As momentum gathers over social reform and the desire to provide returning servicemen with ‘a land fit for heroes’, there comes a reminder of the housing conditions faced by some living in St Helier. A petition signed by more than 15 local clergymen submitted to the States’ Sanitary Committee demanded something be done about the town’s slum districts.
Many St Helier residents are living in unsatisfactory conditions, the petition stated, housed in smaller streets that have insufficient air or light. Their homes have poor drainage and inadequate sanitary arrangements and lack a supply of fresh, clean water. As a result, they are damp and unhealthy, perfect conditions for disease and ailments.
Similar calls have come from the recently formed Jersey Political Association, which demands a better deal for the working classes in the post-war years. Echoing these sentiments are leaders of the island’s first trades union, the Jersey Branch of the Dockers’ and General Workers’ Union, which itself only formed in September.
The clergymen’s petition, while perhaps less forceful than those of politicians and trades unionists, is nevertheless well respected. Now is the time for government to act, it concludes, to end this patently inequitable situation.
C/B/J1/2 contains the Sanitary Committee minute book covering meetings between 1900 and 1923.