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City Region Leaders Join Calls For Government Action to Improve Air Quality

Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, and Nathalie Nicholas, the Combined Authority’s recently-appointed Deputy Portfolio Holder for Transport and Air Quality, are representing the city region at a National Clean Air Summit tomorrow (Wednesday, 20 June, 2018), convened by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

The summit will be attended by leaders representing around 20 million people from towns and cities in England and Wales, as well as Members of Parliament and the Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

Together, the cross-party leaders will urge government to take action to tackle poor air quality, including bringing forward a ban on sales of new pure diesel and petrol cars by 2030.

Currently poor air quality is estimated to contribute to more than 40,000 premature deaths across the country each year, with emissions from cars and vans estimated to cost £6bn annually to the NHS and society.

But research has shown that the phasing out of petrol and diesel vehicles would lead to a 30 per cent reduction in pollution in 2030, improving health, and potentially boosting the country’s economy by billions by making the UK a global leader in low-emission technology.

Speaking ahead of the summit, Steve Rotheram said: “Air pollution is no respecter of boundaries so it is vital that we have concerted action at a national level to effectively tackle an issue which has such an impact on our people’s health and quality of life.  In some parts of our city region, men can expect to die seven years earlier than the national average 

“At the same time it is vital that government gives us the tools to tackle specific issues in our local areas.”

Nathalie Nicholas, Deputy Portfolio Holder for Transport and Air Quality for the Combined Authority, and also Deputy Chair of Liverpool City Council’s Social Care and Health Select Committee, said: “By the government’s own admission, poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to the public’s health, contributing to respiratory and cardiovascular disease and, over the long-term, lung cancer. 

“It affects everyone but has a disproportionate effect on the old and the young, on those who are already sick and on our most deprived communities.

“We are in London today, joining our voice with those of communities around the country, to ask the government to take action nationally, and give us the tools locally, to help clean up our air and improve the lives of our residents.”

The leaders at the summit – including Mayors and city leaders covering Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Greater Manchester, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Oxford, Sheffield, Southampton and the West Midlands – will say that they want to play their part in an ambitious national plan for clean air that prioritises action to reduce road transport emissions, provides new powers to tackle other sources of pollution and creates a framework to support partnerships between local, regional and national Government and its agencies, including Highways England and businesses.

The national air quality summit is organised by the Mayor of London, UK100 and IPPR.

Breathe easy this week in Sefton!

In recognition of Breathe Easy Week (June 18-24) and Clean Air Day (June 21), leading health figures from Sefton Council, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG want residents to be aware of how air quality can affect respiratory health.

 It is important for people who live and work in Sefton to understand how their health can be affected by air pollution and the actions that can be taken to reduce exposure to harmful pollutants.

 In the short term, breathing air containing pollutant gases or microscopic particles can cause irritation to the nose and throat. Over time more serious health consequences can arise, especially for older people, children and those with existing  lung conditions, including asthma. 

 However, simple changes like opting for public transport, car-sharing and minimising the use of coal fires, wood-burning stoves and garden bonfires all add up to cleaner air. 

 Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“It is important for Sefton residents to be aware of the actions they can take to reduce their exposure to air pollution.

 “Car drivers can be exposed to twice as much air pollution as pedestrians and nine times more than cyclists and using quieter streets when you’re on a bike or on foot can lower your exposure to air pollution by 20%.

“By leaving the car at home and using alternative ways of travel you can reduce the impact of air pollution on your health and keep fit at the same time.”

Jenny Owen, respiratory programme lead for the CCGs, said:

“We all know that being able to breathe is vital, but sometimes pollution makes that more difficult, especially if you have conditions like asthma.

“We all have a part to play and making small changes could have long term benefits to both your health, and that of those in our community.

“All this week we’re going to be sharing hints and tips on our twitter channels on how to help reduce air pollution. Follow us at @NHSSSCCG and @NHSSFCCG.”

“If you have a chronic respiratory disease and feel like you may be affected, in the first instance visit your local pharmacist.

“They can offer tailored advice on taking extra measures such as stopping smoking and trying various breathing techniques to prevent further adverse effects and help you to better manage your condition.

”If you’re really concerned make an appointment to see your GP.”

New technology to make a splash in Sefton’s pools

Sefton Council’s new swimming programme has launched brand new technology that will allow swimmers to keep on top of their swimming progress.

 Swimmers in Bootle Leisure Centre, Dunes Splash World and Meadows Maghull can now use SWIMTAG to help monitor their swims.

 SWIMTAG allows users to keep a record of their swimming progress, helping them to keep a tab on their training progress with a single click.

 A small device that can be worn on the wrist or ankle will record swim performance and feed back to an online system where users can access their results including swim distance, pace and length count.

