AIR quality in Bromsgrove is likely to be improved due to the coronavirus pandemic - but lockdown restrictions mean the council is unable to measure it.

Labour councillor Harrison Rone-Clarke says the lack of air pollution monitoring in the district during lockdown is a 'missed opportunity'.

However, Bromsgrove District Council has told the Advertiser that the laboratory it uses for such monitoring is closed due to the pandemic's outbreak so the issue is out of their control.

Rock Hill ward councillor Mr Rone-Clarke, the spokesperson for Environment for the Bromsgrove Labour Group, says the pollution issue must be tackled together, like the coronavirus crisis has been.

He said: "I contacted Worcestershire Environmental Services to enquire about air pollution monitoring across the district and the effects of the lockdown on air quality.

"I have been informed that Worcestershire Regulatory Services have been unable to continue monitoring air-pollution owing to the Covid-19 pandemic; this is an unfortunate missed opportunity.

"Those of us who have been calling for radical action to tackle the climate emergency for some time acknowledge that we cannot simply return to ‘business as usual’ when this crisis blows over; Coronavirus has changed things forever.

"I look forward to getting back to work, to a cross-party partnership with the administration and other political groups to take the bold action required to ensure that we are carbon-neutral by 2030.

"All aspects of government, local and national have rightly been mobilised to tackle this crisis head on, proving it can be done; we have to be prepared to do the same for the existential crisis of climate change."

In response, a spokesperson for Bromsgrove District Council said: “As our officer explained to Cllr Rone-Clarke, we would expect the quality of air in public areas to be much improved due to less traffic travelling through the areas which we test.

“However, we are unable to continue testing at the moment because the laboratory which we use is temporarily closed and to maintain consistency we cannot move to another one. It is out of our control.

“I would like to reassure residents that this council is committed to Climate Change and that while we are responding to the current pandemic, day-to-business is still occurring and this remains one of our top priorities.”