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Government should act on air pollution

There was no money to address air pollution in the Chancellor’s budget but the government has to act soon. After a final warning from the European Commission, they have to produce an action plan by next month to ensure good air quality and safeguard public health.

The upfront approach by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has helped make air pollution front page news in 2017. Sheffield also needs to be open and honest about the dangers to our health and the urgent action required.

London already has Ultra-Low Emissions Zones and cities are waking up fast to massive pollution linked to diesel vehicles. The government has previously announced funding for Clean Air Zones in 5 cities from 2020, including Leeds, Nottingham and Derby. Sheffield needs to be lobbying the government hard for funded Clean Air Zones to be expanded – and for Sheffield to be added to the list.

The impact of austerity on council budgets means funding opportunities must be taken. Greens are pushing hard for the new Air Quality Plan Sheffield needs to reduce 500 early deaths a year and to reinforce funding bids. We must have basic plans in place and prioritise local actions to expect our fair share of any funding that becomes available. Sign the petition at www.change.org/p/sheffield-city-council-sheffield-needs-a-new-air-pollution-action-plan

Eamonn Ward
Sheffield Green Party

Topics: air pollution, Austerity, City Wide, Eamonn Ward, Featured, Letters to the press

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