AGM: ‘Our Children Need Clean Air Now!’ 12 Nov 2019
‘The Impact of Air Pollution on Children’s Health and What We Can Do About It’ Queens Park Community School hosted CAfB’s AGM and public meeting and we are most grateful for the PTA for providing refreshments. Over sixty parents and campaigners were welcomed by QPCS’s Deputy Head Steve Cripps and CAfB Acting Chair Mark Falcon. Brent Council’s Lead Member for Environment Cllr Krupa Sheth gave an update on progress the Council has been making. Our brief AGM was next with all current members of the steering committee re-elected. Here are the Clean Air For Brent Accounts Oct 2019 and AGM Minutes 12.11.19
First in the main part of the meeting we heard from Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, founder of the Ella Roberta Family Foundation and the mother of Ella, who died aged 9 in 2013 after a severe asthma attack, whilst living next to the South Circular road spoke movingly about stopping other children dying as her daughter did. The pathologist who carried out Ella’s post mortem said it was “one of the worst cases of asthma ever recorded in the UK”. Rosamund is now a passionate campaigner against air pollution and in May 2019 her daughter’s inquest was re-opened. Rosamund said, “It is unacceptable that children in Britain today die from asthma. There are 240,000 under-19s with a diagnosis of asthma in London. Government and local authorities are not taking strong enough action…there needs to be new Clean Air Act. Air pollution is related to many other diseases as well, costing the NHS millions each year to treat…My daughter suffered terribly, and hopefully her death will not be wasted.” You can donate to her cause.
Next Dr Ian Mudway of King’s College, London, a leading expert on air pollution and its impact on health talked very informatively, reinforcing how dire the situation is, and you can view Dr Mudway’s presentation. He said “I now believe that there’s no doubt that children who grow up in polluted areas have stunted lung development. Their lungs don’t develop properly. We’re seeing that in our children in Tower Hamlets and Hackney. Their lungs at the age of nine were already smaller than they ought to be. And that’s a burden that they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives.”
We also heard from Cllr Thomas Stephens who chairs Brent Council’s Air Quality Scrutiny Task Group, which CAfB participates in, who said “Air pollution is an invisible killer. It’s hard to persuade people to take action when you cannot see it. For example there’s a perception that people are safer inside a car, when this is not the case. We need to do a lot and need to do it quickly” and Humphrey Milles, a local resident who has been driving a national ad campaign on awareness of pollution issues, such as this hard-hitting film. Find out more about Humphrey’s Central Office of Public Interest and donate to support the campaign.
Finally we heard from Macsen Brown, a QPCS student who is an energetic activist in the school’s Environment Society and UK Student Climate Network. He comments, “Air pollution is a symptom of a deeper climate, ecological and social crisis that is killing people right here, right now. Air pollution needs to be addressed drastically as part of a radical Green New Deal that not only takes the poison out of our air, but ensures that our solutions don’t make things worse.” It was a successful meeting and more details and a summary of the AGM portion of the meeting will soon be posted.
Queen’s Park Day 15 Sept 2019
Members of CAfB ran a stall at the annual Queen’s Park Day fair and met many people concerned about air pollution. Awareness of the issues and concern is clearly growing and we added new names to our database bringing our membership to over 500 people. We are grateful to all those who volunteered and everyone who stopped for a chat or to look at our information boards.
Briefing the Brent Scrutiny Committee 14.3.19: implementing the Air Quality Action Plan 2017-2022
Councillor Matt Kelcher, Chair of Brent Public Realm Scrutiny Committee, invited members of CAfB’s Steering Group to brief some of his Committee members ahead of an item on their 14 March 2019 agenda.
As a result CAfB Chair, Fiona Mulaisho, Sarah Crawley and Robin Sharp met with Matt and his colleagues Councillors Saqib Butt and Neil Nerva on 11 March. As an aide-memoire they tabled this document Clean Air for Brent briefing for Brent Scrutiny Committee 14.3.19. There was a very positive discussion which culminated in a suggestion that in due course the Council might establish a workshop to look into ways of boosting the implementation of the AQAP.
