More toxic Greater #Manchester air looms. Silence from Andy Burnham…

So, months on from the world-changing “Green Summit” it turns out that the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, is not responding to legitimate questions from the Breath Clean Air Group (sent on the 24th June – see below).  What a surprise…   Below is a press release from them.


Trafford’s Breathe Clean Air Group has written an open letter to Greater Manchester
Mayor Andy Burnham, and the leaders of the 10 GM Councils, warning of the dangers
of BIOMASS heat and power systems and Energy from Waste (EfW) projects. The
warning comes as the Greater Manchester Combined Authority announced a £15
million European loan programme to subsidise renewable energy projects.
“When it’s recently been announced that Manchester’s air is more toxic than London’s
and Greater Manchester has just staged a Clean Air Day and about to stage a Green
Summit, it appears criminal that our leaders intend to pollute Greater Manchester’s air
even more with incinerated wood and waste emissions.” said Peter Kilvert, Chairman
of the Breathe Clean Air Group.
Although the European loan scheme will support different type of “renewable” energy
schemes, such as solar, wind and hydro projects, it will also include burning biomass
and burning waste. The European Union classifies Biomass schemes as “low carbon”
when in fact scientists have proven that burning wood produces much more carbon
dioxide than burning coal, therefore adding to Planet Earth’s global warming. Even
worse, burning biomass produces masses of tiny Particulate Matter that when breathed
in, can be absorbed into the bloodstream, poisoning the body’s organs. This can lead to
poor lung function, respiratory disease, heart attacks, strokes, cancer and dementia.
Children are at greater risk as their lungs have not fully developed.
Burning waste will also emit carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and a cocktail of
volatile chemicals similar to cigarette smoking. Public Health England has still not
released its report after four years, about how dangerous it is to live near an
incinerator. The Office of National Statistics has released statistics to show that infant
mortality is higher downwind of Incinerators.
It is possible that the European grant could be used for district heating schemes, and
for heating schools and blocks of flats. People and pupils in the vicinity of these
projects are at great risk.
“We want Andy Burnham to give the residents of Greater Manchester a pledge that
this new funding will not be provided for projects that produce toxic air and worsen
the already dangerous levels of air pollution,” said Mr Kilvert. “In fact, in the longer
term, we have asked for, and have been ignored so far, that Andy Burnham declares
Greater Manchester a Biomass Free Zone,” he added.



That letter – which was also sent to the ten leaders of Councils in Greater Manchester.  None of the eleven politicians has bothered to reply….



Chairman, Peter Kilvert, 17, Mount Drive, Urmston, Manchester, M41 9PY


To Andy Burnham,                                              Date: 24th June 2018

GM Mayor,


Churchgate House,

56, Oxford Street,


M1 6EU.


Dear Andy,


I am extremely disappointed that you can boast about the new European Regional Development Fund loan that the Greater Manchester Combine Authority will lend to Developers who will use it to provide BIOMASS burning heat and power schemes and Energy from Waste projects.

I know that you know that such schemes will emit airborne carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, Particulate Matter, Volatile Organic Compounds and heavy metals that will have a serious ill-health impact on the local population.

You have just run Greater Manchester Clean Air Day and will also run a Green Summit which recognises the already over-polluted air in the Greater Manchester Region. In fact recent reports say that Manchester’s air is now more polluted than London’s air.

I am appealing to you to pledge NOT to use this European fund for supporting Biomass schemes and Energy from Waste projects in Greater Manchester.

I also request that you declare Greater Manchester a BIOMASS FREE ZONE.

Yours sincerely

Peter Kilvert

Chairman, Breathe Clean Air Group



About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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1 Response to More toxic Greater #Manchester air looms. Silence from Andy Burnham…

  1. David Bishop says:

    The fact that 21 of our GM Labour MPs recently voted for a third runway at Heathrow should remind us (if we needed reminding!) that Labour has no real interest in the environment or environmental issues. It must really irritate them that they now have to pay lip-service to such issues. In my recent letter of protest, to my MP, over the Heathrow vote, I pointed out that the Saddleworth Moor fire may well be an ominous portent of things to come. I bet he skipped over that bit with a sneer on his lips.

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