Protecting the environment is one of my key local priorities for Norwich, which is why I am pleased to share the following letter I have received from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs regarding the launch of the Air Quality Grant Scheme 2021-2022.
The Air Quality Grant Programme provides funding to local authorities to carry out projects in local communities to tackle air pollution. Nearly £70 million has been awarded through the Air Quality Grant since it was launched in 1997.
Local authorities can bid for a wide range of projects to improve air quality. Applications are encouraged for projects which reduce air pollutant exceedances, especially in those areas that are projected to remain in exceedance of the UK’s legal targets and projects that include measures to deal with particulate matter, which is the pollutant most harmful to human health.
The Government has put a £3.8 billion plan to improve air quality and provide cleaner transport, and a further £2.5 billion to support a number of cities improve their local transport systems through the Transforming Cities Fund.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said:
“This is part of the Government’s wider strategy to tackle air quality. Our landmark Environment Bill places a duty on us to set at least two air quality targets by October 2022, including an ambitious, legally-binding target to reduce fine particulate matter – the most damaging pollutant to human health.
“We know local authorities are best placed to address the issues they face in their areas. We look forward to receiving innovative ideas for ways to reduce emissions, help communities understand how they can limit their exposure to air pollution, and promote cleaner, greener alternatives.”
I have written to the local councils on behalf of constituents to encourage them to apply for the grant.
Locally in Norwich I have continued to work with councils on how we can deal with improving air quality together. I will continue to support many environmental measures locally and nationally. (you can see more here: https://www.chloesmith.org.uk/myplan/environment)