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Monday, December 4. Tlie Local Board of Health met at 10.30 a.m. Present—Messrs F. Hobbs (chairman), E. Gr, Wright, H. J. Tancred, H. J. Hall, A. Duncan, R. J. S. Harman, J. V, Ross, and T, D. Jones. Mr Hall asked the chairman whether there was any chance of the Central Board giving any subsidy to the Local Boards. The chairman replied in the negative. The clause referring to this matter stated that the expenses were to be paid out of district rates. He thought that for the present year the expenses would have to come out of the Is rate. Mr Ross directed the attention of the Board to the last part of clause 16, which was as follows:—“Each Local Board may also make regulations for all or any of the following purposes —For directing the payment of such wages, salaries, or allowances as the Local Board may deem reasonable, and all other expenses incurred by such Board in the due execution of this part of the Act, to be paid out of the general city, town, borough, or district rates, or out of any rates or other moneys applicable by the Board to the purposes of improving the city, town, borough, or district, or otherwise at the disposal of the Local Board.” He thought that this seemed to indicate that they could have recourse to the City Council to pay a proportion of the cost. The chairman thought not. He had carefully studied the Act, and arrived at the conclusion that any expenses incurred by the Board would have to be paid out of the Is rate. The City Council paid the officers now at work up to the time of the Board coming into operation. Mr Jones enquired whether the Board was bound under the Act to take over the officers of the City Council. The chairman replied that they were not. Mr Jones then thought it would be better leave matters as they were. Mr Duncan thought it would be the best way to take legal advice on the matter. Mr Hall thought they would not be justified in expending rates raised for drainage purposes to the expenses of the Public Health Act. Mr Ross felt that this would prejudice their debenture holders in London. Mr Wright did not see this. So long as they had sufficient funds to pay interest and sinking fund, they were quite at liberty to do what they pleased with the balance. Mr Duncan pointed out that the ratepayers were bound to pay the expenses of working the Act. What he thought they wanted was to get a legal opinion as to whether they could not require the City Council and village Road Boards to pay a certain proper* tion of money to them, There was no doubt about this that the Act wanted amending, so as either to give them power to levy a rate or receive from the other bodies a certain proportion. The chairman said that he felt sure that they would have to use their general drainage rates in this way, that they next year would have to levy a Id rate in addition to the Is, which would cover all expenses of working of the Act. They would have to get an amendment of the Drainage Act, so as to extend their rating power above the Is, in consequence of their being a local Board of Health. Mr Tancred moved —“ That whereas there appears to be no provision in the Public Health Act for enabling the Local Board to raise funds for the purposes of the Act, the Board requests information as to the source from whence the necessary revenue is to be obtained, and as to the meaning and intention of the Legislature in reference to subsection 4 of clause 16 of the Public Health Act.” Mr Duncan seconded the motion, which was carried. The chairman was requested to communicate the resolution to the Central Board of Health, requesting information on the points referred to. Mr Harman thought that the Legislature must have intended that the Board should have a proportion of the city or borough rates to work the Act. If they took the case of Wellington or any other Local Board which was not as they were, also a Drainage Board with power to raise rates, it would at once be seen that fjthey were without any funds at all. Therefore he thought that the clause referred to, meant to J give;power to the Local Board to call on the Borough Councils and Road Boards to contribute their shares towards the expenses incurred under the Act. It was resolved that the rules for conduct of business used by the Drainage Board be adopted by the Local Board of Health so far as applicable, from and after the present meeting. The chairman said the next business was the appointment of officers, He thought

that it would perhaps be better to have the officers and machinery now in work by the City OouncilSso far as the city itself was concerned, but that in the suburbs there should be an officer appointed by the Board, and under their control. Mr Wright said that he thought the divided responsibilty involved by having two officers would impair the efficiency of the work. They had under the Act the responsibilty placed upon them, and he thought they should not hesitate to undertake it properly and efficiently. The chairman said that it was not stating too much when he said that it was probable that during summer and autum they would not have less than 200 cases of typhoid fever throughout their district. Now if the Central Board Board of Health made typhoid fever as such an infectious disease, it would necessitate the exclusive emplayment of a medical officer as Health Officer of the Board, Mr Harman thought, it came to this, that the provisions of the Act and the character of the city necessitated the securing the exclusive services of a medical man for the city. It would be a necessity in the future, and perhaps it would be as well now to appoint such an officer’. It would be necessary to have a house to house visitation in order to ascertain what provisions were made for drainage. The Chairman said that there was no doubt that the prevalence of typhoid fever was due to a local cause. It arose from miasma, and he felt assured that the south drain was a most fruitful source of typhoid. So soon as the drainage scheme was carried into effect, and the Board of Health carried out their works, he believed typhoid would soon go away. Messrs Harman and Wright expressed their opinion that sufficient care was not taken in building houses to see that proper drainage was provided to carry off stagnant water under the floors. The former gentleman instanced a case in the city, where an offensive smell arising, the floor of the house was taken up and three feet of black mud found underneath. Mr Wright moved—“ That applications be invited for the office of Chief Inspector of Nuisances under the Public Health Act, for the Christchurch Drainage District. The salary of such officer to be fixed at the rate of £275 per annum.” Mr Harman seconded the motion, which was agreed to, Mr Harman moved—“ That enquiries be addressed to the Central Board, as to whether general instructions for the guidance of the medical officers have already been framed by them, or whether such instructions will be framed as the circumstances of each case may seem to render necessary ” Mr Jones seconded the motion which was agreed to. The chairman was also requested to forward an explanatory letter to the Central Board, accompanying the resolution, pointing out that typhoid fever being so prevalent here, and arising from a local cause, should not be included in infectious diseases. It was resolved, on the motion of Mr Boss, that clause 28 of the Public Health Act should be advertised for public information. It was resolved to leave the appointment of a medical officer to the Board in abeyance until after the receipt of information on the subject of his duties from the Central Board, The Board then adjourned for a fortnight.

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Bibliographic details

BOARD OF HEALTH., Globe, Volume VII, Issue 766, 4 December 1876

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BOARD OF HEALTH. Globe, Volume VII, Issue 766, 4 December 1876

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