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Sandwell moves to tackle climate change issues

By Deborah Hardiman | Sandwell | Education | Published:

Car sharing, travel plans for businesses, hospitals and schools are among some of the suggestions for tackling climate change in Sandwell.

Dr Alsion Knight with Honor Cartwright, 13, Willow Ferrer 13, and Lewis Jones, 14,

Residents old and young can air their views on pollution and weather issues affecting communities.

An eight-week consultation on air quality in Sandwell was launched this week and householders across the borough are being asked to comment on how emissions from traffic, businesses and homes can be reduced.

Suggestions so far include car sharing and travel plans for businesses, hospitals and schools.

Chiefs want the borough to have zero carbon dioxide fuel emissions within 20 years.

Sandwell's cabinet member for resources Councillor Wasim Ali said: “We are very serious about improving air quality in Sandwell as it’s important to our residents’ health. We are committed to reducing people’s exposure to poor quality air and to improve health levels in the borough.

“We’re looking forward to hearing people’s views which will help us plan how we can lower emissions in Sandwell by 2041."

He added that climate change had been identified by the World Health Organisation as the number one priority for public health this century, so the ‘do nothing’ option was not sustainable.

And the council said that the planned major improvements to Birchley Island at Junction two of the M5 and the Wednesbury-Brierley Hill Midland Metro line would bring substantial improvement to the environment.

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The public consultation will take place today from 5pm to 6.30pm at Ferndale Primary School, in Ferndale Avenue, Great Barr, B43 5QF.

The council has set up a special Climate Change Working Group to improve emissions of 4.6 tonnes per person in Sandwell, which has been falling in recent years which is still above the regional average. Officers have also been working on ways to promote better public transport, walking, cycling and to encourage residents to switch to low or zero emission cars.

The consultation was launched at St Michael’s CE High School, in Rowley Regis, where pupils took part in a discussion about tackling climate change and poor air quality in Sandwell in a session led by the council's executive neighbourhood director Dr Alison Knight.

Throughout the eight-week consultation period participants will be able to fill in an online survey and attending meetings in each of the six towns.

Further dates will be announced soon. Fill in the survey via website www.sandwell.gov.uk/climatechange

Dr Knight is pictured with Honor Cartwright, 13, Willow Ferrer 13, and Lewis Jones, 14, of the school, in Curral Road.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman
@Deborahh_Star

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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