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Let's have quieter, safer streets, say Enfield Greens

Text of an Enfield Green Party press release issued on 29 April 2018

Our streets were laid out to serve people on foot, cyclists and a few motor vehicles. But today the vehicles dominate residential streets. Cars in motion or idling pollute our air and make parents too fearful to let children walk or cycle to school.

“The health and wellbeing of people must come first” says Enfield Green Party co-chair Alex McRae. “Motor vehicles are part of modern life, but drivers should not be allowed to speed through residential streets to save a little travel time.”

The places where people live, shop and go to school should be low-traffic neighbourhoods. They often aren’t.

“Look at the streets south of the North Circular in Bowes ward,” says local resident and Green Party council candidate Liz Wright. “Brownlow, Warwick and adjacent roads see over 15,000 cars, vans and lorries every day. And it’s been like that for years. So we want the area between the North Circular, Bounds Green Road and Green Lanes to be a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) allowing traffic to go in and out but not through.”

Enfield Green Party developed the LTN plan following advice from members of Better Streets for Enfield. Its key features will be controls that allow people, buses and bikes, but not other motor vehicles, to pass through.

“In Waltham Forest LTNs have brought peace to dozens of streets and actually reduced total traffic. That’s what I want for Enfield,” says Liz. Enfield Green Party advocates the creation of LTNs to reduce traffic across the whole of Enfield, together with other measures to promote walking and cycling.

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Greens will restore London's lost youth services

sian berry youth services victory photoGreen Assembly Member Sian Berry has succeeded in starting to reverse the shocking cuts in funding of youth services in London

Research carried out by Green London Assembly member Sian Berry has revealed the shocking amount by which youth services in London have been cut since 2011 - the cumulative amount adds up to more than £145 million.

Sian has been instrumental in beginning to reverse these cuts.  In February she announced that she had succeeded in persuading Mayor Sadiq Khan to create a £45 million three-year fund to support youth services - see her celebratory Facebook post.

Enfield Greens are committed to restoring the necessary level of funding for youth services in the borough - in order to improve the health and happiness of future generations (not to mention improving the lives of their parents).

Sian's report into cuts in youth services

 londons lost youth services 1Click on the image to read the report

Main findings 2011/12 to 2017/18:

  • At least £39 million has been cut from council youth service budgets across London.
  • Overall, there has been a 44 per cent youth service budget cut, with the average council taking £1.5 million out of youth services over this time.
  • Across 25 councils with like-for-like data, 81 youth centres and major councilsupported youth projects have been cut.
  • Across 22 councils with like-for-like data, 800 youth service full-time posts have gone.
  • At least a further £1.2 million is being cut from 15 councils in 2018/19 budgets.
  • Since 2011, the cumulative amount not spent on services for young people in London is now more than £145 million.

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Building sustainable housing

Buildings last a long time. Many of us live in houses built well over 100 years ago. Many public buildings – eg schools, libraries, railway stations – have also existed for many decades.

When we build today we are building for the future; so we need to think about the future we are building for.

The future is always uncertain but one of the least uncertain things is this: Our climate, nationally and globally, will be warmer. Climate change is already causing floods, droughts and heatwaves. To avoid catastrophic change we must stop using fossil fuels and to make this tolerable we must use energy much more efficiently.

In the case of buildings that means adopting much higher standards for energy efficiency and insisting that new buildings comply with them. The second point is critical. Many studies have shown that most buildings – even those claiming ‘green’ credentials – perform less well in comfort and energy efficiency than expected. This is due both poor design and poor workmanship.

The solution is to build according to Passivhaus principles since, uniquely, passivhaus defines a design process, standards and an inspection regime. The key principles of Passivhaus are:

  • Insulation rather than heating.
  • Design to avoid thermal bridges (which remove heat and create cold spots)
  • High quality work to avoid draughts
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Recovery of heat from expelled air.

The results are impressive:

  • Many ‘Passivhauses’ get most of their space heating from domestic appliances and home computers.
  • A Passivhaus school in Wolverhampton is heated by a single, domestic size, gas boiler.

