Air pollution is responsible for over 4,000 premature deaths in London, making it the second most deadly health problem after smoking. Crystal Palace suffers from long queues of dirty traffic crawling through the area, so why would Lambeth Labour try to block a Green initiative to do something about it?
Scott Ainslie, our Green councillor in Lambeth (representing St Leonards in Streatham) has tabled a motion for the full council meeting this Wednesday noting the problem and calling for action.
But Cllr Jenny Braithwaite (for Gipsy Hill) has tabled an amendment stripping out any mention of the estimated number of premature deaths each year in Lambeth (121 people), and the number of schools that are within 150m of heavily polluted roads (49 schools). She is trying to whitewash Lambeth’s record, and turn all attention to the Mayor of London.
Her amendment also strips out solutions that the council could pursue, including:
- reducing traffic levels
- making cycling and walking safer
- making sure schools monitor pollution and are aware of the effects on children
- lobbying TfL for cleaner buses, and to include Lambeth in an ‘ultra’ low emission zone, effectively banning dirty vehicles from the borough by 2020
You can read Scott’s full motion and Cllr Braithwaite’s amendments in the final pages of this document.
When we get the results of our project to monitor air pollution around Crystal Palace next month, we’ll be sure to let Cllr Braithwaite the pollution levels that we record in Gipsy Hill.