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  • susan640 11:43 pm on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Nox: Islington Air Pollution readings; Green Party; Tufnell Park Parents   

    Latest terrible #airpollutionreadings in #Islington, and #IslingtonGreenParty launches #CleanAirPolicies – 8 May 

    This piece is pinched unashamedly from the Green Party’s website as it shows exactly how bad Islington’s air pollution problem is, and how it is getting worse. Conservatives in central government and the Labour Party in Islington have presided over this problem, without dealing effectively with it, and the EU has let the car manufacturers run rings round them.

    To look at the pollution readings in many locations round Islington, and to examine the Greens’ website, please go here:

    “Today, Islington Green Party launched four key pledges to improve the air we breathe and tackle the rising levels of pollution across the borough.

    The pledges are the first set of policy announcements from Islington the Green Party in the run up to the General Election on 8th June. The Greens, Islington’s second party, have promised to:

    Create a new Clean Air Act: tackle the sources of modern day air pollution, enshrine the right to breathe into UK law, and ensure the UK becomes a world leader in the new technologies and industries that will help us clean up our air
    Fine the cheating car manufacturers : set out a plan for how companies who cheated emissions testing would be fined. Despite a $14.7bn settlement in the US, Volkswagen, for example, has yet to pay any damages in the EU – an equivalent fine in the UK could raise more than £8 billion from Volkswagen alone
    Expand the proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ): limit the most polluting vehicles from entering London’s ULEZ and ensure that it covers the whole of Islington before the current proposal of 2021 and extend it to outer London as well
    Enable walking and cycling across the borough: Islington residents and visitors need to have convenient and safe alternatives to driving their cars so we need to review our streets and transport infrastructure to enable safe walking and cycling for all.

    Islington Greens Reveal Our General Election Pledges on Air Pollution

    The pledges coincide with new air pollution monitoring data revealed today by the Greens and Tufnell Park Parents that showed that the air in the borough is worse than ever and is breaching EU standards.

    100 diffusion tubes were installed by concerned residents across Islington to measure levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). A key aspect of air pollution, nitrogen dioxide is linked to a range of respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses that are particularly harmful to children, older people and those with existing health conditions such as asthma and heart and lung disease. Road vehicle emissions, and particularly diesel engines, are major contributors to NO2 in the air.

    Once analysed, 55 of the diffusion tubes showed that NO2 levels had breached EU legal limits. The legal limit for NO2 is 40ug/m3. Four of the tubes indicated NO2 levels at over twice the legal limit, with one showing NO2 levels at almost three times the EU maximum level.

    Public Meeting

    The testing follows a public meeting in February, organised by Islington Greens in association with Tufnell Park Parents to discuss and find solutions to Islington’s heavily polluted air. The meeting heard from Rod Gonggrijp of Tufnell Park Parents who have been conducting their own ‘citizen science’ projects to measure pollution levels across the borough since 2012 with the latest results from their testing in March revealed today.

    As well as hearing about NO2 testing carried out at the end of 2016, the Green Party meeting also distributed another 16 diffusion tubes to concerned residents who installed them at various points across the borough. They were then analysed by students at UCL and these results are also being revealed today.

    Islington’s Air is Becoming More Polluted

    Comparing the data from the recent community testing to results taken in 2013, 15 out of the 17 repeated testing spots showed an increase of NO2 of up to 156% which suggests that the levels of NO2 in Islington’s air are getting worse.

    Green Party councillor and parliamentary candidate for Islington North, Caroline Russell, said: “Islington’s air pollution is getting worse year on year and action must be taken now. Only last week the Government was forced by the High Court to issue plans for how it will reduce air pollution levels after years of stalling and using the current election to delay action even longer. Their feeble plans simply do not go far enough. We need a new Clean Air Act, we need to bring forward and expand London’s proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone to make it cover the whole of the capital and we must invest in public transport, walking and cycling. With air pollution responsible for the early deaths of around 9,000 Londoners per year, it is crucial that politicians take the decisions that will clean up our air so we can trust the air we breathe.”

    Tufnell Park Parents Demand Action

    Rod Gonggrijp of Tufnell Park Parents, said; “The Tufnell Park Parents’ pollution testing was carried out by local residents worried about their health and that of others; especially the elderly and the young. They were taking matters into their own hands because they did not feel that the growing concern around air pollution was being taken seriously enough by the national government and local authorities.

