Manchester City Council

The Blog Awakes

After much procrastination I've decided to revive the blog. This is principally as a response to social media which has its purpose but is not really suitable for more detailed argument. This is often compounded by people posting stuff that has absolutely no substance but which then gets repeated as if it was gospel.

I'm going to start with clean air. We now have hard evidence that air quality in much of the city-region does not meet legal requirements, is a significant cause of premature death, and that the major sufferers are our youngest and oldest residents. That means we have got to do something about it urgently to make sure every vehicle on our roads complies with clean air standards as quickly as possible. 


Transport for Greater Manchester, working on behalf of all the councils in the conurbation, produced a plan to do just that, the most ambitious plan yet produced anywhere in the country. However that plan also recognised that poverty is also a killer, that there are lots of people in the city on low incomes who need their car to get to work, and many of them simply can't afford to trade in an old non-compliant vehicle for a newer, cleaner model. Similarly there are lots of small business people including taxi drivers and small van users who can't afford an upgrade. Making people poorer and putting people out of work can't be the answer to our clean air problem.


Greater Manchester asked government for the money needed to support scrappage schemes and retro-fit schemes that would help people on low-incomes or with significant investment in a work vehicle to either move to a compliant vehicle or make alterations to their existing one to become compliant. Government's response has been to direct us to introduce a clean air zone but with not one penny to help those people who need it. That is not acceptable.

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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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