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Labour council leaders launch campaign for clean air

LABOUR council leaders representing 20 million people in towns and cities across Britain launched a campaign for clean air today.

They said new legislation is needed to stop air pollution which is shortening people’s lives, damaging children’s health and increasing the burden on the NHS.

Seventeen Labour mayors in cities including Liverpool, Manchester and Bristol penned an open letter with London’s Sadiq Khan urging Theresa May to launch “an ambitious national plan for clean air.”

They want new clean air legislation, a vehicle renewal scheme to replace old vehicles that produce more pollution and funding for cities to invest in cleaner public transport, cycling and walking schemes.

Mr Khan warned that thousands across Britain are suffering because of “toxic air.”

He said: “We urgently need a new Clean Air and Environment Act and robust new powers and resources for cities to get to grips with local pollution.

“The only way we can rid our streets of the dirtiest diesel engines is by ministers introducing a targeted national vehicle renewal scheme.”

The letter warns: “Our country’s polluted air is shortening lives, damaging our children’s lungs and severely impacting on the NHS as well as costing the economy in working days lost.

“Crucially, these consequences do not fall equally across our society but disproportionately affect the poorest and most vulnerable.”

Liverpool Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham said: “Our most deprived communities, who already have to cope with multiple health problems, suffer most from the effects of polluted air.”

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