TapForMobile

Court rules Government must publish air quality plan


The UK Government has lost a court bid to delay publication of its air pollution strategy, and must now release it before the June election.

Mr Justice Garnham, ruling against the government, also told ministers to stick to his original deadline of 31 July to publish the final policy on tackling the air quality crisis - the same date specified in his original order in November 2016.

"I hope that after this appalling delay, this Government delivers a strong plan to finally get a grip on this issue and urgently introduces a diesel scrappage fund to rid our streets of the dirtiest cars, and provide financial incentives to encourage people to buy the cleanest vehicles", he said.

Seven years ago, Britain was told it was in breach of the legal limits of toxic gases such as nitrogen dioxide. "We're glad the court agrees that this decision is far too important to delay", said Gareth Redmond-King, head of energy and climate at WWF.

In the West Midlands 1,500 people a year die early as a result of exposure to pollution according to Public Health England - with levels in Birmingham City Centre especially high.

He said that Sue Gray, the Director General of the Cabinet Office's Ethics team had raised "serious concerns about the appropriateness of publishing this in the sensitive period" given the impending general and local elections'.

"The controversy is there and it is not going to be put on hold by not publishing this consultation document".

It argued that while the rule of purdah could be applied to the local elections, it was not in this case relevant to the General Election.


Representing the government, Mr Eadie QC said the application had been brought with considerable reluctance and was not "some sort of guise or demonstration of lack of commitment to improving air quality".

And Jenny Bates, a Friends of the Earth air pollution campaigner, said "protecting the nation's health has rightly been placed above political process", saying that "every delay in action costs lives".

The government could still appeal the ruling in the following weeks.

He added that the government's approach had been "far too leisurely" because ministers were in breach of the European Union air quality directive and the air quality crisis was a "matter of great urgency".

The judge agreed, asking the government could not offer a guarantee that delaying publication of the report would not impact how quickly air pollution reduction measures could be implemented.

"Toxic air left unchecked will lead to a rising tide of ill health for everyone, particularly those who are most vulnerable".

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, accused Government ministers of having "deliberately used the election as a smokescreen to hold back their plan", instead of taking immediate action to protect the health of the public.

Related Articles

  • Abbas to stop funding electricity in Hamas-run Gaza

    The PA has informed Israel that effective immediately, it will not pay for electricity to the Gaza Strip. They probably figure the world will blame Israel for the ensuing humanitarian crisis anyway, so all good.

    North Korea marks anniversary with massive artillery drill

    Completion of the review was "accelerated to have it done before Trump's summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping". However, some news reports say North Korea has identified the Australian city of Darwin as a target because U.S.
    FCC chief lays out attack on 'net neutrality' rules

    FCC chief lays out attack on 'net neutrality' rules

    The net neutrality rules gave the FCC power to go after companies for business practices that weren't explicitly banned as well. The chairman said the commission is also seeking comment on how to approach "the so-called bright-line rules adopted in 2015".
  • Google Home just became the flawless  sous-chef for your kitchen

    Google Home just became the flawless sous-chef for your kitchen

    Google Home has finally arrived in the United Kingdom , bringing a number of exciting new features to the connected home. This paves the way for a slew of new devices beyond the bounds of Google Home and select now supported Android devices.
    Red Sox-Yankees Postponed; Rescheduled As Day-Night Doubleheader On July 16

    Red Sox-Yankees Postponed; Rescheduled As Day-Night Doubleheader On July 16

    Chapman then walked Hanley Ramirez , putting the tying run on base and brining the winning run to the plate. It was the seventh blast of the season for Judge, who's hit them all in his last 13 games.
    Dustin Pedroia, Andrew Benintendi out of tonight's lineup

    Dustin Pedroia, Andrew Benintendi out of tonight's lineup

    In the eighth inning on Sunday with the Red Sox up 6-0, Barnes threw a pitch that went behind Machado's head and hit off his bat. Machado ended up making the last out of the game, hitting a popup on a pitch from Craig Kimbrel , who got his seventh save.
  • Pentagon watchdog probes Flynn payments

    That briefing also produced this incredible quote from Chaffetz regarding Flynn: "I see no data to support the notion that Gen. Spicer says the administration welcomes the inquiry announced Thursday by Maryland Democratic congressman Elijah Cummings.

    Dortmund stun Bayern Munich 3-2 in German Cup semi-final

    However, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leveled matters for Dortmund after 70 minutes after finishing off a well-worked move. "We started well but it is brutally hard to play attacking football and defend well against Bayern", said scorer Reus.
    Venezuelan forces use tear gas to block latest protest march

    Venezuelan forces use tear gas to block latest protest march

    Worldwide pressure on Venezuela to schedule delayed elections and free political activists now in detention has been steadily mounting.
  • DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince have announced reunion shows

    DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince have announced reunion shows

    Tickets for Livewire Festival go on sale at 10am on Tuesday 25 April. Sinitta, The Jacksons and Jason Donovan are also performing.
    Arkansas Set to Execute Another Inmate After Possible Botched Execution

    Arkansas Set to Execute Another Inmate After Possible Botched Execution

    He also issued a statement speaking about the execution of Williams and offered condolences to the victim's family. Arkansas has now executed three inmates of the eight cases it plans to conclude in less than a fortnight.
    Harry Styles sets weeklong 'Late Late Show' residency

    Harry Styles sets weeklong 'Late Late Show' residency

    Corden responds with "I think you know what I mean", insinuating that Styles might be tempted to invite over some lady friends. Beginning May 15, Styles will join Corden on his late-night talk show for an entire week.

Comments