SOUTHAMPTON’S council leader has promised to “go on banging the drum for investment” as he pushes central government leaders for more cash to tackle the city’s pollution problems.

The promise came after Councillor Christopher Hammond attended the #LoveCleanAir summit at the Tate Modern in London.

Hosted by the Mayor of London, UK100, and in partnership with Unicef, council leaders from across the country spoke to ministers on the needs of aid for local authorities to tackle the growing issue of clean air.

They also called for the government’s proposed Environment Bill to be renamed the Clean Air and Environment Bill.

But Cllr Hammond has told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that no “concrete promises of action or new money” were laid out.

He said: “Everyone deserves to breathe clean air. Like our Labour administration in Southampton, this Conservative government recognises there’s a problem.

“But Michael Gove [Environment Secretary] doesn’t have all the answers and that’s why he invited Southampton to take a seat at the top table and share our knowledge alongside the Mayors of London and Greater Manchester.

“City leaders didn’t hear concrete promises of action or new money, so I’ll go on banging the drum for investment in our city and developing innovative solutions which improve public health.”

It comes just a few weeks since Southampton’s Clean Air Zone proposals were sent to Westminster for approval, after it was named as one of the most polluting cities in the country.

It includes several measures to lower the nitrogen dioxide levels in the area, but without the need for a commercial charging zone – which has been met with contrasting reaction from different sides.

Polly Billington, director of UK100, said: “We are delighted that city leaders and mayors representing 20 million people across the length and breadth of the country have signed up to the world’s most ambitious plans for clean air legislation including tougher, legally binding WHO limits on air pollution.

“The head of the NHS and the Secretary of State for Health listened to the discussions and the Secretary of State for Environment Michael Gove promised he would sign up to the pledges soon. We look forward to continuing these productive discussions to ensure we all #LoveCleanAir.”