09:00AM, Wednesday 17 July 2019
A charter calling for Government action over air quality has been backed by Slough Borough Council.
Oxford City Council has launched a Charter for Cleaner Air in partnership with Greenpeace UK and Friends of the Earth which urges the Government to prioritise the health of its communities.
It includes a 10-point list of demands such as banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars before its targeted 2040 deadline, providing greater investment in public transport and revising the tax regime to encourage people to use cleaner vehicles.
Members of the SBC cabinet met on Monday (Jul16) to discuss whether to sign up to the charter.
Cllr Rob Anderson, cabinet member for transport and environmental services, said: “While this is a call to Government to do something, one thing we do know is that pollutions knows no boundaries.
“We can do what we can with things in our control but we need there to be a national framework and greater clarity from the Government about what they want to achieve.”
He said the council had a responsibility to improve air quality locally and pointed to its new town centre headquarters which will be free of petrol and diesel cars.
Council leader James Swindlehurst told the meeting, held at St Martin’s Place, the council was ‘serious’ about improving air quality.
He said this was demonstrated by the council’s plan to draw up a five-point strategy to tackle climate change.
Cllr Anderson added: “While the charter calls for national leadership, we need to show local leadership as well and do our bit.
“Even if it’s a national issue that needs fixing, we need to play our part as well.”
Cabinet agreed to sign up to the charter.
The Express has approached the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs for comment.
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