 All of this comes as part of Sefton’s new revamped swimming offer, made possible by grant funding from Sport England.

 The installation of high tech sound systems and lighting at the three centres has opened up a world of opportunities for the kind of pool sessions that can be offered in Sefton and now SWIMTAG is set to add even more to the growing offer.

 The SWIMTAG is free to those with a swim membership, or an extra £1 for casual swimmers.

 Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “The swimming offer in Sefton just keeps getting better. We want to show that we truly listened to the feedback we received from over 3,000 residents and are working hard to make swimming a sport that everyone can enjoy.

 “Swimming is a great way to keep fit and healthy and the new SWIMTAG technology will help swimmers improve their ability, train for an event or just meet personal goals. It’s wonderful to see this kind of thing available in Sefton!”

 For more information on SWIMTAG visit

Can you help keep Sefton’s air clean?

As part of its 2030 Vision, Sefton Council is committed to maintaining a clean, green and beautiful borough. This pledge encourages everybody to work together to keep Sefton clean and green, with a commitment to recycling, low pollution and better air quality.

 As part of this assurance, the Council has put an action plan in place to help minimise the impact of air pollution across the borough.

 However, there are also things that residents can do to help improve air quality in their area and in preparation for National Clean Air Day (June 21), the council is asking the public to pledge to make a small change to help reduce pollution. By undertaking these small changes, everybody can work together to keep Sefton’s air clean.

  1. Try alternative travel
    Did you know that 55% of car journeys are less than 5 miles? Many of these journeys could easily be walked, or made by bike or public transport. By reducing the number of journeys made using a car, you could make a real impact on the air quality in your area. Sefton Council’s Active Travel programme promotes different ways you can get around the borough. Find out more at
  2. Share your journey
    When two or more people share a car and travel together, it allows more people to benefit from the convenience of a car, shares travel costs and ultimately reduces congestion and air pollution. There are car sharing websites available online or you could consider starting a car sharing club in your work place.
  3. Become an eco-driver
    Many drivers pick up bad habits after years on the road, but making a few small changes will not only save you money in reduced fuel costs, but will also reduce emissions of air pollutants and impact on climate change. Small changes include reducing the use of air conditioning; avoiding unnecessary idling of your car engine; avoiding sharp acceleration and harsh braking; and shifting into a higher gear as soon as possible
  4. Change up your engine
    Consider purchasing a lower emissions, hybrid or electric vehicle. These vehicles are less damaging to the environment than those with diesel engines or with a high fuel consumption.
  5. Think about what you’re burning
    It’s not just vehicles that can be damaging to air quality, but things like burning garden waste and wood can also have a negative impact on air quality and public health. Burning garden waste is not only a nuisance to your neighbours but also releases pollutants into the atmosphere. While solid fuels such as wood, wood chips and pellets are renewable fuels with lower carbon dioxide emissions than gas, coal or electricity, they still emit pollutants like nitrogen oxide and particulates.

 Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“Air pollution can have a poor effect on public health, particularly for residents with existing lung conditions. For this reason, it is so important for us to all work together to make changes that can keep Sefton clean and green.”

 Cllr Paulette Lapin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, added:

“It’s easy for people to fall into habits like driving to the corner shop or leaving the engine on while waiting to pick up a friend, but it’s important to remember that these habits are having a detrimental effect on our environment. By making small changes to this behaviour and considering alternative ways of travel, the public can make a real difference to air quality across the borough.”

Park Nights return for May Half Term

Active Sefton’s successful Park Nights are set to return this May half term!

The free evening events are designed to give youngsters across the south of borough the chance to enjoy a host of free and fun activities.

Hosted at various locations throughout South Sefton, the early evening events aims to divert young people away from anti-social behaviour by encouraging them to take part in fun filled activities

Throughout the week (Tuesday May 29 – Friday June 1) youngsters can take part in a raft of free activities including street golf, ultimate frisby, climbing walls and more!

Park Nights is organised by Active Sefton and funded by the Merseyside Police Community Cash Back Fund.

Activities include:

  • Dodgeball and Games at Bowersdale Park (5-7pm) Tuesday May 29
  • Street Golf and Football at Kirkstone Park (6-8pm) on Tuesday May 29
  • Ultimate Frisbee and Games at Derby Park (5-7pm) on Wednesday May 30
  • Climbing Wall at Netherton Activity Centre (6-8pm) on Wednesday May 30
  • Street golf and Football at Crosby Coastal Park (5-7pm) on Thursday May 31
  • Ultimate Frisbee and Dodgeball at Kirkstone Park (5-7pm) on Thursday May 31
  • Street Golf and Football at North Park (5-7pm) on Friday June 1 

For more information contact the Active Sefton Team on 0151 288 6286.

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