City mayors call on Prime Minister to agree tougher air pollution targets

The death of nine-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah has urged City mayors across the UK to call on Prime Minister, Boris Johnson to agree to tougher air pollution targets.

Following the inquest into Ella’s passing, it was ruled that illegal levels of air pollution had been the main cause of her death in 2013.

The mayors represent a cross-party group, they include Sadiq Khan the Labour London mayor and Tim Bowles, the Conservative mayor of the West England combined authority. Altogether the group of mayors represent more than 17 million people across the UK. In addition to this, a joint letter has been signed by city leaders from Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and the North of Tyne.

The call from the combined group of mayors and city leaders asks Boris Johnson to enshrine in law a commitment to reach World Health Organisation (WHO) air pollution guidelines by 2030.

Following the findings of the inquest into Ella’s death, her mother, Rosamund signed the letter calling on the Prime Minister to act immediately to safeguard the lives of other young people across the country.

Rosamund said, “We need to take action now which will have long-term benefits. People act as though we have time – we don’t have time because children are continuing to actually die.”

The letter also calls on government to urgently boost spending of air quality improvement measures by £1.5bn.

Concerns are continuing to grow about a widening body of research that highlights the significant impact that air pollution is having on the UK’s health. Studies now suggest that it may be damaging every organ in the body from heart disease to dementia.

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