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Did you see the Extinction Rebellion demonstration in Ipswich?

PUBLISHED: 16:55 06 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:55 06 March 2020

Extinction Rebellion Suffolk Sunrise, outside Endeavour House  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Extinction Rebellion Suffolk Sunrise, outside Endeavour House Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

Environment campaigners have called for two Suffolk councils to step up to the responsibility of improving air quality during a theatrical demonstration in Ipswich.

Extinction Rebellion Suffolk Sunrise, outside Endeavour House  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDExtinction Rebellion Suffolk Sunrise, outside Endeavour House Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Around 30 Suffolk Sunrise Extinction Rebellion campaigners gathered in Russell Road, Ipswich, at lunchtime demanding more action from Ipswich Borough and Suffolk County councils.

It highlighted the 63 deaths last year as a result of air pollution, and featured a wicker 'buck' being passed between the councils on the two sides of the road.

Demonstrators also used cleaning products to mime 'cleaning the air'.

It marks part of a larger campaign called Clean Air Now (CAN) featuring a broad range of environment lobby groups, which wants to promote the ambition of being a low pollution town.

Extinction Rebellion Suffolk Sunrise, outside Endeavour House  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDExtinction Rebellion Suffolk Sunrise, outside Endeavour House Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

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Tony Horner from XR Suffolk Sunrise, said: "This is all about Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk County Council not taking responsibility, passing the buck and not cleaning up our air.

"While it is grim we are talking about deaths, we have a vision of a fantastic future of a thriving, vibrant economy which is low pollution."

Mr Horner said the council had a role to play in keeping people updated on progress, and added: "They have a statutory duty to work together for a plan and within a year they need to have reduced pollution".

Extinction Rebellion Suffolk Sunrise, outside Endeavour House  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDExtinction Rebellion Suffolk Sunrise, outside Endeavour House Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The group claims that the borough council has not done enough to reduce air pollution, citing the council's car parking strategy as requiring more vehicles, and said that the county council needed to do more with public transport.

A spokesman from Ipswich Borough Council said: "Tackling air pollution requires a range of organisations to work together and Ipswich Borough Council is taking positive action by investing in a new fleet of electric vehicles, providing electric charging points in car parks and aiming to ensure that future development in the town does not impact on air quality.

"In addition, we subsidise a number of bus services in the town and provide the town centre shuttle bus.

"The public also has a part to play by not using cars on short trips if they can walk or take public transport and by not idling their engines in traffic or outside schools."


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