Localism Bill clause 30 - EU fines

Meeting: 
MQT on 2011-02-23
Session date: 
February 23, 2011
Reference: 
2011/0519
Question By: 
Murad Qureshi
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

During a recent parliamentary debate, your deputy and chief of staff, Sir Simon Milton gave evidence about clause 30 of the Localism Bill. As you know, this proposed clause empowers governments to pass on fines imposed by the EU. During his evidence, Sir Simon Milton mentioned a number of steps which he believed the government should take in order to make the case to the EU either to extend the time limit for compliance or to mitigate the susceptibility of the UK and local authorities to these fines.

1. What are the main areas of disagreement between you and the government on how to achieve these goals?

2. Why do you believe the government has not included several of your measures contained within your Air Quality Strategy within its submission to the EU, despite the fact that you claim these measures will bring London's air quality below the limits set by the EU?

Answer

Answer for Localism Bill clause 30 - EU fines

Answer for Localism Bill clause 30 - EU fines

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The Government's application to the European Commission for a time extension until 2011 to meet PM10 limit values did not include measures in my Air Quality Strategy because at the time of the submission the final Strategy had not been confirmed. However, the Government's modelling that supported the application showed that even without the Air Quality Strategy measures, London would be compliant with these limit values in 2011. Our modelling shows that, taking into account the measures in my Strategy, including the targeted measures for priority locations in central London, age based standards for taxis from 2012, and schemes to reduce emissions from freight mean PM10 limit values should be met this year.

Later in 2011, the Government is expected to apply to the Commission for a time extension until 2015 to meet NO2 limit values in London and many other urban areas across the country. My Air Quality Strategy includes a number of measures that will reduce NO2 concentrations significantly in London by 2015, including the introduction of a NOx standard to the Low Emission Zone and retrofitting older buses. We have repeatedly requested money from the Government for this.

However, national measures will also be required if NO2 limit values are to be met in London by 2015, a full list of these are set out in my Air Quality Strategy. They include Government introducing a certification scheme for NOx abatement equipment, tax incentives for cleaner vehicles and vehicle retrofit and scrappage schemes, as well as additional funding for the full implementation of my Strategy. The GLA continues to work with the Government to develop a joint action plan that is adequately resourced that will allow NO2 limit values to be met by 2015 and I recently wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport to stress the need for national measures.