Wimbledon Common

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Building and Works – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd December 1968.

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Photo of Mr Hugh Jenkins Mr Hugh Jenkins , Wandsworth Putney 12:00 am, 3rd December 1968

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works whether the Conservator of Wimbledon Common, appointed by him under Section 12 of the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Act, 1871, was present at the meeting of the Conservators which approved the tipping of soil and other materials on part of Wimbledon Common near the top of Roehampton Lane; and whether his appointee agreed with this decision of the Conservators.

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey

This tipping of soil on Wimbledon Common was accepted by the Conservators in accordance with their obligations under the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act, 1966. The site for the tipping was agreed by the Conservators at a meeting from which the Conservator appointed by me was unavoidably absent.

Photo of Mr Hugh Jenkins Mr Hugh Jenkins , Wandsworth Putney

Is my right hon. Friend aware that my hope is that if his representative had been present he would have opposed this proposal? Is my right hon. Friend further aware that the Conservators had failed in their duty to safe- guard the common? Will my right hon. Friend ask them to see what can be done to repair the severe damage done by this irresponsible tipping on Wimbledon Common? Is my right hon. Friend further aware——

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

Order. That is enough to be aware of.

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey

My appointee is not a delegate, and does not need to come back to me for instructions. Secondly, as I understand the General Powers Act, the Conservators' discretion is limited to agreeing to the position of the tipping. They could not absolve themselves of the responsibility of agreeing to tipping of some kind, and the position was the only question at issue.

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this tipping has done a great deal of damage to the Common, and also to the rare plants on it? Is the right hon. Gentleman further aware that many of us think it is his duty to ensure that the Conservators appointed by him protect the interests of the public?

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey

If there is anything that I can do to help, I shall. There is one particular individual whom we appointed. I am afraid that he was not there, for other reasons, but I am told that if he had been he would have voted against it, but the proposal would still have been carried.

Photo of Mr Hugh Jenkins Mr Hugh Jenkins , Wandsworth Putney

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of that reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible opportunity.