Royal Borough of Greenwich Awarded Clean Air Status


The GLA led by The Mayor Sadiq Khan, awarded the Royal Borough of Greenwich “Cleaner Air Borough Status” last week, as recognition of their efforts to clean up the poor air quality in the Borough.

This is the same Royal Borough that is determined to install a diesel guzzling Cruise Liner Terminal, in the heart of residential Greenwich, spewing out fumes and toxins that are the equivalent of up to 700 Heavy goods vehicles idling their engines 24 hours per day.

This is the same Royal Borough that was exposed just three weeks ago by Costing the Earth, the Radio 4 environmental programme, entitled “Cruising: A Dirty Secret”. In that program, experts and residents lifted the lid on the deal that has been struck to build a cruise liner terminal without pollution mitigation measures. The Royal Borough refused to participate in the program.

This is the same Royal Borough that is an Air quality management zone (AQM). This means that the Borough’s air quality falls below required standards and is likely to remain so.

This is the same Royal Borough that has spent £185,000 of tax payer’s money fighting a court action brought by local residents campaigning for a clean cruise liner terminal.

So, you may be baffled as to why the GLA thought now was the right time to award the Royal Borough of Greenwich for their “efforts”, given their appalling track record on this issue. Particularly baffling you may think as the GLA is led by the Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has made London air quality a key issue in his electoral campaign. Not only did the Mayor make it a central policy promise in his campaign, but this is the Mayor, that has expressed his “support for the local residents of Greenwich” who have been campaigning for a “clean cruise liner terminal”. One that will plug into the local electrical grid.

At best you may conclude that this award is an administrative error, the sort of thing that happens when departments don’t talk to one another about what’s really happening at local level. At worst, it could be seen as a deliberate attempt to give the Royal Borough of Greenwich some positive media coverage that offsets the growing levels of discontent expressed by local residents.

Rest assured however, that the East Greenwich Residents Association will continue to shine a light on the questionable practices of our local council. We will continue to campaign for the right to clean air in the borough, and in particular our campaign to ensure a “clean” cruise liner terminal for all London residents will go on.

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