Yesterday, I met with young campaigners from Monks Orchard Primary School who had just been to 10 Downing Street to hand in a petition about air pollution organised by the British Lung Foundation (BLF) and CleanSpace. The petition was started in response to research showing that 3,000 schools are located in areas deemed to be pollution hotspots by the World Health Organisation and that only 56% of councils are monitoring air quality outside of schools.
There is strong evidence that air pollution can have a negative effect on the development of the lungs and can lead to asthma and bronchitis in children. Clearly protecting the health of children couldn’t be more important. We need to ensure the air they breathe is safe. This is going to require collaborative effort by everyone from government and charities to local authorities and schools.
I am very proud that pupils from one of our local schools have taken an interest in this issue and on a personal level I will continue to champion on clean air for children across the country.