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

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St James's 1883

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for St James's, Westminster]

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&c., was re-polished, and new carpets provided by Messrs.
Gregory & Co., of Regent Street, for a farther sum of £74 16s. 6d.;
the gas fittings were repaired, re-lacquered, and re-bronzed, and the
bell fittings put in order by Messrs. White & Son, of Oxford Street,
at a cost of £29 6s. 3d., making a total expenditure of £681 2s. 9d.
on the building.
In addition to being used for ordinary parochial business, the
Vestry Hall is utilised by the St. James's Savings' Bank, and
for meetings of the St. Jameses Divisional Petty Sessions
and Commissioners of Income-Tax, and occasionally for other
purposes, such as Coroner's inquests, meetings of Parishioners on
questions of public interest, &c.
The building and furniture are insured in the Westminster Fire
Office for the sum of £2,500, and the plate glass is insured with
the National Provincial Plate Glass Insurance Company.
The Stoneyard, Mortuary House, and Disinfecting Chamber
have been maintained in satisfactory condition, the walls, office,
store rooms, &c., of the Stoneyard having been re-painted and distempered,
and the Disinfecting Chamber repaired during the year.
Some of the painting and distempering was done by men in the
service of the Vestry. The cost of the remainder of the work
amounted to £35 7s.
The bodies of 40 persons have been received in the Mortuary
during the year, and the Disinfecting Chamber has been used on
29 occasions.
The Vestry particularly desire that medical men, the clergy,
district visitors, and others, who may be brought into contact with
the poor, as well as hotel-keepers, &c., should be aware of the
provision thus made for the decent reception of bodies removed
from overcrowded dwellings, or places where it is impossible or not
convenient to retain the remains of the dead until burial. As the
main object of providing a Mortuary and Disinfecting Chamber is
to protect the parishioners at large against the spread of infectious
disease, the buildings may be used without charge.

The following statement shows the amount of the rates and the collection thereof:—

Poor Rate—£s.d.
Amount of rate as levied59,656109
Arrears of former rates837116
Rates on property assessed during the year448159
Loss from empty houses, &c.2,330141
Arrears at close of year33120
Other Parochial Rates—
Amount of rates as levied71,019139
Arrears of former rates979110
Rates on property assessed during the year534111
Loss from empty houses, &c2,82314
Arrears at close of year387146