As those of you who work in local authorities know, many Councils in the UK have a duty to improve the health of local people. Not improve public health as in the way that the NHS does it (treats you when you are ill), but to do all they can to improve the general health of local people through a variety of activities.
With many in the EMSOL team being from a local authority background, we have seen the variety of ways by which this is done. Community activities to keep fit, public awareness campaigns, financially supporting sports clubs – you name it, we have seen it. The good, bad, and the ugly.
Improving air quality and reducing noise pollution often does not come into this, which is strange considering local councils also have powers to tackle these issues.
That got us thinking – how can EMSOL make this task (which is no mean feat to achieve) much easier for local councils to meet? Below are some of our first thoughts on this. We would love to hear your views of them.
Better understanding of local air quality and noise pollution issues. Section 12 of the Health and Social Care Act states that local councils can undertake research into health improvements in their area. Our offer here is simple – we help local councils quantify their local air quality and noise pollution issues!
Minimising exposure. By providing reliable data on local air quality issues, we can help Councils provide services that make local people aware of areas with poor air quality. We can also help manage their fleets (e.g. bin lorries) so that they can reduce their impact on local communities by encouraging better driving practices and improved routing.
Encouraging local businesses to improve local health. Councils also have a duty to work with local businesses to improve health outcomes. What better way than by encouraging local businesses to sign up to EMSOL, and have their deliveries managed in a way that improves local air quality?
Achieve public health targets. We notice that there is a Public Health Outcome Framework indicator on Particulate Matter. Our data can not only help you measure that, but help you plan effective actions to improve against it as well.