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Feedback from Environmental Audit Committee

April 2010

Air Quality ReportIn a wide-ranging inquiry into Air Quality in the UK, the Environmental Audit Committee has called for increased support for local authorities to deliver improved air quality through the planning framework.

The Report, published on 22nd March, emphasised the serious health impacts and enormous costs of poor air quality – which may contribute to 50,000 premature deaths per year in the UK, more than passive smoking, traffic accidents or obesity. The Committee identified a key role for local authorities to develop “wide ranging strategies to reduce emissions” and “effective policies, closely linked to planning”. The Defra / LES Partnership ‘Planning Guidance’ was highlighted as a key reference document, with the LES Partnership being identified as an ideal forum to share best practice.

John Paterson, Chair of the LES Partnership Board said “It is very pleasing that the Committee has acknowledged that the LES Partnership has made a significant contribution to sharing best practice with Local Authorities.”

“We are encouraged that there is increasing support for the work of the Partnership. The Committee notes the importance of the role of local authorities in improving air quality and the increased need for corporate working across authorities. This reaffirms the principles underpinning the Partnership's activities for the past two years. We look forward to continuing support of Central Government in future years.”

The LES Partnership submitted written evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee. The summary report and all submissions are available to download here.

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