Basildon Council leader implores minister to drop threat of clean air charge

The leader of Basildon Council has written to Rebecca Pow MP, Minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to ask again that she remove the threat of a damaging Charging Clean Air Zone (CAZ) being introduced in Basildon.

The new request comes as Basildon businesses struggle to survive through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cllr Gavin Callaghan wrote: “I strongly urge you to remove the threat of an additional form of taxation on our businesses who are already at breaking point due to the crisis, at the earliest possible opportunity,”

Cllr Callaghan pointed to good progress that continues to be made in exploring options for an engineering solution to play a part in securing the necessary air quality improvements alongside a range of complementary measures.

“I believe that these can be introduced sooner than it will be practical to bring in a charging CAZ, especially considering the impact of the Covid lockdown” he added.

“I am imploring the government to formally announce the relaxation of its pursuit of a disproportionate ‘silver bullet’ solution to deal with the discrete area of exceedance on East Mayne in favour of a targeted, more nuanced and less punitive approach.”

Mick Ferris

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