As we approach Christmas and start to see decorations go up on our High Streets, I know that many of my constituents are eagerly anticipating time with their families and celebrating together. I have been delighted to attend the switching on of Christmas lights along with local councillors and residents.
As usual, I have been out and about this month visiting schools and businesses across Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner while continuing with my regular weekly surgeries. What is pre-eminently clear from these engagements is the concern and worry that many residents feel about the Mayor of London’s decision to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone. This means that constituents of mine and all those across Hillingdon will now be faced with an additional £12.50 daily charge to run their cars, if they are non-compliant.
This unfairly affects many older constituents, and those who cannot afford to purchase a newer model of car. The plan also fails to tackle poor air quality in London. As we look at any air quality map of London, the conspicuous drop in nitrous dioxide levels as you get further afield is evidence of the missteps of the Mayor’s policy. We need action that tackles the air quality challenges of outer London, such as emissions from Heathrow, and idling outside schools, which the ULEZ does nothing to tackle.
Local councillors are charged by their residents to improve air quality, achieve targets; deliver plans that work locally and are accountable to council taxpayers. I have seen first hand the dangers of idling cars and congestion locally, and I continue to believe that it is best to give London’s boroughs greater powers to tackle local problems.
This has been reflected in the common consensus found on Hillingdon Council. Party leaders from both sides of Hillingdon Council’s chamber wrote to their GLA representative urging them to vote down Mayor Khan’s proposals, and I was disappointed to see this letter disregarded. Further, Hillingdon and Harrow councils, along with Bexley, have announced their resolve to resist its implementation by using all means at their disposal – a decision I wholeheartedly support.
As ever, I would encourage residents to contact the office if they would like to meet with me to discuss any issues or concerns they may have whether that be about ULEZ or any other matter that I may be able to assist you with.
First published: My Local News, December 2022