RECENT research from Kings College has highlighted the dangers to children living in heavily polluted areas. The research demonstrated significant reductions in life expectancy. An estimated 36,000 die prematurely in the UK every year as a result of air pollution.
Homesteads Councillor Gary Byrne said: “The research demonstrates the dangers in areas which, like Thurrock, have poor air quality. Thurrock Council need to demonstrate that they are taking this matter seriously and have a plan in place to reduce air pollution. I’m proud to be part of a party which understands the importance of this issue. However, it is quite clear that the Conservative Council don’t have even the semblance of a clean air strategy in place.
“Last year the Thurrock Independents secured a motion in full council demanding urgent action on air pollution. However, this was subsequently completely ignored by the administration. The Thurrock Independents also forced the administration to include a commitment to reduce air pollution within the Local Plan Issues and Options report.
However, yet again we have not seen any action as a result of this. Instead we have a Conservative Government backed Thames Crossing on the horizon and a Conservative Council proposing a Local Plan with 32,000 new homes, with a potential population increase of up to 100,000 people. Our Conservative Council have been similarly negligent over the dust issue in Tilbury. Again it has been up to local Thurrock Independents Councillors to take the lead on this matter.
“The consequences of air pollution has devastating effects on the quality of life for many people in Thurrock. It’s about time the Conservatives started to think less about the needs of their property developer friends and more about safeguarding the health of our children. The Kings college research demonstrates the benefits of an effective clean air strategy. Thurrock Council have acted negligently on this matter for too long. We need action and we need it immediately.