Westminster Conservatives unveil new clean air fund for primary schools

Conservative-run Westminster City Council has announced a new fund for primary schools to help tackle poor air quality across the borough.

The £1m Clean Air Fund has been launched by Council Leader, Cllr Nickie Aiken, and is the first of many new initiatives the Council will be announcing over the coming year.

Primaries can now apply to the Fund to create “no pollution zones” around their schools. These new zones will introduce a range of measures to help reduce harmful emissions in the air surrounding schools. These will include:

  • Planting pollution absorbing gardens and playground parklets
  • Consolidating of deliveries
  • Replacing of old boilers
  • Installing air filters
  • Banning the worse polluting vehicles from outside schools

As part of the Clean Air Fund application process, schools will receive an Air Quality Checklist providing advice and guidance on how best to tackle pollution in and around their buildings and playgrounds. It is hoped that from this checklist schools will be able to establish ideas to reduce pollution and then apply to the Fund to put the plans into practice.

The new Fund is being funded from the diesel surcharge Westminster introduced last year in Marylebone, which has seen an overall reduction of 14 per cent in the number of the most polluting vehicles entering the area.

Said Cllr Nickie Aiken: “Air quality is a major concern for our residents. We have some of the worse pollution in the country I am under no illusion the task we face, but we must do everything we can to ensure we improve the air we breathe. It is also imperative that we give our children the best start in life. Therefore, I am delighted that the first initiative in our new Conservative Council administration is to improve air quality around our primary schools.”

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