Councillor Mason said: “I will lead an open, inclusive and transparent council that will engage with residents in the challenges they and the council face.
“I am very aware of the genuine distress and concern that has fuelled CASH’s remarkable campaigning efforts.
“Local residents have genuine concerns about their health and that of their families from the impacts of unpleasant odours, dust, noise and traffic. They have also worried about the real impacts on local quality of life which have arisen from a development that many don’t believe will benefit them.
“I have made a commitment to campaign to get the government to acknowledge and change what Gasworks Communities United have already identified – that the powers local authorities have to regulate and monitor brownfield developments are woefully limited.
“Residents must have confidence that we are working to protect their interests and are not unduly swayed by the needs and demands of developers.”
Council officers have been instructed to:
• Commission legal advice to establish what would be the necessary conditions at this stage for the council to issue a successful statutory abatement notice;
• To be prepared to place on hold the tendering process for independent air quality monitoring for the Gasworks site, to ensure CASH’s close involvement in specifying and awarding the contract should CASH wish;
• To draw up a plan to include CASH and the wider community in developing an air quality strategy for Southall in addition to the Low Emissions Strategy for the Gasworks site;
• To begin work on establishing an independent complaint monitoring process for air quality and smell complaints to give sufficient confidence that complaints are being logged, witnessed and evidenced in order to be used in any future statutory abatement notice;
• To meet and work with Centric Lab to better understand and advocate for incorporating and accepting compound stressors in how public health professionals understand the impact of factors such as structural inequality on community health;
• To launch an urgent review Berkeley Group’s sponsorship of council events and activities;
• To begin a programme of lobbying with government to obtain the powers we need.
Councillor Mason has also offered CASH the opportunity to meet with him and cabinet members at the earliest opportunity.
The full letter can be viewed here.
Councillor Mason has also recorded a brief video on this subject.
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