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Ealing Transition Event: The problem with our air

Ealing Transition hosted a lively and informative event on air quality on 3rd July entitled, ‘The Problem with our Air’, hearing from Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, whose campaigning led to the first recording of air pollution as a cause of death at an inquest, and whose TED talk can be seen here, Dr Ian Mudway, Senior Lecturer at the School of Public Health, Imperial College London (presentation slides here 10MB) and Andrea Carnevali, local parent and clean air campaigner (slides here 4MB).

What emerged is that air pollution is dangerously high across London, it has significant effects on us all, but particularly on children’s development and very significant impacts on many aspects of our long term health, including heart disease, dementia and of course many lung conditions.

Our post talk discussion explored what we can do as a community to improve this hidden but deadly problem.

We agreed that while this issue needs to be addressed at a national and global level, supported by us all, there is also much we can do locally to make a difference.

We noted that there are existing regulations which are poorly enforced but which can make a direct impact on local pollution and raise awareness.

Actions proposed

Install pollution monitors in all schools to give real-time daily information to all to raise awareness of air pollution.

Install pollution monitors along major roads (Uxbridge Road) and public areas to inform & warn.

Enforcement of ‘no-idling’ by enforcement officers

Enforcement of ‘no parking’ in cycle lanes to improve safety and attractiveness of cycling.

Establish traffic-free ‘School Streets’ for all schools with education campaigns and camera enforcement

Improvement of all schools’ outdoor environments to enhance environmental quality and health benefits.

How to achieve these actions?

Use access to pollution monitoring to raise awareness and prompt action

Request the Council use its powers to act effectively to bring in and enforce these actions

Ask questions directly on progress at Council meetings.

Join Mums for Lungs local campaigning (Mums for Lungs link is here)

Contact and work with school governors, parents and staff to address air pollution concerns, use school newsletters, events and practical steps.

Ensure support for cycling to school. Schools to access active travel help via & LB Ealing Schools Team.

Support schools in setting up ‘Environment Action Hubs’ in each school.

Connect schools via ActForEaling schools climate action hubs to gain support and resources (link here)

Air Quality Event – Sunday 3rd July 2022, 7.30pm

London’s air is chronically polluted. It might not be obvious as the pollutants are mostly invisible : gases, like NO2, and microscopic particles of dust, metals and rubber, but the effects are real. The air in London and Ealing regularly exceeds World Health Organisation limits for pollution, and is linked to increasing cases of Asthma, Lung and Heart disease, and thousands of deaths each year. At our next event, on 3rd July, we ask what can be done, and hear from a number of campaigners working to keep our clean!

Speakers include:

Dr Ian Mudway is a senior lecturer in the School of Public Health at Imperial College London; he has over 25 years of experience researching the impacts of air pollution on human health and the development of tests to quantify the toxicity of the chemicals that pollute the air we breathe. Dr Mudway will be explaining how London’s air is polluted and how it is toxicity affects us all.

Andrea Carnevale, is a local campaigner for air quality in schools with Chiswick Oasis. His work has transformed St Mary’s Chiswick, a primary school located next to a busy stretch of the A4, once listed by the Mayor of London’s office as one of the 50 most polluted schools in London.  Andrea will explain the steps he and his team took at the school and its effect on the quality of the air now enjoyed by the students.

We will also be listening to the TED talk given by Rosamund Kissi-Deborah.

Rosamund Kissi-Deborah is a British grassroots campaigner who raises awareness of asthma and the health problems that can be caused by air pollution. Kissi-Debrah’s campaign for clean air followed the death of her 9 year old daughter, Ella Roberta, in 2013 who had experienced a series of severe asthma attacks over several years. She is the co-founder of the Ella Roberta Family Foundation.

The event will be held at 7.30pm at St Mary’ church on 3rd July 2022, beginning with presentations and question time with the speakers. We will then move into the Polygon space next door, for a cafe style conversation session, and an opportunity to share thoughts and observations.

Ealing Transition’s Climate Hustings 24 April 2022

Ealing Transition’s climate hustings were enthusiastically attended, with more than 100 people filling the rows of St Mary’s church eager to hear candidates from the Lib Dems, Labour, the Conservative, and the Green Party share inspiration and serious ideas for tackling the climate and ecological emergency in Ealing.

We are grateful to Cllr Andrew Steed (Liberal Democrats), Cllr Deidre Costigan (Labour), Cllr Julian Gallant (Conservative), and Dr Kate Crossland (Green Party) for attending the event on behalf of their parties, and spend their evening with us.  We were also delighted to have as our chair, Dame Alice Hudson, Chief Executive of Twyford CofE Academy Trust.

Ealing Transition make this statement in line with good practice as indicated in Electoral Commission documents: “There are many candidates standing in this borough election. We have chosen to invite 4 from the major national political parties: Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Green Party. We consider that the candidates we have invited, represent views from across the political spectrum and that we have shown impartiality. We have invited as many candidates as our resources and time allow and hope for a wide ranging debate“.

A summary of the questions asked, and the main ideas explored as answers, is available here. We have kept the summary general and unattributed to avoid the appearance of any political affiliation and to focus on the solutions that are available to us to address the climate and ecological emergency. Links to the manifestos of the respective parties are included.