    “Citizen science projects such as these are leading the way in community efforts to combat air pollution but action must be taken at national and local levels. There was a lot of interest in the project across the area and more than 20 people, including several children, participated in putting up the measuring tubes and then retrieving them three weeks later. Air pollution is affecting the health of us all and our families and we are calling on politicians to take real action and not delay or dilute the action that is desperately needed.”

  • susan640 10:11 am on May 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Islington Gardeners; Gardening; Olden Garden   

    #IslingtonGardeners Plant Sale Sunday 14 May in the Olden Garden, Highbury 

    Islington Gardeners’ Plant sale will take place in the beautiful Olden Garden, Whistler St, Drayton Park, N5 1NH (gate is opposite 22 Whistler St) on Sunday 14 May from 2 – 4.30 pm. Plants, pots, teas, homemade cakes, for sale. Free entry to IG members/Olden Garden members, £2 to non-members.

    Plants come from IG members’ gardeners, so this is very much an event of local people. Plant donations very welcome – plants for donation need to be brought in either the Saturday morning before between 10 -12 or the Sunday morning 10 -12.

    Islington Gardeners’ website is here:

    The Olden Garden is a well-loved community garden and the website is here: which includes a map of the area viewable via the address in the middle of the front page.

  • susan640 5:38 pm on May 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: green waste; Islington Council   

    #Islington Council abandons plans to end doorstep collections of domestic food and gardening waste! 

    After a year of worrying about increased difficulty in disposing of the gardening cuttings from both my own garden and my local “Forgotten Corner” garden, I am pleased to discover that Islington Council has concluded that replacing the weekly doorstep collection of household food and gardening waste by requiring residents to take these these wastes to local communal bins should not go ahead. I had dreadful visions of trying to stuff vast bags of pyracantha cuttings into already full skips, which we used to do some 20 years ago, surrounded by other people’s discarded green waste etc.,

    Strapped for cash due to central government’s continuing reduction of funds, Islington was trying to save money by reducing the number of rubbish vehicles going round the Borough. They ran a pilot scheme in Tollington Ward in 2015 to trial new collection arrangements for the communal collection of food and garden waste to see if there was potential to develop a more efficient/cheaper way of recycling food and garden waste. The Council’s report (see below) says that the active participation of local residents meant that the amount of food and garden waste collected was comparable to recycling levels from doorstep collections. They then did an analysis to see if communal food and garden recycling could be extended across Islington to reduce costs, but this concluded that more vehicles would be needed to empty the communal bins than originally expected, which would significantly reduce savings – and make the new arrangements not worthwhile financially. So the existing arrangements are to continue – three cheers!

    The Council will be making the savings by rearranging the driving routes and organisation of the lorries instead.
    The decision can be read here:

    This issue was covered in Going Green in Pooterland here, which also includes Councillor Webbe’s letter about it:

    • meghowarth 7:10 pm on May 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      This is excellent news, Sue, and thank you for the update. Estates’ residents, and all those without gardens, would have been particularly badly hit as they lack the facilities for home-composting.

  • susan640 6:10 pm on April 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: solar energy; Muswell Hill Sustainability Group; MHSG; renewables   

    Opportunity to invest in solar electricity at Woodside School 

    This is not quite Archway, but still a laudable and supportable local initiative by the Muswell Hill Sustainability Group to install renewable energy.

    Launch event Saturday, 13th May 3pm Tetherdown Hall, Tetherdown, N10 1ND

    In 2009 MHSG set up en10ergy to install solar panels on local buildings including local M & S on Muswell Hill Broadway and the Muswell Hill Methodist Church.

    En10ergy is now launching a share offer to raise £95,000 for solar photovoltaic arrays on roofs at Woodside High School, on the borders between Wood Green and Tottenham. You can find out more about the scheme here:

    The share offer launch event is on Saturday, 13th May, 3pm at Tetherdown Hall, Tetherdown, N10 1ND.

    Come along to hear guest speakers Catherine West MP and Baroness Lynne Featherstone and have an opportunity to ask questions.

    The share offer will be open until 28th June or until they have raised their target. They are aiming to sign the contract with the chosen installer on 7th July, and the solar panels will be installed by the end of August.

