26 November 2017
Air pollution is a growing problem in the overcrowded South East, and one that Chichester and Bognor residents are increasingly concerned about. Local Greens are running an ongoing campaign to put pressure on local councils to be more open about high pollution levels.
The government’s own figures show that Chichester and Bognor Regis have high levels of many of the individual air pollutants, such as Nitrous Oxide. The National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory can be viewed online as an interactive map showing pollutants for specific areas.
Sarah Sharp, Chichester City Councillor, has taken up the concerns of Chichester resident Jackie Cooper, who lives in Orchard Street near the city centre. As a nurse, Jackie knows about the impacts of air pollution on health, and is acutely aware that by letting the current situation continue we are stacking up problems for the NHS in years to come. Jackie says, ‘I have looked up the local figures, and I’m sad to say that in the Chichester District Council area, 419 people die as a result of air pollution, every year. I find this shocking and I have been campaigning locally to raise aware ness of this among my neighbours.’ Jackie adds, ‘People are frustrated that our local councils are not doing more to tackle this problem. In big cities they are having to introduce new measures, but here there seems to be no will.’
Jenny Cole, of Chichester Moves On, has been co-ordinating an air-monitoring exercise in Chichester and reports that along the A27 in particular near both Kingsham Primary school and Abbas Combe nursing home, pollution levels are unacceptably high.
It is important that our local councils take action to improve our air quality to reduce the impact on people’s health now. There is public support for Green Party policies aimed at reducing pollution, such as investment in more reliable and affordable bus services, and measures to reduce the number of cars and other vehicles in our town centre.
The next event in the campaign for cleaner air will take place in January. If you would like to join your local Green Party, please call the membership secretary on 01243 533393.
Campaigning about air pollution in Orchard Street