Meltham UDC: Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health (1925) by R. Gellatly

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— 6s


Urban District Council.


Annual Report

=~ OF THE: —


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Annual Report


Medical Officer of Health

For the Year 1925,

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


I beg to submit to you my Annual Report for the year 1925, which in accordance with the instructions of the Minister of Health has to be a Survey Report.

Natural and Social Conditions of the Area.

Situation—Longitude ... si ai «ts ad ig «+ DBA, Elevation—West Nab ... we Lies ... 1,642 ft. Meltham Church A Be I -~ I 600 fk. Area as ae 5,134 acres Population—At Census, 1H Ae! iss) At Census, 1921] ee Ja 5,058 At middle of 1925 ... a sin “2h A Number of Inhabited Houses (1921) be na) Number of Families (1921) (approximate) io Me Average Number of Persons per House... fa 3.84 General District Rate (1925-26) ... +3 5/—in the £ Poor Rate (1925-26) _... se ci 4/8 in the £ Rateable Value, 1925-26 we ss £37,252 Assessable Value, 1925-26 we £32,086 Sum represented by a Penny Ra te ss £132

The conformation of the country is rugged and hilly. Houses are built principally at Meltham, Meltham Mills, Helme, Holthead and Wilshaw. The industries of the district are mainly cotton thread, cotton spinning and weaving, woollen manufacture, silk dressing and farming. The majority of the workers employed in the district are women. There are no occupations specially injurious to health. The amount of outdoor relief granted by the Hudders- field Board of Guardians to persons resident in Meltham Urban District for the past year amounted to the sum of £328 12s, 6d,

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Advantage is taken by the residents of Meltham of the splendid hospital facilities afforded to them by the close proximity of the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. The Convalescent Home at Meltham is used for treatment of convalescent cases from the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. The Home is supported by private subscriptions. The Meltham and Meltham Mills Sickness and Accident Aid Association find domestic assistance where such help is more needed than professional nursing, and also lends out free of charge certain nursing appliances.

Vital Statistics.

BirTH RATE. During the year the births of 74 infants (88 males and 36 females) were registered. Of these births, 1 female was illegitimate. Taking the population at 5,087, the birth rate for the year is 14.7. DEATH RATE. During the year the deaths of 78 persons (32 males and 46 females) were registered. This gives a death rate of 15.5 per 1,000. No notifications of women dying in, or in consequence of, child-birth, were received. The above deaths include those of 4 children under one year of age, all these being children of legitimate birth. Measured in proportion to the recorded births, this gives an infantile mortality of 54 per 1,000 births. Diseases of the respiratory organs, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, caused 7 deaths, or 11 per cent. of the total deaths. All tubercular diseases caused 6 deaths, or 4.6 per cent. of the total deaths. was one death from diarrhcea of children under two years of age. CAUSES OF DEATH. Tuberculosis of Respiratory System ... Other Tuberculous Diseases Cancer, Malignant Disease Diabetes ... Cerebral Hemorrhage, &C. Heart Disease : Ulcer of Stomach or Duodenum Bronchitis Pneumonia (all forms) seu Appendicitis and Typhlitis ...


PWR ee p= I I I CO GO OU

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M. F Acute and Chronic Nephritis ... ; 2 4 Congenital Debility and Malformation, Premature Birth iy ods 1 ] Other defined diseases aa bas 10 13 Diarrhcea, &c., under two years ms — 1 32 46

General Provision of Health Services in the Area. HosPITALs. The Colne and Holme Joint Isolation Hospital for Infectious Diseases is within the Council’s area. It is situate about a quarter of a mile from the town, stands at a good altitude, and has accommodation for 70 beds. The Council is a Con- stituent Authority of the Committee. The Small-pox Hospital is also within the Council’s area. It has accommodation for 16 cases. There is no institutional provision for unmarried mothers, illegitimate infants and homeless children in the district.

AMBULANCE FACILITIES. For non-infectious, private and accident cases, the Motor Ambulance provided by the Urban District Council is avail- able, and in the case of infectious diseases the Motor Ambulance of the Colne and Holme Joint Isolation Hospital Committee is used for the conveyance of patients to the Infectious Diseases Hospital. The Council’s Motor Ambulance was used 15 times during the year. CLINICS AND TREATMENT CENTRES. There are no Clinics and Treatment Centres in the area, the nearest Dispensaries being at Huddersfield, four miles distant. PuspLic HEALTH OFFICERS. The Public Health Officers of the Council are :— Dr. Robert Gellatly, M.D., C.M., Medical Officer of Health, and Mr. Maurice Jubb, A.R. San. L., Sanitary Inspector. The appointment of Medical Officer of Health is a part- time one, and the Sanitary Inspector is also Surveyor to the Council. A contribution to the salaries of both Officers is made by the County Council under arrangement with the Ministry of Health. PROFESSIONAL NURSING IN THE HOME. The Meltham District Nursing Association, which was inaugurated three years ago, employs a whole-time Nurse

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for the visitation of the sick, and from the last Annual Report the Nurses paid 2,706 visits and assisted at 17 minor operations. Membership can be obtained by the payment of a minimum subscription of ld. per week. Non-members are charged 2/— for the first visit and 1/— for each subsequent visit of the Nurse. Old age pensioners and persons in receipt of Poor Law Relief are nursed free of charge. There is no scheme of co-ordination between the Urban District Council and the Nursing Association. No arrangements are in existence for the nursing of infectious disease, e.g., measles, &c., in the home. The West Riding County Council provide a Nurse for this and adjoining districts for supervision of midwives and inspection of school children.

MIDWIVES. The Council does not. employ or contribuge 10 the assistance of a midwife. There is, however, a registered midwife practising. Legislation in Force. The following Acts have been adopted by the Council :—

Title of Act. Date came into force.

Private Street Works Act, 1892 ... Ist May, 1894 Public Health Acts (Amendment) Act, 1907 (Parts 5 and 6 and certain

Sections of Parts 2, 3 and 4) Tole Public Health Acts (Amendment) Act, W890; Part-3 ... >. Ist Mar, 1925

Regulations under the Dairies, Cowsheds and Milkshops Order were made on the 22nd day of January, 1900. Byelaws with respect to the following matters were approved by the Minister of Health during the year, viz. :—

Nature of Bye-Law. Date Approved. New Streets and Buildings ... 2 Oct.; 1925 Recreation Ground ool, . etl Ock., 1925 Slaughter Houses ... ee os 1925 Removal of House Refuse ... Jin fate 1925 Nuisances ch

Byelaws with respect to Common Lodging Houses were sanctioned on the 20th March, 1900, and for Offensive Trades on the 29th March, 1900.

Sanitary Circumstances of the Area. WATER. The supply of water during the year has been adequate. 2,392,000 gallons were purchased from the Huddersfield Corporation during the dry season. Had it not been for the coupling up of the Council’s Mains to the Corporation’s Mains

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five years ago drastic conditions would have had to be made during the dry season in order that the needs of the district could have been met. Since the connection was made a supply of water has been taken in two dry seasons. The water is derived from springs and drift, is of good quality, constantly laid on, and free from contamination. Wishaw and part of Meltham Mills are supplied from private sources, and I understand these supplies were barely adequate during the dry period. My estimate of the proportion of the population supplied from the Council’s works is 4,750.

RIVERS AND STREAMS. There is practically no pollution of the streams in the area, as most of the mills are provided with filter beds,

DRAINAGE AND SEWERAGE. The Mill Moor area was sewered during the year, and the most thickly populated part of the district is now efficiently drained by good modern sewers. The Council is continuing the policy of laying sewers to other outlying parts of the district. The Sewage Disposal Works are situate at Wood Bottom, Meltham, at a distance of 300 yards from a few isolated dwellinghouses. The works are sufficient for the present needs of the district. During the year no complaints have been received as to the effluent discharged from the Sewage Works being of an unsatisfactory character, or as to smell or other nuisance, from inhabitants in the neighbourhood of the works.

