Bristol Greens have condemned the Mayor of Bristol for his failure to meet a deadline to produce a Clean Air Plan. The plan was supposed to be written by the end of 2018 and Bristol Council was given until 21 February to respond.
The admission comes in a letter – seen by Greens – and sent by the Mayor to Secretary of State for the Environment.
Sandy Hore-Ruthven, Bristol’s Green Mayoral candidate, said:
“Clean Air is a right we all share as Bristolians. But this administration seems unable to take any bold action on the issues that matter most to the people of Bristol. The failure to meet a legal deadline on the Clean Air Zone is another example of avoiding difficult decisions that will leave our children clearing up the mess that our generation has made.’
Councillor Fi Hance said:
“The Mayor knows full well that the burden of air pollution falls most heavily on the poorest people in the city, yet he continues to take no action. This means that people are dying, and we fear that with the 2020 elections looming, the Mayor is increasingly nervous about taking any steps that restrict the movement of most polluting vehicles in the city. Bristolians from across the city are crying out, we need more clean air, not hot air, Mr Mayor”.
Councillor Martin Fodor said:
“It’s disappointing and frustrating that here in Bristol the administration is falling so far behind other comparable cities despite 300 local lives being shortened by illegal air quality every year. Other Labour-led cities have produced their plans and are now eligible for the government support on offer to get on with improving their air pollution. Yet in Bristol all we see is inaction. Lives are being blighted by ill health and early death and families who suffer the most and have the lowest car ownership are those who suffer most.”
Greens point out that it is over eight hundred days since Bristol City Council unanimously supported a Green Party motion in favour of a Clean Air zone. In that time some 700 people have had their life shortened as a result of poor air quality.