2 November 2016
The Green Party has today released its official report on Lambeth Council’s Air Quality Action Plan. (1) The consultation, which allows residents, businesses and local organisations to respond, closes on November 15th.
The full response can be found here:
While not universally critical, The Greens find the council’s proposed measures to improve the borough’s air quality to be generally inadequate, reaching a conclusion of “strong disagreement” with the thrust of the plan. Instead of focussing on external actors over which it has minimal influence the council should, says the report, become a “leader by example”. One way it could do this is to complete the transition to a clean vehicle fleet - which the council has been promising since 2011 (2) - while another is to reduce the amount of waste sent for incineration.
The party recommends a response of “strongly disagree” or “tends to disagree” to four of the questionnaire’s six multiple choice questions.
On the topic of “Localised Solutions” the Green Party accuses the council of lacking ambition, particularly when it comes to the promotion and adoption of renewable energy. The report points out that, in fact, the word “renewable” fails to make a single appearance in the plan.
On Transport & Highways the proposals are deemed to not go far enough towards making a significant difference to air quality: “Whilst promoting cycling use is necessary… [t]he plan makes no commitment to develop the needed cycling infrastructure to encourage the modal shift.”
Green Party councillor Scott Ainslie (St Leonard’s) said:
“Lambeth Council has once again demonstrated a complete lack of imagination and ambition when it comes to environmental issues. This is one of the most polluted boroughs in London, in dire need of strong, serious solutions that will actually make a difference and save lives. The proposals contained within the “Action Plan” are lukewarm, lacklustre and fall a long way short.
The council needs to take full responsibility for its actions and demonstrate real leadership. By outsourcing the incineration of waste Lambeth brushes under the carpet the true environmental impact of behaviours that occur within its borders, which is why it doesn’t even
get a mention.
While Labour waffles and pays lip service to the major problems of our time, The Green Party is the only one with the necessary experience, understanding and will to truly solve them.”