Councils must “take their final chance” to bid for Air Quality funding

Enfield and Haringey Councils are being urged to “take their final chance” to bid for a share of £6 million of Mayoral funding to boost air quality in the borough. Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said that with air pollution leading to the premature deaths of over 9,000 Londoners each year, communities must “use all the tools at our disposal to clamp down on dangerous emissions”.

This third and final round of funding comes as part of the £20 million Mayor’s Air Quality Fund, which launched in 2013. A proportion of this was allocated in early 2016 to introduce measures to tackle air pollution across 28 London boroughs, such as electrifying vehicle fleets, rolling out low cost electric charging points and reducing the construction industry’s impact on air quality in the capital.

All councils in the capital are encouraged to bid for a portion of the £6 million funding pot to deliver more local car-free initiatives, pedestrianisation schemes and low emission neighbourhoods.

The Air Quality Fund forms part of a number of actions the Mayor is already taking to clean up London’s air, such as the implementation of the T-Charge and the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ).

Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM said:

“With air pollution contributing to the premature deaths of thousands of Londoners every year, it is fundamental that we use all the tools at our disposal to clamp down on dangerous emissions.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that children, and the most vulnerable members of our community, are being routinely exposed to toxic air.

“We have seen boroughs across London, including our own, already benefit from previous rounds of the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund, but there is still a lot more to be done if we are to effectively target pollution hotspots in our community.

“This is why I am urging Enfield and Haringey councils to take their final chance to bid for more of this vital funding, which could make a huge difference to the health of local people.”

Drop in women in Enfield & Haringey having cervical cancer screening

There has been a drop in the number of eligible women being screened for cervical cancer in Haringey according to the latest NHS data. Local London Assembly Member Joanne McCartney AM has described this as “a concerning move in the wrong direction.” She also said it was “further evidence that the NHS needs to be allocated more resources to effectively engage with women across our community.” Her remarks coincide with Cervical Screening Awareness Week which runs from Monday 11th to Sunday 17thJune.

Cervical screening looks for abnormal cells in the cervix that can develop into cancer.

The most recent statistics, which cover the period of March 2016-March 2017, show that there was a 1.7% decrease in the number of eligible women aged 25-64 years who were adequately screened in Haringey,compared to the previous year and a 1.5% decrease in Enfield.

This reflects the national trend where there has been a 0.7% reduction in screening coverage, down to 72%. The fall in coverage comes in spite of the fact that there was an increase in the number of women, totalling 4.45 million, invited to undertake a screening.

London has the lowest average rate of coverage in the country with only two thirds of eligible women having gone through the screening programme between 2016 and 2017. Ms McCartney AM said she was backing calls for the Mayor of London to consider how to further promote awareness of cervical screening in the capital.

Local London Assembly Member Joanne McCartney AM said:

“Cervical screenings save lives, and it is clear more must be done to encourage all eligible women to undertake them.

“It might be that the downward trend we are seeing in our local community, and across the capital, is due to our increasingly transient population, with less Londoners registering with a GP, or down to a lack of NHS resources.

“With the level of take up in London lagging behind the national average, it’s vital the Mayor takes action to address this serious health inequality. That’s why I’m backing calls for Sadiq Khan to look into how we can promote awareness of cervical screening in the capital.

“The Government must also do their part by looking at how screenings can be made more accessible and ensuring that adequate resources are in place to enable the NHS to reach more women.”

Local employers urged to put mental health on their agenda

Today on the 25th World Mental Health Day, Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, is calling on businesses to put mental health on their agenda. The theme of this year’s awareness event, set by the World Federation for Mental Health, is workplace wellbeing. Ms McCartney urged employers to take action to “tackle the culture of silence that all too often surrounds mental illness.”

To mark World Mental Health Day, the mental health campaign charity, Time to Change, is asking organisations to take extra steps to ensure employees experiencing mental illness are properly supported. Ms McCartney said with local people spending a significant amount of their time in the workplace “it’s a good place to start when it comes to talking about our mental wellbeing.”

Earlier this year the Mayor of London launched his Thrive LDN campaign, a city-wide initiative designed to improve mental health by supporting Londoners, and especially young Londoners, to lead healthier, happier lives. Bringing together experts from public and private organisations, the campaign aims to eradicate mental health stigma and discrimination and to make London a zero-suicide city.

Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

“Although there have been positive strides forward in recent years, there is still a long way to go in the fight for equality between mental health and physical health.

“With a significant proportion of our lives spent in the workplace it is a good place to start when it comes to talking about our mental wellbeing.

“I hope local employers will seize the opportunity World Mental Health Day provides to tackle the culture of silence that all too often still surrounds mental illness.”

Joanne Welcomes School Air Quality Audit

Welcoming the announcement that Lordship Lane Primary School, Holy Trinity CofE Primary School and Welbourne Primary School in Haringey and Bowes Primary School and Meridian Angel Primary School in Enfield will be included in the Mayor of London’s air quality audit, Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

“There is a lot of evidence showing that air quality can have a long-term detrimental impact on the health of our children. It’s great to see that the Mayor is taking genuine steps to tackle the impact of toxic air on children in Enfield & Haringey, and I hope this audit is just the start.

“I welcome further measures taken by the Mayor to clean up the capital’s air, including the introduction of the T-charge and plans to extend the Ultra-Low Emission Zone. We now need the government to follow his lead and take steps to tackle London’s toxic air, not least by introducing a new Clean Air Act and a diesel scrappage scheme.”

Thrive LDN welcomed in Enfield & Haringey

A new city-wide campaign designed to improve mental health across the capital has been welcomed by local Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney. Thrive LDN, launched by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, aims to support Londoners to lead healthier, happier lives. Ms McCartney, who is also the Deputy Mayor for Education and Childcare said support for young people was particularly important, and that all Londoners should remember that “it’s good to talk.”

The Thrive campaign sets out to maximise the potential of children and young people. Children in London are more likely to be admitted to hospital for a mental health condition compared to England as a whole, although the latest figures show this trend is starting to change. In Enfield & Haringey, the rate of admission is higher. Since 2010, an average of 99 children in Enfield and 108 children in Haringey per 100,000 have been hospitalised for a mental health condition. This compares with 92 per 100,000 across England.

The campaign brings together experts in voluntary, public and private organisations, clinicians and academics. Aside from the focus on children and young people, the campaign also aims to eradicate mental health stigma and discrimination and to make London a zero suicide city.

Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

“More than 2 million Londoners will experience mental health problems this year. If you are not one of those 2 million, you almost certainly know someone who is. However, often due to stigma, far too few of us talk about it or get the help we need and deserve.

“It is vital that children in particular have the language and the space to discuss and manage their mental health. At the moment, a child in Enfield & Haringey is more likely to be admitted to hospital with a mental health condition than elsewhere in England. That is something we need to change.

“I warmly welcome Mayor Khan’s decision to launch Thrive LDN. People in both Enfield & Haringey should look out for the events and advertising campaigns to come, but in the meantime we should all remember that it’s good to talk.”