William Eichler 22 May 2018

Council chiefs call for ‘sufficient’ funding to implement clean air strategy

Council chiefs call for ‘sufficient’ funding to implement clean air strategy image

Local authority leaders have warned the Government’s air quality plans can only be successful if they are supported by ‘local flexibility and sufficient funding’.

Michael Gove will today launch Whitehall’s clean air strategy to tackle air pollution, including new powers for councils to help them improve air quality.

The environment secretary said the new strategy would halve the number of people living in locations where concentrations of particulate matter are above the World Health Organisation (WHO) guideline limit of 10 ug/m3 by 2025.

The Government will also introduce new primary legislation which, they said, would give local government new powers to improve air quality.

‘Air quality has improved significantly since 2010 but sixty years on from the historic Clean Air Act a clear truth remains — air pollution is making people ill, shortening lives and damaging our economy and environment,’ said Mr Gove.

‘This is why today we are launching this clean air strategy, backed up with new primary legislation. It sets out the comprehensive action required across all parts of government to improve air quality.’

The environment secretary estimated the new strategy would reduce the costs of air pollution by £1bn every year by 2020, rising to £2.5bn every year from 2030.

The Government today also launched a new tool to help local authorities estimate the economic impact of air pollution -- which contributes to 40,000 premature deaths every year -- in their area.

Past attempts by the Government to improve air quality have led to ministers facing legal cases over what were characterised as ‘inadequate’ plans to bring down the levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air.

Responding to the new strategy, Cllr Martin Tett, environment spokesman at the Local Government Association (LGA), said: ‘Councils recognise the impact that harmful emissions have on our communities and are determined to tackle it in all its forms.

‘If the Government’s air quality plans are to be successful, they not only need to be underpinned by local flexibility and sufficient funding but also accompanied by robust national action.

‘Good air quality is vital for our health and quality of life as well as the environment and we need to be able to live in safe communities and that includes making sure the air we breathe is as free from pollution as possible. 

‘It is also important that councils have the powers to further tackle air pollution, particularly with regard to clean air zones as well as expanded road and traffic measures.

‘If we’re to truly tackle air pollution, we need Government support to enable us to deliver effective local plans, and robust national action to help the country transition to low-emission vehicles and power generation.’

A commitment to civil debate image

A commitment to civil debate

Cllr Arooj Shah has been the target of recent threats and harassment. Leaders from all parties in Oldham have now come together to add their signature to a ‘politics, not personalities’ pledge, she explains.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Environmental Health/Environmental Protection Officer - Noise

Tower Hamlets London Borough Council
£41,607.00 - £44,598.00
This post attracts an essential car user allowance. The post holder is able to take part in the Council's flexible working scheme. Tower Hamlets, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tower Hamlets London Borough Council

Director of Financial Services (Deputy Section 151)

London Borough of Waltham Forest
£110,118 to £118,864
his is a great opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge that will lead to becoming a Section 151 Officer. Waltham Forest, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Waltham Forest

Director of Business Development

North Yorkshire County Council
50-60k + relocation allowance
We are looking for a dynamic and innovative person to help us deliver our ambitious new strategic objectives set out in... North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Strategic Service Manager - Bridgend Youth Justice Service

Bridgend County Borough Council
£44,863 - £45,859 per annum
An exciting opportunity has presented to lead Bridgend Youth Justice Service. Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)
Recuriter: Bridgend County Borough Council

Corporate Property Surveyor

Ashford Borough Council
£34,476 to £37,158 pa - plus Lease Car or Cash alternative of £2,080 pa
Ashford Borough Council has a long and proud record of driving high quality place making. Ashford, Kent
Recuriter: Ashford Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue