Our clueless councils are killing residents with toxic air

CROYDON COMMENTARY: After a week of shambles and chaos in neighbouring borough Sutton, with Carshalton Ponds being drained without any advance warning and with Veolia – who are familiar to Croydon residents after years of lacklustre service – missing bin collections and three-hour queues forming around local DIY shops just to collect the newly required containers, NICK MATTEY, pictured right, defies a council gag to warn of a far greater environmental calamity being created – and all using your money to pay for it

There is a definite air quality problem in Sutton and specifically in Worcester Park and Beddington.

In 2010, according to Sutton Council, there were 102 “excess deaths” within Sutton attributable to high levels of fine particulates (PM2.5) pollution and a further 157 deaths attributable to high levels of NO2. That is 259 deaths in total.

Sutton Council has admitted that “the Beddington Lane area, which is affected by high levels of local air pollution from industrial sites, waste activities and associated HGV movements, is identified as a key priority”.

And what are they going to do to put matters right?

Sutton’s LibDem council’s solution is as follows:

  • As part of the council’s Beddington Renewal Programme, the Beddington SIL (safety integrity level) Environmental Strategy sets out a programme of environmental improvements and transport measures aimed at improving air quality, walking and cycling links and the environmental management of waste operations.
  • The council is suggesting that air pollution is going to be improved by getting people to walk or cycle.
  • They then say the environmental management of waste operations will tackle the problem.

This is definitive proof, if further proof were needed, that they are detached from reality.

Busy Beddington Lane is not safe for cyclists. It is a death trap and lately, even pedestrians using the bridle way footpath risk being killed by falling masonry from poorly maintained walls.

The Viridor waste incinerator being constructed with your money at Beddington Lane. It won’t help make local air quality any better

Somehow, Sutton Council seems to believe that building a waste incinerator is going to improve air quality.

This is lunacy and proves that paying key council staff very high salaries is no guarantee that you get people who know what they are doing.

When the Beddington incinerator comes on stream some time next year, it will put around 440 tonnes of Nitrous Oxide into the air and 11 tonnes of particulates each and every year.

These particulates hang around in the air much longer than originally thought. The human body has no defence against these microscopic particles that enter the lungs, the blood, and the brain. There is generally agreed to be a 6 per cent increase in annual mortality risk per 10 microgrammes of PM2.5 (particulates less than 2.5 micrometres) per cubic metre.

Sutton residents now have the same street cleaning contractors in Veolia that Croydon have endured for years

Sutton Council should use the Siemens Green Zone system to monitor traffic and pollution all around what the Environment Agency describe as the “Beddington Cluster”. They should also enforce a blanket 20mph speed restriction with immediate effect.

One of the ways Sutton Council enforce speed limits is with the widespread use of speed bumps. But there’s a snag with this, too. Researchers at Imperial College found that 98 per cent more nitrogen dioxide and 64 per cent more carbon dioxide is produced by bumps.

The message is clear: Sutton Council is clueless when it comes to understanding the damage they inflict on the people they are meant to represent.

  • Inside Croydon is Croydon’s only independent news source, still based in the heart of the borough. In 2016, we averaged 17,000 page views every week
  • If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or a local event to publicise, please email us with full details at inside.croydon@btinternet.com

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in Croydon Council, Environment, Health, London-wide issues, Nick Mattey, Refuse collection, Sutton Council, Veolia, Waste incinerator and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Our clueless councils are killing residents with toxic air

  1. combyne says:

    Reblogged this on Combyne's Weblog and commented:
    Sutton, Surrey air quality.

  2. combyne says:

    Is it legal to prevent an elected councillor from using email provided for the purpose?

  3. To understand the full horror of air pollution please see this brief introduction to the Agent Orange AHR RECEPTOR:


    Essentally it provides a universal password to cell nuclear functioning and is the connector between:
    diesel fumes, noxes, ozone, PAH’s , nanoparticles , cancer, asthma, permanent child lung damage, heart disease, placental function, brain pathology and the immune system.

  4. Any authority that suggests that the main culprits, which are currently heavy goods lorries, should walk or cycle instead is in cloud cuckoo land.
    Whilst there are legitimate concerns about pollution from incineration the claims are unhelpfully exaggerated. After all there have been any less clean combined heat and power stations around in residential areas for many decades, including south London, without the dire consequences claimed. Health issues are very important but exaggerating the consequences does not help win public support just convince the public that everyone tells lies.

    • We’d be really keen, Adrian, if you could point us to any local authority that has suggested that HGVs loads should be transferred to bicycle paniers. Because we’ve not seen it.

      But with respect, you are entirely mistaken about incineration and in-town power stations. The trend since the Clean Air Act more than 50 years ago has been to close down power stations in towns, and as for incinerators, there is mounting evidence of a range of long-term breathing issues and birth defects among children unfortunate enough to be born and live in the “fall-out” zones of these perverse operations. You can even find references to plenty of them just through the archive on this website.

Leave a Reply