Funding secured to tackle air polluting particlesPublished Monday 4 April 2022
A successful joint-bid for funding will help two Councils raise awareness and tackle air pollution in Leicestershire.
Harborough District Council and North West Leicestershire District Council will use the funding, totalling just over £27,000, to improve knowledge of ‘particulate matter’ – the term for solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air – and raise awareness of its potential impact on health.
The funding, from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ Air Quality Grant Programme, will cover the cost of purchasing monitoring equipment to help understand local levels of particles in the air released through the burning of solid fuel or wood stoves, etc, which is more common in rural areas.
The authorities will also look to raise awareness of the potential impact burning solid fuel can have on health and the environment.
Cllr Jonathan Bateman (pictured), Harborough District Council’s Cabinet lead on air quality, said: “We know there is increasing public concern about particles in the air which can be inhaled, and we intend to use this funding to find out more about local levels, and encourage people to consider how they can help reduce it. Exposure to particulates can result in health issues, especially in vulnerable groups, such as the young, elderly and those with respiratory problems. This is a significant step in the right direction to tackling this issue now.”
The aim is to increase monitoring to provide data and information about local concentrations, how concentrations vary across the districts, and the impact of different sources such as solid fuel burners on air quality.
Councillor Andrew Woodman, NWLDC Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “Solid fuel burners are becoming increasingly popular, and are seen as a more natural way to produce heat for homes. It is important that we do look at the potential impact that burning solid fuel can have on people’s health, and the quality of the air we breathe. This joint project is a great way to share learning from both districts and will help to shape our approach to improving air quality where there are concerns.”
Find out more about what the Council is doing to improve air quality in the district at www.harborough.gov.uk/airquality
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