We had a busy 2017 campaigning for better air quality in Birmingham. We did a lot of raising awareness on stalls, replied to consultations, led a Clean Air Conga around the city centre, contacted councillors and ended the year with a meeting with Councillor John Cotton who is a member of the scrutiny Committee for Health, Wellbeing and the Environment.

Back in November, we held a pub quiz to raise money to buy air pollution testing kits. We started the year by putting up clean air testing kits around Birmingham, in locations where we think the air quality is poor and in areas where we think the air quality is better. This will enable us to identify factors which are causing the difference in air quality. We are replacing the air test kits after 8 weeks so we can measure the air quality over a longer period of time.

Following the meeting with Cllr Cotton in December, we have decided to take his offer of handing our petition to full council on our behalf. This will ensure we receive a response from the council. At the time of writing we haven’t confirmed when this will be.

We are planning to hold an event at the beginning of March to raise awareness of the poor air quality in Birmingham and why it is important to have an effective Clean Air Zone. There will be activities for people of all ages to get involved with and we are hoping to have gained lot more petition signatures which is calling on Birmingham City Council to:

  1. Implement an enforceable Birmingham wide Clean Air Zone by 2020.

  2. Ensure nitrogen dioxide levels meet or remain below EU limits everywhere in Birmingham, all of the time.

  3. Make certain that monitoring of all areas in Birmingham is regularly carried out and reported on and this information is publicly available.

This year we are hoping to build alliances with many groups and organisations across the city who will support our call for a sustainable, city wide clean air zone. This will strengthen the message that Birmingham needs to tackle it’s illegal levels of air pollution in a sustainable way.