Many thanks to all of you who came to our public meeting on 13 June. The speakers were Tom Walsh from Sustainable Merton, Andrea Lee from Client Earth and Dr Ian Mudway from Kings College London. They spoke off the cuff – you can get more information from the following links.
A key message was that this is a public health crisis and that we can all take action to respond to it. Some examples are below – please let us have details of what you are doing locally, or would like to do with others, so we can share these.
Find out about levels of air pollution where you live.
Joyce Pountain has prepared a community map (link below) showing measurements of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) around the borough. This brings together data from the Council (for 2016), Friends of the Earth, Mitcham Society, Sustainable Merton and Merton Green Party.
See the readings near you by opening the document and clicking on the pins. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tO-MxlPduvN9jidPKvXKh4v38lg&usp=sharing.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have queries.
If you want to measure NO2 at a location near you, you can do so yourself at a cost of £12 by getting a diffusion tube from London Sustainability Exchange (email H.Gardiner@lsx.org.uk) or Friends of the Earth for a donation (link below). We can help you if the instructions are not clear. Please let us know your results and we will add them to the community map. https://www.foe.co.uk/go/clean-air-kit
Raise the issue with your local councillors
The Council increased the number of its permanent NO2 monitoring sites from 20 to 52 from 1 January 2017. Initial results show pollution levels above the legal limits in 46 of 52 locations. Data by ward is summarised below – contact email@example.com for the detailed figures.
Abbey 4 out of 4 above limit, Cannon Hill 1/1, Colliers Wood 2/2, Cricket Green 2/2, Dundonald 4/4, Figge’s Marsh 3/3, Graveney 1/1, Hillside 3/4, Lavender Fields 1/2, Longthornton 0/0, Lower Morden 3/3, Merton Park 7/8, Pollards Hill 0/0, Ravensbury 5/6, Raynes Park 4/5, St Helier 0/0, Trinity 0/0, Village 2/3, West Barnes 2/2, Wimbledon Park 2/2.
The Council have invited suggestions for locations which people think should be added in 2018 – please send us any views and we will collate them and pass them on.
Contact your local school or nursery about what they can do
Tom Walsh is working on a pilot project with three primary schools (Cricket Green, Merton Abbey and Gorringe Park) to teach children how to measure air pollution and interpret the results. We have an example of an article to include in a primary school newsletter – contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a copy.
Raise the issue with local groups you are involved in
Mitcham Society had such a discussion recently – there was a lot of concern from those present and a willingness to take action about it. We would be happy to come to such a meeting if that would be useful – if so, email email@example.com.
Comment on planning applications in your area if they look likely to make air pollution worse
A current example is the proposed concrete batching plant off Plough Lane, Wimbledon.
Respond to public consultations
The Mayor has published his draft transport strategy, for comments by 2 October.
We have asked the Council when their promised Air Quality Action Plan will be out for consultation (delayed from original date of end of May by the General Election).