Illegal Air Pollution In Rayleigh Revealed By British Lung Foundation

It’s been a short while since I last wrote about the air pollution in our District. Residents will do well to remember that when we discuss air pollution there are two types that are often referred to. One being Nitrogen Dioxide NOx (car emissions etc) and the other being Particle Matter PM2.5 (that fine dust)

Now the British Lung Foundation has found that

2,220 GP practices are in areas where air pollution is above the World Health Organisation’s limit for fine particulate matter (PM2.5)

They have published an interactive map on their website which shows that here in Rayleigh, two of our doctors surgeries, Audley Mills and William Harvey. The British Lung Foundation reports that these doctors surgery’s exceed the World Health Organisations levels for PM2.5

William Harvey Surgery on London Road, Rayleigh

This site is in an area that has levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) above the World Health Organisation’s limit (10 μg/m3 for the annual average). The model used to work this out looks at background levels. It doesn’t take into account road-side concentrations and represents an annual average. As such, this site can experience higher levels than what is indicated on the map.

We have previously begged, pleaded and grovelled for more air pollution monitoring to be carried out by Rochford District Council, but they simply refuse and say its unjustified as an officer doesn’t believe it is necessary. They are happy to do the bare minimum (often referred to as the statutory requirement). Our own previous air pollution independent air quality testing was quickly ‘thrown away’ by officers at Rochford District Council. Now the skeptic in me says in the coming days Rochford District Council will release a press statement saying that it ‘marginally exceeds’ the limits and that ‘Rochford District Council continues to improve it’s air quality by introducing a number of initiatives such as electric vehicle charging points’ – I have a problem with this. There is a limit… and if we apply RDC’s reasonings to other limits that apply such as the speed limit or those that drink drive…. they could be arguing that those limits are not a ‘hard’ limit and we should let those people off! No there is a limit and they are breaching that limit and should be punished for breaking that limit!

One does wonder why a Council that claims to have residents at the heart of everything they do, is so reluctant to carry out more monitoring when the evidence is there from other organisations?

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About the author 

James Newport

Essex County Councillor for Rayleigh North, Rochford District Councillor for Downhall & Rawreth and Rayleigh Town Councillor for Sweyne.

  • This reflects the TICK THE BOX compliance mantra
    that prevails across RDC responsibilities ( in particular
    Planning aspects ). And this is directly related to more
    houses = more people = more cars and the current ten
    years of Site Construction Traffic impacts, probably to be followed by a further 10 years c/o the coming ‘New’
    Local Plan which equals yet more people/cars to follow. NEGLIGENCE is the word that sums it up…..

    • Yes, the word ‘statutory’ is one that the officers like use frequently. Totally agree most of what they do is a tick box exercise. They just go through the motions. Must be the easiest job in the world to be a nodding donkey – not for me I’m afraid!

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