Jamie Hailstone 02 August 2017

Council apologises over air quality ‘manipulation’

Council apologises over air quality ‘manipulation’ image

Cheshire East Council has apologised after admitting its air quality figures were deliberately tampered with for three years.

In a statement, the local authority said ‘deliberate and systematic manipulation’ of the data from its air quality monitoring stations around the country took place between 2012 and 2014.

The statement follows an external investigation, after concerns were raised at cabinet last year.

According to the council, the investigation found incorrect air quality data was submitted to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which will need to be corrected.

It added the figures, which are known to have been altered, are ‘spread over a wide geographical area, which implies that the manipulation was not motivated by a wish to favour specific sites’.

And the local authority said the errors have also affected air quality assessments, which were carried out for planning applications in areas such as Nantwich, Congleton and Crewe.

‘On behalf of the council I would like to sincerely apologise in respect of these findings, we would like to assure everyone that we have done everything we can to rectify these failings,’ said the council’s director of planning and sustainable development, Sean Hannaby.

‘It is worth reiterating that in July 2016 the-then director of public health assured us that there are no immediate health protection measures needed as a result of these errors and I have been assured that this advice still stands.

‘We appreciate that it has been a year now since we first reported these concerns, but it was important that we ensured a thorough review and investigation into this important matter,’ added Mr Hannaby.

‘Significant work has been undertaken to ensure that there are now robust processes and procedures in place. The planning service is currently analysing the relevant planning applications to assess whether any additional mitigation measures are required.’

Highways jobs

Governance and Assurance Manager

North Yorkshire County Council
£38,813 to £42,683
Are you someone who is methodical in approach with an eye for detail? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Business Development Manager (Grow Yorkshire)

North Yorkshire County Council
£34,788 to £38,813 per annum
Do you have an enterprising approach to developing solutions? Are you an exceptional communicator? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Enterprise Partnership Officer (Infrastructure)

North Yorkshire County Council
£34,788 to £38,813 per annum
Are you an experienced Project Manager who is methodical in your approach with exceptional attention to detail? Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Project Lead - Housing Growth

North Yorkshire County Council
£38,813 to £42,683
Do you have a substantial understanding of the housing market and the housing planning system? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Communications Officer

North Yorkshire County Council
£29,636 to £32,029
Are you someone with excellent skills in communications and looking for your next challenge? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine