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LES e-Newsletter Issue 3 - 7th July 09
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Welcome to the third edition of the Low Emission Strategies (LES) e-Newsletter!

In this issue we have a profile piece on Jim Alford from Sefton Council, some interesting news updates and a report looking back at the seminar we held in May.

We are also delighted to announce that the LES Partnership will be co-hosting Care4Air’s fifth annual ‘A Clearer Future Conference’ in Sheffield this September. Care4Air is a South Yorkshire wide campaign, aimed at raising awareness of air quality issues. The annual conference is dedicated to facilitating the spread of best practice and to supporting the improvement of local authorities' performance.

I hope that you will be able to join us at the conference this year. More details about the programme and registration are in this newsletter, along with a case study competition to win 2 free places to the conference.

Rob PillingFinally we’d like to thank everyone who has subscribed to the newsletter – over 1,200 of you so far! We hope that this newsletter will give all you planners, developers and environmental practitioners an understanding of how LES can inform practice and policy where you are. As always we welcome your feedback so please do let us know if you have any ideas for future content or if there are any FAQs you’d like answering.

Rob Pilling - (LES Partnership, Programme Manager)

a clearer future conference

The 2009 ‘A Clearer Future Conference’, co-hosted by the LES Partnership, will take place on Thursday 17th September 2009 in Sheffield. The conference will examine practical policies and measures for reducing emissions from local transport - emphasising links between air quality and climate change and focusing on opportunities surrounding the use of low emission vehicles and fuels.

A full programme will be announced shortly, but topics will include: the use of Low Emission Strategies delivered via land use planning, local transport planning and procurement mechanisms; deployment of low emission fuels and technologies including development of bio-methane networks, and creation of a local electric infrastructure; funding mechanisms and national grant programmes for low emission technology; assessment tools and resources for use by local authorities; and progress on the development of a professional qualification for emissions management.

This national event is aimed at Environment, Air Quality and Climate Change Officers, Landuse and Transport Planners, Councillors, Senior Officers, and professionals with an interest in low emission transport. Registration costs £120.

More details are available on the Care4Air website

Care4Air Conference
case study competition

For a chance to win 2 free places to the conference, submit your case study to tell us how you have implemented low emissions strategies! We want to hear about recent examples of specific action you have taken which has resulted in clear outcomes. For a chance to win, all you need to do is summarise your case study in no more than 250 words, describing what was involved, what has been achieved, when the work took place and why you feel it demonstrates good practice. To enter click here.

feature - profile professional

Jim AlfordOur latest profile focuses on Jim Alford, Assistant Director, Regulatory Services within Planning and Economic Regeneration Department at Sefton Council. Jim has been at Beacon council Sefton since 1982, where relationships between Planners, Transport Planners and Air Quality Officers in Sefton have always been strong:

“The consistency of approach that comes from developing an low emission strategy will, I believe, make it easier for developers to understand why initiatives are being proposed and to participate in their development.”

Read more for Jim Alford’s response to our questions:

  • How have you used the LES model?
  • What are the benefits for a planner of taking this approach?
  • Any advice for colleagues in Planning who are keen to adopt LES?
les policy and practice seminar

Defra’s Martin Williams commended the work of the LES programme at a recent seminar at the Royal Horticultural Halls & Conference Centre, London. The LES Policy and Practice seminar brought together policy experts and practitioners to review progress being made within the partnership and to consider interactions and opportunities in relation to national policy and guidance.

Martin Williams, Head of Defra’s Atmospheric Quality and Industrial Pollution Programme, was the key-note speaker at the event. His presentation looked at Defra’s priority on air quality to ensure compliance with NO2 and PM objectives and in doing so to avoid potential infraction at European level. He also updated attendees on current national level review and action planning, which will form the basis of an application for derrogation of NO2 objectives until 2015.

John MurlisOther speakers from Sheffield, South Cambridgeshire and Oxford provided local case studies, illustrating the opportunities and challenges involved. LES programme manager Rob Pilling gave a presentation on low emission strategies in practice. Additional expert briefings covered planning policy, LES funding formulae, assessment of benefits and the deployment of low emission technology. The day came to a close with a panel discussion, chaired by Independent
Environment Strategy Advisor
John Murlis.

You can download all of the day’s presentations and view the seminar report here.


Van suppliers for Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme announced

The four British van suppliers who will provide the vehicles for the Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme (LCVPP) have now been announced.

The suppliers are: Ashwoods, low emission vehicle specialist in LPG conversions and hybrid vehicle conversions; Smith Electric Vehicles, the world's largest manufacturer of road-going commercial electric vehicles; Allied Vehicles, developer of the zero emission E7 taxi; and Modec, the world’s first manufacturer of purpose built zero emission vehicles.



DfT launch £1m Infrastructure Grant Programme

The Department for Transport (DfT) will re-launch the Infrastructure Grant Programme this summer. While the final details have yet to be published, it is thought that grant funding - totaling £1million over this year and next - will cover electric vehicle charging units and natural gas, biomethane and hydrogen refueling stations.

Applications for grant funding to help towards the costs of installing alternative fuelling points will be welcomed from late July. Cenex have been appointed to run the Infrastructure Grant Programme on behalf of the DfT.



Oxford City Centre Designated Low Emission Zone

Oxford City Centre is to be designated a Low Emission Zone for buses and coaches in an effort to improve air quality in the area.

Oxfordshire and Oxford City councils have just approved the proposals that will see all public service vehicles (PSVs) having to meet the Euro 5 emission standards by 31 December 2013. Euro 5 becomes mandatory for new PSVs from October this year. The city centre has been designated an Air Quality Management Area since 2001.

Roger Pitman, Oxford City Council, recently gave a presentation on the Oxford LEZ at the Investigation of Air Pollution Standing Conference - download it here

Dates for Your Diary

17th September
Care4Air/Low Emission Strategies Partnership Conference

Registration details here

For more information on any of these events please click here to email us


Can we afford Low Emission Strategies in the current economic climate?

Local authorities have a responsibility to ensure that developments avoid unacceptable impacts and help to enhance local sustainability and well being. This responsibility remains irrespective of the state of the economy. While Low Emission Strategies provide an essential tool for enhancing sustainability, it is unlikely that their requirements alone will be a determining factor for a developer in deciding whether to pursue a given development.

An equally important question relates to the overall affordability of the total conditions and obligations required to make an application acceptable (of which LES forms just a part). In recession it is important to be realistic about how much development can take place. A slow down is inevitable. Rolling back environmental standards will not change this. A more pragmatic response is for an authority to use the lull as a breathing space, to consolidate its low emissions approach and to put effective provision in place for when momentum returns.

Read more FAQs here

Contact Us

To find out more about the Partnership visit the website, or if you have any question, comments please click here to email us

You can also join our mailing list by visiting our website and entering your email address in the newsletter panel.





© 2009 Low Emission Strategies Partnership


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