Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
Nottingham decides against Clean Air Zone
Nottingham City Council has claimed that existing measures already under way to improve air quality in Nottingham mean a Clean Air Zone is no longer being considered.
In July 2017, the government identified a number of local authorities, including Nottingham City Council, as having locations where concentrations of NO2 are above the average annual legal limit of 40µgm-3.
Sally Longford, Portfolio Holder for Energy and Environment at the Nottingham City Council, said that there wast a need for a Clean Air Zone because plans already in place would reduce air pollution to below the legal limit. This includes retrofitting 180 NCT buses with clean exhaust technology, requiring every taxi and private hire vehicle in the city to be low emission, and the council replacing its own heavy vehicles with electric or other low emission vehicles.
Longford said: “Results of air quality modelling showed these measures will have a significant effect in reducing emissions, bringing Nottingham into compliance by 2020. Although we considered a Class B Clean Air Zone – which would have affected HGVs, buses and taxis – the actions we’re taking will have a positive impact across the whole city, rather than just in one area.
“Our priority has always been the health of our citizens, rather than meeting government targets, and this hasn’t changed. Road vehicles are one of the largest contributors to air pollution, and it’s thanks to the council’s significant and sustained investment in green public transport, like the trams and low emission buses, that we are in a really strong position to be able to improve air quality.
“We have one of the UK’s largest all-electric park and ride fleets, an electric tram that carries more than 17 million people every year and NCT has the world’s largest fleet of low emission bio-gas buses. These measures have already gone a long way to achieving cleaner air in the city.”