Protecting children from harmful vehicle emissions, House of Lords, 11 June 2019

"If the Government’s air quality plans and any new local powers are to be successful, they need to be underpinned by local flexibility and sufficient funding which needs to be addressed in the Spending Review. "


Key messages

  • Air pollution is a public health emergency and councils are determined to reduce the impact of harmful emissions on our communities in all its forms.
  • An estimated 4.2 million premature deaths globally are linked to ambient air pollution, mainly from heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections in children. Air pollution is the biggest environmental threat to health in the UK, with between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths a year attributed to long-term exposure.
  • Good air quality is vital for our health and quality of life, particularly for children. We need to be able to live in safe communities, and making sure the air we breathe is as free from pollution as possible is vital.
  • The Government’s clean air strategy is a welcome development and contains many actions that the LGA supports. However environmental protection work needs to be resourced and with councils facing a funding gap of £8 billion by 2025 any strategy that asks councils to do more will need resources attached to it.
  • If the Government’s air quality plans and any new local powers are to be successful, they need to be underpinned by local flexibility and sufficient funding which needs to be addressed in the Spending Review.
  • A holistic approach is needed across local, regional and national levels in order to reduce harmful emissions. Councils need local powers to tackle air pollution, particularly with regard to moving traffic offences. Government must also support councils on planning and transport matters, and introduce a robust national action to help the country transition to low-emission vehicles and power generation.

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Protecting children from harmful vehicle emissions, House of Lords, 11 June 2019