1923 Sanitary Inspector Report

Source : the Wellcome Library


To the Chairman and Members of the Urban District Council of Mitcham.

Mrs. Hallowes and Gentlemen,

I beg to submit my ninth annual report on the work carried out in the district during the year 1923 by myself, Mr. R. Richards and Mr. A. Handley (Assistant Inspector, permanently appointed in October last).

This extra assistance has brought the arrears of house-to-house inspection fairly well up to date, and by the exercise of closer supervision, better work is obtained. Only two householders availed themselves of the provisions of the Rents Restriction Acts by applying for certificates of unfitness of their premises. With a view to keeping down the mosquito nuisance as much as possible, the ponds, pools, ditches and other mosquito breeding places were regularly sprayed with paraffin during the summer months. I append a summary of the character of work done in the course of the year:- 951 intimatory notices were served. In 319 instances it was necessary to report for authority to serve statutory notice, followed in four instances by legal proceedings before the magistrates, resulting in fines and costs amounting to £2 16s. being imposed.

Summary of Sanitary Work carried out in the District during the year ended December 31st, 1923.

Total number of visits paid 7662
Number of complaints received and investigated 191
Number of premises inspected 2157
Number of premises revisited 3966
Number of nuisances discovered 1489
Number of nuisances abated without report 756
Number of nuisances abated after report 399
Number of intimatory notices served 951
Number of statutory notices served 319
Notices followed by legal proceedings 4
Houses inspected under the Housing and Town Planning Act 217
Number of revisits to infected houses 78
Number of house drains tested 13
Number of drains found defective 10
Number of tests applied to new drainwork 8

Character of Work Done.

Houses repaired and cleansed generally 441
Overcrowding abated 14
Roofs repaired 177
Damp walls remedied 9
Eaves guttering and spouting renewed or repaired 165
Water closets renewed, repaired or cleaned 59
Water closet flushing cisterns and flush pipes renewed or repaired 111
Water cisterns cleansed or covered 50
Water supply to houses reinstated 5
Back yards paved or paving repaired 78
Floors repaired 135
Dustbins provided 199
Premises where animals improperly kept were removed or improved 7
Offensive accumulations removed 30
Urinals cleansed or repaired 10
Piggeries repaired or improved 7
Houses or parts disinfected and cleansed 184
Smoke nuisances abated 6
Houses at which drains were reconstructed or new provided 9
Drains repaired, cleansed, trapped or ventilated 179


There are two registered slaughterhouses and five annually licensed slaughterhouses, one of which is used as a knackers’ premises and another for slaughtering horses for exportation for human food. These are visited periodically to see that the byelaws in force, including the use of the ” humane killer,” are conformed to. 270 visits in all were paid. On no occasion was there any cause for serious complaint.

Factories, Workshops and Outworkers.

272 visits have been paid to these premises, including 66 to bakehouses, of which there are 16 in use, six using mechanical power. There are no underground bakehouses. (See Appendix).

Dairies, Cowsheds and Milkshops.

Two new premises were registered during the year. At one shop the sale of milk has ceased. 114 visits have been paid to the 37 registered premises.


Pigkeeping has greatly diminished in this district during the last few years. These premises are regulated by a model set of byelaws which are strictly enforced. 190 visits were made.

Marine Stores.

There are only two marine stores in the district. To these 76 visits were paid. No complaint has been made respecting them.

Food Inspection.

In addition to the inspection of animals and meat carcases being prepared for food at the slaughterhouses, 381 visits were paid to butchers’ shops, fishshops and other places where food is sold. Four pigs’ heads, 26 stone of fish and a sack of winkles were destroyed after examination and surrender.

The necessary disinfection has been carried out at 184 premises after removal or recovery of cases of infectious disease. 4,232 articles of bedding and clothing have been removed to the steam disinfector at the Wandle Valley Joint Isolation Hospital.


As Inspector under the Shops Acts, 1913 to 1921,1 have kept a large number of observations on shopkeepers, especially confectioners and mixed trades. Most activity was in connection with complaint^ 33 as to the irregular closing of shops on Sundays. Printed and verbal warnings were given the tradesmen most concerned throughout the district.


As Inspector under the Petroleum Acts I periodically visit the 45 licensed premises for the storage of petroleum spirit and carbide of calcium, of which four were newly licensed during the year. The total amount of spirit permitted to be kept is 28,078 gallons. Several underground storage systems have been installed during the year ; others are considering the adoption of the system, which is to be encouraged.

I am,

Your obedient servant,

Charles G. Rabbetts,

Senior Sanitary Inspector.

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