IN RESPONSE to the despicable complacency being exhibited by the city council it is important to say that the cancellation of a clean-air zone in Southampton and the failure to provide any significant measures means that Southampton will continue to have bad air pollution for many years.

That means that around 110 people will continue to die early every year in Southampton due to air pollution. That means thousands will continue to suffer extremely serious health effects from asthma to lung disease and heart problems. It also means that we will continue to damage our children's lungs and potentially blight the future for thousands. Bad air pollution also stunts babies so that they are born early, small and potentially permanently damaged.

The city council must wake up to the fact that people do not want to live in a city with bad air pollution and will continue to desert the city for greener and cleaner places whenever they can. People and business will move to where people want to live and work. So by doing next to nothing about air pollution the city council is also destroying hopes of a clean and pleasant city and so is likely to condemn Southampton to a long and continuous decline.

It is time for the city council to wake up to reality. We are facing a worsening climate emergency and we need to be planning to clean our air and become carbon-neutral. At the moment we are just getting worse and worse. As the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) said, we have, at most, 12 years to clean up our planet or we face really major and uncertain consequences destroying the planet's life support systems.

In Southampton we have to play our part, act decisively and act fast.

It is important that everyone makes an effort and turns out to the demonstration on Saturday calling for the council to halve the air pollution in our city. We meet at 1pm at the civic centre and then at 2pm at the Bargate. It is time for people to let councillors know that they are failing people and more than 100 die in Southampton every year because of their failure to act.

John Spottiswoode

The Green Resistance