The London County Council Meeting, April 1902
Mr. J. McDougall, Chairman, presided on Tuesday, at the County Hall, Spring-gardens, over the first meeting of the Council alter the Easter recess.
Captain Swinton asked the Chairman of the General Purposes Committee whether he had seen his proposal that on the night of the Coronation, under the organisation of the County Council, and as their contribution to the rejoicings of the day, both banks of the Thames should be illuminated from Lambeth Bridge to Blackfriars Bridge, and firework displays be given from the sides of the three intervening bridges, and whether he would approve of a special Sub-Committee being appointed to interview the frontagers and other interested parties, and discover what assistance they might look for from them.
Dr. Collins said some misapprehension seemed to exist as to who was responsible for the licensing of the wooden stands which were being erected for the Coronation. In 1897 the Council were responsible for the licensing, and not a single accident occurred.
Mr. R. E. Robinson replied that the Metropolitan Borough Councils would be responsible for the supervision and licensing of wooden structures, while the power of the supervision of balconies remained with the Council.
Lord Monkswell said, with regard to Captain Swinton's question, he thought, under the circumstances, it would be better for him to lay the matter before the Coronation Committee.
Finance Committee discusses loans
On the recommendation of the Finance Committee, it was agreed to lend Camberwell Borough Council 35,000l. for the purchase of land for a cemetery; Hammersmith Borough Council 2,000l. for works at wharf and for paving; Battersea Borough Council 2,285l. for electric-light installation; St. George's (East) Guardians 3,000l. for alterations at the infirmary; Metropolitan Asylums Board 150,000l. for additional accommodation for small-pox patients; Kensington Borough Council 7,540l. for paving works, and 23,429l. for street improvements (sanction to loans); Woolwich Borough Council 5,600l. for electric lighting works; Wandsworth Guardians 11,870l. for extension of infirmary; Lambeth Guardians 51,355l. for alterations and additions to workhouse and infirmary; and Bethnal Green Guardians 5,690l. for supplying water to the infirmary.
Paving Works, Millbank
On the recommendation of the Housing of the Working Classes Committee, it was agreed that the expenditure of a sum not exceeding 5,540l. in respect of the permanent paving works on the remainder of the Millbank Estate and on the portion of Roehampton-street leading thereto be sanctioned; that the work be carried out by the Council without the intervention of a contractor.
Houses Let in Lodgings
It was agreed to address a letter to the Local Government Board stating that, in the opinion of the Council, it is very desirable to obtain a decision of the Courts as to whether exemption clauses can legally be inserted in by-laws as to houses let in lodgings; and asking whether the Board will co-operate with the Council with this object.
Various works at the following buildings were agreed to on the recommendation of the Theatres and Music Halls Committee:—
- Britannia Theatre (Mr. B. Crewe for Messrs. A. L. Crauford and C, Hobson).
- London Exhibitions, Earl's Court (Mr. H. Hart).
- Theatre, St. Martin's-lane (Mr. W. G. R. Sprague).
- Savoy Theatre (Mr. G. H. Holloway for Mrs. R. D'Oyly Carte).
- Star Music Hall, Abbey-street, Bermondsey (Mr. J. Hart).
Lyceum and Vaudeville Theatres
The Theatres Committee reported :—
"On October 8, 1901, a sealed notice was served by direction of the Council on the owners of the Lyceum Theatre requiring them to carry out certain structural alterations to the building. An intimation was subsequently received from Messrs. Fladgates & Co. to the effect that the owners appealed against the notice and desired that their appeal might be referred to an arbitrator as provided in Section 11 of the Metropolis Management and Building Acts Amendment Act, 1878 (41 and 42 Vict, c. 32) under which the notice was served. The Council, in compliance with the wishes of the owners of the theatre, applied to his Majesty's First Commissioner of Works for the appointment of an arbitrator. Mr. W. Emerson, P.R.I.B.A., was accordingly appointed, and sat at the Westminster Palace Hotel on March 19, 20, 24, and 25 last, when Mr. F. F. Daldy represented the Council. Mr. E Flint, F R.I.B.A., and Mr, H, C. Clarke, F.S.I., were retained by the Council as expert witnesses to give evidence in support of its requirements. On the 14th inst. the arbitrator summoned the parties before him at his offices and explained that upon the terms of the present submission he felt great difficulty in making such an award as would dispose of the questions in issue, and answer the purpose for which the arbitration had been held.… He suggested, therefore, that the Council on the one hand and the proprietors of the theatre on the other should sign and address to him some letter or other form of authority empowering him to prescribe the manner in which any requirements he may consider necessary should be complied with. The observations of Mr. Emerson also apply to the Vaudeville Theatre, in which case a sealed notice was served by the Council on the owners of the building on January 22, 1901, and appealed against. Mr. Emerson sat as arbitrator in this case at the Westminster Palace Hotel on March 18 last and 15th inst. the Council being represented by Mr. Daldy, and Messrs. Flint and Clarke being retained to give evidence in support of the Council's requirements."
The Committee recommended accordingly and the recommendation was agreed to.
