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Liberal Democrats demand a Clean Air Act

March 18, 2019 1:10 PM

The Liberal Democrats have today demanded the Conservative Government bring forward a Clean Air Act enshrining the legal right to unpolluted air.

The proposals, set out at the Liberal Democrat conference in York, are based on World Health Organisation guidelines and would be enforced by a new Air Quality Agency.

If successful, the Clean Air Act would also demand air pollution testing took place more widely and frequently, with warning signs displayed in pollution hotspots and sensitive areas, such as near schools.

Wera HobhouseSpeaking after the debate, Liberal Democrat Climate Change Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

"The Tories are just not taking air pollution seriously, despite current levels contributing to diabetes, dementia and heart disease - well as impacting children in the womb and the lungs of children at school.

"It is an absolutely disgraceful dereliction of duty. However, the way things are today are not the way they have to be. People deserve better, and the Liberal Democrats demand better.

"That is why we are calling for real action backed by the ambitious legislation we need to clean up our air and tackle this growing public health crisis."

Alexander Clifton-MelhuishSouthampton Lib Dem Environment Spokesperson Alexander Clifton-Melhuish added:

"According to the Council's own figures, 'over 100 deaths a year in Southampton are attributed to long-term exposure to air pollution', and that young children and the elderly - some of our most vulnerable residents - are affected the worst.

"Yet the Labour administration have time and again ignored opportunities to affect meaningful change to improve the situation.

"Southampton Liberal Democrats fully endorse the motion passed in York, and will apply pressure on the Labour-run City Council to step up and act to protect our environment, and the health and wellbeing of residents."