Call for evidence on 'Air Quality Partners' to support local authorities

New approach aims to broaden the range of organisations responsible for improving air quality locally

The government has launched a call for evidence today (5 October) on which public bodies should be designated to become Air Quality Partners to help cut emissions.

This approach will ensure all relevant public bodies, not just local authorities, are playing their part in helping to reduce pollution at a local level, ensuring a better joined-up delivery.

Under the new approach, the Environment Secretary will have the power to designate Air Quality Partners which have some responsibility for sources of local pollution (such as a specific stretch of road or site that emits pollution). Air Quality Partners will be required to assist in developing and implementing an action plan to cut the pollution output.

The call for evidence asks for views as to which public authorities should be designated. A public authority may be relevant for designation where:

• It carries out duties of a public nature
• It is responsible for a source of local air pollution
• It is able to take certain actions to reduce local concentrations of pollution

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said:

"Local authorities are best placed to tackle certain issues at a local level, but we want to ensure they don’t shoulder the burden alone and that all relevant public bodies are pulling in the same direction to help clean up our air.

"I encourage all local authorities to provide their thoughts on which organisations we should designate under powers we are bringing in through the Environment Bill, to help reduce local pollution levels."

Through the Bill we aim to update the Local Air Quality Management Framework (LAQM) to broaden the range of organisations that play a role in improving local air quality across the country.

This call for evidence aims to harness the knowledge of local authorities to better shape how these plans are implemented ahead of a full consultation once the Environment Bill becomes law.

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Rebecca Pow MP