The successful grant bid and subsequent award was made in response to an increase in concerns and complaints made to the council relating to the impact of smoke from the burning of solid fuels such as wood and coal.
Solid fuel appliances have boomed in popularity over recent years and the numbers being sold is on the increase, with their use set to increase further due to rising gas and electricity bills.
But what many people may not realise is that the particulate matter that they emit can penetrate deep into the lungs, which is of particular concern for those with existing health issues and serious long-term illnesses.
The new funding will allow the council to increase the monitoring of air pollution and improve people’s awareness about the risks of using solid fuel appliances both inside and outside our homes.
Councillor Dave Brookes, cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “The city council is committed to improving the health of our residents and visitors by improving the quality of the air that they breathe. Sadly, research is showing that solid fuel appliances such as woodburners are a major cause of poor air quality, both outside and inside the homes where they are used.
“This new funding from Defra will allow the council to collect local real-world data from hot spots in the district and from inside people's homes. We will use this data to run a targeted education campaign, helping people make changes to reduce their exposure and reduce polluting emissions.”
The funding will be used to build a network of air quality sensors to monitor both outdoor and indoor concentrations of key pollutants.
To monitor indoor impacts the council will work with local people who have solid fuel appliances to assess the impacts that using solid fuels has on families inside their homes. This impact is often not considered when people decide to install new or use existing solid fuel appliances.
The data which is produced will then be used to increase awareness, inform behaviour change, with the ultimate aim of reducing air pollution and improving people’s health.
Last updated: 16 June 2022