To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance, (copy enclosed).
The Council considered the report of the Director of Service Delivery presenting the Air Quality Action Plan 2020 – 2025 (AQAP) (attached as Appendix 1 to the report) for approval. It was noted that the AQAP set out the measures the Council was intending to take to improve air quality in the District between 2020 and 2025. A source apportionment study and further modelling studies were attached as Appendices 2 and 3 to the report.
The report provided detailed background information regarding the creation of the AQAP and Members were informed that the proposed plan had been approved by the Department for Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The AQAP also sought to address the requirements under part IV of the Environment Act 1995 whereby once an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) had been declared, as had been for Market Hill in 2018, a Local Authority must produce an AQAP. The report outlined the detailed consultation process that had been undertaken as part of these requirements and it was noted that any significant amendments to the AQAP would require further consultation.
The Leader of the Council thanked Tracy Farrell, Environmental Health Officer, Tim Savage from Chelmsford City Council and the Working Group for the enormous work they had done in relation to the AQMA. The Leader drew Members’ attention to the amendment to the Clean Air Zone as requested by DEFRA and advised this was not considered to be a significant change. He then handed over to the Environmental Health Officer who presented the report to the Council.
The Leader of the Council proposed that the Council adopt the Air Quality Action Plan 2020 / 2025 and move forward with the Essex County Council Transport Strategy. This proposal was duly seconded.
Councillor Mrs P A Channer referred to a typographical error within page (ii) of the AQAP, advising that Ward Member should be written with capital letters at the start of each word. She declared that she was the County Councillor for the division of Maldon and also thanked Officers for their work on the AQAP.
Councillor S P Nunn asked that it be Minuted that despite Market Hill being in his and Councillor C Mayes Ward they had only joined the Working Group at its last meeting (24 June 2020) and as such had limited input into the paper. He advised that both Ward Members continued to received feedback from residents and how it was important to have a clear communications strategy which targeted the residents of Market Hill.
Other Members of the Council expressed thanks to Officers and commented on the AQAP raising a number of points including:
· Tying the AQAP into the work being undertaken on Maldon High Street in response to COVID-19.
· A number of suggestions were made in relation to the Transport Strategy including park and ride sites and possible measures and improvements that could be brought forward in relation to Market Hill.
In response, the Environmental Health Officer reassured Members that there was a lot of ongoing monitoring taking place to support any further works required.
The Leader of Council thanked Members for their comments and advised that following the last meeting of the Working Group the Council was working to provide communications to all residents of Market Hill to keep them up to date and informed of all works on Market Hill.
The Chairman then put the proposal in the name of the Leader of the council and upon a vote being taken this was declared carried.
RESOVLED that the Air Quality Action Plan 2020 - 2025 (attached as Appendix 1 to the report) be adopted.