At the Full Council meeting of all councillors and the Mayor on the 14th November, I asked a question to the Mayor about the work that the council is doing on promoting air pollution and improving our data on it:
“Much has been said recently, including at the last Full Council, on the authority’s efforts to tackle air pollution in the city. One important component of this that hasn’t been explored as much is the need to improve public awareness of this important issue.
“Could the Mayor please outline what the council is doing to improve public awareness of air quality issues in the following areas:
“a) Making the public more aware that air pollution is a problem
b) Making the public more aware of how they contribute to air pollution and what they can do to reduce their contribution
c) Making data on air pollution more accessible and easier to use
d) Improving our data on air pollution, for instance by reviewing our monitoring locations”
The Mayor’s response was very encouraging, and made it clear that Bristol Labour is keeping to its manifesto pledge to review the location of air pollution monitors and to make the data more accessible. This is good progress, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of the improvements:
“We are reviewing our web offer on air quality and hope to use the council’s new open data platform to improve access to the public to the air quality data.
“We are partners in the UWE led ClairCity project which is engaging with citizens on air quality now. A simulation game and app will be launched in spring 2018 which will help citizens understand their impact and make better travel choices.
“We are bidding for government funding for an engagement and consultation programme around our work studying options for a Clean Air Action Plan. We hope to be notified of the outcome in early 2018.
“We review our monitoring sites at the end of each calendar year to ensure they comply with government guidance and are representative of the communities in which they are located. Resources are limited but we are confident that Bristol serves its citizens well in terms of monitoring coverage.
“We are investigating whether we can expand our diffusion tube network to cover more schools in the city. We believe this will help raise awareness and support efforts to tackle poor air quality that affects children’s health disproportionately.”