Picture past: epidemics, unemployment and new housing
PUBLISHED: 11:00 01 February 2020
Unemployment in Weston continued to rise.
The number of unemployed people in the Weston-Axbridge area was 968, compared with 884 in January 1969.
Of the 945, 745 were men including 380 aged over 50, 195 women, 16 boys and 12 girls.
Unemployment in the area increased to 4.8 per cent, almost double the national average of 2.5 per cent.
Weston and District employment committee was told fewer women had been employed in shops and distributive traders over the Christmas period and those which were employed were not kept on afterwards.
Sixty-five people died of flu and pneumonia during an outbreak of the disease which hit Weston over the festive period.
During the epidemic, people died from an 'extremely severe' type of flu.
Council medical officer Dr D McGowan told the health and housing committee 23 people died from influenza and the rest died from pneumonia, of which there were many more cases than usual.
Dr McGowan said the strain of flu from the outbreak was much more severe than in the outbreak in 1951 and 1957, but the epidemic was abating.
He said: "The epidemic started shortly before Christmas and shot up considerably in a comparatively short space of time.
"Doctors and hospital staff were swamped with cases, and were still extrememly busy.
"The first death from the flu occurred on December 12, then until January 8 there were 21 further deaths.
"Only two of the influenza victims were under 55, we were led to believe this would a milder type of outbreak, in fact, it was extremely severe, very severe indeed."
A housing society proposed building 44 new homes in Weston.
The scheme proposed by Condominium Housing Society at the former tennis courts at Westcliffe Lawns would comprise of 26 bed-sits, eight two-bedroom apartments and 10 three-bedroom flats.
The scheme would see tenants take part in a co-ownership scheme, with those occupying the flats repaying the mortgage on the building over a 40-year period.
Although the tenants would never own their units outright at the end of the repayment period, they would only have to contribute to the upkeep of the building.
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