Plans to further reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality are at the heart of a report presented to Hounslow Council’s cabinet.

The plans include proposals to spend £1.2million to expand and upgrade air quality measuring equipment across the borough and carry out air pollution audits in local schools.

The meeting also covered plans to spend £3.85m to tackle waste and litter and improve recycling rates across Hounslow, including a new park ranger service.

The council declared a climate emergency in July 2019 and has seen wider borough emissions reduced by 55.9 kilotonnes of CO2 since 2017.

In that time, recycling rates have also increased from 29.9 per cent to 35.3 per cent, more than 4,500 trees have been planted and the number of residents participating in the All Ability Cycle Training has also increased.

As part of its Climate Emergency Action Plan, introduced in the summer of 2020, Hounslow is committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions across the council by 2030.

The report set out measures that have been designed to make Hounslow cleaner and greener including:

  • Securing £18.9m national Government funding to install low carbon technologies such as air source heat pumps, LED lighting and other energy efficiency measures in 33 school buildings and 25 council-owned buildings.
  • Securing funding from the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme to retrofit private and social housing to improve energy efficiency and reduce fuel poverty. Developers building new housing developments will also have to continue demonstrating they are minimising heat loss and maximising energy efficiency in all homes they build.
  • In 2020-21 the council planted 4,500 trees – they aim to continue the tree planting programme, increasing canopy cover to mitigate impacts of climate change and delivering on its commitment to plant a tree for every child born in the borough.
  • Allocating £1.2m to improve air quality, including upgrading air quality monitoring facilities across Hounslow, conducting regular air pollution audits in and around schools and increasing stakeholder engagement and collaboration to raise awareness of the air quality agenda.
  • Hounslow’s cabinet has also agreed to adopt the World Health Organisations (WHO) limit values for measuring progress for particulate matter.
  • Accelerating the roll-out of electric vehicle (EV) charging points, including in all council car parks and any new housing developments built in the borough.
  • It is introducing a dedicated eco-schools programme for Hounslow school children in conjunction with Keep Britain Tidy and hosting an environment youth summit for schools during COP26 in November.

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