Chiswick Parents Demand Action On Air Pollution Near Primary Schools

Asked local election candidates how they would help improve air quality

ruth cadbury and staff and governors and parents at st marys catholic primary school Head teacher Joan Hart, school governors, and parents during a recent meeting with MP Ruth Cadbury on the issue

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Parents at St Mary's Catholic Primary School who are campaigning to improve air quality near the school have sought a committment from all the local election candidates to work on solving air pollution.

The parents are awaiting results of a consultant's audit at St Mary's and William Hogarth School, which was set up by the Mayor, Sadiq Khan last year to tackle the problem of polluted air in school grounds situated near busy roads. The report was due to be published in March but has been delayed until after the election.

The St. Mary’s Air Pollution Group contacted candidates from the four political parties standing in the forthcoming local elections in Chiswick Riverside, Chiswick Homefields and Turnham Green Wards.

They asked them:
(1) Whether they would be willing to sign the Clean Air Parents Network’s “Clean Air for Children Pledge”
(2) If they could provide a short statement of up to 300 words setting out their position on air pollution. Their responses are set out below (arranged in alphabetical order by party). Local parents can take these responses into consideration when deciding how to vote

Clean Air for Children Pledge

“If elected, I will:
• Work on behalf of the communities I represent to clean up the air in Hounslow to protect all our health.
• Use all of the council’s available powers and lobby central government to ensure our area meets legal air pollution limits in the shortest possible time.
• Prioritise local actions to protect our children’s health including around schools and playgrounds.”

Conservatives -John Todd (Chiswick Homefields):

“I respond on behalf of the current and prospective Conservative candidates who are standing for election on the 3rd May.

I lead on behalf of Air Pollution issues but I am going to restrict my observations solely to those matters that touch on the interest and well being of your school and of course the adjacent William Hogarth school.

We’ve made representations to the GLA/TFL to eliminate the current proposed Chiswick corridor of this scheme, namely that part of the A4, between Chiswick roundabout and the Hogarth roundabout. We don’t accept that the introduction of this scheme would reduce air pollution on the A4, rather we believe it would increase it.

HOUNSLOW COUNCIL – What we’ve done:
In February this year, our shadow budget we asked for “a budget of £250k should be allocated to enable schools to properly monitor air pollution and take mitigating action to protect the health of pupils and teachers”
This was declined.
We ask at council for anti- idling legislation, already in use in other London boroughs, Southwark as an example, be implemented. Again, this was refused.
After taking advice from King’s college, and the air quality group Brentford, we requested that LBH switch their monitoring system to the London Air Quality Network. This system is used by most of the London boroughs and is the preferred choice of the GLA.

I persuaded the Council to use £30,000 of S106 funds to install this monitoring equipment, to analyse this particulate. We had no previous equipment that could measure this particulate size. Particulates in the PM 2.5 size range are able to travel deeply into the respiratory tract reaching the lung and exposure can cause short term health effects, such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing and shortness of breath. People with breathing and heart problems, children and the elderly, may be particularly sensitive to PM 2.5.

In last year’s council budget, the administration imposed a diesel charge on residents’ vehicles using our CPZs. None of these additional diesel levy funds has been used to ameliorate air pollution or fund diverse related projects. I’ve attended seminars at King’s, TFL and NESTA.

You may find these following schemes of interest. With additional funding from either the council or other sources, I believe we could do more to reduce the potential pollution damage at your school.

Pollution Pods or Pollution free zones
See school schemes funding thru the GLA (Hounslow didn't apply)

The Notting Hill Preparatory School has installed air purifiers in 3 classrooms and has seen an 86% decrease in the PM 2.5 soot particles associated with diesel engines. We will continue to press for additional funding to reduce the danger of air pollution.”

Signatories to Clean Air Pledge:

John Todd (Chiswick Homefields)
Patrick Barr (Chiswick Homefields)
Gerald McGregor (Chiswick Homefields)
Ron Mushiso (Turnham Green)

Green Party

Air pollution kills over 100 people in the Borough annually and causes many respiratory illnesses. It is a basic human right to breathe fresh air.

When elected we will:
• take urgent action to address air pollution and take measures to bring air quality within EU and WHO guidelines
• decrease air pollution specifically by reducing vehicle use and increasing public transport, cycling and walking
• assist the London mayor in implementing Clean Air London’s policies.
• demand that the the Ultra Low Emission Zone is extended to include the whole of the borough of Hounslow meaning that a toxicity charge 'T Charge' is imposed on older high-polluting vehicles
• build public understanding of air pollution with advice for people on protecting themselves and reducing pollution for themselves and others.
• oppose a third runway at Heathrow airport
• oppose more terminals at Heathrow airport
• work with Transport for London to build the Cycle Super Highway 9 linking the town centre of Hounslow, Brentford and Chiswick by bicycle, including an upgrade to cycling along Chiswick High Road
• we will improve the safety and accessibility of the cycle lane running along the A4 through Brentford and Hounslow
• provide a network of connected green and open spaces and quiet ways for cycling and walking between town centres in the borough and safer routes to schools. Cyclists and walkers take priority over cars.
• improve secure cycle parking at stations and other areas where they are in short supply.
• enforce restrictions on dangerous parking at junctions and on cycle ways that puts pedestrian and cyclists lives at risk.
• enforce speed limits of 20 mph in residential streets in Hounslow and main roads used by pedestrians, such as the A316 outside Chiswick Community School.
• provide charging points for electric vehicles in off-road parking locations and for the use of electric car clubs.

