“Tory debate on air quality is hot air without action on Heathrow “say Surrey Greens

Cllr Jonathan Essex, Green County Councillor for Redhill East, has criticised Surrey’s Conservative Councillors for preventing the mentioning of Heathrow expansion during a discussion on air quality across the county.

Cllr Essex moved an amendment to a Conservative motion at Council on Tuesday 10 July, calling for the County Council to support local authorities opposed to Heathrow expansion because of local air quality and noise impacts.

Cllr Essex said:

“Surrey’s Conservative County Councillors want to have a debate about air quality but I was blocked from raising Heathrow as part of the debate. The expansion of Heathrow will have a huge and damaging impact on air quality, both in terms of additional flights and road traffic congestion.  Stopping me from speaking won’t make that problem go away.

“There are already 25 areas in Surrey where air pollution breaks legal limits. The whole of Spelthorne borough already fails to meet legal limits, and this area will bear the brunt of any expansion to Heathrow. We need to take  real action to improve air quality across Surrey.  Electric charging points and low emission strategies are important, but the County Council should not ignore the huge impact of Heathrow expansion on air quality. It needs to make plans to address this.  I will continue to campaign against Heathrow expansion, including the effect it will have on air quality in Surrey.”

Notes

– The original Conservative motion can be found here under Item 8(iii):

https://mycouncil.surreycc.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=121&MId=5842

– Cllr Essex’s amendment, which was ruled out of order, was as follows:

AMENDMENT BY CLLR JONATHAN ESSEX TO ITEM 8 (iii), MOTION IN THE NAME OF CLLR RACHAEL LAKE

To insert after point 3):

4) Will  join Hammersmith & Fulham Council and the Mayor of London in offering support to Conservative councils in Hillingdon, Wandsworth and Windsor & Maidenhead, as well as Richmond-upon-Thames, in their joint legal challenge concerning the environmental impact of a third runway at Heathrow.

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