When an area is identified as having poor air quality, it is declared as an 'Air Quality Management Area.' For each of these areas, a plan is put in place setting out a number of different actions that can be taken to improve air quality in this area. Since its introduction in 2008, our plan has been successful in introducing schemes that have had a positive impact on air quality in the district.

It's now time for the plan to be reviewed and updated and so we're really keen to hear people's views on our suggestions. The proposal includes recommendations to continue some of the successful projects from the previous plan, and also identifies new actions that could be taken if additional funding can be secured.

Because air quality has been steadily improving, it also means that we're in the fortunate position of being able to recommend that Chichester's Orchard Street and Stockbridge A27 roundabout no longer need to be considered Air Quality Management Areas. The consultation went live on Monday 17 May and it will run until 28 June 2021. To take part and have your say, please visit: Let's Talk: Air Quality.

In last week's column, I talked about the EU Settlement Scheme and the importance of encouraging any EU Citizen living in the district to apply by 30 June 2021. We have joined forces with Arun & Chichester Citizens Advice bureau to make as many people aware of this as possible - including local employers and landlords. This is about protecting people's rights to healthcare, benefits and pensions - and so it is vitally important that anyone affected applies before 30 June 2021 deadline by applying at: EU Settlement Scheme . Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice are also able to help with applications and they can be contacted free on 0808 2787969 (Mon to Fri 9am until 4.30pm). Access to interpreters is also available. We would really appreciate it if you could pass this message onto anyone who you believe may be affected by this.

Our work on the Chichester Local Plan is progressing well and we have launched a regular email newsletter to keep you well informed: Sign up to the Local Plan Review email newsletter. Planning affects where we live, work and relax; where new shops and community facilities are built; and it protects our historic buildings and the natural environment. The Local Plan addresses all of these issues and more, helping to make Chichester more resilient and create a fairer, healthier, safer and greener area. This is more important than ever in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and gives us the opportunity to create a better future for our residents and businesses.

Because the Local Plan covers such a wide variety of topics, we are using themes to help people better understand the work that the plan covers. These include: Health & Wellbeing; Local Community; Climate Change & Environment; Services & Facilities; Arts, Culture & Heritage; Getting around & Transport; Housing & Economy; and Education & Learning. The latest newsletter, due out this week, explores these themes and explains what each one means and why they are important. We have also placed all of the newsletters that have already been issued on our website at: Sign up to the Local Plan Review email newsletter which are well worth a read. My colleague Cllr Susan Taylor will be regularly taking over district dispatch to talk to you about some of these issues in more detail. We're also planning a series of videos to help explain some of the key areas, so please keep an eye out for these on both our social media channels and website.

Finally, I just want to thank you for supporting our local businesses across the district. It's so nice to see people out shopping and socialising again. Although further restrictions have eased, we still need to all play our part in keeping Chichester District safe. So please remember — hands, face and space.

Best Wishes

Cllr Eileen Lintill

Leader of Chichester District Council