Warrington Lib Dem News

Council rejects Lib Dem call for better air quality monitoring

10 Apr 2023
Lib Dem logo bird projected on blockwork

Our motion at the latest Council meeting asking for better monitoring of the town's air quality was rejected by the ruling Labour group, on the grounds that it would cost too much to buy more monitors.


Cllr Peter Walker, who proposed the motion, said: The 1995 Environment Act requires that Air Quality Management Areas are declared when air pollution exceeds Government limits. In Warrington, the Council only measures the pollutant nitrogen dioxide (NO2) comprehensively across the Town, and these measurements are used to designate the Areas.

The problem is that it is increasingly recognised that particulates, known as PM2.5 and PM10, are a potentially significant health hazard but these are only measured at two locations in the Town. NO2 pollution comes mainly from older diesel engines. Modern diesels produce far less and electric cars produce none al all, so NO2 pollution will reduce. Particulate pollution from vehicles, even electric powered, comes predominantly from brake, tyre and road wear and will continue to increase as the town's population increases.

It is important to know where in our Town particulate pollution exceeds Government limits so action can be taken. Our motion called upon the Council to implement more comprehensive measurements of particulate concentrations throughout Warrington and use these, as well as NO2, to identify Air Quality Management Areas.

Cllr Mark Browne

Cllr Mark Browne, who seconded the motion, said: We are very disappointed that the Labour group rejected our motion. They claimed it would be too expensive to buy the additional monitors that would be necessary. If more money came from central government, that would be most welcome, but our understanding is that lower cost monitors are now available which the Council should investigate. We are talking about the health of our residents and especially our children, so rejecting our proposal without looking at alternatives is wrong.

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