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Air Pollution: Children

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 5th December 2018.

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Photo of Jim Fitzpatrick Jim Fitzpatrick Labour, Poplar and Limehouse

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to (a) commence and (b) allocate funding to schemes to reduce children's exposure to air pollution; and how much funding will be allocated to each project.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government has put in place a £3.5 billion plan to improve air quality and reduce harmful emissions, which includes £495 million for councils to improve air quality. We have consulted on our new world leading Clean Air Strategy, which includes new and ambitious goals, legislation, investment and policies which will help us to clean up our air faster and more effectively.These measures will improve air quality for people of all ages, including children.

Defra’s Air Quality Grant Programme provides funding to local authorities for projects in local communities to tackle air pollution and reduce emissions affecting schools, businesses and residents. Local authorities have a duty to monitor and assess air quality and to take action to reduce pollution where these breach statutory limits, and are best placed to determine local priorities.

The 2018/2019 scheme is underway and Defra will award at least £3 million to English local authorities that have one or more Air Quality Management Areas.

Whilst all measures which reduce air pollution will reduce children’s exposure to these harmful pollutants, some projects have elements that are specifically targeted at children. For example:

    • In 2016-17, the London Borough of Islington were awarded £50,000 to run a local school focused awareness and engagement campaign through the air quality grant.

    • In 2017/18, Spelthorne Borough Council were given £145,188 to run an awareness campaign in schools across Surrey.

Details of further funding from the Air Quality Grant Programme, including funding specifically directed at children can be found on the Air Quality Grant Programme webpage here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/air-quality-grant-programme.

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