Reconstruction of Bridges
The Bridges Committee recommended, and it was agreed, that the estimate of 1,100l. submitted by the Finance Committee for the reconstruction of Beckenham-lane Bridge be approved, and that the engineer be instructed to prepare the necessary plans and specification.
District Surveyors Districts
The Building Act Committee recommended as follows:—
The Council on November 14 last resolved to amalgamate the two districts of North-East and South-East Deptford, and to issue advertisements inviting applications for the appointment of District Surveyor for the new district thus formed, and to be known as Deptford East. Since that date, however, it has been found that the fees received last year in respect of the district as constituted did not amount to 500l., and it is probable that the fees received in succeeding years will amount to even less, By the standing order of the Council the minimum value of a district is fixed at 500l. per annum, and it is therefore necessary to make other arrangements with regard to the district of Deptford East. We are of opinion that the best course will be to add this district to the adjoining district of Greenwich, which is at present supervised by Mr. B. Tabberer. We have ascertained that Mr. Tabberer is willing to perform the duties of District Surveyor within the enlarged district formed by the amalgamation of the districts of Greenwich and Deptford East, and to relinquish all private practice within such district. We recommend:—
(a) 'That so much of the resolution of the Council of November 19, 1901, in regard to the districts of North-East and South-East Deptford, as relates to the issue of advertisements inviting applications for the appointment of a District Surveyor for the district of Deptford East, formed by amalgamation of such districts, be rescinded. '
(b) 'That the district of Deptford East be added to the district of Greenwich on condition that Mr. B. Tabberer, the District Surveyor for Greenwich, do not carry on business as an architect, surveyor, or builder, or be directly or indirectly, as a partner or, otherwise, interested in such business within the district formed by the amalgamation of the districts of Deptford East and Greenwich, and to be known as the district of Deptford Fast and Greenwich, and that this arrangement do take effect on and after May 1, 1902. '
The recommendations were agreed to.
Tenders for Electric Tram Cars
The following recommendations of the Highways Committee were agreed to:—
(a) "That the tender of Messrs. Dick, Kerr, & Co. be accepted for the supply, for the sum of 71,754l., of 100 double-decked, double-bogie, electrically equipped cars, required for use on the London County Council Tramways, when reconstructed for electrical traction.…"
(b) "That Messrs, Dick, Kerr, & Co., be allowed to sublet—(a) to the J. G. Brill Co., Philadelphia, U.S.A., the manufacture of the car-trucks; (b) to the Electrical Railway and Tramway Carriage Works the manufacture of the car-bodies; (c) to Messrs. J. G. White & Co. the manufacture of the car-ploughs; and (d) to the English Electric Manufacturing Co. the manufacture of the electrical equipment and motoes, for the cars specified in the contract.…"
Tube Railways Bills
The Parliamentary Committee submitted along Report on the action they were taking in Parliament with regard to twenty-six Bills dealing with the construction of tube railways in London, and recommended that their action be approved. They had considered the Bills from many points of view, particularly the manner in which they would meet the requirements of the travelling public and assist in the development of London, their bearing upon the housing question, and the conveyance of persons of the labouring classes. It appeared quite clear that all the schemes would not have the sanction of Parliament, and in the first place the Committee regarded the Bills from the point of view of the routes proposed to be traversed, and alter wards they directed their attention to the financial proposals which the Bills contained.
The Highways Committee, also reporting the question of tube railways, remarked that they felt very strongly the urgent necessity of some specially-constituted body being established, to which new schemes for the provision of means of transit in London might referred, in order to secure uniformity systematic action in the matter. They regretted that his Majesty's Government had not seen their way to take some action on the line of the suggestion made by the joint committee. It appeared that the course taken of referring the various schemes for tube railways to separate committees of Parliament would tend make the task of the Council in dealing with—and, if necessary, opposing—the proposals a somewhat difficult one.
Mr. Benn observed that the Council was in rather an unfortunate position. It should be made clear that the Council would accept no responsibility for what would happen if no organised system were adopted for dealing with these underground railways, which were now being scrambled for by speculators.
Mr. Beachcroft hoped some of the schemes now before Parliament would not become law but the Council must be careful not to any check to offer any check to the improvement of the means of locomotion in London.
Mr. Baker said he preferred shallow underground tramways to tubes, in the interest of the public, who would have to pay the largely enhanced cost of the latter.
After further discussion, the report was adopted.
Mr. R. Williams moved :—
"That it be referred to the Housing of the Working Classes Committee to consider as to the advisability of establishing a branch of the Architect's department on the White Hart-lane estate, Wood Green, for the purpose of carrying on the preparation of plans and details under a resident architect, so that the estate may be developed forthwith by the Works Committee supplying materials and labour, the resident architect supervising such labour under the direction of the Council's Superintending Architect."
The motion was lost. adjourned.
Appointment of Mr. Cecil A. Sharp
We are asked to state that Mr. Cecil A. Sharp, whose appointment to the post of Chief Constructional Assistant to the Council was notified in our issue of March 29, has subsequently declined the post on finding that he could not retain his private practice along with it.