Trade union groups launch campaign for clean air in Tooting market halls

Battersea & Wandsworth Trades Union Council, along with the Trade Union Clean Air Network (TUCAN), have launched a campaign for an improvement in air quality in Tooting’s two markets halls.

As with many other such places, Broadway Market and Tooting Market – which sit next to each other on Tooting High Street – have been  transformed into thriving food halls which, given they were never designed for this use, is causing concerns about air quality.

Graham Petersen from BWTUC told us: ‘We’ve undertaken some air quality testing with the council and with had readings of up to 3,000 µg/m3. We’ve been trying to engage with the owners because something needs to be done but, while we’ve had a slightly better response from one than the other, they need to act faster.

‘One of the markets installed four ventilation systems but they’re rarely on as they are considered too noisy and they bring in cold air during the winter.’

As such, BWTUC, and TUCAN, formally launched a campaign for clean air in Tooting Markets with a photocall outside the market as part of the TUC Hearts Union week.

Wandsworth Council, who are the enforcement authority for public health and safety in the markets have been in contact with the owners of the markets to secure improvements in the air quality, while also handing out guidance leaflet to stall holders.

Graham again: ‘From our point of view, we’re concerned about the occupational health aspect of this, specifically for the stall holders and their employees who can be in that environment for five hours at a time.’

Councillor Jamie Colclough, LB Wandsworth Clean Air Champion said: ‘The markets in Tooting are a great retail and entertainment space. They provide jobs, opportunities for small independent businesses and have helped to put Tooting on the map as an important night-time attraction in South London. A good night out should also be a healthy night out, so Wandsworth Council has offered to work with the markets, looking to access grant money, to raise clean air standards, making this an even better place to work and play.’





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