CLOSET ACCOMMODATION, During the year 124 water closets were installed in the populous part of the district, and the number of closets and ashpits at the end of the year is :— Water Closets Tub Closets Earth Closets Ash Pits 390 169 403 263 The closets and ashpits in the outlying districts at Royd, Wood Nook and Holthead are not included. The Council are proceeding steadily with the work of conversion, and are making small grants in aid in suitable cases. The abolition of insanitary types of privy accommoda- tion should be encouraged and stimulated, and the aim of the Council should be to get one closet to each house. J recommend the Council to continue the grant-in-aid of conversions, as during the prior five years 73 water closets were installed, whilst last year 87 were installed mostly under the grant system,

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SCAVENGING. The removal of house refuse is undertaken by the Council, and the central part of the district is attended to weekly. Ashpits, middens, &c., are emptied from time to time as required. The refuse is disposed of by carting to tip or on to agricultural land. The tip at Wood Bottom is not as tidily and carefully kept as it might be. I am inclined to the opinion that at an early date other arrangements will have to be made by the Council for a tip, and I would suggest they consider the provision of a Refuse Destructor. The number of movable ash bins with proper covering in the district is 572.

Sanitary Inspection of the Area. The following are extracts from the Sanitary Inspector’s Report to me, viz. :— Number of Statutory Notices issued A 1 Number complied with Number of Informal Notices issued Number complied with Number of Slaughter Houses on Register Number of Cowkeepers, Dairymen, &c., on «ck: ie 36 Number of Underground Bakehouses fs 1 Number of Houses inspected aes as oF

REFUSE REMOVAL. Dust Bins. Sanitary Tubs. Privies. Ash Pits. No. of Loads 9,658 10,762 1,480 1,880 2,083 Home OFFICE Form 572. No measures have been taken during the year under the Factory and: Workshop Act, 1901. There are 20 workshops in the area. These have been visited twice during the year and found satisfactory.

SMOKE ABATEMENT. No action has been taken by the Council during the year with reference to Smoke Abatement.

PREMISES AND OCCUPATIONS WHICH CAN BE CONTROLLED BY BYELAWS OR REGULATIONS. There are no common lodging houses in the district, nor any trade which has been deemed to be offensive.

SCHOOLS. The sanitary condition and water supply is satisfactory at the schools in the district. I did not find it necessary to close any school in the district through infectious disease.

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The principal changes during the past five years are :— New Houses.—A private firm erected 24 working class houses for its employees, 10 houses were built under private enterprise, and 46 houses were built and occupied under the Council’s scheme for the erection of 99 houses. EXTENSION OF SEWERS.—Several extensions have been made, and the area in Mill Moor sewered. ELECTRICITY.—A supply of electricity can now be obtained from the Electrical Distribution of Yorkshire Limited. WATER CLOSETS.—The number has been increased by 223. Roaps.—The surfaces have been improved and the road- way over the bridge in Station Street widened. OMNIBUS SERVICE.—Huddersfield Corporation run a service of Motor Omnibuses between Huddersfield and Meltham WATER Council are now able to obtain water in times of drought from the Huddersfield Corporation, SCAVENGING.—The Council are instituting dust bins in place of ashpits. Housing Statistics for Year 1925. HOUSING. Number of new houses erected during the year :— (a) Total... 33 (6) With State assistance under the Housing Acts, 1919, 1923 or 1924: (i) By the Local Authority... ae (u) By other bodies or persons uae 1. Unrit DWELLINGHOUSES. Inspection—(1) Total number of dwellinghouses in- spected for housing defects (under Public Health or Housing Acts) ... 98 (2) Number of dwellinghouses which were e inspected and recorded under the Housing = of District) Regulations, 1910 Pe (3) Number of dwellinghouses found to be in a state so dangerous or injurious to health as to be unfit for human habitation sd Pee eee |, (4) Number of dwellinghouses (exclusive of those referred to under the preceding sub-heading) found not to be in all respects reasonably fit for human habitation ... ci a as, ee

