Council plants more trees to improve air quality

Tree planting was organised by a temple to support the health and wellbeing of the community.

Cabinet members: Cllr Suzanne Hartwell, Cllr Iqbal Padda, Leader Cllr Kerrie Carmichael, Cllr Bob Piper and Cllr Zahoor Ahmed.
Cabinet members: Cllr Suzanne Hartwell, Cllr Iqbal Padda, Leader Cllr Kerrie Carmichael, Cllr Bob Piper and Cllr Zahoor Ahmed.

Sandwell Council cabinet members visited the Shri Venkateswara Balaji Temple in Oldbury, which is planting more than 500 trees it received from the Woodland Trust Community Planting Scheme.

Along with council representatives, trees were also planted by schools and community groups.

In addition to the recent tree planting, the Balaji Temple also held an event in November called Sandwell Breathes, which included children’s activities and a workshop plus discussion around air quality.

The tree planting at the temple is taking place as part of a Sandwell-wide air quality project, working with faith centres.

In response to the challenge of improving air quality in Sandwell, the council’s air quality team successfully secured funding from Defra to enable them to work with 16 faith centres across Sandwell to measure local air quality and to work together to makes changes to improve this.

Each of the faith settings involved are taking steps to have an impact on the air quality of their local communities.

Councillor Suzanne Hartwell, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for Adults, Social Care and Health, said: “The work the Balaji Temple is doing is a great example of how different communities can come together to make environmental improvements for all of us.

“I would like to thank everyone at the Balaji Temple for all their hard work and commitment to this project.”

The Balaji Temple Chairman Dr Kanagaratnam said: “The Shri Venkateswara (Balaji) Temple is delighted to be working with Sandwell Council and to be part of the Faith Centres Air Quality project.

"We would like to thank the local schools, organisations, council employees and councillors who came and planted trees at the Temple, helping to transform this area of land.

"We are excited to see the trees grow and to continue to get involved in other opportunities to improve health and wellbeing and involve local people.”

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