Air pollution is rising at an alarming rate in major Cities including London (as reported in the Guardian (May 2016))
Islington, like much of London, continues to suffer from polluted air, whilst the Council takes inadequate action to improve air quality. It is time for real action, and the new London Mayor should widen the Central London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) proposed for 2020 to include more areas such as Islington.
Labour (who run Islington) should have campaigned to get TFL to include LBI in ULEZ. Instead, they voted against that proposal by Green Cllr Caroline Russell when raised in December 2014 (as she explains here.)
Air quality in Islington is terrible, the air we breathe being potentially deadly. Respiratory illnesses, asthma, heart and lung problems, cancer, and dramatically reduced life expectancy are the consequences of the polluted air, and the lethal micro-particles we inhale along with nitrogen dioxide. Two years ago I called for the council to aim for a diesel-free borough (as reported here in the Islington Tribune)
Air pollution levels in Islington- even near schools- are double EU limits (as reported in Islington Gazette)
In the great smog of 60 years ago, people could see and taste the polluted air around them- and Government acted quickly, passing the Clean Air Act. The pollutants we ingest now are on the whole invisible*,odourless, but arguably more deadly.But because they are an unseen killer, it is easy for politicians to fail to act. There are policy failings at National, London(mayoral) and local levels.
In the absence of proper monitoring by LBI, Islington Green Party funded air quality checks which showed illegal and dangerous levels of pollutants including near schools (figures here)
Islington Council is not funding the actions that are needed to protect residents, especially young children, from harm. Sadly, in February 2014 at the Council’s budget Labour Cllrs voted against a modest expenditure on air quality, choosing instead to spend Council Tax money on their allowances and political spin doctors. They then voted against a budget amendment proposed by Green Councillor Caroline Russell in February this year (see here)
The scrutiny report of May 2013 which recommended a number of changes the Council should implement has been largely ignored and now removed from the Council’s website.
Mayor Sadiq Khan made great promises to tackle air pollution, after 8 years of inaction by Boris, but his first act on taking office was to withdraw opposition to City Airport expansion!
What residents want is clean air, not hot air.
Check out music on this Clean Air Playlist
For more info on clean air in London generally, check out Clean Air in London
Below:- receiving award from Clean Air in London