I should be grateful if you will allow me to draw the attention of readers to a debate in the House of Lords this Thursday that aims to protect us against air pollution.

Green Party peer Baroness Jones will introduce the Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill, which would force the government to act to bring air quality in every community up to minimum World Health Organization (WHO) standards.

The Bill is fondly known as Ella’s Law, in memory of a child who died from asthma in the dangerously polluted air of London. Ella was the first person in England to have air pollution named as the cause of death by a coroner. Every year tens of thousands of people in the UK are killed by air pollution. Though Environmental Health officers in our District are effective in monitoring and controlling such pollution here, air pollution is dangerous to all our health. It gets into our lungs and can damage every organ in the body. For those who are more vulnerable – children, pregnant women, older people and those living with lung conditions – simply going outside in the most affected areas of the UK can lead to hospital.

Whilst the government has promised to set new legal targets to reduce air pollution, it wants to wait until 2040 to take action. This isn’t soon enough, so the Bill being introduced on Thursday has a very good chance of succeeding and it strongly deserves all our support.

Readers can help by taking part in the government consultation, which ends on June 27, at https://envirotarget.uk/asthma-lung-uk

Cllr. Norman Kay, Green Party District Councillor for Nailsworth