ULEZ expansion- a step in the right direction but not the whole story

The expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone really is good news for London. From 25 October 2021 onwards, the most polluting cars (diesels manufactured before September 2015 and petrol cars manufactured before 2005) will be charged £12.50 for driving within the North and South Circular Roads.  

This will bring cleaner air to 3.8million Londoners. Cleaner air for children walking to school; cleaner air leading to healthier lungs and healthier lives. Mums for Lungs are taking an impressive lead on celebrating this. 


Taking political action on car use is challenging. In Ealing we know this better than most, and the Mayor’s office should be congratulated for making progress. But, in our Borough we are faced with the reality of an imperfect solution. 

I have a primary school age child in Ealing. The choice of secondary schools are one just inside the zone; or one right on the boundary road. We have clean(er) air for half the Borough; and the same old (dirty) air for the other half. 

The Green Party have long championed road pricing as a more socially just solution. So where does ULEZ fit? Well, it makes sense for now:

In the short term, road charging should be introduced where road space is most congested and where traffic causes most pollution. These would be expected to be in urban areas and in areas that attract large numbers of tourists.”


So let’s celebrate the politicians who have made progress on cleaning up London’s air (including Green Party London Assembly members Sian Berry, Zack Polanski and Caroline Russell). 

But know that what’s needed is clean air for ALL. So what’s next?

Footnote: Zack Polanski statement on ULEZ expansion:


Alan Anderson – Candidate for Hobbayne

Candidate Introduction: Alan Anderson

Alan Anderson Green Candidate
Alan Anderson

I am standing as candidate of the Green Party for the ward of Hobbayne. 

Alan Anderson is an editor for a health and wellbeing website, and has been campaigning in Ealing for green issues all his adult life. He is determined to stop Ealing Labour facilitate developers’ fantasy skyscrapers, and instead make sustainable housing policy that works for the people.

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods: manifesto for Ealing Council

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) have been badly implemented and communicated by Ealing Council. This has led to division in communities, and because of this the Council is backtracking on the schemes. LTNs can and do reduce traffic levels, and if well communicated have the support of local residents. As the Green Party candidate in West Ealing and Hanwell for the Council Election next year, I wanted to set out what I would do differently. Here’s the starting point we can all agree on:

All residential streets must have air pollution levels below the WHO guidelines1.  

Any residential street – including main roads- not within these limits must be considered for appropriate measures to reduce air pollution. A suite of measures is needed. LTNs form part of that, and I would ensure Ealing Council offers this to residents through meaningful consultation. If an LTN in one area causes an unacceptable increase in traffic and air pollution in a different area, this second area will then be considered for appropriate measures.

As part of a comprehension air pollution strategy, in conjunction with Transport for London, other measures must be taken. Examples include: expanding the ULEZ across all of Ealing Borough, surveying local journeys made, reviewing barriers to active travel, and review of bus services. Converting buses to electric is a key priority of Greens on the London Assembly. 

The introduction of LTNs needs to be part of comprehensive, joined up strategies for addressing air pollution, climate change and active travel across all of Ealing. The Council’s current Air Quality Action Plan expires in 2022 and the new Plan needs to deliver meaningful results2. 

Meaningful consultation means agreement in advance with local community groups about who will be consulted, and what percentage of responses will be acceptable. A mixture of consultation methods must be used, appropriate to the local community. Consultation results must then be communicated via letter and electronically. Consultation will include reference to air pollution and carbon emissions, and will not focus solely on ‘rat-running’. The current consultation is inadequate, it offers only a Brexit style “in or out choice” and is open to abuse. It will not solve the divisions, or provide a coherent answer to the problems of air quality, carbon emissions and road safety. 

To show support for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods the council has an online consultation here:


Elected Greens have a track record of being able to deliver action on air pollution, carbon emissions and active transport: https://york.greenparty.org.uk/campaigns/clean-air-zone-for-york/

1. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ambient-%28outdoor%29-air-quality-and-health
2. https://www.ealing.gov.uk/downloads/download/4240/air_quality_action_plan_aqap

If Matt Hancock ran an NHS ward

As an NHS doctor who ‘does’ politics, the subject of our now ex-health secretary comes up frequently. Various people tell me they don’t see the problem with Matt Hancock. It’s been a difficult time, he’s been under pressure etc. So I offer you this comparison. 

Matt is your NHS ward matron. 

