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'It's a full blown emergency': Council launches consultation in bid to tackle poor air quality

PUBLISHED: 17:00 02 September 2019

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz at the launch of the consultation. Picture: Andrew Baker

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz at the launch of the consultation. Picture: Andrew Baker

Andrew Baker

What can be done to combat poor air quality in the borough?

That's the question being posed by Newham Council, who have launched a consultation on draft plans in a bid to tackle the issue.

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz visited Newham University Hospital on Monday, September 2 to launch the consultation.

Staff at the Glen Road, Plaistow hospital regularly see patients affected by illnesses such as asthma, respiratory disease and cardiovascular disease, which can be brought on or exacerbated by poor air quality.

Ms Fiaz said: "This is not a problem. It's not an issue. It's a full blown emergency.

"There is no do nothing option - people are dying and this administration is determined to play its part in tackling the world climate emergency.

"I really want everyone to take part in this consultation, so we can design the best possible solutions to deliver safe air for us all to breathe, and start to tackle the emergency that faces our borough, our country and our planet.

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"We have to bring everyone along with us on this journey if we are to really make a difference and start saving lives."

The council has started setting out a range of environmental measures which aim to reduce pollution and improve the health and quality of life of those living in the borough over the next five years.

Projects include the £15million Greenway scheme that aims to create a five mile traffic-free walking and cycling route running from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to Beckton.

The council has also unveiled its Newham Climate Now branding, designed to highlight the environmental measures it is developing.

Commissioner for air quality and climate change, Cllr Mas Patel, said: "The Newham Climate Now brand will highlight how all council services, decisions and policy making can impact the environment.

"It is designed to focus attention on the climate emergency this borough and this planet faces.

"We hope it will highlight how the decisions we take as a council, and the choices made by businesses, communities and individuals impact the quality of the air we breathe, the quality of our water supply, and the global warming emergency we face."

To take part in the consultation, visit newham.gov.uk/airpollutionconsultation by Monday, October 14.

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