Air quality is an issue that affects us all – and I know there is deep concern in Bristol West about the pollution that almost all of us are breathing in every day. The deaths of hundreds of people in Bristol every year can be linked to air pollution, and I am keen to hold the Government to account on this. Councils need funding and powers to tackle this deadly problem, and yesterday I was able to secure a meeting with the government minister with responsibility for this policy area to discuss the worrying situation in Bristol. You can read or watch my exchange with Dr Thérèse Coffey MP below:
Thangam Debbonaire (Bristol West) (Lab)
In my constituency, there are four primary schools within 100 yards of the M32 motorway, and another that is bang in the middle of the city. It is not enough for the Government to blame local councils. Will the Minister meet me, the other Bristol MPs and the Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, to discuss exactly what funding she will be providing to tackle this problem?
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Dr Thérèse Coffey)
I am not blaming anyone. I have already set out that it is good for local councils to work with local communities on some of these solutions. The Government also need to do their bit, and I referred to the work on the strategic road network. There is a fund out there. Councils already know about it and I encourage them to use it. I would be happy for the hon. Lady to come and meet me to discuss the matter.