The register book of complaints and nuisances contains 174 cases, which admit of the following classification:—
Defects of drainage and untrapped gulleys 32
” ” water supply 6
Dirty state of premises, water closets, urinals, stagnant water, percolations, &c 38
Offensive trades, marine stores, frying of fish, ballast burning bad meat, &c 24
Overcrowding and bad ventilation —
Smoke nuisances 2
Animals being dirtily kept, and noises from 4
Smells from the Canal Basin —
Accumulation and deposit of manure, garbage, refuse, dust, dung, &c 50
Smells from decaying and putrid substances 1
Defective cleansing of Roadways —
Dangerous Structure —
Miscellaneous other complaints 17
The Inspectors of Nuisances discovered several instances where nightly lodgers have been taken in, and these have been registered as common lodginghouses. There are coffee-houses in this Parish known to the Police as brothels, and as nightly lodgers are taken, they ought to be brought under the surveillance of Police Authority as common lodging-houses. Poultry kept in London. Poultry keeping increases to a great extent in London, and frequent complaints are made to me that fowls should be done away with as a nuisance. It ought to be more generally known that I cannot proceed against the owners of domestic animals for the noises they may make. It exceeds my province to interfere with fowls, pigeons, and dogs if kept in a cleanly state. Cock-crowing at 1 a.m , the barking of dogs, the cooing of pigeons near your chamber window, or any other nuisance arising from noise, by which the sleep of nervous people is disturbed, is a serious annoyance, and probably ought, as in the manner of the street music, to be under control, or to be put down by law ; but I cannot treat them as Sanitary nuisances.
6. — No person shall lay or cause to be laid in any street any litter or other matter in case of sickness to prevent noise without the permission of the Sanitary Authority, and having obtained such permission, shall lay the same so that it may be evenly distributed over the surface of the part of the street intended to be covered, and shall, when the occasion ceases, within 24 hours, or upon notice from the Sanitary Authority, remove or cause to be removed from such street the litter or other matter so laid in such street.
STRAW OR LITTER IN THE STREETS.
The district of St. Marylebone possesses streets in which a large proportion of the houses are fitted up as nursing establishments. Patients come from a distance, suffering from serious maladies, and are received in these nursing homes, within easy reach of the physician or specialist. In many of them surgical operations are performed. All, so far as the writer is aware, are conducted by skilled nurses, and are well managed establishments. Such places are a great advantage to the wealthier class of suffering humanity, and supply a distinct want. There is one disadvantage, that is, some of the sufferers require the muffling of the street noises as far as possible, hence these nursing streets are almost constantly littered with straw. The Public Health Act expressly exempts from penalty any person putting down straw or litter in cases of illness. There is no definition of the term “illness”; it is open for any malade imaginaire to litter the streets as often as he pleases. Until the litter gets rotten and stinks, the Local Authority cannot compel its removal. The Vestry agree with the writer that it is high time, so far as St. Marylebone is concerned, that there should be power to regulate the deposit of litter in the streets. No one wishes to prevent it altogether, but the Local Authority should certainly possess a veto in cases’ where it is either unnecessary or where other means could be adopted of muffling sounds. The Vestry have therefore suggested to the London County Council the propriety of inserting a clause in one of their Bills, enabling Local Authorities to frame regulations as to the laying down of straw or other litter.
Nuisance from Garages and Motor Cars.
The Public Health Committee will shortly have to consider the important question of how to deal with the serious complaints of nuisance incidental to the Motor Car industry. There are several garages in the district in which cars are stored, charged with petrol, cleaned, repaired, and the engines started to see that each cylinder beats in proper time and that all is in order; during this operation, more especially if the crank chamber is full of oil, or if the engine is dirty, there is considerable smell, and more or less noise. In one case the occupiers of adjoining premises have laid a formal complaint by petition, and there is not the slightest doubt that there is nuisance — nuisance that is inseparable from the industry, and one difficult to deal with without seriously interfering with a growing and important trade.
It is the writer’s opinion that all garages of the kind should have a special shed or room in which to start the engines; any architect could design by means of double walls a practically noise-proof shed; there would also have to be a flue with good draught carrying the waste gases away to the height of the highest chimneys in the neighbourhood. This means a considerable expenditure of money, but when any person establishes a new, noisy, and intermittently offensive business in densely populous localities, he must either spend money in minimising any nuisance incidental to the business, or run the risk of having his business entirely prohibited.
During the year 30 complaints of noise were received, eleven relating to nuisance at night (rowdy disturbances, door slamming, etc.), four to motor vehicles, four to operation of machinery in industrial premises, three to roller skating on the public way, three to itinerant newsvendors, two to dogs, two to milk delivery, and one to street hawking.
Street Musicians and Singers.
On the 28th July, 1938, the Council made the following bye-law in pursuance of section 38 of the London County Council (General Powers) Act, 1938:—
“(1) No person shall sound or play upon any musical or noisy instrument or sing in any street or public place within 100 yards of any dwelling-house, office, or business or professional premises to the annoyance or disturbance of any inmate or occupant thereof, after being requested to desist by any constable, or by any inmate or occupant so annoyed or disturbed, or by any person acting on his behalf.
Provided that this byelaw shall not apply to—
(a) any person taking part in a properly conducted religious service, except where the request to desist is made on the ground of the serious illness of any inmate of the house; or
(b) any person (i) whilst playing under the order of his commanding officer, in any band belonging to any branch of His Majesty’s Naval, Army, Air Reserve or Territorial Forces; or (ii) whilst playing in any band performing with the sanction of and in a place appointed by the London County Council or the St. Marylebone Borough Council.
(2) Any person offending against the foregoing byelaw shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £5.”
The bye-law was duly confirmed by the Home Secretary and came into operation on the 1st November, 1938. Eight complaints were received and dealt with informally.
Wireless Loudspeakers, etc.
During the year, seven complaints were received relating to nuisance from wireless loudspeakers, gramophones and similar instruments. In six cases, abatement of the nuisance was secured without the service of formal notice. In the remaining instance, the issue of a notice was necessary to obtain a remedy.
In securing attention to the several provisions relating to noise nuisances, the temporary streets nuisance inspector rendered valuable assistance, and also cooperated with the police in regard to a number of the complaints received.
During the year 35 complaints of noise were received, fourteen relating to street hawking, seven to street musicians, seven to wireless loudspeakers, gramophones and similar instruments, two to children, two to dogs, two to building operations, and one to a motor vehicle. In securing attention to the several provisions relating to noise nuisances, the temporary streets nuisance inspector rendered valuable assistance, and also cooperated with the police in regard to a number of the complaints received. In two instances of nuisance caused by wireless loudspeakers the issue of a notice was necessary to obtain a remedy.