Min­is­ters told to get tougher on ‘dirty air’

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

BIRM­ING­HAM City Coun­cil leader Ian Ward has joined forces with 16 other may­ors and city lead­ers to call on the Govern­ment to take tougher ac­tion against air pol­lu­tion.

He signed a joint let­ter to Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May urg­ing her to pri­ori­tise ac­tion on dirty air and pro­vide fund­ing to tackle a “grow­ing air pol­lu­tion pub­lic health cri­sis”.

The let­ter calls for new leg­is­la­tion giv­ing coun­cils more pow­ers to reg­u­late taxi and pri­vate hire ser­vices. It calls for a “na­tional ve­hi­cle re­newal scheme” to help driv­ers and small busi­nesses, in­clud­ing taxi op­er­a­tors, re­place older ve­hi­cles with low-pol­lu­tion cars and vans.

It fol­lows warn­ings that air pol­lu­tion may be caus­ing the pre­ma­ture deaths of more than 1,000 peo­ple in the West Mid­lands each year.

Wood-fire stoves also blamed for re­leas­ing pol­lu­tion into the at­mos­phere.

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.”

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