Rebecca Hanson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Bootle, is horrified by the lack of action to address cancer rates around Bootle’s busiest road.
According to information held by Sefton Council, in 2014, cancer rates in Linacre ward were the highest in England at 45% above the national average, with the neighbouring Litherland ward being 33% above the national average. This compares with national statistics which show that in the UK’s areas of highest deprivation cancer rates are, on average, just 11% higher than the national figures. This means that by 2014, there were already 41 more cases of cancer per year than you would expect in areas of high deprivation in these two wards.
The A5036 runs through these areas. This busy road, often congested with heavy goods vehicles travelling to and from the port, is a key contributor to the poor air quality in this area. Residents within their own homes and school children playing outside their primary school just metres from this busy road are being forced to breathe in these toxic fumes on a daily basis.
And it’s not just cancer that’s the problem. This week NHS boss Simon Stevens has declared an air pollution “emergency”, drawing attention to the increases in strokes, heart attacks and asthma in areas of high pollution.
Rebecca said: “There are so many aspects of this situation that are truly horrifying. The most obvious is that there has been no proper monitoring of pollution levels despite the pleas of residents in the affected areas. Pollution monitors have been put in the wrong places and there are disturbing gaps in the data which makes the results meaningless. Last month I asked Highways England to put in proper pollution monitoring and I am delighted that they have committed to doing this.”
“Local political leaders should have been screaming about these pollution levels and demanding simple actions such as putting up screening to protect primary schools in the worst affected areas. They should have been incentivising drivers to move to lower polluting vehicles and to use public transport.”
“On local issues such a pollution, just as on national issues like Brexit, Labour absolutely refuse to support any way forward. Their inactivity on such important issues speaks volumes.”
Cllr Rebecca Hanson MA(Cantab) MEd. FCCT is the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidates for the Bootle Constituency. She is a highly respected Cumbria Country Councillor who now lives mainly in the Bootle Constituency. She has a proven track record of successfully campaigning on issues by ‘doing the maths’ and has lectured in statistics at Manchester Metropolitan University. She recently proposed a motion to make the whole of Cumbria Carbon neutral and gained cross-party support to ensure it passed.
Rebecca will be attending the demonstration by residents of the Church Road area at Park Hotel at 6:30 on Thursday 24th October 2019.
(1) Linacre ward cancer levels (p26)
(2) Litherland ward cancer levels (p26)
(3) Cancer rates in areas of high deprivation (% increase from 389.5 to 432.1)
(4) Air pollution emergency declared this week
Update: An earlier headline referred to “UK’s Highest Cancer Rates”. This has now been amended for accuracy.