Oxford City Council has received over £200,000 of funding from the Government’s Air Quality Grant to support two new projects to further improve Oxford’s air quality.
The funding will enable the Council to create an air quality website in partnership with the district councils in Oxfordshire, and to run a citywide behaviour change campaign that will draw attention to the importance of the domestic combustion sector and how it contributes to air pollution levels in Oxford.
The Air Quality Grant helps councils to develop and implement air quality measures that benefit local communities and reduce the impact air pollution has on people’s health.
The Council has been awarded £162,500 to develop an air quality community website to help raise awareness of air pollution across Oxfordshire.
The project will work in partnership with neighbouring district councils – Cherwell, West Oxfordshire, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse, along with Oxfordshire County Council.
Once developed, the website will provide air quality evidence, information and advice in a simple and accessible manner to all Oxfordshire visitors and residents. The information provided will span a wide range of air quality subjects and will be tailored to and for different age groups and levels of expertise.
The delivery of this website is a part of the recent list of air quality actions outlined in the Council’s Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP). Adopted in January 2021, the AQAP outlines the steps the Council will take to improve air quality from 2021 to 2025.
In January the Council set its own voluntary target to cut emissions of harmful Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) to 30 µg/m3 by 2025. This goes beyond the current legal target set by the UK Government of 40 µg/m3. The website will support the Plan’s aims to improve air quality communication and messaging.
The City Council has also been awarded £45,000 to raise awareness of Particulate Matter (PM) and to get residents to reduce their pollution levels.
The campaign will aim to provide information on how residents can properly use open fires and wood-burning stoves and how to reduce the burning of incorrect fuel.
Both of the air quality projects funded by the government will support the reduction in air pollution and support the Council in working towards a cleaner, safer environment for its residents. This includes the delivery of the Council’s Air Quality Action Plan.
Councillor Tom Hayes, Oxford City Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, said: “We’re pleased to secure significant funding to make Oxford’s air cleaner through two new projects. I’m particularly pleased that we have received funding to address Particulate Matter to help residents to reduce their pollution levels.
“Air pollution weakens lungs and cuts short life and quality of life. To meet this public health imperative, the Council has become the first in the country to set a much tougher air quality target than the Government’s own. Oxford’s new air quality projects will strengthen and diversify the community campaign for cleaner air.”