Status details for Rural Sanitary District

Status:Rural Sanitary District
Number of units in system: 596
Geographical Level: 9 (Middle-level District)
ADL Feature Type:countries, 3rd order divisions
Is a status within:Sanitary District

Full Description:

The outbreak of cholera provoked the establishment of temporary Boards of Health in 1831, further outbreaks stimulated attempts to create a Public Health service. Recommendations made by the Buccleuch Commission (1845) led to the Nuisances Removal and Diseases Prevention Act (1846(9 & 10 Vict.,c.96)) which gave jurisdiction to Local Councils, Justices and boards of Guardians to deal with Public Health. This was the first Local Government Act to extend Public Health legislation to the Rural areas. Existing sanitary legislation was consolidated through the Town Improvements Clauses Act (1847) and Town Police Clauses Act (1847). The introduction of an organized structure for national Public Health began with the Public Health Act (1848) which 'conferred special sanitary powers on Municipal Corporations and enforcing the establishment of an elected Board of Health in all areas which showed a heavy death-rate in the Registrar-General's returns, whilst facilitating the establishment of similar Boards of Health in less unhealthy districts' (Hasluck, 1948, p.272). Scattered across England these Boards numbered a couple of hundred and included Town Councils who had adopted the 1848 Act, however, they only had juridiction over the areas of high death-rate, amounting to a little over ten percent of the urban population. The creation of organised Public Health services across the country did not occur until the Public Health Act (1872), although various Statutes, such as the Sanitary Act (1866), allowed powers to those authorities who wished to adopt Public Health policies. The Public Health Act (1872) mapped out England into Sanitary Districts, both Urban and Rural. The Public Health problem was more acute in Urban Sanitary Districts therefore these Boards were given greater powers. The Public Health Act (1875) "consolidated public health law"(jackson, 1966, p.64). The Local Government Act (1894 (57 & 57 Vict, c58)) turned the Sanitary boards into District Councils, but retained the division of those in Urban and Rural areas. It increased the administration functions of the District Council and its Councillors in executing this and later Public Health Acts. These Acts formed the basis of Britain's Public Health System until 1936.