Agenda item

Wiltshire Air Quality Strategy

    Report by Executive Director Alistair Cunningham OBE.





Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Public Health and Public Protection introduced the proposed Air Quality Strategy. It was explained the strategy was key to a healthy county and the implementation of the action plan by the Council and the community was central to success.


Cllr Ben Anderson, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection, highlighted air quality was good in Wiltshire, however there were eight areas in the county which were Air Quality Management Areas.


Cllr Smale, Chair of the Environment Select Committee, updated Scrutiny had considered the Strategy and made a number of recommendations, including requesting the measurement of small particulates for air quality.


John Carter, Head of Public Protection, confirmed technology could measure 2.5 particulates, however they could not be measured separately, and further equipment may be required if this was to be rolled out over the county.


Cllr Thorn expressed concern there was a lack of specifics in the report about targets to be achieved by the end of the Strategy, and how progress could be measured. The point was also made that air quality priorities could conflict with other priorities such as development. The councillor also advised investment was needed to support the local air quality groups. In response, Cllr Ben Anderson identified there was an action plan for each area and that monitoring reports would be made and reported to DEFRA. It was confirmed the council had a working relationship with transport groups to support air quality.


All Wiltshire councillors were invited to speak; it was commented that HGV and industrial pollution were key contributors to poor air quality and the government had responsibilities for monitoring industrial pollution. It was considered that planning road networks ahead would reduce HGV pollution. Following questions, it was noted that tree planting was supported in the Strategy and local councillors were encouraged to help support this in their areas. The point was made that to tackle air quality investment was needed to understand in detail the problems in each area.


It was confirmed the council’s intention was to forward-plan developments to include walking and cycling routes. A query was raised on paragraph 7 of the report which implied there were no pollution particulate problems in Calne and it was agreed the Cabinet member would review this prior to presenting the report to Full Council.  An explanation was provided of air quality measurements, including that where high levels were recorded, further measurement, using advanced technology was undertaken there. Cllr Ben Anderson confirmed he would work with Westbury Area Board to support established work to improve air quality in the town.




To note the draft Strategy and refer it to Council for final approval, subject to appropriate amendments to paragraph 7.


Reason for decision:


The Environment Act 1995 Part IV places a duty on Wiltshire Council to monitor and achieve the Air Quality Objectives contained in the National Air Quality Strategy and regulations. The strategy contributes to discharging this duty and improving air quality in Wiltshire.

To refresh the original Wiltshire strategy on how the council will work with other parties to improve air quality.



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