Sheffield Green Party councillor calls for action over air quality ‘crisis’

Coun Brian Webster.
Coun Brian Webster.

Councillors hope an air quality summit will be a catalyst for action to tackle the ‘serious health crisis’ it is causing in Sheffield.

The conference will be held on Friday, October 17 – and is open for council staff, councillors and members of the public.

Coun Brian Webster, Green Party member for Broomhill, who put forward a motion to councillors, urging that air quality impacts are taken into account in every decision made by the council last week, said: “It should be considered in all decisions, because, for better or worse, every decision does affect air quality.

“I hope the conference gets people together to discuss it because it is a serious health crisis – it is a crisis worldwide, and certainly in the UK and Sheffield.

“We need to have a local solution to a local problem.”

The motion also noted reports that poor air quality causes 500 premature deaths a year in Sheffield and urged the council to implement its air quality action plan as soon as possible.

However, it was amended before it was approved, including the removal of the clause calling for the action plan to be put in place as soon as possible.

Coun Webster said the motion had been ‘watered down’.

He said: “A more decisive approach is necessary to improve health and save lives’.

The air quality conference will be in the Quaker Meeting House on St James’ Street in the city centre from 9.30am. Places are still available.