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Wandsworth Citizens’ Assembly present their air quality recommendations

On 1st March we reported on the first meeting of the Wandsworth Citizens’ Assembly, a group made up of of 50 randomly selected residents, who met up for four entire Sundays to discuss air quality issue in the borough. Also at these meeting were a facilitating team from Shared Future, council staff and a range of guest speakers, referred to here as ‘commentators.’

After 30 hours of discussions across those Sunday, the assembly have come up with 53 recommendations to clean up the air, improve people’s health and tackle climate change. 

Rosamund Adoo Kissi-Debrah CBE speaks to the group

The recommendations were ranked according to how strongly the assembly felt about them, with migration to electric buses at the top of the list and incentivising behavior change second. 

The group also felt more should be done to make less polluting travel options e.g. bus or cycling the quickest option by increasing safety, speed and connectivity rather than making other options slower.

Three of the top ten recommendations concerned active travel, specifically: improving cycling infrastructure, improving safety for cyclists and pedestrians and businesses providing off street and secure bike storage for employees.

Members of the environment committee agreed to develop a full response to every recommendation in time for the next meeting of the committee in September. 

Many recommendations will be included in the Air Quality Action Plan, which is being updated and will also be discussed at the September meeting. 

Following Sunday’s discussions, Judi Gasser, cabinet member for the Environment, said: ‘Last night’s meeting was a real example of local participatory democracy in action. We welcome the Assembly’s recommendations and will look at the feasibility of each and every one.  

‘The people of Wandsworth deserve clean air, and we have set ambitious targets for reducing emissions and tackling climate change. The Citizens’ Assembly was part of our determination to ensure local people get the opportunity to help shape our response to the challenges we all face together.’ 

Read the report, see videos of the Citizens’ Assembly sessions and see the next steps at wandsworth.gov.uk/aqca

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