Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

May Urged to Tackle Air Pollution 'Crisis' Council Leader Joins in Call for Action from Government

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

May Urged to Tackle Air Pollution 'Crisis' Council Leader Joins in Call for Action from Government

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Fuller Video Reporter mike.fuller@reachplc.com @mikefuller91

NEWCASTLE City Council leader Nick Forbes has signed a joint letter with 16 other city chiefs urging Theresa May to tackle the UK's "growing air pollution public health crisis".

Representatives from cities including Newcastle, London, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds have called for action from the Government.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it is committed to ensuring "we leave our environment in a better state than we found it".

The letter states: "Our country's polluted air is shortening lives, damaging our children's lungs, and severely impacting on the NHS as well as costing the economy in working days lost.

"Crucially, these consequences do not fall equally across our society but disproportionately affect the poorest and most vulnerable.

"As city leaders we are committed to playing our part in an ambitious national plan for clean air that prioritises action to reduce road transport emissions, provides new powers to tackle other sources of pollution and creates a framework to support partnerships between local, regional and national Government and its agencies.

"This plan must ensure that local action is adequately supported by activity across Government to tackle air pollution." Air pollution has been linked to tens of thousands of deaths in the UK each year.

Councillor Arlene Ainsley, cabinet member for transport and air quality at Newcastle City Council, said: "Air quality is a major public health issue that we need to address. We believe that there is more the Government can do to help local authorities across the country tackle this emerging public health crisis.

"The requirements they have put forward do not go far enough to protect people and communities from the dangers of pollution and also limits the effectiveness of local authorities, when there is no wider national approach to support local measures. …

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