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Leabank Square Residents win support from MPs and Environmentalists

Lisa Smith from the Clays Lane traveller community: Lisa Smith from the Clays Lane traveller community: "You could see the dust and dirt going like a cloud, going by you. Everyone's had sore throats...sore eyes,lip infections. We've been to the doctors...we've had to have antibiotics, creams to put on lips to get rid of it. Everyone's...come out in spots." From: More4 film June 2007

It is curious to see that it has taken a Nottinghamshire MP, Paddy Tipping, to put down an Early Day Motion expressing concern about dust emissions from the Olympic park in East London. Notable by her absence from the list of supporters is Lyn Brown, MP for West Ham, notorious for telling her local party that she had been visiting Clays Lane during the relocation of residents, when she had never once paid a visit. Government MPs may not usually sign EDMs so that may explain Meg Hillier's absence, but Leabank Square residents have commented on her lack of support. However, Diane Abbott, Hackney's other MP, famous for sitting on a BBC sofa with Michael Portillo, who has also failed to add her signature to the list cannot claim any such exemption. Jim Fitzpatrick from Tower Hamlets may also be able to claim government exemption but this doesn't apply to George Galloway. Waltham Forest, on the other hand, is well represented with Neil Gerrard and Harry Cohen signing up.

The criticism of the ODA is supported by the Environmental Industries Commission. Reported on EIC Policy Director, Danny Stevens, said “London is supposed to be a showcase for the world - demonstrating that it can put on the greenest Olympic games to date, yet a commitment to tackle harmful emissions from the construction machinery used on site is being ignored.”

Julian Cheyne (former) resident of the Clays Lane housing estate.: Julian Cheyne (former) resident of the Clays Lane housing estate.: "We're concerned ...the're could be a lot of contaminated material on this site..they are producing dust already and eventually they will produce a lot more dust and you can't control this.." From: More4 film June 2007

The EDM (see below) expresses concern at delays in implementing measures to reduce emissions and calls on construction projects, in particular the Olympics, to ensure that the most polluting plant be fitted with suitable pollution control technology in line with best practice guidance. Presumably this means such 'best practice' is not being followed at present. This is interesting as when I met Lawrence Waterman, the ODA's Head of Health and Safety and Peter Jackson, the ODA's Environmental Manager, almost a year ago they were insistent that the ODA was doing more than was required of it in terms of controlling dust emissions. They dismissed the evidence of problems caused by dust provided by residents and travellers at Clays Lane and Leabank Square as unscientific and anecodotal.

Of course, the ODA is the autonomous planning authority for the Olympic site and as such is also the development control authority. In its capacity as development control the ODA should be enforcing best practice as part of its obligations as regulator of the site. This failure reveals the conflict of interest, highlighted by objectors, inherent in the creation of Development Corporations like the ODA. When residents and travellers at Clays Lane protested about dust and other breaches of planning conditions no action was taken by the ODA development control authority and emails were not even answered. If best practice is not being followed it is time the ODA should be subject to proper external regulation and its planning and control powers removed.

Early Day Motion
EDM 395


Tipping, Paddy

That this House notes that poor air quality is currently estimated to reduce the life expectancy of every person in the UK by an average of seven to eight months and impacts particularly on children, the elderly and those in poor health; notes that emissions from demolition and construction sites can be significant contributors to poor air quality in local areas; notes with concern the delay in implementing measures to reduce these emissions at major construction projects, including those for the Olympics; and calls on all major construction projects, including those for the Olympics, to ensure that the most polluting plant used on site is fitted with suitable pollution control technology in line with the best practice guidance on The Control of Dust and Emissions from Construction and Demolition.

Tipping, Paddy
Bottomley, Peter
Baker, Norman
Jones, Lynne
Hopkins, Kelvin
Drew, David
Corbyn, Jeremy
Hancock, Mike
Taylor, David
Llwyd, Elfyn
Caton, Martin
Cryer, Ann
Dismore, Andrew
Anderson, David
Davies, Dai
Davey, Edward
Vis, Rudi
Wareing, Robert N
Williams, Betty
Leech, John
McCartney, Ian
Gerrard, Neil
Simpson, Alan
Battle, John
Hamilton, David
Sanders, Adrian
McDonnell, Alasdair
Cohen, Harry
Etherington, Bill
Truswell, Paul
Williams, Roger
Kramer, Susan
Jenkins, Brian
Willott, Jenny
Willis, Phil
Wright, Tony
Russell, Bob
Wood, Mike
Durkan, Mark
Crausby, David

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