Enfield Green Party policy, adopted in 2012, is to

  • Require all new Council-funded buildings to use Passivhaus.
  • Make Passivhaus-equivalent performance (especially the requirement that space heating should need no more than 15 kWh/m2 pa) a planning approval condition for all new buildings. Developers who claim to achieve this performance without fully adopting passivhaus should be required to (1) demonstrate that their plans will achieve this, (2) pay for a post-occupancy energy audit and (3) pay the buyers’ compensation for any expected excess energy use over the first 30 years of occupancy. In estimating energy performance it should not be sufficient to rely on SAP2009 calculations.
  • Work with local developers and building professionals to ensure that they understand the new standards and how to achieve them. It may, in order to encourage the Greening of the local construction industry, be appropriate to subsidise some professional training.

In addition

Energy is not the only resource that is likely to become scarce. New housing should also conserve water by capturing rainwater and reusing grey water.

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Environment at the heart of Green policies

overflowing bins in belsize avenue n13

Enfield Green Party has been  surveying residents to find out what you think of local services. We know litter, fly-tipping and waste collections are a priority. We will improve waste services to make it easier for people to recycle, particularly in flats and shared housing. We will introduce more recycling bins in public places and encourage local businesses to adopt greener waste strategies.

Enfield Green Party has been
surveying residents to find out what
you think of local services. We
know litter, fly-tipping and waste
collections are a priority. We will
improve waste services to make it
easier for people to recycle,
particularly in flats and shared
housing. We will introduce more
recycling bins in public places and
encourage local businesses to
adopt greener waste strategies.

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Enfield Greens endorse the Better Streets for Enfield pledges

better streets for enfield logo

Enfield Green Party is delighted to confirm that we wholeheartedly endorse and support the Better Streets for Enfield 2018 Council Election campaign pledges.

Better Streets for Enfield calls on all local parties to commit to supporting the health and happiness of all residents by creating people-friendly streets in Enfield – where traffic is reduced, where people have priority over traffic, and where walking, cycling and public transport are safe, attractive options for everyone. We ask you to commit to:

  1. Completing the work of Cycle Enfield, to allow all-age, all-ability cycling throughout the borough
  2. Creating low-traffic neighbourhoods, to reduce traffic speed and volume where people live
  3. Submitting a high-quality and safe, “Liveable Neighbourhood” bid, based in an area with high potential for walking and cycling, that provides big wins for both and that takes major steps to prioritise people walking and cycling over private cars in the area during the course of your term.

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Safer streets for young people

Protecting youth services that reduce knife crime

more than 30 youth centres have closedSharp decreases in funding for youth services have been accompanied by increased occurrence of knife crimeBetween 2012 and 2017, council funding for youth services has been cut by 60% in Enfield, decreasing by over £2 million. Enfield Green Party would fight to reverse these cuts, ensuring more youth centres and services to keep children and young people safe. We would seek to tackle the causes and culture of knife crime, as has been done successfully in Scotland

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Enfield streets: For people, not cars

For years, residents all over Enfield have suffered from noise, congestion and air pollution due to too much through traffic. Enfield Green Party believes that streets are for people, not traffic. The space has to be shared but on residential streets residents should come first. Across Enfield, we are campaigning for measures which cut traffic, reduce air pollution, and which make our streets safer, cleaner and greener. We support the use of innovative traffic calming measures, which stop streets becoming ‘rat runs’. We favour low speed limits…

filtered residential streetEnfield Greens support new traffic reducing measures like those used in the borough of Waltham Forest, above (Photo  Paul Gasson)

We are campaigning for Western Bowes to become a Low Traffic Neighbourhood. New road features would allow cyclists and pedestrians, but not cars and other motor vehicles, to pass through these residential streets. This approach has been used very successfully in the London Borough of Waltham Forest, where it has civilised the streets and reduced total traffic.

Vote for Enfield Green Party in the May local elections and we will continue to campaign for the establishment of more liveable streets for all of Enfield. The measures we propose would benefit the whole of Enfield, setting an example of a transport policy that puts people first.

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