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.
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 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.
- Nick Mattey is an independent Sutton councillor for Beddington North ward, which neighbours Croydon. Croydon Council is one of the members of the South London Waste Partnership which has handed £1billion contract to Viridor to build the waste incinerator at Beddington.
- Mattey has been banned by Sutton Council’s CEO from using his official council email to contact council officials, and his correspondence and social media postings are being monitored, so Inside Croydon is confident that senior figures at Sutton and Croydon councils will read this
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