Once again, Conservative Councillors at Winchester City Council have voted down a proposal from the Lib Dem group to have a tougher policy on air quality in the city.
I summed up on a proposal at today’s council meeting that it should be compulsory for all council proposals to report on the air quality impact of any action they recommend.
Under the Conservatives, again and again, the council has treated air quality as something that’s only done by the environment team. Other departments are left free to ignore it. It happened with Station Approach. It happened with the ‘pollution patio’ in St George’s Street. And the proposed new Parking Strategy doesn’t do enough. With 51 deaths a year in the Winchester district from air pollution, this can’t carry on.
It’s got to be impossible to ignore air quality in council plans – right across the council – as well as making sure that the Air Quality Action Plan due later this year does enough to tackle it. You can’t sort air quality in a silo. It’s got to be everyone’s business.
That’s what we proposed. And it’s deeply disappointing – although not surprising – that, once again, the Conservatives voted it down.”