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New year, old failings on air pollution

Despite new figures showing London is one of the most polluted cities in the world, the Government is cutting the support it gives to local authorities to deal with the problem. 

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Since 2011 the Air Quality Grant has shrunk from £3m to just £500,000. Across the country, 77 projects were funded in 2011. Only 12 received funding this year - none of which were in Lambeth. 

The grant is spent by councils on intiatives like electric car charging points, air quality monitoring, education campaigns and cycling and green infrastructure. 

The Tory Government made a manifesto pledge to do more to tackle dirty air. However, the Supreme Court ordered it to publish an Air Quality Action Plan after EU standards on NO2 emmissions were breached for each of the last five years. 

Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite, Lambeth Cabinet Member for the Environment has written to the Secretary of State for the Environment to urge her to give local authorities the resources they need to improve air quality. 

Cllr Brathwaite said:

"London has breached its NO2 limit for the whole of 2016 after just eight days. We live in one of the most polluted cities in the world but instead of getting to grips with the problem, the Government has made things worse by slashing the Air Quality Grant.   

"The Mayoral election is a chance for a clean start. We want to see the new Mayor extend the Ultra Low Emmission Zone further sourth into Brixton and Streatham and introduce clean buses on all routes."  

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