That the report be noted.
6.1 Dr Catherine Mbema (Director of Public Health) introduced a presentation (appended to the minutes) which set out the key issues relating to air quality in the borough as well as the process for developing, and consulting on, the action plan.
6.2 Dr Mbema, Dr Eliane S Foteu Madio (Air Quality Officer) and David Edwards (Environmental Health Manager) responded to questions from the Committee – the following key points were noted:
· The consultation was primarily carried out online due to the restrictions in place due to COVID-19. Officers would like to have done more face to face events.
· The level of response to the consultation was similar to those carried out by other councils.
· A number of responses from the low traffic neighbourhood consultation were also included in the air quality consultation.
· It was recognised that respondents to the consultation were not representative of Lewisham’s population.
· Further work would take place engaging with the community about the health impacts of poor air quality. It was intended that this would enable deeper engagement with a broader range of residents.
· Officers in environmental health and the climate resilience team worked closely together.
· There were challenges in sourcing and powering large electric vehicles for use by the Council. Work was taking place to lower emissions from the existing fleet.
· The numbers of new electric vehicle charging points that would be installed in the future would be depend on the available funding.
· The Council’s planning department used planning policy to improve the installation of electric vehicle charging points.
· The Greater London Authority set out the structure for air quality action plans across London.
· Work was taking place with officers in the parking team – who had responsibility for enforcing the Council’s anti-idling measures.
· Plans were in place to develop more monitoring options and techniques. The use of diffusion tubes for air quality monitoring was standard practice.
· Air quality champions had been recruited initially from parent groups. Work would take place to ensure that champions were from as wide a range of residents as possible.
· Further work would take place to engage young people with the implementation of the strategy.
· The targets in the action plan were limited by the availability of resources.
· The report would be amended to clarify the priority of measures in the report.
· The use of public transport/active travel would be made prominent in the engagement carried out with residents during the implementation of the strategy.
6.3 In Committee discussions the following key points were also noted:
· The Committee would welcome additional information about the expansion of monitoring in the borough. Members recommended that additional monitoring should be carried out at identified hot spots. It was noted that this information would be incorporated in the annual monitoring report for the strategy.
· An easy read version of the strategy would be welcomed – as would additional easy access information about the measures that residents could take to improve air quality.
6.4 Councillor Louise Krupski (Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate) addressed the Committee – highlighting some of the past work that had taken place on air quality campaigns in the borough. She noted that the work had been side tracked by the pandemic but that there would be a renewed energy in working on these initiatives in the coming years.
6.5 Resolved: that the report be noted.