AIR quality was top of the agenda at the recent Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting (Thursday 12 October).
Councillors discussed an update on the Air Quality and Health Strategy, which was agreed in December 2016.
While the statistics from the Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) report annually and therefore won’t be available until January, action has already been taken to tackle air quality concerns in Thurrock.
As part of the South Essex Active Travel programme, the council has been working with Amazon to provide personalised sustainable travel plans for all those offered a job at their new development in Tilbury. The company predicts that 50% of its workforce will use sustainable travel.
The report also highlights what action the council is taking in relation to air quality issues likely to result from Lower Thames Crossing. The action by the council and the data gathered by the AQMAs will be part of the evidence base when responding to Highways England.
Chair of the Committee, Cllr Roy Jones, said: “Air pollution is a worry for the residents of Thurrock.
“With lots of cause of concern about the effects of poor air quality, we have tonight scrutinised the report and we remain sceptical that the data from Highways England that informs these reports is accurate.
“The ambitions for a healthier Thurrock future must continue, especially given the effort the Council is putting in with working with schools and educating the public, along with the additional considerations in terms of planning and regeneration which is impressive – but unless we have the hard facts then I’m concerned we will not be able to realise those ambitions.”
For air quality reports and information, visit thurrock.gov.uk/air-quality