He and a ward sister are caught kissing in a corridor, on work time. Appropriate NHS Trust disciplinary procedures are followed. Turns out Matt recruited the ward sister, who he knew already. Questions are asked about when the affair started, as preferentially employing someone you are in a relationship with would be very inappropriate. 

We find out that last year, the ward had a lot of staff vacancies. Matt was worried this was an emergency situation, perhaps caused by his poor management. So what he did is call all his mates to come in and work, rather than have a fair and transparent interview process. And he paid them more than usual. 

Then we discover that the ward has had more deaths than usual. Difficult to investigate though, because the ward culture is now pretty closed- well of course, it’s staffed by Matt’s mates. 

Oh, and during the process of looking into all this, as a small aside, we find out Matt’s been sending out sensitive information using his gmail account, rather than nhs.net. 

None of this is OK. And it’s no where near the whole story. At every stage there should have been credible voices- colleagues- perhaps a functioning opposition party- calling it out. Because the thing is, it’s not a ward. It’s a national government. And it’s unacceptable. 

For all the detail, try here: https://goodlawproject.org/

[This is an edited version of a post originally made on the doctors.net.uk website]

An evening with Dr Bob Gill, NHS doctor and producer of The Great NHS Heist

Thursday 15 July 2021 | 19:00 start | Register to receive Zoom link

The Ealing Green Party and friends are excited to host an online event with Dr Bob Gill, an NHS doctor, campaigner and creator of the documentary The Great NHS Heist.

Dr Gill will talk us through his journey from NHS doctor to campaigner to stop our national health service from being sold off to greedy corporations.

This is a free, online event. Dr Gill will answer your questions after his talk. It is not too late to stop the NHS from being sold off piece by piece. Join the event to find out what can still be done.

Take some time out of your busy schedule to watch The Great NHS Heist and then join us and Dr Gill to find out more.

More about The Great NHS Heist

How a nation was robbed of its most treasured possession

The British National Health Service (NHS) is one of the nation’s proudest achievements, lifting burden from the sick, replicated across the world. But it has been under sustained attack over decades by successive governments. 

Realising that privatisation would be unpopular, the Thatcher Government instead started a programme of outsourcing. This continued and expanded under the Blair New Labour Government and up to the present.

It required careful planning and a series of legal and structural changes spanning thirty years to bring it to the brink of American corporate capture; or as one former policy adviser put it: reduced to ‘a funding stream and a logo.’

A docile and complicit media have failed to hold power to account and inform the public about what is really happening to their NHS. Austerity and chaos over Brexit has provided perfect cover for the engineered failure of services, necessary to persuade the public to fall out of love with the NHS. NHS land, patient data and tax-funded budgets are all up for grabs.

How did we get here? This film reveals “The Great NHS Heist.”

Even if you only care about efficiency, the National Health Service should be preserved like a jewel” – Yanis Varoufakis

Documentary film. Running time 126 minutes.

Director: Drew McFadyen

Producer: Dr Bob Gill

Written by Dr Bob Gill & Drew McFadyen.

Narration by Peter Egan

Filmed in 4K UHD Post production carried out on 4K workflow and edited using BlackMagic Designs Davinci Resolve

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – the road to a car-free London needs to be traveled together

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) are causing quite a stir in Ealing. You are either for them or against them; there is no middle ground. During my campaigning, the thing people ask me about most is the LTNs.

Neighbours divided over LTNs, can the prospect of clean air and safer streets bring them back together?

As a Green Party candidate for the London Assembly, I am in an uncomfortable position. Yes, of course, I support the idea of LTNs. Imagine a street without any cars, where you can hear yourself think, where you can walk and cycle around safely, where you are not breathing in toxic fumes and particles, and where you know everything is being done to stop more carbon dioxide from going into our precious atmosphere. 

The issue of health inequality, however, cannot be ignored. The Green Party is a fierce defender of social justice. This is very much my colleague Rosamond Kissi-Debrah’s argument. We cannot have some streets all lovely and clean, with others experiencing more air pollution than ever before. Air pollution, in many cases, falls on lower-income neighbourhoods, people living in flats with no escaping the poor air quality. This is not acceptable. The Green Party’s main ambition is to make London green. But not just for some. For everyone. 

