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Clean Air Strategy 2019 - ADEPT comment

14 January 2019

Paula Hewitt, Chair of ADEPT’s Environment Board, said: “The Government must act now and seize the chance to turn its good intentions into clear leadership and firm action.
"Air pollution is not just a major health issue, it is a health inequality issue that has the biggest impact on children and on the people who live in our poorest communities. Air pollution is a national issue that crosses local boundaries; Government must provide proactive leadership and not just push responsibility to councils to come up with local solutions. Where councils in some of the worst affected areas are already required to make local plans, Government must be seen to support these and to ensure that other bodies – such as port authorities and transport agencies – play their part in improving air quality.
“As the UK prepares to leave the EU, we must ensure that there is no reduction in air quality legislation and standards. Government must ensure that its forthcoming Environment Bill includes a robust and ambitious approach to clean air. Any new powers and duties for councils must be fully funded. ADEPT is working with Defra to determine which level of local government should play the lead role. Government must also put its own house in order so that key planning and spending decisions made by central departments – including Transport, Housing and Defence – take account of the need to reduce air pollution.”