Environmental groups in Brent are calling on their council to make a series of commitments to rebuild effectively as the Covid-19 pandemic eases.

Members of Brent Cycling Campaign, Brent Friends of the Earth, Divest Brent, Willesden Green Residents’ Association and Extinction Rebellion Brent launched a petition to Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, urging him to lead a ‘Build Back Better’ strategy.

The group have put forward a series of suggestions as to how the borough’s environment could be improved to better residents’ quality of life.

In the petition, it stated: “Having declared a climate emergency last July, we have to move with a greater sense of urgency to promote active travel, a healthy environment and clean air in Brent.

“We have the largest number of Covid-19 cases in London, reflecting health inequalities across income, ethnicity and race directly related to air pollution and passive travel, as well as poor employment conditions and overcrowded housing.

“Government-enforced austerity and legacies of racial and economic injustice are largely responsible for this situation, but Brent Council has the opportunity Build Back Better.”

It suggested a number of initiatives to support cycling in the borough, including more pop-up cycle lanes and cycle parking spaces.

Campaigns for ‘healthy streets’ between Wembley and Willesden Junction, as well as increased safety measures around schools were also encouraged.

And it wants to see the council push for decarbonisation through “new, well-paid, secure, unionised jobs, divesting the council’s pension fund from fossil fuel companies, and creating a policy of public procurement”.

The group added: “Many of these measures can be delivered immediately and most rapidly if the leader and (the council’s) cabinet show the political will and match best practice across London.”

Brent Council has previously spoken about the need to “change people’s habits” when it comes to cycling in the borough.

Cllr Shama Tatler, responsible for regeneration, property and planning at the council, said there are ambitions to double the amount of people cycling regularly in Brent.

She explained that this is more likely to be achieved if “our roads are safe, and they are ones that people want to go and cycle on”.

In March, the council approved plans that could see 38 additional bike hangars installed across the borough, which would provide 228 secure cycle spaces.

And councillors have previously said encouraging green, active travel is a “crucial part” of its post-lockdown recovery plan, including through bids for financial support from the Government and Transport for London.

Brent Council was contacted for a specific response to the petition.