Gazette letters: Illegal dumping, BBQs, the young and pollution

An lorry dumps waste at the Bush Industrial Estate. Picture: ANITA FRIZZARIN

An lorry dumps waste at the Bush Industrial Estate. Picture: ANITA FRIZZARIN - Credit: Archant

The vast amount of potentially toxic waste now decorating the Bush Industrial Estate outside my windows could have been avoided, writes Anita Frizzarin, Wedmore Gardens.

I alerted the local police, council officials and councillors, with video of lorries (which had no number plates) dropping the waste, from March 1 and sent many more emails later. Many of my neighbours started even earlier. We all provided a clear address and explained how exactly the illegal lorries came in: there is only one entrance. The operation was only disrupted on March 5, four days later. In the meantime, the place filled up.

Police routinely stop and inspect lorries that carry waste. Once illegal lorries are confiscated, the delivery of rubbish stops. This did not happen. The waste was allowed to mount up for four days. Any explanations?

I have spent my career working for environmental NGOs and children’s charities, writes Alastair Harper.

As a result, I am furious at the air pollution levels in London. We are risking the health of our most vulnerable by not tackling this issue – 9,500 Londoners died prematurely due to air pollution in 2010. The prime culprit is the diesel engine.

That is why it is so infuriating to see local campaigners hijack this vital issue for their own ends. Despite the wishes of some campaigners around Highbury Fields, barbecues are not a serious cause of our air pollution crisis. Campaigners from Client Earth to Greenpeace would never support attacking families enjoying and using public space at the expense of focusing on the big transport infrastructure solutions we need.

Sadly, this affluent and fortunate group are trying to abuse the air pollution crisis because their real reason for opposing barbecues is indefensible – they don’t want people in their back yard. I note many of these anti-barbecue campaigners also opposed the closing of road use around Highbury roundabout which would benefit cyclists and make a real impact on local air pollution. To take advantage of one of the greatest threats to London lives for selfish reasons is shameful. Caroline Russell should not allow herself to be co-opted by this group and instead focus on the real issues that will resolve air pollution.

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Islington is a wealthy borough, writes Dougie Sargent, who works in Islington.

It is classed as desirable and has seen no end to development. But it seems to have a total lack of knowledge in how to deal with its youths.

Another two stabbings (one resulted in death, the other a lasting memory); more phones snatched from people walking in the street; youths openly smoking drugs in the borough’s parks or in the street.

I would like an answer as to when the powers that be are going to undertake a meaningful, long-term approach to dealing with the obvious issues that affect some of the youths in the area. I am aware of one youth: I have seen him grow up and am totally unrelated. He is in prison now and will be released later this year. What kind of support will he receive to start afresh? Yes, he has left victims and is no angel, yet he was also a victim. He was a victim of the inadequacy of the regime which is supposed to nurture, develop and lead the young of today who stray off a clean path.

My guess is that you are all aware of what is going on but just do not have the answers.

The powers that be need to identify and take appropriate long-term action rather than just a quick fix. You need to be an example and a leader to all the other boroughs that have similar issues. Do we have the will, the innovative thinking and the inspiration to do so, given that the people who are most affected are the young and the less well-off?

No matter where we live in Islington, the air we breathe is heavily polluted, even on side streets, writes Ben Hickey, Islington Green Party.

Children, old people and those with medical conditions such as asthma are especially likely to be affected. Thousands are now estimated to die each year in London due to our dirty air.

Last week, Islington Green Party held a public meeting to discuss the issue and encourage local residents to get involved with measuring air pollution levels in their neighbourhoods (Gazette, March 2, p5). The first part of tackling the issue is to understand where the “hotspots” are, then see what can be done to improve the air: for example, rerouting traffic, temporarily closing roads for so-called “play streets” to protect children’s lungs, and properly enforcing the anti-idling policy.

Simple measuring devices called diffusion tubes are now being installed around the borough to measure nitrogen dioxide levels.

Only two weeks ago, the EU issued the UK with a final warning to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels or face the European courts. Our government must do more but also so must all of Islington. We are encouraging volunteers to sponsor and install pollution tubes in their area. [E-mail to take part – ed.]