|Council Must 'Get Tough' With Horn Lane Polluters|
Local MP says residents health should be put first
An Ealing MP says she is astounded that the Council appears to be ignoring Horn Lane in its bid to become an Air Quality Exemplar Borough.
The title will mean extra funding to tackle pollution in parts of the borough. However, Horn Lane, which has some of the highest levels of harmful particles in London, is not mentioned explicitly in the summary of the air quality report due to be discussed in Cabinet this week.
The area around the waste site and cement works has long been the source of concern for local residents who formed an action group SHLAP (Stop Horn Lane Pollution), to highlight the problems.
Local resident Nikki Howard, 66, has recently needed hospital treatment for respiratory problems and is convinced it's caused by the dangerous levels of particle pollution (PM10).
She says: '' Over the past few years, when the pollution levels go above level 4, I notice that my chest starts to tighten, this is mostly rectified by the use of a Salamol inhaler, but if infection sets in, then I have to resort to antibiotics. Since the PM 10 pollution levels started to increase over the past couple of weeks, combined with the cold weather, infection set in,seriously affecting the respiratory system.
''I live on Grafton Road, at the Horn Lane end, although the Horn Lane monitoring site does not directly monitor my address, the pollution levels are enough to cause problems with respiratory disease, so yes, I am blaming PM 10 pollution from the Horn Lane Industrial site as the main cause.''
Ealing and Central Acton MP Angie Bray says the problem surrounding the industrial site has been going on too long and must be dealt with:
'' The local Council needs to get tough with the polluters. It is no good simply blaming weight of traffic – much of which is generated by the local industrial site itself. Many roads in London have heavy traffic, but they don’t all have these levels of pollution.
'' The industrial site really doesn’t belong in the heart of a residential community in the twenty-first century. If it has to stay there, then it has to be regulated properly, and the Council has got to put residents’ interests first. Furthermore, it beggars belief that the Council is tabling an agenda item for discussion about putting themselves forward as ‘An Air Quality Exemplar Borough’ with absolutely no reference at all to the outrageous pollution levels in Horn Lane.”
Ealing Council and the Environment Agency share the responsibility of regulating the pollution levels emitted from businesses at Horn Lane.
A council spokesperson said: '' Horn Lane is not explicitly listed in the air quality exemplar cabinet report, but the site is certainly included as part of the Acton focus area.
“Also, in 2012, the council and TfL ran a successful trial of dust suppressants at Horn Lane. As a result, the council is now part of another separate air quality bid which focuses on reducing dust at industrial sites throughout London. The bid is led by Newham Council and includes the Horn Lane site.”
''Air quality at the Horn Lane site has improved substantially over the past few years as a result of inspections and enforcement by both the council and the Environment Agency. Efforts to further reduce pollution levels are on-going, with continuous monitoring of air quality and regular site visits.''
Update: Ms Bray has raised a question in parliament about powers available to local authorities. See here
People with individual issues or concerns about pollution at Horn Lane should email firstname.lastname@example.org
22nd April 2013