    Please email at if you plan to come.

  • susan640 9:22 am on March 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: MHSG; Andrew Warren; energy efficiency   

    #MUSWELLHILLSUSTAINABILITYGROUP MEETING #ANDREWWARREN: The most environmentally friendly energy source is the one you don’t use 

    The Muswell Hill Sustainability Group is holding a speaker meeting with Andrew Warren, talking on the theme of: The most environmentally friendly energy source is the one you don’t use

    On: Tuesday 28th March, 7.30pm

    As Hon President and former Executive Director of the Association for the Conservation of Energy, and Chairman of the British Energy Efficiency Federation, Andrew Warren is a leading authority on energy efficiency.

    Andrew has given evidence to House of Commons and House of Lords Select Committees and European Parliament inquiries and is a regular contributor to the Financial Times, Guardian and Independent.

    Venue: Tetherdown Hall (opposite the United Reformed Church) Tetherdown, N10 1ND
    (Entrance is to the right hand side of the building)

    All welcome – admission free, refreshments available
    Information event:

  • susan640 11:10 am on March 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Air Quality; Air Pollution; Archway ZEN; Islington Council; Mayor of London;   

    New funded project to try to clean up #Archway's #airpollution #ArchwayZeroEmissionsNetwork 

    The Archway Zero Emissions Network is a 3 year project (until April 2019) funded by the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund and Islington Council. It plans to help local businesses to reduce their energy costs and thereby reduce local pollution. This must be a good start to deal with the dreadful state of Archway’s air.

    In particular, the Archway ZEN aims to:
    •Improve air quality in Archway
    •Change businesses’ behaviour
    •Utilise a strong local identity
    •Encourage up-take of lower emission energy and travel options
    •Provide high quality information
    •Engage directly with businesses
    •Enhance infrastructure
    •Offer trials and incentives

    Archway ZEN Business Support Officer has in place since February and is now:

    •Engaging with initial 50 businesses to implement offers and trials
    •Conducting free energy audits
    •Sending marketing and promotion materials to print following approval – keep an eye out in bus stops and at Archway Station
    •Providing Archway ZEN cargo-bikes soon to be available free to all businesses from April
    •Offering free trials of Archway ZEN electric moped available to all businesses from April
    •Organising Archway ZEN promotion events in support of official opening of new gyratory e.g. cycle tour/training on new cycle lanes

    Residents should keep in contact with their local Councillors to find out how the project gets on, and how soon it meets its targets.

    For more info go to:

    To see a NO2 pollution map for Archway please go here:

  • susan640 6:53 pm on March 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply  



    A house or flat that’s delightfully warm, free of draughts, condensation and mouldy patches AND is easier on the environment – what’s not to like?

    If you think that 2017 might be the time to make your home energy-chic, our series of talks and consultation sessions, led by expert professionals, will put you on the right track. And then there will be time to chat with them over a glass of wine.

    When and Where: Wed, March 15, 2017, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM GMT at The Highgate Society, 10a South Grove, Highgate,London N6 6BS

    Plus there’s the chance to visit homes in and around Highgate to see solutions in practice and to talk with the people who live there about their experiences.

    Speakers on windows, doors, heating and water will be:

    Elspeth Clements of Clements Porter and the Highgate Society as Chair

    Dermot Barnes of Ecodomus “Windows and Doors”

    John Sleeman of Sleeman Heating “Heating and heating controls”

    Cath Hassell of ech2o “Sustainable water solutions for urban homes”

    As well as these experts two more experts will be available for consultation on a first come, first served basis:

    John Rudge of John Rudge Window Restorations

    Alec Morrow of Integrated Heating

    This is a free event, but you need to register in advance, please see webpage here:

    Bookings for a house visit on Sunday 19th March, featuring windows and heating controls will be made at the event or by emailing

    And a later event will be on Wednesday 19th April – The Energy Session – featuring solar electricity and hot water, heat pumps and wood burning stoves.

