Monday, 30 January 2012

Cleaning up Lambeth

Whilst there's an important big issue around cleaning up mismanagement, and some have suggested 'endemic corruption' in Lambeth Council, there's also the stuff that directly affects people's everyday lives.

Lambeth Greens have been highlighting, and pushing the council, to do far more with regard to the basic tasks that Councils should be performing around maintaining Lambeth's Streets - from fixing potholes so that the roads are better for cycling to getting rubbish cleared.

As part of that's we'll be reporting on this blog periodically what we are doing. By way of example, I have just reported this dumped rubbish including recycling bags and bits of old wood spilling out onto the pavement opposite St Leonard's School on Mitcham Lane at the bottom of Keen's Close in Streatham. It's been accumulating for a few days, and is a regular dumping area which Lambeth never seems to deal with.

I'll provide an update here on when it gets cleared (and if it returns!).

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Simon Birkett to speak to Lambeth Greens this Wednesday 1st Feb

Simon Birkett, from the Campaign for Clean Air in London, will be coming to speak to Lambeth Greens this Wednesday (1st Feb).

He is coming as part of our Clean Air campaign. Before Christmas we highlighted in the local press how almost 50 schools and nurseries in Lambeth are close to London's schools and nurseries.

Simon recently hit the headlines with his warning that the performance of Olympic Athletes could be put in jeopardy in the event of a summer smog.

We will look together at how pollution can be reduced in the borough through measures such as a reduction in the speed limit to 20 mph, which has shown to ease traffic flow and reduce emissions, and make Lambeth more accessible for cyclists and pedestrians.

Some of the Green Party’s greatest successes over the last 10 years in London—where it has two members elected to the London Assembly—have been around air quality. In 2010 the Mayor agreed to implement an air quality strategy.

But the Green Party has warned that this isn’t enough. Air pollution takes a huge toll on London both economically and socially. London is currently in line for a £300m-EU fine for its breach of air pollution limits. The Government’s own statistics suggest that there are 4,200 premature deaths in London each year due to air pollution.

The cost of air pollution to the UK as a whole has been estimated at £20 billion a year. Research shows that children living near the busiest roads can have 20% lung capacity, with pollution leading to respiratory illness, allergies, asthma and even lung cancer.

The meeting will take place this Wednesday 1st February at 7pm at the Priory Arms, 83 Lansdowne Way, Stockwell. All are very welcome to attend.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Two articles I wrote for the Guardian this week

I have written a couple of articles for the Guardian over the last week or so.

The first looked at the idea of "Responsible Capitalism". This is a concept currently being championed by both David Cameron and local Streatham MP, and Shadow Labour Business Secretary, Chuka Umunna. It is however really a cop-out, which means that the real underlying causes of the financial crisis which we are all facing are not being addressed.

The second article was for today's (Saturday's) Guardian, which built on this. It looked at how we desperately need a 'Transition Economy' and suggested some alternatives to the approach on offer by the three biggest parties. It also suggested that the Green Party is now the natural inheritor of the radical tradition in British Politics which Labour has abandoned.