QPARA meeting with a speaker on ULEZ
The Queen’s Park Resident’s Association held one of its regular meetings on 10th January, at St Anne’s on Salusbury Road, and hosted Simon Roberts, Principal City Planner and Nisha Durgacharan, Community Partnership Specialist, from Transport for London talking about the Ultra Low Emission Zone, which will launch in two phases starting in 2019. Here the slides from this presentation TfL ULEZ briefing 10.1.19. Also please read the CAfB ULEZ blog to learn more.
‘The Future of the Car’ CAfB public meeting
Car Free Day, Cricklewood 22 September 2018
CAfB members Victoria Secretan and Fiona Mulaisho attended this event which was urging motorists to ditch their cars in favour of greener forms of transport. Also there were Cllr Arshad Mahmood, Mayor of Brent; Council leader Cllr Muhammed Butt and lead member for the environment Cllr Krupa Sheth. In Oaklands Road Cricklewood, ideas are being considered for closing a part of the street to traffic to allow children to play in safety.
Clean Air Day 21 June 2018
On 21 June 2018 CAfB was delighted to host a stall with Brent Friends of the Earth at the first all-day celebratory event of national Clean Air Day facilitated and hosted by Brent Council at Brent Civic Centre. A number of activities put on for the day with the key highlight being the signing of a clean air pledge by senior Brent Politicians: Cllr Muhammad Butt, Leader of Brent Council; Barry Gardiner MP, Brent North Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade; Dawn Butler MP, Brent Central, Shadow Secretary of State for Women Inequalities & Shadow Minister for Diverse Communities; Navin Shah, London Assembly Member, and Cllr Krupa Sheth, Lead for Environment. Fiona Mulaisho, Chair of Clean Air for Brent, also signed the pledge. In signing the pledge, the politicians and CAfB are committing to use all their “powers to clean up the air our children breathe”.
In the evening, CAfB hosted a lively and highly informative discussion on the air quality challenge facing Brent borough. Keynote contributions came from Barry Gardiner MP, Cllr Sheth and Cllr Muhammad Butt.
In addition, CAfB launched its first report: ‘A Study on Air Quality in Brent’. The report, written by Imperial College MSc students, is the first deep-dive study into Chamberlayne Road in Kensal Rise and Harlesden High Street air pollution problems, as they have 2 of 50 of schools on London’s most polluted roads, and to establish causes. CAfB hopes Brent Councillors and officers will draw on this report: A Study on Air Quality in Brent – Imperial College which is accompanied by CAfB launch statement on Imperial report.
Brent Friends of the Earth proposed some ideas to Cllr Sheth and her replies can be read here. More about Clean Air Day in general here.
CAfB at QPCS Summer Fair 2018
Our stand at the annual celebration of summer at Queen’s Park Community School won the award for the most green stand, for our community involvement and campaigning. We met new friends and spread the work about the dangers of pollution and our engagement in the borough.
Fork to Fork Festival 16th June 2018
One group that CAfB feels is crucial to helping put he spotlight on the very serious air pollution problem in Brent, and so force much needed action sooner rather than later is parents. Two of Brent’s schools are in the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Audit. They have been included as they are two of top 50 schools on London’s most polluted roads.
That’s why CAfB was delighted to host a stall to meet parents at Ark Franklin Academy’s highly popular annual Fork to Fork Kensal Rise food festival on 16 June 2018. Team CAfB were there to talk about what we want – clean air for children. We spoke to hundreds of parents, inspired by their children to sign up to CAfB in exchange for a CAfB lollipop
Public Meeting – 18th April 2018
‘THE AIR WE BREATHE: LOCAL ACTION’
Speakers included Professor Martin Williams (Air Quality Scientist at Kings College) and Jennifer Barrett (Air Quality lead at Brent Council). An informative gathering of around forty people was held in Harlesden.
