Tuesday, 8 March 2016

MBC try to sweep air pollution under the carpet with their proposed strategy.

So Maidstone Borough Council consulted on a strategy to tackle air pollution a few months ago and only 3 people responded. Obviously this either shows just how little people in Maidstone care about the air we breathe or it shows just how little the council advertised the consultation. As even I wasn't aware of the consultation I suggest it was latter.

The contempt by which we are treated is then magnified by the draft strategy. It fails on so two main accounts:

  • It says that "approximately 5.6% of deaths in Maidstone are attributable to fine particulate concentrations". While this is correct, they fail to mention the deaths caused by NOx or that the number of deaths is around 130 each year. 5.6% of deaths sound small; 130 people dying as a result of government policy each year in Maidstone is close to a massacre.
  • It doesn't contain any real way of tackling the problem. Yes cleaner buses will help, as will cleaner vehicles used by the council but these are just a fart in the polluted wind that courses through the borough. We need live monitoring with triggers for actions such as stopping traffic when pollution hits a certain level. If major capital cities can do this, so can Maidstone.
So it is clear that the council doesn't want tackle a problem that kills 130 people each year. There are 55 councillors, yet three responses. How many of the councillors contacted residents? None of them contacted me. Of course it is hardly surprising when they are proposing such an embarrassing poor strategy.

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