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Council stalling on improving air quality in Medway Towns say Medway Liberal Democrats

July 20, 2020 9:16 AM
By Medway Liberal Democrats - Alan Wells

air quality image1Liberal Democrats are alarmed by a report looking into the environmental impact of plans to close Chatham Docks. The report by ArcelorMittal Kent Wire, stresses that 'Rezoning Chatham Docks from industrial to mixed use will worsen Air Quality by 300% from its current level' and 'Air Quality levels will be so harmed that Chatham will become one of the worst affected areas in the UK outside of Central London.'

This comes after 'Centre for Cities' named Chatham as one of the worst areas in the country for air quality, stating that one in 16 deaths in Chatham "are exclusively driven by combustion in commercial, institutional, and domestic activities linked to long-term exposure to particulates and linked to aggravating heart and lung conditions and causing cardiac arrhythmias, heart attacks, and respiratory effects such as asthma attacks and bronchitis." - Centre for Cities findings.

Liberal Democrats have been consistent in calling on the Council to play a leadership role by adopting policies which are in line with our local environment, and by investing in infrastructure that will improve the air quality and health of Medway residents.

Vivienne Parker, Chair of Medway Liberal Democrats said "I think the report's findings will undo any progress and the lack of action is appalling, especially when we learn more about the huge health impact of air pollution.

The Council's response lacks urgency, considering it has already declared a climate change emergency, admitting that its previous targets were inadequate.

We have an air quality management area running right through the centre of Medway all along the A2 from Strood to Hoath Way, with extensions along Luton Road and between Cuxton Hill and Frindsbury, another running from the Lower Lines to Danes Hill and another running the length of Rainham High Street.

Unless there is urgent action in reducing emissions, our town's air quality will worsen and the health of future generations will suffer. We are calling for a local development plan that will invest in our local health, people deserve better, and Liberal Democrats demand better. "

ENDS

Notes for Editors

ArcelorMittal Kent Wire Report - February 2020

Tumbling Air Quality will be caused by massive rises in CO2 emissions (12,610t/CO2 per year) through loss of onsite recycling, engineering & transport of finished goods that can currently be done by water.

Businesses currently at the Docks are all legally required to meet very high environmental standards on pollution and emissions. Future residential/mixed use developers will not require the same standards.

Analysis of CO2 emissions of Vessels importing and exporting via Chatham Docks and the potential impact of those vessels being transferred to Sheerness Port or being replaced fully by road vehicle transport.