Outdated Byelaws to Be Scrapped

Including local rules about wagon wheels and dead horses!

Department of Communities and Local Government

Hammersmith and Fulham Archives and Local History Centre

Fulham Society

Hammersmith Society

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Did you know that there are strict rules about putting "skidpans" under wagon wheels in Hammersmith and Fulham? Or that you could be breaking the law by moving a dead horse?

Local Government Minister Grant Shapps has announced plans to give councils a new power to review and revoke outdated byelaws without having to ask Whitehall for permission.

And examples of the laws he wants to allow councils to scrap are:

A 1905 byelaw relating to the transport of dead horse carcasses in Hammersmith & Fulham

Two more Hammersmith and Fulham Byelaws from 1913 relating to the use of dickey straps (the leather straps which hold the driving box of horse drawn carriages in place) and skidpans (A shoe or clog, attached to a chain, and placed under the wheel of a wagon to prevent its turning when descending a steep hill)

This last one is particularly puzzling since of course Hammersmith and Fuham has no steep hills!

Other byelaws facing the chop around the country include a rule prohibiting the beating of carpets on Blackpool Promenade and a law stopping people drying their clothes in parts in Whitstable.

Grant Shapps says: " It should not take a rubber stamp from central Government to scrap outdated local laws. For far too long, councils have had to jump through hoops just to get things done for residents. That’s why I want councils to use this new power I am offering them, and keep a watchful eye out for outdated rules that will soon be so much easier to scrap.

" But people should also be free to contact their council with their concerns and have them addressed easily, so councils should also look to set local byelaws that improve their area – with no ministerial involvement whatsoever."

August 31, 2010