Is this a clear case of wealth before health?

Something I rapidly learnt over the course of 1 year – nothing moves quickly in local government. I have to say though I find the following appalling.

So I’ve decided, not to celebrate but to commiserate on this Echo News Reportthis Echo News report & this Echo News Report which goes as far back as 1999 that air pollution around Rayleigh was at unsafe limits

The environmental pressure group (Friends of the Earth) claims the official figures show that despite improvements made by car manufacturers to cut down exhaust emissions, the level of air pollution on the stretch of road will still be above safe limits in 2005. reported the “plan to act over poor air”,

In 2007 the council responded to the problem with

Rayleigh councillor Mavis Webster said she would also raise the issue with Essex County Council’s cabinet member for transport, Norman Hume.

and in 2015 another response from the Tory council

The annual average level of nitrogen dioxide – a pollutant associated with exhaust emissions – is just over the Government guidelines.

Mr Gordon said: “Without powers or funding I don’t know what we are expected to do about it. The levels are not dangerous.

It is not something for people to worry about.”

Cheryl Roe, district councillor and chairman of the town council’s environment committee, hopes the Rayleigh Area Action Plan, which was submitted to the Government in December, will go some way to alleviating the problem which she says people do worry about.

She said: “The pollution needs to be looked at. We need to ease the flow of traffic through the town centre and stop people getting stuck for so long.


Still waiting for something to be done? Here we are 18, yes 18 years later – no credible plan in place and still no action from the Tory led council. This should send a clear message to our residents that the health and well being of our residents simply does not matter!

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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.

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