  • susan640 3:02 pm on February 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Islington Council; diesel pollution; electric car points; air quality   


    Islington Council will be taking some steps in Shoreditch to clean up the air by stopping petrol and diesel cars from parking in one Shoreditch street (there will be a few others round the corner belonging to Hackney and Tower Hamlets) – a small step, but a start. More info:

    The Council is also going to encourage electric car usage by installing 100 electric car charging points around the borough – again, steps in the right direction away from CO2 emissions and poisonous particulates, but the CO2 is only saved if the electricity is made from renewables and not coal or gas powered power stations. More details:

    • Meg Howarth (@howarthm) 3:26 pm on February 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Electric vehicles a diversion: expensive, so only affordable by the much-better-off. With only 31% of Islington residents owning/having access to a car but with a shocking public-health record – highest hospital admission for asthma in England 2010/11 – borough should be pedestrianising high-streets and introducing car-free zones around schools. Alas, this doesn’t suit the politicians.

    • Meg Howarth (@howarthm) 8:44 am on March 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Update on electric vehicles (EVs) – currently touted as an air-pollution panacea: recent research shows that the fine particle pollution (PM10/2.5) from brakes/tyres and roads – like all vehicles, EVs need tyres and roads to be driven on – can equal the reduction in NO2 which would result from banning diesel. London needs active travel, not techy diversions – and a reminder that PMs are more dangerous to human health than the damaging NO2… Useful link here

  • susan640 7:03 pm on February 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: CHP; Islington Council; renewable energy   


    Following the inspirational talk from Cllr Cooper of Kirklees (covered in earlier item below), we are very pleased to report that Islington Council is progressing its work to expand the Bunhill Heat and Power network which will reduce the requirement to use fossil fuels to heat residents’ homes and thereby make a contribution to combatting climate change, as well as reducing fuel poverty, which is understood to to be the Council’s priority objective. The first part of the Bunhill Combined Heat and Power Network was installed in 2012. Rather brilliantly, phase 2 is going to capture all that dreadful hot air from the London Underground for local heating.

    Phase 2 of the Bunhill Heat and Power network now has planning permission to build a new energy centre​.
    The Council, Bunhill Ward and the EU CELSIUS research project (managed by the GLA in London) have agreed to fund an extension of the heat network, and provide additional heat production capacity for connected buildings. The extension will allow the Council to connect a further 454 homes in the area, with the potential to supply a further 1,000 homes.

    The existing heating pipe network from Bunhill Energy Centre will be extended up Central Street to City Road to capture heat from the tube network. A new energy centre will be built on the junction of Moreland Street and Central Street, on the east side of Kestrel House, where a small building currently stands.

    The council has appointed a contractor, “Colloide Engineering Systems Ltd”.

    Work has now been completed on Central Street, Moreland Street, Lever Street and President St to allow the connection of the network to President House, Rahere House, Barnabus House and Macclesfield House. All roads have been reinstated and parking suspensions lifted.

    Hoarding has been erected around the site where the new energy centre will be built (on the corner of Moreland Street and Central Street). As part of this, six trees will be removed. However, these will be replaced with at least as much tree canopy, as well as introducing new green landscaping around the new energy centre (see below).

    For more info please go to: (where there is also a video to show how the heat from the tube is captured).

  • Kate Calvert 5:24 pm on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Retrograde Solar Tax Proposed 

    The government plans a major tax on schools, hospitals and small businesses who run on solar power. If implemented this change would mean bills up to eight times higher than currently. The change would do very serious damage to the UK’s solar industry.

    This is just the next step in a sequence of attacks on solar energy which Greenpeace reports have resulted in 12,000 job losses across the country. Now this new tax hike would leave hundreds of solar-loving organisations with a negative return on their investment, successfully putting others off investing.

    Green MP Caroline Lucas recently commented:

    “People who are doing their best, doing their bit to try to reduce our climate emissions […] are now being penalised by this government.” 

    Labour Shadow Energy Secretary, Barry Gardiner,  said:

    “Businesses made their investments in clean technology as a sound financial decision. They did not expect the government retrospectively to classify their investment so as to subject it to eight times the level of tax. This will cost some businesses more than the value of the energy they are saving and they will be forced to rip these solar panels off their rooftops.”

    Greenpeace says the mainstream media aren’t reporting on the issue so have made a  60 second Greenpeace video on the subject which has already been watched more than 45,000 times.

    They are asking everyone to share it so the story moves up the media agenda. The link is at

    The Greenpeace petition on the issue is at Solar Tax Petition.

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