ADD351 Air Quality Budget and Staffing Costs

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD351
Date signed: 
22 September 2015
Decision by: 
Patrick Feehily, Assistant Director, Environment

Executive summary

This decision makes provision for funding to provide cover while the Authority’s Air Quality Manager is away on sabbatical leave. 

Decision

That the Assistant Director approves expenditure of up to £13,400 from the air quality programme budget approved under MD1503 to provide additional funding for staffing, while the Authority’s Air Quality Manager is away on sabbatical leave.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    MD1503 sets out the Environment Team budget for 2015/16. This decision makes minor amendments to the air quality programme budget. 
1.2    The Authority’s Air Quality Manager is going on a six month sabbatical from 28th September 2015 until 24th March 2015. Additional funding of £13,400 is required for staffing so that appropriate cover can be put in place. Further details are set out in Part 2 of this decision. 
1.3    In order to provide the additional funding, economies of £9,400 have been found in the delivery of the London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (total budget allocation of £77,000) and the budget for a report looking into the impacts of combined heat and power systems (CHP) on air pollution emissions is being reduced by £4,000. The London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory will still be published as planned by early 2016. Given the timings of the election and the formation of a new Mayoral administration, the CHP report will still be completed in time to feed into the evidence base for a new London Plan and London Environment Strategy. Consequently there are no significant negative impacts on the Authority’s air quality programme as a result of these budget changes. 

 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    Ensuring that the Authority’s Air Quality Manager’s duties are fully covered to enable delivery of the air quality programme as previously set out in MD1503.

Equality comments

3.1    There is currently significant exposure of the London population to air pollution. Although this exposure is predicted to decline significantly by 2020, current modelling results show that in 2020 there will still be more than 300,000 people living in locations with average NO2 levels above the EU legal limit value. In contrast, average concentrations of particles (PM10 and PM2.5) were, by 2010, already within EU Limit Values for the annual average concentrations.

3.2    Populations living in the most deprived areas are on average currently more exposed to poor air quality than those in less deprived areas. 51% of the Lower Super Output Area (LSOAs) within the most deprived 10% of London have concentrations above the NO2 EU limit value. This is in contrast to 1% above the NO2 EU limit value in the 10% least deprived areas.

3.3     Ensuring that the Authority’s Air Quality Manager’s duties are fully covered will help tackle inequality caused by air pollution.

Other considerations

a)    Key risks and issues

4.1     The main risk is not having the Air Quality Manager’s duties fully covered. This would affect the Authority’s ability to fulfil its statutory duties, avoid legal risk, deliver vital improvements in London’s air quality and lobby for further action and support at European and national level to help London reach compliance with legal air pollution limits. 

b)    Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities  

Mayoral strategies

•    Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy (MAQS):
o    Policy 3: Identifying priority locations and improving air quality through a package of local measures
o    Policy 4: Reducing emissions from public transport, including buses
o    Policy 12: Raising public awareness of air quality issues
‘Develop a central air quality website for London on the GLA website, which will include data, technical information and advice on how to improve air quality.’
o    Policy 14: The Mayor will assist boroughs in carrying out the exercise of their statutory duty to improve air quality in London.
•    Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS):
o    Proposal 92: Reducing emissions from public transport, including buses
o    Proposal 94: Introducing targeted local measures at poor air quality priority locations to reduce emissions and improve local air quality.
•    Mayor’s Health Inequality Strategy (MHIS):
o    Commitment 22: Improve the quality of London’s existing homes and neighbourhoods, especially in those areas with the poorest levels of health.

Financial comments

5.1    The Assistant Director of Environment is requested to approve expenditure of up to £13,400 from the air quality programme budget approved under MD1503 to provide additional funding for staffing, while the Authority’s Air Quality Manager is away on sabbatical leave (from 28th September 2015 until 24th March 2015). Further details are set out in Part 2 of this decision.