Parish wants answers on Sahara smog reading

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A parish council is still demanding answers after South Holland District Council’s air monitor recorded low levels of pollution when Sutton Bridge was shrouded for three days in ‘Saraha smog’.

DEFRA listed pollution in the village as a 9 or higher in early April – triggering health warnings to “at risk” groups to avoid strenuous outdoor activity – while the council gave it a 3, meaning the same groups could enjoy their usual activity.

Coun Jenny Rowe has questioned the accuracy of the council’s air monitor at Westmere Primary School when the smog hung over the village and left people with breathing problems and dust over cars.

Coun Rowe told Tuesday’s parish council meeting: “A doctor at King’s Lynn hospital told my daughter they’d had so many people with bronchitis and it was pollution related.”

The parish council is writing to DEFRA to check the locations of its air monitors and to the council to see if its monitoring equipment is properly checked for accuracy.

A letter will also go to the Environment Agency.

• Last month a council spokesman said the DEFRA information related to “wider regional areas” while the air monitoring units “in South Holland are accurate, reliable and give a better indication of air quality within the district”.

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