Cabinet member for environment commits to air quality improvement plans

14 January 2020

Thurrock Council's cabinet member for environment and sports and leisure, Cllr Aaron Watkins, has renewed his commitment to Thurrock's air quality agenda by announcing detailed air quality monitoring for 2020 to kick start a year of change to air quality and greener improvements.

The monitoring will include a modelling assessment to establish a new baseline of Thurrock's air quality. This will take place alongside a report to define the scope of the work and identify the necessary requirements of what needs to be carried out. The results of this will then form the foundation for updating the Air Quality and Healthier Thurrock strategy whilst considering new initiatives to help reduce pollution and improve air quality in areas identified by the report.

The plans are due to be presented to the council's Cleaner, Greener, Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee in February, followed by Cabinet, for final discussion.

Cllr Watkins said: "I previously announced that we are taking air quality improvements seriously and this is the first of many steps which are being undertaken to tackle and improve our air quality.

"The modelling assessment was last carried out in 2004 and much has changed both in the borough and through government policies during this time. This assessment will form a solid foundation of knowledge and help inform what measures need to be employed to influence air pollution.

"We are in the process of delivering a refreshed Air Quality and Healthier Thurrock strategy which will transform Thurrock’s air quality and push forward a cleaner and greener agenda.

"We will work with our businesses, partners and residents to ensure policies are deliverable and can both improve air quality and health."