In consequence of representations made to the Board of Trade of the noise caused by the cable tramways belonging to the London Tramways Company at Brixton Hill and Streatham Hill and of the danger to the public and damage to houses along the route arising therefrom, a public inquiry was held by Major-General Hutchinson on the 8th December as to the renewal of the licence authorising the use of cable power. This Board did not object to a renewal of the license, but suggested that it should be renewed for one year only, and this course was adopted by the Board of Trade on the understanding that the Company would use every practicable means to reduce as far as possible the nuisance which was complained of.
PUBLIC HEALTH (LONDON) ACT, 1891, SECTION 16. Bye-Laws made by the Parish of St. Mary, Battersea, in the County of London being the Sanitary Authority for the said Parish, For the Prevention of Nuisances.
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6. Every person who shall lay or cause to be laid in any street any litter or other matter in case of sickness to prevent noise, 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 forty-eight hours after remove or cause to be removed from such street the litter or other matter so laid in such street.
Complaints were made of noise and dust together with smoke from the Atmospheric Grain Elevator Co., in the Anhalt Road. The allegation was found to be substantially correct. All the defects were subsequently remedied except the noise which does not come within the province of the department.
The Board have again had under consideration the subject of the desirability of bye-laws being made for the control or suppression of street cries or noises in the Metropolis. The Board in April, 1894, suggested to the London County Council that they should make bye-laws relative to (a) obstruction of thoroughfares by offering goods for sale ; (b) annoyance by shooting galleries, swing boats, &c.; (c) occupation of land by squatters, gipsies, &c., and the Council have now asked for the opinion of the Board with regard to bye-laws being made as to (1) street noises; (2) shooting galleries, roundabouts, &c.; (3) lights to vehicles; (4) keeping noisy animals. The Board approved of such bye-laws being made and they suggested that the operations of the bye-laws should extend to itinerant musicians, and that those persons should not be allowed to carry on their vocation in the streets after 10 p.m. The Council were also informed that the Board were still of opinion that the matters mentioned in their letter of April, 1894, should be dealt with by bye-laws. A Bill on the subject has been introduced into Parliament and the Board have presented a petition in its favour.
He also, as directed by the Committee, submitted a report relative to the noises, &c., in the A 1 Biscuit Co’s. Works, Queens Road, and also as to the Sanitary conditions there. The Committee gave directions that the necessary notice should be served with regard to certain matters, and this was subsequently complied with.
This Bill would empower occupiers or lodgers to require itinerant musicians or singers to desist from playing or singing in any public place near his house or premises, under a penalty of forty shillings or imprisonment for a period not exceeding fourteen days. The Board have presented a petition in favour of the Bill.
The new Equifex disinfecting machine has proved of great value during the year—the automatic record of disinfections being especially useful as checking the work of the man in charge. In connection with the machine several slight alterations and improvements have been made, including the covering of the boiler-feeder with a galvanised iron cover, fitting of a condenser on to the steam exhaust chimney, and the inserting of two steam traps between the coils and the drain—improvements which have reduced the noise in connection with the working of the machine to a minimum, and economised the steam.
20th September.— At this meeting the Committee also considered a complaint which had been made relative to alleged nuisance arising from the manufacture of water gas at the Nine Elms Gas Works, and also in connection therewith a report of the Chief Sanitary Inspector upon the matter; that the premises had been the subject of previous reports upon the matter, and had been kept for months past under constant observation. The complainant referred to stench, smoke and noise. Enquiries had been made in the neighbourhood of the Works, which did not bear out the complaints so far as stench and smoke were concerned, neither did the observations which had been kept upon the premises by the Vestry’s own officers, and that since his report of the 1st February he had again visited the premises and found the greatest precautions being taken, he was of opinion there was no cause for complaint. He reported, however, that the premises would be still kept under observation, and that as soon as nuisance was observed, the matter would be reported to the Committee. The question of noise was one outside the Committee’s jurisdiction under the Public Health (London) Act.