Greens are calling for an urgent new air pollution plan in a motion to council on April 5th as part of their Let Sheffield Breathe! campaign. More than 1150 people have signed a petition supporting this which will also be presented. Key demands are Clean Air Zones to restrict access to the most polluting vehicles and issuing public health warnings when air pollution is at dangerous levels.
Cllr Douglas Johnson comments:
“Sheffield needs to be open and informative about the air pollution crisis like Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, is being. We should use air pollution data to issue health warnings when needed so people with asthma and other respiratory conditions can make informed health decisions. And we urgently need to implement a Clean Air Zone for the worst affected parts of Sheffield to protect people’s health.
Council lobbying and funding bids need to be backed by a new air pollution plan. The 2012 plan set objectives for 2015 but has failed to achieve it’s goal of preventing 500 premature deaths a year. If we are to draw in the outside funding needed, the council must show full commitment or our bids won’t be successful.
A recent national You Gov poll showed 3 in 4 people support Clean Air Zones. All those who completed our Sheffield air pollution survey thought it “important” or “essential” that we have clean, unpolluted air while 98% supported council public health warnings. One in two believed air pollution has affected their family’s health.
I welcome the recent Cabinet approval of a Public Health Strategy that will consider health, wellbeing and inequalities across all council decisions. I hope councillors will put this into practice by supporting our motion. Air pollution damages vulnerable people in many communities – the Tinsley area next to the M1 may be worst affected. Urgent action is needed to help those people and tackle this public health crisis”.
The council motion text is at http://democracy.sheffield.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=154&MId=6358&Ver=4
The petition to be submitted is at https://www.change.org/p/sheffield-city-council-sheffield-needs-a-new-air-pollution-action-plan
The survey is at: http://sheffieldgreenparty.org.uk/issues/airpollution/