Make no mistake: the Greens know LTNs are needed. We need to cut our emissions and reduce our society’s dependency on cars as soon as possible to literally save lives. That will mean a change in habits for some. Change is hard, but with an understanding of the reasons why, and with a real say in what that change looks like, we will help communities to look forward together. The way we implement an LTN matters – the Green Party would not just place future LTNs in random places to meet a quota. To ensure that LTNs are placed in a socially just way, we would strategically plan their location and implementation for the benefit of all. Rather than standard superficial consultations, we would host independently facilitated deliberative processes for real collaborative decision-making.

We must at the same time organise alternative ways for people to get around to help them out of their cars. We want to implement reliable, accessible, and affordable public transport, safe and connected-up cycle paths, school streets, and smart road pricing to encourage alternative modes of transport. 

Either way, we cannot continue as we are. We cannot scrap LTNs and go back to how things were before. Those days are now officially over, whether we like it or not. We need to stop emitting carbon, and we need to stop air pollution. So what are we going to do?

The polarisation and aggression coming from conversations on LTNs and similar topics are unconstructive. We cannot scream and shout at each other; we need to listen to each other and work together. A community group is organising a fundraiser for legal fees to have a cycle path ripped out near me. It breaks my heart. Why can’t that energy go into something positive that will help us reduce our emissions and contribute to securing a safe and healthy future for London, our home?

What is needed is a coming together, whether we agree with each other or not. The climate and ecological emergency is here, the air pollution crisis is here; we need to put our differences aside and fix this. Sian Berry aims to make sure the power the London Greens win in City Hall is shared with the people of London, in as many ways as possible (London Green Party Manifesto 2021, page 102). This would include LTNs. 

Please help give her a chance to make this happen. Vote Green for your London Mayor, and vote Green for your London Assembly candidates.

The London Green Party 2021 Manifesto – The road to a green city

A couple of weeks ago, I joined Sian Berry, Caroline Russell and my fellow Green Party constituency candidates from all over London to formally introduce the world to the London Green Party 2021 Manifesto. A manifesto, in a nutshell, is a document explaining what a party is going to do when it is elected. In London, it would cover typical city issues like housing, transport, public health, safety, jobs, schools, parks, and green spaces. But a manifesto also talks about a party’s views on issues such as racism, women’s rights, LGBTIQA+ rights, climate change and biodiversity loss. It can also address how the city is currently run and how the party would change it. So there is a lot to cover in a manifesto. 

The London Green Party 2021 Manifesto is full of ideas and solutions that we urgently need to make London greener and fairer. 

So what are some of my highlights?

Climate and ecology at the heart of everything

My favourite thing about the manifesto is that climate change and protecting our natural environment are fully incorporated in all policies. They are at the heart of all our proposals. After decades of destruction and abuse, our natural world (which we are part of!) deserves to be centre stage in all decision making. For example, we will cancel all traffic inducing road schemes, including the Silvertown Road Tunnel, diverting the funding to clean transport and better streets (page 7 and page 32 of the 2021 Manifesto). We oppose all airport expansion in London. And for me, most crucially: We will ensure that every budget and decision in City Hall formally looks at the impact on climate and ecology. We will ensure that these assessments are upheld and decision-makers are held accountable (page 108). This, to me, is crucial. No more half-baked environmental impact assessments, no more greenwashing of developments. It has to be green; otherwise, it won’t happen. We would also guarantee protection for the Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land (like a Green Belt equivalent for inside London) – so no more threats of building on our vital green and wild spaces – see ‘Gold plate the Green Belt’, page 18.

Have a say about development

Are you also fed up with the wrong kind of developments going up all over London? Too expensive, too high, not carbon neutral, the list is endless. Meanwhile, council houses are so neglected that private developers are coming in to pull them down, putting up new constructions often at the cost of precious mature trees and existing residents’ quality of life. Sian Berry wants to set up a People’s Land Commission (page 59) so that people in local areas can make their own plans for new homes and buildings.

Active travel

Cycling and walking and of course good public transport are crucial to getting people out of their cars. Too many people are forced to drive and their journeys are congested and stressful. The manifesto is full of clever ideas to help people get around without resorting to cars, reducing stress, carbon emissions, air pollution, and obesity. We want pavements to be level and wide enough for social distancing, more pedestrian crossings, and ensure accessibility for people with wheeled mobility aids such as rollators and buggies, bus stop bypasses, and safe bike lanes (page 32). 

