Labour launches air pollution campaign

Shadow Environment Secretary Maria Eagle MP criticises government and London Mayor for lack of ‘support’ for councils on implementing LEZs

Both the UK government and the London Mayor have offered local authorities “no support” for implementing low emission zones(LEZs)to help tackle air quality, according to Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary Maria Eagle MP.

Labour also criticised the government’s decision to consult last year on scrapping Local Air Quality Management legislation, claiming that doing so “would have made the problem worse and now they have no strategy”.

Labour's shadow environment secretary, Maria Eagle MP

Labour’s shadow environment secretary, Maria Eagle MP

In addition, the party highlighted the Healthy Air campaign group’s recent description of the government’s approach to air pollution as ‘designed to mask the true scale of England’s air quality crisis rather than make any real attempt to solve it’.

And, Labour voiced support for the London Assembly’s call for more London boroughs to be given the chance to opt-in to Boris Johnson’s proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone.

Ms Eagle was speaking alongside Sadiq Khan MP this week (September 10) at the official launch of Labour’s air quality campaign, which includes commitments to devolve responsibility and power for tackling air pollution to local authorities and to deliver a national framework for LEZs.

As part of the campaign launched this week, it is also understood Labour officials will be visiting several urban areas of the UK over the coming weeks to highlight air pollution and promote the party’s air quality campaign.

This follows on from Labour’s original announcement last month that it plans to deliver a national framework for LEZs to help councils tackle air pollution if the party wins the General Election next year (see story).

Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary will say: “Local Authorities in London and across the UK want to implement low emission zones but are being discouraged because there is no support from Number 10 or the Mayor. Labour will devolve the power, not just the responsibility, and support local authorities that want to tackle this public health crisis.”

Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow London Minister said: “The Mayor has no plan to tackle London’s air pollution and his decision to delay and weaken the London low emission zone has made things worse. If nothing changes London’s air will remain dangerously polluted for at least another 20 years and the health of thousands of children will be severely affected for the rest of their lives.”


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