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Industrial Plants, Birmingham (Noxious Fumes)

Volume 722: debated on Tuesday 21 December 1965

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asked the Minister of Housing and Local Govern- ment what steps he will take to protect the people of Cranemore Street and other adjacent streets in Nechells, Birmingham, from the emission of noxious fumes and gases by nearby industrial plants.

The industrial plants in the area are under the regular supervision of either the Alkali Inspectorate or the public health inspectors of the Birmingham City Council. At the sulphuric acid works, alterations now being carried out should improve the quality of the chimney gases and methods of improving their dispersal are under consideration.

Is the Minister aware that so far there have been no substantial improvements and that the emission of gas results in the aggravation of bronchial complaints suffered by people in the area? Is he further aware that there is a nasty smell in the neighbourhood, that vegetation dies because of the emission of these fumes and that local authorities are completely dissatisfied with what is being done? I hope that the Alkali Inspectorate will look at the situation again.

It is true that any industrial area with heavy chemical industries suffers from these problems, which create a nuisance to residents in the area. The firm has made various experiments to try to improve the position and my right hon. Friend will keep an eye on the situation.