2. REMEDY OF DEFECTS WITHOUT SERVICE OF FORMAL NOTICES. Number of defective dwellinghouses rendered fit in consequence of informal action by the Local Authority or their Officers .., ie arin

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3. ACTION UNDER STATUTORY POWERS. A.—Proceedings under Section 28 of the Housing, Town Planning, &c., Act, 1919. (1) Number of dwellinghouses in respect of which notices were served ipa repairs (2) Number of dwellinghouses which were rendered fit after service of formal notices : (a) By owners ‘ (6) By Local Authority in default of owners (3) Number of dwellinghouses in I respect. of which Closing Orders became operative in pursuance of declarations by owners of intention to close

B.—Proceedings under Public Health here (1) Number of dwellinghouses in respect of which notices were served oe defects to be remedied (2) Number of in which defects were remedied after service of formal notices : (a) By owners (5) By Local Authority in default of owners .

C.—Proceedings under 7 ee 18 of ae Housing, Town Planning, &c., Act, 1909. (1) Number of representations made with a view to the making of Closing Orders (2) Number of dwelling houses in respect of which Closing Orders were made $e (3) Number of dwellinghouses in respect of which Closing Orders were determined, the dwellinghouses having been rendered fit (4) Number of dwellinghouses in respect of which Demolition Orders were made (5) Number of dwellinghouses demolished in pursuance of Demolition Orders





The shortage of houses in the district would appear to be 80 (approximately), as in November last the Council invited applications for the tenancies of 19 houses and received 101 replies. A further 46 houses are in course of erection

under the Council’s scheme,

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The principal cause of overcrowding is the shortage of houses. The worst cases of overcrowding are dealt with under the Council’s Housing Scheme. Many of the houses in the district are of an old type and lack modern conveniences, but in the majority of cases they cannot be said to be dangerous to health, as in many the air space is much greater than in the houses which are now being built. The principal defects are insufficient closet accommoda- tion, bad floors, leaky roofs, damp, defective water spouts and insufficient drainage. The cause of these defects is, I think, caused equally through lack of supervision of owners and carelessness by tenants. The sanitary inspection of the district is a daily occurrence and informal inspections are constantly made. In the bulk of cases defects are remedied on reporting same to the owner. When a house is found to be in such a bad state of repair that it cannot be remedied without the tenant removing, the Council have dealt with the case under its Housing Scheme. Up to the present no difficulties have been experienced in getting defects remedied. No complaints have been made as to unhealthy areas. No important change in the number of the population occurred during the year or is anticipated in the near future.

Inspection and Supervision of Food. MILK SUPPLY. There is no Grade A or Grade A Certified Milk in the area. Apart from this, the quality of the milk is mostly good. The supply and distribution of the milk is in the hands of the producers, the farmers. In some cases the farmer only delivers once a day, and in others the delivery is both night and morning. No special local arrangements are in force for ascertaining the wholesomeness of the milk produced within or imported into the district. No action has been taken during the year with regard to inspection of cattle for tuberculosis. The administration of the Dairies, Cowsheds and Milk- shops Orders is carried out effectively, and the Cowsheds have been inspected systematically during the year. In several cases defects have been remedied.

MEAT. No carcase has been condemned during the year. The butchers have carried out any recommendation made in order to comply with the Public Health (Meat) Regulations, 1924.

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The Sanitary Inspector attends at intervals at the time of slaughter of cattle. The number of private slaughter houses in the district at the dates mentioned was :— In 1920 In Jan., 1925 In Dec., 1925

Registered 3 3 Licensed ... — 2 2 Petals tx, A 5

The premises have been regularly inspected and found to be cleanly kept. OTHER Foops. There are in the district 5 bakehouses. These premises are regularly inspected and are usually found to be well kept, cleanly, and in satisfactory condition. The inspection of meat, foodstuffs, &c., has not necessi- tated the seizure of any unsound food, nor have any legal proceedings been instituted and no complaints have arisen.

