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Council to Launch New 'Air Quality Champions' Initiative

Waltham Forest Council is launching a major new initiative to improve air quality across the borough and educate motorists on the dangers of idling, and is looking to work with local resident volunteers to help spread the word.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment said: “Air pollution is a huge concern in Waltham Forest due to the proven serious risk it poses to public health and the environment, and we welcome the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s commitment to improving air quality for all Londoners.

“Tackling the habit of idling by stationary motor vehicles will play an important part in improving air quality in the borough. We have adopted the limited anti-idling legislation that exists and will issue Fixed Penalty Notices to drivers who fail to comply. However with our resources being limited we are also looking to work with volunteer residents to help raise awareness and encourage people to change their behaviour around air quality. We are calling this new initiative WF Air Quality Champions.”

The Council is planning to run a series of local training workshops in late September and early October to prepare volunteers to take part in a series of ‘Action Days’ addressing idling in key areas such as outside schools and town centres. The workshops will cover the following topics –

  • Overview of air quality issues in Waltham Forest

  • Myths around idling

  • Health impacts of pollution

  • Health and Safety precautions

Cllr Loakes added: “During these Action Days volunteers, accompanied by officers from our Neighbourhoods team, will seek to challenge drivers that are idling and also to praise drivers who have switched off their vehicles whilst stationary.

“The Action Days will be very much aimed at educating members of the public through challenging and changing behaviours without the need for formal action. Volunteers will work in small teams and will be provided with all the equipment they need to take part.”

Any individuals or local groups that would like to get involved in this initiative can express their interest by emailing with ‘WF Air Quality Champion’ as the subject. You can also show your support on Twitter by using the hashtag #WFAirQualityChamp.

More information on the WF Air Quality Champions and the Action Days will be made available in the coming weeks.

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