Today is Clean Air Day 2021 and this year the theme is “protect our children’s health from air pollution”. Clean Air Day is the UK's largest air pollution campaign which helps to drive a positive shift in public knowledge and action; and is a chance to find out more about air pollution, share information, and make the air cleaner and healthier for everyone.

 

Last month (May) plans to further expand waste incineration at Belvedere came to light. Jon Cruddas MP who fought against the original expansion over a two-year campaign, raised his concerns and opposition with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Jon’s letter to the Secretary of State can be found HERE

 

A 2020 GLA report found that the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Havering have the highest mortality rate attributable to Energy from Waste emissions in London, yet despite this, waste incineration company Cory have applied to expand operations in Belvedere.

Last year a coalition of MPs, councillors, and environmental organisations lost a two-year battle with Cory, which resulted in the government approving plans for a second mass waste incinerator opposite Dagenham and Rainham on the banks of the Thames.

 

A Greater London Authority report published in May 2020 highlights that more than half of all deaths within London attributable to emissions from waste incineration facilities occur within just nine boroughs. The research clearly shows Barking and Dagenham and Havering as having the highest concentration of particulates and other harmful emissions as a direct result of incineration.

 

In 2019 London City Airport undertook an extensive 16-week public consultation on their draft master plan which proposed airport expansion and a change to operating hours. The plans raised a number of concerns which ranged from increased noise pollution in flight path areas to issues of air quality. Jon Cruddas MP was contacted by many constituents during the consultation period and met with London City Airport to discuss their concerns.

 

After over two years fighting against a second mass waste incinerator in Belvedere the case is finally closed, and the Government approved site will now go ahead. Jon Cruddas MP launched a campaign against the proposals back in 2018 when all reports suggested it would damage air quality, human health, and biodiversity across the south of Dagenham and Rainham.

The campaign attracted far reaching support from the Mayor of London, neighbouring MPs such as Abena Oppong-Asare and environmental groups including Greenpeace and the Wildlife Trusts.

 

Thursday 8 October is Clean Air Day 2020, and this week Barking and Dagenham put out their Air Quality Action Plan for public consultation. The Plan aims to introduce a number of innovative measures to reduce emissions across the borough, improving the health of all residents. The consultation is now open and closes on Monday 30 November.

Have your say here: https://oneboroughvoice.lbbd.gov.uk/air-quality-action-plan

 

This week the Mayor of London conveyed to MPs Jon Cruddas and Abena-Oppong-Asare that plans for a judicial review into the government’s controversial rubber stamping of a second waste incinerator at Belvedere had been dropped.

 

At the beginning of the year the government took the decision to approve a second mass waste incinerator at Belvedere, a decision which had the potential to damage human health, air quality and biodiversity across Rainham, South Hornchurch and the Bexley area.

 

Jon Cruddas MP writes a monthly opinion piece for the Romford Recorder. This month (June 2020) Jon has shared his thoughts on the campaign against the Belvedere waste incinerator, air quality, human health and the climate emergency. The column is due to be published on Friday 12 June, but in light of World Environment Day 2020 Jon has agreed with the RR to share today (June 5). See below.

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