Prevalence of, and Control Over, Infectious Disease. On receipt of notice of infectious disease enquiries are instituted and the premises examined, and if the latter are found to be insanitary the causes are immediately remedied. Complete isolation of the patients from non-infected members of the household is insisted upon. Disinfectant in liquid and powder form is supplied free, and any householder may at any time receive free supplies of disinfectants on making an application accompanied by a satisfactory reason to the Sanitary Inspector at the Town Hall. A steam disinfector is in use at the Colne and Holme Joint Isolation Hospital, and articles are disinfected there. During the year 15 premises were disinfected by the Sanitary Inspector as follows :— Scarlet Fever, 12.” Diphtheria, 2.. Puerperal Fever, 1, There were no cases of Encephalitis Lethargica and no ~ Scarlet Fever. No vaccinations were performed by me under the Public Health (Small-pox Prevention) Regulations, 1917. Arrangements are made with the West Riding County Council Laboratory Department for examination of swabs taken from throats suspected to be diphtheric, &c. During the year 1924 three of the schools were closed owing to Whooping Cough, Measles and Mumps. Prevalence of disease at schools is notified by the Attendance Officer and action taken.

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Four deaths from Influenza were registered during the past five years. The following table shows the number of cases of in- fectious disease notified during the past five years :— 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925

scarlet Fever ... 15 12 6 2 12 Diphtheria ia 7 5 3 1 2 Puerperal Fever... — —— — — 1 Encephalitis Lethargica ... 1 — — — Pulmonary Tuberculosis 3 7 6 3 6 26 24 15 6 21 Cases notified during the year :— Total Cases Cases Admitted Total Disease. Notified. to Hospital. Deaths. Scarlet Fever aca a 12 Diphtheria beans Sh 2 — Puerperal Fever ... |] ] — Pulmonary Tubercu- ax. itt _- 4 21 15 4

The ages at death were 16, 19, 23 and 31.

Tuberculosis. New cases of tuberculosis and of deaths from the disease in the district are as follows :—

New Cases. Deaths. Age Periods. Pulmonary. Non-Pulmonary. Pulmonary. Non-Pnimonary. M. F, 1, Bye M. ES M. in 5 —_ — — 1 — I — 10 — eee mage Sas sail Sa 15 fae A oe 2 =e secon ies 20) l ey jee. Sp eae 35 eee i aa bls beats 45 mbes bce the sats ec oes Total 2 4 ] a 2 1 1 —

No action has been taken under the Public Health (Prevention of Tuberculosis) Regulations, 1925, or under Section 62 of the Public Health Act, 1925. Three houses were disinfected after Tuberculosis. I am, Miss Haigh and Gentlemen, Your obedient Servant, GELLATLY: Medical Officer of Health,

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Table X.—Birth Rate, Death Rate, and Analysis of Mortality during the year 1925.

(Provisional figures. The rates for England and Wales have been calculated on a population estimated to the middle of 1925, while those for the towns have been calculated on populations estimated to the middle of 1924. The mortality rates refer to the whole population as regards England and Wales, but only to civilians as regards London and the groups of towns.)



BirtTH- RATE PER 1,000 TOTAL All PoPruLa- TION. Causes.

iS oO

uTdooy AA

Pete SIS9y

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yo sasne) yo [e}OL pue *ezuonguy ‘soTseayy

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England and Wales 5a 7 18.3

12.2 0.01 I 0.00 I 0.13 I 0.03 I 0.15 I 0.07) 0,32 I 0.47

105 County Boroughs and Great Towns, I including London Ha as 18.8 0.01 I 0.00 I 0.17 I 0.03 I 0.18 I 0.09 I 0.380 I 0.43

Populations 20,000-50,000) 18.3 11,2 0.01 I 9.00) 0.15 I 0.02 I 0.14! 0.06 I 0.81 I 0:38

London .. ey oe “9 sla 18.0 ae 7h 9.01 I 0,00 I 0.08 I 0.02 I 0.19 I 0.11 I 0.23 I 0.46

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