“…we are working to make Southwark a cleaner, greener and safer place to live and work” proclaims the Southwark Council website.
The site even has a section on ‘envirocrimes‘ – someone’s idea of marketing speak for what we used to refer to as graffiti, fly tipping and dropping litter. Anyone reading the site is advised they could be fined anything from Â£50 to Â£2,500 for committing any of these ‘envirocrimes’.
The Air Pollution section advises that: “the air we breath contains chemicals and materials from our everyday activities as well as fumes from both local and distant sources. Inner city areas like Southwark tend to have higher concentrations of these fumes, causing our air to become polluted.”
So Southwark residents may be surprised to learn that a PFI contract to manage the Borough’s waste could, according to a statement issued by Ken Livingstone’s office, “result in much of Southwarkâ€™s waste being incinerated, adding to Londonâ€™s environmental problems.”
(According to the letsrecycle.com website the council denies the claims.)
Here at MayorWatch our instinct is always to support any initiative which promises to strengthen the office of the Mayor of London and give the holder of that office the power to directly control issues which affect all Londoners.
Even if that weren’t the case the need to ensure waste management issues are dealt with correctly and in the interests of London as a whole would justify supporting the Mayor’s call for the establishment of a Londonwide waste authority.
Sadly too much of the debate on extending the Mayor’s powers is dominated by increasingly irrelevant councillors (elected by mere hundreds of voters in a handful of streets) not wanting to loose what few remaining powers central Government hasn’t stripped them of and the shrill voices of ultra-right Tories who can’t reconcile themselves to the knowledge that Londoners don’t share their pathological hatred of the current incumbent.