TODAY (21st November) in the Senedd, the Welsh Liberal Democrats will support the Air Quality and Soundscapes (Wales) Bill.
Despite backing the bill, party leader Jane Dodds MS has urged the Welsh Government to make assurances for rural families who heavily rely on solid fuel to heat their homes, as part of government plans for smoke control areas.
The highest percentage of off-grid households are across Mid and West Wales, with almost 75% of properties in Ceredigion not being connected to the grid.
Commenting, Jane Dodds MS said:
“I would like to state how pleased I am that this bill is finally progressing. We have waited far too long for tough new measures on air pollution to be brought forward.
We as a party have long fought for a Clean Air Act, pledging in the last Senedd election to introduce one within the first 100 days if elected.
Air pollution is an invisible threat that poses an immense danger to everyone here in Wales. Long-term exposure to dirty emissions can cause cardiovascular and respiratory issues, as well as increase the risk of developing cancer.
Simply put, dirty air shortens people’s lives. Which is why I support this, Bill.
At the same time however, we must be mindful of the impact that some measures could have on families in rural communities that rely on wood-burning fires for warmth.
We must make sure that these people are giving our full support in transitioning away from these stoves. They cannot afford to have their only heat source taken away from them.”