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Barnet mums protest against MP’s anti-ULEZ protest

Anti-pollution protestors took their message to Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers on Clean Air Day reports David Floyd

Barnet Mums for Lungs, in collaboration with Barnet Friends of the Earth (FoE) and Mothers CAN holding a Clean Air Day celebration outside the office of former cabinet minister Theresa Villiers in Barnet on Thursday June 15th
The Clean Air Day protest outside the office of Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers – (Credit – Mums for Lungs)

A group of Barnet parents held a protest outside an MP’s office yesterday in response to the politician’s own recent protest against anti-pollution measures.

Barnet Mums for Lungs, in collaboration with Barnet Friends of the Earth (FoE) and Mothers CAN held a Clean Air Day celebration outside the office of former cabinet minister Theresa Villiers. They handed her a letter and an air purifying plant, and accused her of “fuelling conspiracy theories”.

The Chipping Barnet MP led a recent local protest against the expansion of the Mayor of London’s ULEZ scheme, which included protestors holding the placard “Stop the Toxic Air Lie”. 

In 2019, researchers from Imperial College London found that 99% of London does not meet World Health Organisation (WHO) limits for air pollution, with Barnet being the London borough with the second highest number of air pollution related deaths. 

The protestors yesterday included Anna Hall, 11 years old, from Barnet who said: “I want to be healthy and breathe clean air. People can die from breathing polluted air and that’s really sad.

“While Theresa Villiers MP was Environment Secretary she introduced the Environment Act 2021, through which the Government has consulted on two new targets for PM2.5, the pollutant most harmful to human health.


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“However, she is now campaigning against measures that would reduce PM2.5. Recent analysis has shown that ULEZ policies have reduced exhaust PM2.5 emissions by 72 tonnes over 4 years, equating to a 36 per cent reduction.”

Sara Hall, a mother who lives in Barnet, who is part of the Mums for Lungs group, cited a YouGov poll commissioned by City Hall showing that twice as many Londoners believe the ULEZ expansion should go ahead as oppose it.

She added: “Concerns have been raised about the London scrappage scheme, which has recently been expanded. Unlike other cities, London receives no support from central government for vehicle scrappage, something local parents want Theresa Villiers to persuade her political colleagues to address.”

Elizabeth Wan, an NHS doctor, shared her concerns regarding air pollution in the area, “As a doctor, I’m also really worried about the pollution my daughter is breathing in. Barnet has some of the highest levels of air pollution in London, but our local leaders are trying to block plans to tackle the illegal pollution which is damaging our children’s little lungs.”

“We have a 20 month old daughter and I’m expecting again, due in October. Every morning I cycle my daughter to nursery nearby, and then on to work at hospital. We need to be doing far more to support people to walk and cycle, and helping clean up the toxic fumes we’ve been breathing in, including this week.” 

Speaking at the recent anti-ULEZ protest, Theresa Villiers made her opposition to the scheme clear saying: “We have just a few more months left to get the mayor to stop this scheme that will do little to improve the capital’s air quality but leave motorists and businesses having to fork out £12.50 a day to go about their daily lives.”


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