery in a workshop near houses, and another about the noise from
the dance band employed at an hotel.
Caravan Site
Although for all these years the Public Health Committee has been
concerned about the unsatisfactory state of the caravan site at North
Lodge, no real progress has been made to improve matters. Admittedly
things are better in that there is now a limit to the number of caravans on
the site, a number far smaller than those that were at one time there.
Although the Middlesex County Council Act gives powers to enforce
satisfactory conditions about sanitation, water supply, hard standing,
footpaths, etc. nothing has been done to see that this work is carried out
because of the various suggestions which have been made about the
alternative use of the site. All the time that it seemed possible that the
use of the land as a caravan site would soon come to an end, there was
little point in insisting on this work being done. The County Council at

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