Greens secure “liveable London” commitment from Lewisham Mayor

22 July 2018

At Wednesday’s meeting of Lewisham Council the Mayor committed to support the “Liveable London” initiative, following questioning from the Green Party.

The Mayor had previously declined to support the campaign which is run by the London Cycling Campaign and Living Streets and aims to make neighbourhoods safer for cyclists and pedestrians [1]

But after the Green Party raised objections to the Mayor’s decision and questioned him on it at Wednesday’s Full Council meeting, Mayor Damien Egan agreed to support the initiative [2].

Clare outside the Council meeting

Lewisham Green Party member Clare Lorraine Phipps put the questions to the Mayor. She said:

“This is a significant step forwards in making Lewisham a greener, cleaner, and safer borough but we will not be resting on our laurels. This council’s record of implementing it’s pledges on air pollution, road safety, and pedestrian and cycling improvements is frankly woeful. We know that we will have to hold their feet to the fire to ensure that they deliver on this latest pledge, despite the fact that Labour have every seat on the council as well as the Mayor of London. They have the power to transform Lewisham into a truly liveable borough, and funding from TfL has already been secured. There is no excuse if they do not deliver - they could literally save lives.”

“It is impossible to walk or cycle on my road, part of the South Circular, without being aware of the pollution. The outside of our home is coated with a layer of black pollutants - I know I must be breathing them in everyday. I know how badly we need to clean up our smoggy, dirty air, and create local neighbourhoods where people can relax and enjoy walking and cycling. But together with the LCC and Living Streets I believe we can make that happen.”

At the meeting Ms Lorraine Phipps asked the Mayor what reassurances residents had that he now intended to fulfil his commitment, given that the LCC reports that no significant progress has been made on the “Safer Cycling” pledge he made 4 years ago when elected as a councillor in Lewisham Central ward.

Lewisham is one of the worst performing boroughs in London or air quality. It’s levels of air pollution are 88% above the legal limit set by the European Union. Approximately 9,500 premature deaths occur in London every year due to air pollution.[3]

Notes

[1] Liveable London campaignhttps://lcc.org.uk/pages/my-liveable-london-pledges; 2014 space4cycling campaignaction.space4cycling.org

[2] Mayor’s answer to Green Party question: http://councilmeetings.lewisham.gov.uk/documents/s58558/Final%20public%20questions.pdf

[3] Air pollution statistics: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/15/nearly-9500-people-die-each-year-in-london-because-of-air-pollution-study and http://www.itv.com/news/london/2013-09-03/londons-worst-performing-boroughs-for-air-pollution-revealed/






 

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