Bold new plans to clean up our dirty air have been drawn up by a team of expert H&F residents. It is a hugely important first step in the fight against this silent killer.
It’s shocking but nearly 200 H&F residents die because of air pollution every year. Now, after meticulous research and investigations, the six members of the H&F Air Quality Commission have come up with recommendations to make our air safer.
They include increasing parking charges for diesel vehicles which are more polluting than petrol; more charging points in the borough for electric vehicles; and greener planning rules for new developments.
“We’re looking to be the greenest borough in London and that requires determined and energetic work on behalf of the council, the GLA, the government and residents,” said Rosemary Pettit, chair of the commission.
“We hope we were able to communicate that sense of enterprise and energy we bring to the whole process of getting cleaner air for everyone.”
Rosemary has spent years in voluntary work, including helping influence planning and design in H&F. The five other commissioners have backgrounds in a range of fields, including science, environmental issues and architecture.
Cleaner air for all of us
“This is ground-breaking work and a hugely important building block in the fight for cleaner air,” said H&F Council Leader Stephen Cowan.
“It is an important milestone in our campaign to become the greenest borough in the country, not just for our residents but for everyone in London and beyond.
“This will help us lead the charge to combat this deadly problem for all of us – now and in the future.”
The commissioners studied official and academic reports and received evidence from residents, community groups, Transport for London, businesses, council officers, politicians and academics.
The commission’s recommendations are now in the hands of H&F council’s cabinet who will decide the first and most urgent actions to take.
"Air pollution is one the biggest public health problems we face in H&F, so we are extremely grateful that Rosemary and other residents have taken the time to develop this set of recommendations,” said Wesley Harcourt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Residents’ Services.
“This administration is determined to do everything we can to make H&F the greenest borough in the country.
"We will study these recommendations carefully and pass them to the Mayor of London. We will do all we can to translate the excellent work the commission has done into action and work with residents to call on government to make reforms at the national level.”