The Air Quality Manager to be heard.
The Air Quality Manager for City of London Corporation (City Corporation) gave a presentation to the Committee on the work carried out in collaboration with Sir John Cass's Foundation Primary School over the last 15 years in improving air quality, and for which the City Corporation had in 2018 received a National Air Quality Initiative Award.
Members were informed of the monitoring work which had taken place with the School from 2003 onwards with the installation of a 24-hour air quality monitoring station in the playground. Policies were brought in to improve air quality such as the planting of air quality plants throughout the school grounds, green walls made from ivy screens, new air filtrations units in classrooms, and teaching pupils how to reduce their exposure to air quality. The filtration units would also be trialled by other schools.
As part of the air quality modelling, work was carried out within the Aldgate public space to consider how pollution varied. Work such as the removal of the Aldgate gyratory system, the planting of 71 trees and the creation of a new community space called Aldgate Square, as well as the widening of pavements, improvement of pedestrian access and cycling routes have all contributed to a reduction in pollution.
Work had been undertaken to monitor and analyse nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulates. Overall air pollution at the school had fallen below the legal annual limit and the data gathered and verified by King’s College London showed that levels of NO2 had fallen below annual limits in 2017. There had been a slight increase with regards to the particulates, but this may be attributed to construction taking place.
Officers would next be looking to carry out similar work with St Paul’s Choir School. The Corporate Risk with regards to air quality had been reduced from Red to Amber.
In response to a Member’s query on the health of children and the monitoring work taking place, the Air Quality Manager advised that a project was taking place with Kings College London with medical assessments being conducted on the pupils, but as research projects take place over a long period of time, there were no results available yet.
The Chairman thanked officers on their work and their achievements in reducing air pollution in areas of the school.He asked the Town Clerk to circulate the presentation to the Committee and those Members who were present at the meeting.