This provisional note of the Clean Air for Brent public meeting – 18 April 2018 has been produced and published in the interests of sharing the valuable information provided by speakers and other participants. However CAfB cannot vouch for the note as an accurate record of what was said nor the accuracy of all statements recorded. If you wish to quote from the note please check with the author of the statement concerned.
Meeting with Caroline Pidgeon 12th March 2018
Members of the CAfB steering group met Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member and Deputy Chair of the Transport Committee at her office at City Hall on 12th March along with Lib Dem Peer and spokesperson on energy, Lynne Featherstone, at the instigation of Virginia Brand, chair of QPARA. CAfB was delighted to find such whole-hearted Lib Dem concern with the problems of air quality in London. Caroline is actively addressing pollution in London and had just proposed a motion on anti-idling that was passed unanimously. Discussion centered around shared concerns over this topic and issues surrounding the London bus fleet, its composition and implementation. Caroline committed to help CAfB find answers to questions posed to TfL and both sides are looking forward to working together further.
KRRA and ARK Franklin Meeting – 6th December 2017
CAfB steering group members were invited to speak to members of Kensal Rise Residents’ Association, including parents from ARK Franklin primary school, about air quality and what can be done. This came about as a result of growing interest in air pollution amongst parents with schools in the Queen’s Park Ward area. Fiona and Victoria tailored this presentation Clean Air for Brent – KRRA and ARK Franklin for parents with children at schools along Chamberlayne Road, a very busy heavily polluted road in the borough. The meeting was well attended with lots of discussion and questions. Parents from local schools are very keen to take action as they are very worried about air pollution and the impact on their children. CAfB has agreed to work closer with these parents and schools in the new year.
If you would like CAfB to make a presentation at your local meeting please email us.
Clean Air for Brent Launch Meeting – 11th October 2017
Over thirty people gathered at Willesden Library for the official launch of Clean Air for Brent, including electing the steering group, various updates and action planning. Here are the documents from the meeting:
Message of support from Tulip Siddiq 11.10.17
Clean Air for Brent public meeting – Weds 11th October – Summary
CAfB response to Mayors Transport Strategy 2.10.17
Victoria led a stimulating exercise to guide us to what action to take: EARLY STEPS.FNM comments
‘The Air we Breathe: how pollution is affecting us and what we can do about it.’ – 6th July 2017
Clean Air for Brent held a public meeting at Brent Civic Centre’s conference hall, in conjunction with Brent Council, on air pollution in the borough. The aim was to raise awareness of the problem in this part of London and encourage action to address it. CAfB was delighted at the attendance from all corners of the borough, with informative presentations from all the speakers and lively discussion with the audience.
The meeting was introduced by Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council. We were very lucky to have Simon Birkett Founder and Director of Clean Air in London, a knowledgeable speaker and campaigner on the subject address the meeting. From the GLA we had Elliot Treharne, Air Quality Manager, who added to the London picture and more locally from Brent Council we had Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Brent Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment who already welcomed us and Jennifer Barrett, Manager in Regeneration and Environment Services. Sadly Professor Sir Michael Marmott was unwell and had to send his apologies being unable to join us. The meeting was facilitated by Hywel Lloyd, of think tank IPPR.
See here for CAfB 1st set of answers from 6 July meeting – answers both from Simon Birkett and the CAfB team. CAfB 2nd set of answers from 6 July meeting from Cllr Eleanor Southwood and Jennifer Barret of Brent Council.
As there are 80 Post Meeting Questions, Numbered it is taking a while to get all the answers together. We have already merged similar questions so apologies if your exact question is not listed. More soon.
See here for Simon Birkett’s slides for ‘The Air we Breathe’, Elliot Treharne’s slides , Brent Council slides (part 1) and Brent Council slides (part 2)
The event was well covered in the Brent and Kilburn Times
Photographs thanks to Johnny Armstead and Fiona Mulaisho.