Signatories to Clean Air Pledge:

Nicole Ruduss (Chiswick Homefields)
Daniel Goldsmith (Chiswick Riverside)

Labour Party

The issues we will address are:
• Support the Mayor’s plan for an ultra-low emission zone and Low emission bus routes
• Consult on the introduction of a Clean Air Zone to help protect all our residents
• Campaign for a Better NOT Bigger Heathrow seeking action to reduce traffic volumes and pollution
• Monitor and address local pollution hotspots – especially those near schools

We also have several other green initiatives including: an increase in renewable and reusable resources, improving recycling across the borough, tree planting , establishing a green fund to support local residents and community projects, promoting cycling , the adoption of a green procurement policy by the council.

Ruth Mayorcas (Turnham Green):
“I would suggest and indeed push for a car-free drop-off zone around the school. There is frankly little we as candidates/Councillors can do to deal with the A4 - besides campaigning the Department of Transport to do something about the constant stream of traffic on this road (I already do this and have done for years - a 24/7 congestion charge would solve part of it) - but we can readily push for less pollution at the entrance to the school by creating a car-free zone - I am sure you would agree that this would be a good part of dealing with an element of air pollution which could be easily rectifiable and sooner than the A4 issue.

“The school run is responsible for so much unnecessary traffic and on the doorstep on Duke Rd it has been an issue. If elected I will work with Hounslow Council Officers to make this happen.”

Peter Burgess (Turnham Green):
“I am delighted to sign the London Clean Air Pledge. I am appalled by the damage to health caused by pollution in London, especially to the young and elderly, and if elected I will campaign vigorously to oppose a Third Heathrow runway and to secure additional central government funding for protective equipment to be installed in schools and playgrounds. I am a teacher, and the welfare of children is one of my overriding concerns. Whilst I was at the recent National Education Union conference in Brighton I made contact with other teachers who are campaigning against pollution, and they put me in touch with local environmental groups. If elected, I will work with others to build an alliance of groups opposed to pollution, and to take our fight to central government.”

Nick Fitzpatrick (Chiswick Homefields):
“I obviously support both the Mayor’s Green City Strategy and the Hounslow strategy. I have pledged support for the “No Third Runway” group, as have all of my fellow candidates, and the Green City initiative. I have also been active in relation to the issue of plastic waste in Chiswick, and we conducted a riverside clean up operation a few weeks ago.”

Signatories to Clean Air Pledge:

Ruth Mayorcas (Turnham Green)
Peter Burgess (Turnham Green)
John Stroud-Turp (Turnham Green)
Nick Fitzpatrick (Chiswick Homefields)
Sally Malin (Chiswick Riverside)

traffic Hogarth Roundabout

Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrats have a plan to make Chiswick a healthier place for all. We will:

• Get the A4 through Chiswick included in the Ultra Low Emission zone, reducing pollution and improving the health of Chiswick residents. See our campaign here.
• Install a green barrier on the A4 to reduce car pollution impact for the residents and schools near the A4.
• Implement traffic light synchronisation to reduce stop / start traffic on the High Road (the biggest impact on pollution levels) and look at reducing the speed limit.

As councillors we will take advantage of existing funds for green spaces (like Green Capital) and embrace green initiatives like the All London Green Grid and TfL best practice to make the case for these improvements. Hounslow Council has failed to address the increasing amount of harmful pollution from the A4. We therefore promise to produce transparent indexes based on TfL's own Healthy Street Indicators to hold the Council and TfL to account.

We support better facilities for both cyclists and pedestrians, and will work to ensure the CS9 cycle superhighway is redesigned to improve access and facilities for everyone in Chiswick - pedestrians, users of public transport, and cyclists. Improved cycling provision on the High Road must not come at the expense of pedestrians.

Alex Fox (Chiswick Homefields):
I am very happy to sign this pledge. Reducing pollution in Chiswick is one of the reasons why I am standing this election.

Chris Gillie (Turnham Green):
“We are already campaigning on Air quality. We have run petitions over the exclusion of the A4 from the ULEZ, and want to plant a green wall to absorb and deflect road pollution from neighbouring homes and schools. We want to stop a 3rd runway at Heathrow and we want changes to the design of CS9 to make it safer for both cyclists and pedestrians to encourage both of these groups. We also oppose the cuts to the bus service frequencies, as this will make pollution and congestion worse as more people feel they need to use their own vehicles. Although not directly associated with air pollution, it is more a water pollution thing, we also want to stop the spraying of pesticides by the council as this damages wildlife and is difficult to eliminate from the water supplies, and we end up drinking the stuff.”

Signatories to Clean Air Pledge:

Alice Bailhache (Chiswick Homefields)
Charles Rees (Chiswick Homefields)
Alex Fox (Chiswick Homefields)
Francis Beddington (Chiswick Riverside)
Guy de Boursac (Chiswick Riverside)
James McConnell (Chiswick Riverside)
Helen Cross (Turnham Green)
Leigh Edwards (Turnham Green)
Chris Gillie (Turnham Green)


April 26, 2018

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