There are hundreds more great ideas to share with you – I really encourage you to download the manifesto, grab a cup of tea and have a look. It’s a lot, so you won’t get through it straight away, but why not look up some of the issues you are most concerned about and see what the London Greens have to say about it? I hope you will be as excited about our plans as I am.

Emily Grassi – Hobbayne Candidate

Candidate Introduction: Emily Grassi

Emily Grassi

I am standing as candidate of the Green Party for the ward of Hobbayne. 

I’ve been a member of the Green Party since 2017, joining shortly after moving to the UK. I joined the Green Party because it’s the only party that fully and consistently represents my moral and ethical values of climate and social justice, anti-racism, equity, international co-operation and freedom of movement.

I was born in Italy and raised by an Italian father and British mother. As a dual citizen, I am proudly European, and I feel fully represented by the Green Party’s clear position on Brexit. If elected I intend to honour this position by giving voice to all residents regardless of their country of origin, background, faith or gender. 

I work in museum education and public engagement, a sector I’m strongly passionate about. I believe in the crucial role of learning for providing both children and adults with the tools to make a real difference in their society. I believe in education as a lifelong process in which each one of us can improve themselves and grow in empathy and understanding towards people and nature. 

If chosen as the councillor for this ward, I would listen to what the residents need and want to change, and I would do my best to help them achieve this in line with my Green values. 

Your political voice is important, vote Green if like me you believe in a more just and sustainable society.

Meena Hans – Ealing Broadway Candidate

Candidate Introduction: Meena Hans

I am proud to stand as a candidate for the Green Party in the ward of Ealing Broadway.

I have been an active member of the Green Party since 2010 and have stood in local elections three times, as a parliamentary candidate twice and as the borough candidate for the London Assembly.

I am an adult education teacher and have been teaching in and around the borough for over 25 years.

I have lived in Ealing Broadway for eight years now, but I have lived in the borough of Ealing for most of my life. I grew up in Southall and have lived in various parts of the borough throughout my life, so am very familiar with the area and its needs.

If chosen as the councillor for this ward, I would listen to what the residents want changed and do my best to help them achieve this, as well as upholding my Green values of fighting air pollution, which in London kills around 10,000 people a year, fighting to keep our green spaces, which studies have proven are needed for our mental well-being and also help with lessening air pollution, fighting overdevelopment which puts a strain on the current infrastructure.

I believe any housing built should take into consideration the need for space inside and outside, as the mental well-being of people should be the most important factor when thinking of housing. Not the current view of packing in as many people as possible into tiny spaces.

I would also like to see more dedicated cycle lanes in the area, as many people do not cycle because they are afraid of being hit by other motorised vehicles or they cycle on the pavement which in turn puts pedestrians in danger.

Another issue I would like to see tackled is the cleanliness of the streets, or lack thereof! It is vital for streets to be cleaned more often than they currently are.

If you want someone with a positive outlook, who is willing to listen, work hard on your behalf and wants to make life in Ealing Broadway better for all its residents, vote Green.

Thank you!
Meena Hans

Dr Kate Crossland – Hanger Hill Candidate

Candidate Introduction: Dr Kate Crossland

Dr Kate Crossland
Dr Kate Crossland

I am standing as a Green Candidate to represent the ward I live in- Hanger Hill. 

I joined the Green Party because I felt frustrated that while we can all make personal ‘green’ choices, individual change is not enough. A sustainable choice needs to be made the easiest choice; and for that we need our communities, organisations, businesses and all levels of government to act together. Political change is necessary and I believe the Green party has within its members the experience and knowledge to do this most effectively. 

Change to protect the planet (and everything on it) from climate change and loss of biodiversity is not easy. There are difficult decisions to make, and these must be made in a just and fair way. The Green party have always had strong socially just policies- not only on traditional green issues- which make us a necessary part of driving the changes needed now. 

I bring transferable skills from both my day-job as a Palliative Care Doctor and from working voluntarily in my local community, as Chair of the Residents Association, and Chair of the Parent-Teacher Association. I have a particular interest in communication skills, a subject I teach to medical students.

I am honoured to have the privilege of standing for election again. I intend, along with other Green candidates, to keep Green issues firmly in voters and councillors minds. 

If elected, I will work with both councillors and council officers to keep the Climate Emergency at the centre of our local government’s decision making, while making sure of clear and open  communication to all. 

If not elected, I will continue trying to do this too!


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