Clean Air for Southall and Hayes! Stop the contaminated old gasworks polluting our kids!

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We live, work, or have friends or family, in Southall Green and Southall Broadway, two of the most deprived areas in England, in the south-western part of the London Borough of Ealing, and in Hayes in the London Borough of Hillingdon.

Separating these two parts of Southall, which is also known as 'Little India', is the former gas works site. Hayes is to the west and north-west. Now known as Southall Waterside, contaminated soil is being cleaned at an onsite soil 'hospital'. The soil contains known carcinogen benzene, as well as asbestos.

This cleaning process started in May 2017, and ever since, residents of Southall have been subjected to odour and air pollution on a daily and nightly basis, made much worse by the heatwave we are experiencing this summer.

Recently, even my three year old complained, 'What's that smell of burning? Daddy, I want some clean, fresh air! This isn't fresh air! This is stinky air!'

My son has been hospitalised three times with asthma. Both my wife and I suffer with asthma. I've had far too many days off sick from my work this year with chest infections and vomiting.

My neighbours complain of nausea, headaches, depression at being unable to open windows or sit in their gardens in the nice weather. Of being stifled in their own homes at night. Of waking up at 2am choking on the poisonous fumes, of continually having to close and open windows, constantly on edge.

All our many complaints to Ealing Council and Council Leader Julian Bell, Southall Waterside Site Director Damian Leydon and Berkeley Group Director Paul Vallone, Harvey Bradshaw of the Environment Agency, and to our MP Virendra Sharma, have fallen on deaf ears. Nothing is done, or if it is, it is completely ineffective in stopping the odour, and the pollution we are experiencing. 

We want Berkeley Group to implement effective odour and air pollution controls, and to stop work on the soil 'hospital' immediately until those measures can be properly put in place. Currently, the soil 'hospital' is not fully covered, and even though Berkeley Group recently installed many more odour suppressant units, they are completely ineffective at preventing odour or pollution.

We are subject to the stench of tarry, petrol-like fumes day in and day out, whichever way the wind is blowing. Ealing Council, Berkeley Group themselves, the Environment Agency, and our MPs all have the authority, power and influence to make this change happen.

If we are unsuccessful, Southall Waterside will continue to pollute the air our kids breathe, showing complete disrespect for the local community at the expense of the new community they are building next door.

It's time to stop this stink!



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