Newham to hold first themed council meeting on climate change

The Browning Road bridge closure pilot scheme is set to last for six months. Picture: Jon King

The Browning Road bridge closure pilot scheme is set to last for six months. Picture: Jon King - Credit: Archant

Newham Council will host its first “themed” full council meeting tonight on the subject of climate change.

Councillors are expected to debate the climate emergency declared by the borough earlier this year and the ways the council can reduce its emissions.

These include passing plans to commit to reducing energy use in all council-run buildings and reviewing its investment policies.

Newham has one of the highest number of deaths linked to poor air quality in the UK. Seven out of every 100 deaths every year are linked dirty air, according to Public Health England figures.

"The council has a major role to play, as a provider and consumer of services, but also as the leading representative body of the local community," the report states.

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"Powerful and effective communications and engagement with local people and other stakeholders will be essential."

Twelve questions from residents about Newham's air quality plans are also expected to be answered at the meeting on Monday, September 16.

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Several refer to the controversial plan to close Browning Road bridge in Manor Park to some traffic.

In July the council halted the plans to shut the road after about 80 people protested proposals to bar drivers using the bridge unless their vehicle was registered to an address nearby.

The closure was later reinstated with mayor Rokhsana Fiaz saying: "[Air pollution] is not a problem. It's not an issue. It's an emergency. Which is why we need to act now. Newham has reinstated an access restriction pilot scheme at Browning Bridge to close a major rat-run through the borough.

"It's clear that the council didn't get everything right in the initial discussions with residents and having reviewed concerns has adjusted the scheme."

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