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Air Pollution

Volume 710: debated on Thursday 10 March 2022

Air pollution is at a record low. However, we need to do more to protect the vulnerable, in particular, and drive cleaner air for all. Last year, more than £1 million was awarded to local authorities under the Department’s air quality grant for projects specifically aimed at children. Yesterday, we announced more than £11 million-worth of grants, across 40 local authorities, to improve air quality; several of these projects were focused on schools and their monitoring.

Vortex, a company in Swansea bay, manufactures high-quality, low-cost digital monitors—it has 500 across Hammersmith—which help to deliver local air quality schemes, with public support. Given that half a million children in schools are suffering from toxic levels of air pollution, will the Minister undertake to provide monitors across the country, to drive public opinion and better air quality, in accordance with World Health Organisation standards?

The hon. Gentleman is a very assiduous campaigner on this topic. Local authorities can choose to monitor outside schools, but it is often better to target resources at improving air quality generally. As I say, we gave £11.6 million yesterday, of which more than £1 million was also for education, following the coroner’s report on Ella Kissi-Debrah. I would, of course, be happy to meet the hon. Gentleman to discuss the issue further.