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Suffolk leaders to meet at summit to address state of county's air quality



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A summit to address Suffolk's air quality has been organised for January as part of Public Health efforts to crackdown on the harmful effects of air pollution.

Public leaders will convene on January 28 to discuss the state of air quality countywide, and measures to help improve the situation.

Both national and local speakers are set to address leaders, with work from the summit then set to help inform future plans.

A summit to address Suffolk's air quality has been organised for January as part of Public Health efforts to crackdown on the harmful effects of air pollution. Picture: iStock
A summit to address Suffolk's air quality has been organised for January as part of Public Health efforts to crackdown on the harmful effects of air pollution. Picture: iStock

Suffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks said: "The aim is to introduce what air quality might mean in terms of how it might be relevant to the quality across Suffolk, it is going to look at what roles we all have nationally, as a county, locally as districts, borough and individuals, and there will be guest speakers on a panel discussion.

"It's the start of a journey. All of this will feed back into the Health and Wellbeing Board, and it will help to inform us as we start rolling forward that wider piece of work.

"This is clearly a long term priority for public health looking at air quality, and the summit will raise the awareness of air quality to us all."

Suffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks. Picture: Suffolk County Council
Suffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks. Picture: Suffolk County Council

Suffolk's Health and Wellbeing Board - a gathering of council, health service and police leaders - in July pledged to improve air quality in the county and help combat the harmful affects of air pollution.

A report for the board in the summer said: "Air pollution causes diseases of the heart and lungs, contributes to poor public health, shortens life and is recognised as a contributing factor in the onset of heart disease and cancer.

"There is also often a strong correlation with inequalities, as areas with poor air quality are also often less affluent. Air pollution is harmful for human health at all levels, even when levels fall below the legal limits.

"However, there is limited knowledge across the population of its harmful effects and measures that can be taken individually and across sectors to improve air quality.

"Therefore, it is not only important to improve air quality overall but also to improve population knowledge and data knowledge on the scale of the problem and the various measures that can be put in place to support the improvement of air quality across Suffolk."

More details of the summit are set to be announced in the coming weeks.