Call for air quality consultation extension

By Mark Whitehead and Dan Peters | 12 April 2023

A network of local leaders has called for the Government to extend its consultation on how councils in England can improve air quality beyond the local elections.

UK100 criticised the 'contemptibly short' 10-day consultation and the 'flimsy' air quality strategy.

Interim chief executive of UK100, Jason Torrance, said: 'After waiting so long for the strategy, it is incredible that the Government is giving local authorities, the public and other stakeholders just 10 days to respond.

'Action on one of the greatest environmental and public health threats of our time is urgent, but it needs to be taken with public consent and in collaboration with local leaders to be credible and effective.

'It’s unacceptable that local leaders have been left gasping for breath as they try to respond to a strategy conferring huge new responsibilities on local authorities during a pre-election period that restricts how they can respond. 

'The first thing ministers must do is extend the consultation period and do so beyond the local elections.

'The strategy itself is flimsy, its predecessor was almost 10 times as long and it lacks the key details our members need to determine how successful it will be in practice, considering it's putting the responsibility for addressing the Government’s air quality failings squarely on their shoulders.'

Environment minister Rebecca Pow said: ‘Building on the great strides made in tackling air pollution at a national level since 2010, this strategy will help councils to go further and faster to improve air quality for the benefit of their residents.’

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