§ Amendments made:
§ In page 4, line 4, after "hydrants," insert "as incorporated with or applied by any enactment, with or without modifications."
§ In line 4, after "if," insert "for."
§ In line 5, leave out "included." and insert "there were substituted."
§ In line 5, leave out "all fire authorities," and insert "the fire authority."—[Mr. Lloyd.]
§ 9.25 p.m.
§ Mr. Lloyd
I beg to move, in page 4, line 5, at the end, to insert:Provided that the Minister of Health may by order modify the provisions of the said Section thirty-eight, in their application to any rural district, so as to extend the distances at which fire-hydrants are required to be placed under that Section.(3) Where any fire-hydrant which is being maintained at the expense of a fire authority under Section forty of the Waterworks Clauses Act, 1847, is damaged as the result of any person using the hydrant (otherwise than for fire brigade purposes) with the authority of the water company or person to whom the hydrant belongs, the fire authority shall not be liable for the cost of repairing or replacing the hydrant incurred as the result of the damage.(4) Any person who uses a fire-hydrant, without the authority of the water company or person to whom the hydrant belongs, otherwise than for the extinction of fire or fire brigade purposes, shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten pounds.307 Under Section 38 of the Waterworks Clauses Act, 1847, the distance between hydrants is prescribed or, if no distance is prescribed, is not more than 100 yards, whilst the supply area of a water undertaking may include rural areas as well as urban districts, Section 38 of the Act has applied hitherto only to urban districts. The provisions of the Section might be onerous if applied generally to rural districts, which would be the effect of the Bill, and the purpose of the proviso is to ensure that a simple machinery is available for relaxing requirements, where necessary, in their application to the rural districts.
Sub-section (3) has been put down to safeguard the position of fire authorities in cases where fire hydrants are damaged in the course of use other than for fire brigade purposes. Representations were made in Committee that in such circumstances the fire authority ought not to be liable for the cost of repair, and this Amendment has been put down with a view to meeting this point where the hydrant is used with the authority of the water undertaker.
Sub-section (4) deals with much the same question and has been put down in pursuance of an undertaking given in Committee. Its effect is to make it an offence to use a hydrant without proper authority.
§ Lieut.-Commander Tufnell
I should like to know whether the word "uses" in Sub-section (4) includes the word "interferes," because I can conceive a motor lorry unloading a lot of sacks and covering up a hydrant. It would be interfering with the hydrant and making it difficult for the fire engine, when it arrives, to deal with the fire. Pulling up a road and covering a hydrant with soil would again he interfering with it. Does the word "uses" include "interferes" and, if not, could that word be inserted?
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. Lloyd
I beg to move, in page 4, line 18, to leave out "all practicable" and to insert "such."
This has been moved to safeguard the position of the fire authorities in cases where hydrants are damaged in the course 308 of use other than for fire brigade purposes. It is a common practice for some of the larger water authorities to allow their hydrants to be used for certain trade and industrial purposes, and it is not quite fair that the fire authority should be liable for the expense of the repair of hydrants when they have been damaged by people not connected in any way with the extinguishing of fires. Some of the large water undertakings agree that it is a reasonable provision.
§ Amendment agreed to.
Further Amendment made: In page 4. leave out lines 19 to 22, and insert:
as are reasonable and practicable to improve the access to or otherwise to facilitate the use of any water supply (other than a water supply available for use by means of fire hydrants) which may be required for the purpose of extinguishing fires."—[Mr. Lloyd.]