On 12 November 2019, cabinet approved an action plan which outlines what will be done to improve air quality in Kirklees up to March 2024, Cllr Naheed Mather, cabinet member for Greener Kirklees outlines what these plans involve.
Climate change is already happening and action to address it is now an emergency.
Cases of extreme weather such as heatwaves and rainfall are having consequences already in Kirklees with issues such as moorland fires and flooding, in particular, affecting the region.
It’s not too late to prevent some of the very worst effects of climate change but we must act now and that’s why we put actions in phase one of our plan which will make a significant and immediate impact.
We will then work on delivering phase two of our plan which will set out our long-term strategy to make Kirklees a carbon-neutral district by at least 2038.
This plan gives us the platform we need to build on but in order for us to make real change and for Kirklees to become carbon neutral, we all have a role to play. We can only do this with everyone on-board so I urge people to read our plan and think about what you can do to improve our climate.
Kirklees Council has produced an innovative plan to reduce air pollution across the borough – supporting its ambitious vision to tackle climate change.
On 12 November 2019 cabinet approved an action plan which outlines what will be done to improve air quality in Kirklees up to March 2024.
Air pollution is associated with a number of serious health impacts – it is recognised as a contributing factor in the onset of heart disease and cancer. It particularly affects the most vulnerable in society such as children and older people and those with heart and lung conditions.
The Kirklees Air Quality Action Plan aims to address this. The new plan will see Kirklees install up to 17 rapid electric vehicle charge points as part of a larger West Yorkshire project.
Kirklees will also continue its planning policy which requires all new build homes to have electric vehicle charge points installed. This will soon be a national requirement but Kirklees was one of the first councils in the country to introduce it.
New air quality monitoring equipment will be used outside schools to gather evidence of the harmful effects waiting vehicles can have. The council will work with and listen to young people to understand their views on how to prevent air pollution and the climate emergency. They will also be supported to travel to school in the most sustainable and suitable way possible for them. Resources will be created for schools to tackle this problem and the council will take advantage of any change in the law to use enforcement powers to address it.
The council will be working with the University of Huddersfield, companies based in the 3M Buckley Building and traffic management infrastructure suppliers to develop innovative traffic management technologies. This will improve congestion and air quality across Kirklees.
Cllr Naheed Mather, cabinet member for Greener Kirklees, says: ‘Clean air is one of the most basic requirements of a healthy environment. We have made great improvements in recent years in tackling air pollution in Kirklees but there is much more that we need to do – as a council, with our partners and as individuals. This strategy sets out how we can do this together.
‘It is our vision to ensure that children have the best start in life and that our residents are as well as possible for as long as possible. Crucial to this is creating a clean and green environment.’