Comment Features

Young Barnet clean air campaigners meet Mayor of London

The young campaigners thanked Sadiq Khan for his clean air policies writes Sara Hall

Two young climate campaigners from Barnet pictured with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan with Tom and Anna Hall (Credit – Sara Hall)

Two young clean air campaigners from Barnet met the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, yesterday to say thank you for life-saving clean air measures aimed at cleaning up London’s polluted air.

Eleven-year old Anna Hall and thirteen-year old Tom Hall from Friern Barnet presented the mayor with a thank you card. “Thank you for helping us clean up the air in Barnet so us children can grow up healthy. We hope that you can continue as mayor and keep making our air cleaner and cleaner”, the siblings wrote.

The two young campaigners with our grassroots group Mums for Lungs were involved in a Barnet clean air day protest last year calling for clean air measures to protect children’s’ health. 

There are clear associations between air pollution and asthma, heart and lung disease, dementia, miscarriage, stunted lung growth in children, teenage psychotic episodes, and more.

Anna Hall also raised awareness of her exposure to air pollution by showing Barnet Post the daily walk across the heavily polluted North Circular that her and her brother have to undertake to get to school.

The mayor thanked the children for the card and said he would put it up in his office. Tom Hall said after the meeting: ‘It was cool that I got to meet the mayor. I felt he listened to me about the value of clean air, which is important.’

Catherine West MP, who is the parliamentary candidate for Hornsey and Friern Barnet at the next general election also attended the event. “Thanks for all the work Mums for Lungs are doing to help make the case for cleaning up our toxic air for the next generation” she wrote on social media in response.

Barnet was one of the boroughs with the highest number of air pollution related deaths in 2019 according to research by Imperial College London. Barnet Council published a new five-year Air Quality Action plan in January this year.

In response Elizabeth Wan of Barnet Mums for Lungs said: “The new Air Quality Action Plan is a baby step in the right direction but lacks ambition. The council has not clarified how much it will reduce air pollution by or quantified the measures it will take. Barnet is lagging behind other London boroughs. Our kids deserve better.”

Anna and Tom Hall say they feel inspired by yesterday’s meeting with the mayor and want to continue to campaign for cleaner air for all the children in Barnet.

Sara Hall is a member of Barnet Mums for Lungs

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