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

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Malden and Coombe 1949

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Malden & Coombe]

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during the past few years, is now reflected in the fact that
serious nuisance due to smoke emission from factory chimneys
has become more rare.
No intentional evasion of these Acts was discovered during
the year. One or two instances were found where shops were
being kept open beyond the permitted hours, the occupiers being
unaware that a Defence Regulation is still in force limiting the
hours of opening during the winter months. During the summer
months normal hours of closing prescribed by the Shops (Hours
of Closing Act) 1928 operate, but it is noticeable that the great
majority of shops are closed at a much earlier hour than that
permitted by the Act.


During the year the following number of houses were found to be infested with bed bugs:—

(a) Council houses33
Council houses (rooms)1212
(b) Other houses (rooms)22

This work has gone on uninterruptedly and the solid
foundations laid in previous years have proved of the utmost
value in maintaining a high state of efficiency. Although no
scheme embracing the whole district was undertaken such as
that of which I made a full report last year, nevertheless
sewers, sewage disposal works, refuse tips, piggeries, allotments,
business premises and private houses have all had their share of
A new Act called the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act,
1949 will come into operation on the 31st March, 1950 and the
Rats and Mice (Destruction) Act, 1919 will then be repealed.
This important measure will make it obligatory for all local
authorities to take such steps as may be necessary to secure,
so far as practicable, that their district is kept free from rats
and mice and, in particular, from time to time to carry out
such inspections as may be necessary for this purpose ; to destroy
rats and mice on land of which they are the occupier and
otherwise keep such land, as far as practicable, free from rats
or mice and to enforce the duties of owners and occupiers
of land under the provisions of the Act.