Solihull council asks residents for 'clean air pledges' amid criticism of its own record - The Solihull Observer

Solihull council asks residents for 'clean air pledges' amid criticism of its own record

Solihull Editorial 14th Jun, 2018 Updated: 14th Jun, 2018   0

SOLIHULL council has announced new initiatives to improve air quality in aid of Clean Air Day following criticism over its pollution record.

The council is encouraging residents to help minimise toxic emissions by following their own ‘personal pledge’.

But opponents say the council is not going far enough.

Personal pledges by residents could be anything from car sharing, walking to work or school, using public transport or leaving the car at home, the council says.

Clean Air Day – Thursday, June 21 – is a national campaign to help the public find out more about the issues surrounding air pollution and how they can make a difference.

As we reported, Solihull council was pinpointed as one of 33 local authorities in the UK set to break legal limits of air pollution in a High Court case in February.

Friends of the Earth found there were four sites in the borough predicted to be exceeding the legal limits for the toxic gas, Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2).

Two were located in Shirley, on the Stratford Road, the third was the junction between Damson Parkway and the Coventry Road and the fourth was located on the B4102 coming into Elmdon.

Cabinet member for adult social care and health, Karen Grinsell, has made a pledge to ‘share tips to cut air pollution’ with others. She said: “Clean Air Day is an opportunity to think about the positive changes we can all make to our daily routines to improve the air we breathe.

“So, on Clean Air Day why not try something that looks after your health and reduces pollution for everyone – like walking to work or school.”

A council press release says air pollution has an ‘impact on everyone living and working in the borough’ and can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and asthma attacks.

Children, older people and those with heart and respiratory conditions are particularly vulnerable to the effects of air pollution.

Cabinet Member for environment and housing, Tony Dicicco also made a pledge to ‘switch off his car engine whenever he can’.

But opposition Green councillor, Max McLoughlin said: “I’m heartened that the Conservatives on Solihull council are doing something on toxic air. It’s just a shame that it isn’t enough.

“If they were taking this issue seriously they would be committing to targets on recording and reducing pollution.

“Making it safer to cycle, cheaper and more convenient to use public transport and supporting parents and children walking to school are the best evidence based policies to tackle this problem.”

More tips on how people can get involved in Clean Air Day is available at

More information and council ‘pledge cards’ is also available at


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