Contact Officer: Tom Payne
This report provides the Committee with a summary of the work currently undertaken in order to fulfil our statutory duties in relation to local air quality.
The Chair invited visiting speakers Martin Heath and Martin Biermann from the Basingstoke Transition Network (BTN) to address the Committee and give a short presentation, their comments included:
1) Increase the level of monitoring
2) Build awareness of the issue
3) Encourage fewer journeys
4) Improve (not cut) bus services and public transport
5) Shift to walking and cycling
6) Encourage EV and low carbon transport
7) Use technology to reduce congestion
8) Ensure every planning decision is taken in light of the impact on air quality
The Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services and the Environment thanked the Basingstoke Transition Network for their presentation and introduced the report which provided the committee with a summary of the work that the council had currently undertaken in order to fulfil its statutory duties in relation to local air quality and ensure that it meets national standards.
She then invited the Regulatory Services Manager to comment further on the report.
He explained that following the concerns from BTN they had agreed new monitoring locations. He informed the committee that they had been in contact with Hampshire County Council in regards to work that they had been carried out with local schools such as the “my journey” initiative which promoted and raised awareness of air quality issues. The Council had recently gone out to consultation on the new taxi and private hire policy which sought to introduce an age limit on vehicles to ensure that they had met the new stricter emissions limits.
The committee asked questions to the Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services and the Environment and Officers which included:-
The Chair invited the committee to make any further comments which included:-
Resolved: The Committee:
1) Supports BTN’S identified eight areas of action and encourages Officers and the Portfolio holder to work with them and other organisations in order to implement these changes.
2) As a council we should continue to do everything within our power to promote cleaner air.
3) Notes that DEFRA has expressed concern regarding the A339 and officers had been in contact with them to determine which specific part of the road they were referring to in order to take any appropriate action.
4) Requests that Ward councillors be made aware of any air quality concerns within their ward.
5) Request that officers return in 12 months’ time in order to update the committee on the specific positive actions that the council has made in regard to air quality.