Sunday 1 December 2019

Let Brent Breathe! Clean Air report goes to Scrutiny on Wednesday

A very thorough report by  the Air Quality Scrutiny Inquiry, chaired by Cllr Thomas Stephens, will go to the Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday December 4th. Cllr Stephens was aided by 6 fellow councillors and two co-opted organisations, Clean Air for Brent and Brent Cyclists.

Cllr Stephens seems to be a bit of a Mystic Meg when he writes:

We are pleased that the Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee gave full formal endorsement to this report, and its recommendations, at its meeting on Wednesday 4 December 2019. We now look forward to each of these recommendations being considered by, and respond to, by Cabinet at the earliest opportunity in the New Year.
Never mind, the report is very welcome and if implemented effectively will make a major contribution to improving air quality to the limited extent that one can do it in one borough. I have posted the full report below for detailed appraisal but these are the 10 recommendations which are elaborated in much more detail.

List of recommendations
  • Recommendation 1: That the Council update the Air Quality Strategy, and set out an aspiration to meet World Health Organisation limits on air pollution, commit to addressing inequality in air quality and complement the wider climate emergency agenda. We should also lobby national government where we are unable to effect change ourselves.
  • Recommendation 2: That the Council, in consultation with Transport for London and the Football Association, agree a strategy to reduce the air quality impact of non-resident car usage in Brent.
  • Recommendation 3: That the Council set up a Green Brent Partnership: a forum with organisations impacting air quality in Brent – including the private sector, community organisations and campaign groups – to agree shared targets to improve air quality locally. We should also lead by example by taking steps to reduce the air quality impact of Brent Council’s own activities.
  • Recommendation 4: That the Council closely monitor and review the air quality impact of current policies, most particularly the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, and consider implementing and/or lobbying for stronger measures if necessary. It should also keep the provision of air quality monitoring sites under constant review.
  • Recommendation 5: That the Council make the delivery of healthy streets a central corporate and political priority across the borough, working closely with local residents to expand the number of healthy streets locally.
  • Recommendation 6: That the Council outline, publish and consult on a clear strategy for engagement with Transport for London on active travel initiatives – including the planned Willesden-Wembley Cycle Superhighway, measures to improve public transport provision and any future initiatives to improve accessibility over the North Circular.
  • Recommendation 7: That the Council expand the number of initiatives for dealing with the air quality impact of housing and the built environment, and engage closely with experts to consider further steps as new evidence and technology emerges.
  • Recommendation 8: That the Council continue to promote green space as a way of supporting active travel, and because of its wider benefits to health, the climate and biodiversity, but ensure that measures to improve greening are not promoted as a alternative to dealing with the underlying causes of poor air quality.
  • Recommendation 9: That the Council continue to promote measures to improve air quality in our schools, and where possible enhance and expand on existing initiatives. It should work in partnership with schools and students to agree a shared approach to improving air quality in the borough.
  • Recommendation 10: That the Council, working with the health sector, statutory partners and Brent’s public health team, spearhead a public health awareness and behavioural change campaign about air quality. The local NHS should also play its full part in delivering this, and lead by example in the measures they take to improve air quality.
Background Illustrations

Click bottom right corner for full page view:

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