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Call for extra funding to tackle air pollution

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Extra resources and funding to tackle the health effects of air pollution are being called for by Adur and Worthing councillors.

The issue, described by experts as the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK, was discussed by members of Adur & Worthing Councils’ Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee last week.

Dozens of deaths each year in Adur and Worthing are attributed to air pollution – yet councillors were told no money from West Sussex County Council’s public health team was provided to tackle the issue.Dozens of deaths each year in Adur and Worthing are attributed to air pollution

In response, lead councillors from both Adur District and Worthing Borough Councils will write to their counterparts at County Hall to request for additional funding.

The discussion held by councillors in a public meeting at Worthing Town Hall last week focused on a background report which quoted experts who said “poor air quality is deemed to be the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK with a disproportionate burden borne by those in deprived areas”.

It referenced that 29,000 deaths a year are related to the topic – about 5.1 per cent of those in England. The levels in Adur (4.4 per cent) and Worthing (4.9 per cent) are both below this mark.

Councillors heard how there is no regulatory requirement for on the two councils to carry out continuous monitoring.

However, the two local authorities do take diffusion tube measurements at 23 sites in Adur and 39 in Worthing. There are also two automatic monitoring stations in place – one on the eastbound carriageway at Grove Lodge roundabout in Worthing, and another in Shoreham High Street.

Monitoring has shown there are three areas where Nitrogen Dioxide has exceeded the annual average, meaning they are now deemed Air Quality Management Areas. They are: Old Shoreham Road in Southwick; Shoreham High Street; and the A27 between Grove Lodge roundabout and Lyons Farm in Worthing.

Government officials have recommended the two Adur sites be dropped as recent Nitrogen Dioxide levels have been below the average. But, due to the amount of development planned in Shoreham, council officials have recommended the Shoreham High Street zone remains.

The report also notes the councils work through a county-wide partnership known as Sussex-air to determine a wider approach to reducing emissions and concentrations as per Government guidance.

To read the full report and see the agenda of the meeting, visit this link.