The assembly was set up as part of the council’s commitment to use innovative ways to enable local people to set the tone and direction around responses to crucial borough-wide issues.
It is a group of 50 randomly chosen local people representing the diversity of the borough who met earlier this year to discuss issues around air quality, hear from community groups and air quality experts and come up with a set of recommendations about what action could be taken in Wandsworth to improve air quality and reduce associated health impacts.
Assembly members presented their final report in June. Now, the council has used their recommendations for a new Air Quality Action Plan.
Air pollution in Wandsworth has been falling, but the plan sets ambitious new targets based on World Health Organisation definitions of dangerous levels of air pollution- which are more challenging than the UK targets currently used.
The plan also reflects the increased urgency to respond to the climate emergency and the need to protect the health of local people, emphasising protecting the most vulnerable, including children.
Specific actions include rolling out an awareness campaign, creating a core cycle network across the borough, and supporting businesses with cargo bike deliveries. See the full plan.
A group of Air Quality Ambassadors will support the delivery of the plan made up of local people. They will help raise awareness of the dangers of poor air quality and what people can do to reduce their risk. They will also monitor progress and provide feedback to the rest of the borough.
Judi Gasser, cabinet member for the Environment, said: “Climate change and poor air quality affect us all, and we all need to be involved in finding solutions. The Citizens’ Assembly has ensured the people of Wandsworth have a direct say in what happens in their borough and is part of a determination on the part of this administration to truly listen to local people and give them the power to participate in decision-making.
“The Assembly told us that we need to be leaders and take the whole borough with us on this journey. We listened and have set more ambitious targets, come up with a wide range of actions and will continue to work in an open, democratic way with the people who live and work in Wandsworth.
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