The Group to receive a report from Group Manager for Public Health and Regulatory Services providing details of actions taken to improve Air Quality in Cullompton and Crediton.
The Group had before it and NOTED a *report from the Group Manager for Public Health and Regulatory Services providing progress on the adopted Air Quality Action Plan for Crediton and the Cullompton Air Quality Management Areas.
He explained the legal framework and that it was statutory requirement for the Council to provide an action plan in Air Quality Management Areas. He informed the Group that there were various conflicts between two sets of Government policy and that air quality issues were the cause of 60,000 deaths a year which was on a par with smoking.
He explained to the Group the status of air quality across the district and that there had been a slight deterioration since 2018 which could be attributed to a change in weather patterns and had been replicated across the UK.
Members expressed concerns that although an action plan had been in place in Crediton for over a decade no practical action had appeared to have been taken by the Council and they asked about the likelihood of monies being used to combat the issues and identify measures which could make a difference.
The Group Manager for Public Health and Regulatory Services explained that key progress and improvements had been delivered in the Exeter Road area of Crediton but there had been challenges around heritage and traffic management and getting key partners on board but the Council was trying hard to find solutions for the High Street. A new approach to combine street scene enhancements with more innovative traffic management measures set out in the PJ Associates study led by the town council was likely to result in a series of new measures key stakeholders could support. He further explained that previous S106 contributions had been held back until these new solutions had been agreed and the Council was currently looking to see if there were some early wins once these had been fully evaluated, costed and prioritised. A key update for the Action Plan was being brought forward to 2020 to enable these specific measures to be properly incorporated and subsequently delivered.
He also informed the Group that new air quality monitors had been installed in Crediton and Cullompton and that there could be a possibility of situating these outside of schools in the future to monitor the air quality in those areas, with opportunities to work alongside teachers and pupils for additional educational benefit.
Members then discussed the air quality issues outside of schools and that it was difficult to encourage parents to stop using cars for the school runs.
In response to questions asked the officer explained that the Council worked closely with DCC on the local transport plan and where there were gaps in the strategic approach they were working to try and influence this.
He explained that if the public wanted to see a more interlinked public transport system which included greener links to the rail network then this would have more influence as part of the relevant towns Neighbourhood Plans.
Consideration was given to:
· Walking was better than travelling in cars
· A shuttle bus from Tiverton to Tiverton Parkway Station
· Cycle Lanes outside every school in the district
· A survey which suggested 70% of parents who drove to school lived within 1km
Note: *Report previously circulated and attached to the minutes