Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Stanford councillors express shock at pollution report?

EARLIER this week, a World Health Organisation (WHO) report revealed that Stanford-le-Hope had the second poorest air quality in the whole of the United Kingdom.

The startling statistic came as a shock to most people. The story was the subject of much discussion by the good residents of Stanford-le-Hope and beyond.

So, we thought this would be a good time to speak to the councillors who cover the areas know as The Homesteads, Stanford West, Stanford East and Corringham Town and finally Corringham and Fobbing.

We sent e-mails on Thursday. By Saturday, we had two replies.

UKIP’s deputy leader, cllr Roy Jones, who represents Stanford East and Corringham Town said: "To be very honest, I admit that it came as a complete shock to be informed of the poor air quality in and around the Stanford and Corringham area.

"As you are aware I was chairman of the Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview Scrutiny Committee over the past municipal year and feel that this issue will be high on the agenda when council resumes business after the local elections.

"Thurrock council will have to investigate to try and find the main causes of the said air pollution issues.

"Being chair of the said above committee does not make me an expert on the subject and I would be looking for Thurrock Council to seek advice from experts and companies in this field as to find a way forward to address these high levels of pollution we are experiencing".

Stanford West councillor, Shane Hebb said:Good morning Michael

I think you will find that most – actually probably all of us – on your address list, will find this most shocking data which needs probing by the relevant authorities.

Probing for integrity, and to also understand the key activities or issues causing the poor air quality data.

I would suggest that the forthcoming Cleaner Overview & Scrutiny Committee, Thurrock Council’s Public Health team, CVS groups such as Healthwatch Thurrock and Asthma or COPD-related organisations and charities hold a round table review to probe the WHO report, so to debate the whole boroughs data and plan to take action.

It is vital that we review the whole borough, not just SLH, but I would suggest the problems are possibly goitre to be different by geography and would urge actions to be relevant to the communities in question.

I’m sure that once the data is reviewed with experts and local groups and residents, then we can look at the things which matter.

Coincidently (and interestingly), in Stanford West we have a number of diesel-using businesses right in middle of residential areas. Ironically we have an "enterprise park" at the end of The Manorway too. We have ideas and visions of incentivising businesses to move off existing brownfield sites to less residentially-impactful areas and developing homes in these places, and it would – I imagine – make a large difference to local health in these residential areas too.

That’s a recommendation I’d like to see when the Committee reconvene after Annual Council, and one I imagine most on this email can sympathise with in their own wards.

For the record, the following councillors did not reply.

1. The Homesteads

Cllr Pauline Tolson

Stanford West

Cllr Terry Piccolo

Stanford East and Corringham Town

Cllr Jack Duffin

Cllr Colin Churchman

Corringham and Fobbing

Cllr Deborah Stewart

Cllr Aaron Watkins

Cllr James Halden is on annual leave until May 27th (but appears to be out campaigning for Europe?)

New councillor Gary Collins does not have an e mail address yet.


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