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Streatham Hospital Bequest

Volume 181: debated on Tuesday 20 August 1907

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I beg to ask the hon. Member for the Elland Division, as representing the Charity Commissioners, whether, with reference to the estate of the late Benjamin Weir, deceased, estimated at about £100,000, with an accumulated income of about £10,000, which was bequeathed by him for the purposes of a hospital for the benefit of the inhabitants of the parish of Streatham, the Charity Commissioners are preparing or contemplating a scheme for the application of the estate to purposes outside the parish of Streat ham, although that parish, which has an acreage more than four times as large as the City of London, and with a population of 101,628, and sixty miles of roads, yet has no hospital; whether a local public inquiry will be held, or any other opportunity given to the inhabitants to express their opinions on the subject, before any such scheme is carried into effect; and is he aware that a letter was received by the Charity Commissioners from the Streatham Ratepayers' Association dated 23rd May, 1907, of which receipt was acknowledged on the 25th idem, promising attention, but to which no further reply has been given.

The residuary esatat e estimated as stated by the hon. Member was left by the late Benjamin Weir by will for the maintenance of a hospital to be carried on, at a house belonging to the testator at Streatham, for the benefit of the inhabitants of the parish of Streatham and the neighbourhood. The house having been found to be unsuitable for the purpose, and the authorities of King Edward's Hospital Fund having informed the trustees of the Weir Charity that the sum at their disposal was quite insufficient to found a hospital, and having advised union with the Bolingbroke Hospital at Wandsworth Common th e, Trustees have submitted proposals to the Charity Commissioners for dealing with the Weir endowment. These proposals are for the application of the greater part of the endowment for the enlargement and maintenance of the Bolingbroke Hospital (at which beds are to be available for Streatham cases) after providing for the carrying on of the existing Weir Dispensary at Streatham and for the establishment and maintenance of a home at Streatham for nurses for the benefit of the neighbourhood and for setting apart a fund for the payment of fees for nursing and other treatment of Streatham patients. The Commissioners have expressed their willingness to publish a scheme in substantial accordance with the proposals of the Trustees. In the letter of 23rd May, 1907, from the Streatham Ratepayers' Association it was stated that a similar letter was being sent to the Trustees of the Weir Charity. The Chairman of the Association was informed at an interview at the office of the Commissioners on the 31st July last that the Commissioners favoured the proposal for amalgamation with the Bolingbroke Hospital. In a letter of the 15th August the views of the Association and of the Streatham Chamber of Commerce have been stated to the Commissioners, and when a scheme has been framed for publication full opportcnity will be given to all persons to express their opinion on the subject. In these circumstances there does not seem to be any occasion for a local public inquiry.