18 January 2019
Lambeth Green Party have condemned Lambeth Council for failing to tackle air pollution with the main Brixton Road air quality monitor offline for a fifth consecutive month.
The air pollution monitoring station, which measures the pollution levels on Brixton Road, originally switched off back in August 2018 due to water damage. The monitoring stations are part of the London Air Quality Network and make data available to the public on improvements to or deterioration of air quality. The record-breaking Brixton Road monitor made headlines last year when it became the first road in London to breach the annual air pollution limit in just one month for the second year running. 
Lambeth Green Group raised the issue of the broken monitor at the September 2018 full council meeting. Green Councillor Pete Elliott asked the Cabinet Member for Environment and Clean Air, Councillor Claire Holland, to provide answers on why the monitor had, at that stage, been offline for 20 days.  Councillor Elliott then followed this up with the Cabinet Member on 16th October 2018 requesting reassurance that Lambeth Council were working to provide continuity of measurement of pollutants, despite the failure of the monitoring station and lack of information on when it would be functioning again.
This is not the first time Lambeth Council have faced pressure from the Green Party on air quality monitoring; the Council were forced to perform a u-turn on their decision to withdraw from the London Air Quality Network in 2013 after Lambeth Greens exposed this move.  Green councillors have now suggested that the failure to fix the monitoring station in adequate time is yet more evidence that Lambeth Labour’s promises to deliver on improving air quality are not genuine.
Councillor Pete Elliott (Gipsy Hill) said:
“This is a massive failure by Lambeth Labour to deliver on their promise around tackling air pollution. It is unacceptable the Lambeth have not come up with an interim measure to ensure air quality is consistently monitored. More and more deaths are now being linked to air pollution and this tragic fact does not seem to be taken seriously by Lambeth Council; despite all Labour’s grandstanding and lip-service to combating air pollution, they really do not deliver. I have been asking for answers on the broken monitor since September 2018 to which I’ve received sub-standard responses and vague timelines. The Greens will continue to hold Lambeth Labour to account over this and I will be demanding a full investigation and total transparency over why it has taken over four months to fix.”