Press Release

MP Backs Clean Air Charter

13th February 2009

Aberavon MP Dr Hywel Francis, who has campaigned for a local Clean Air Charter, today backed Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council's 'Clean Air Charter'.

Dr Francis stated:

I am very pleased to give my personal support as the Member of Parliament for Aberavon to this very important Public Campaign – once again Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council setting an example and showing the way in Wales by launching the very first Clean Air Charter in the country.

I believe this Charter will have long term significance for the people of Neath Port Talbot for many reasons.

Firstly, it signals the seriousness, the elected representatives of the locality attach to the need to improve the quality of life enjoyed by local inhabitants.

Secondly this is a clear indication that our steadily improving beautiful environment from the Glyncorrwg Bike Centre to Margam Park and from the Afan Forest Park to the Aberavon Seafront is something we should be proud to share with increasing numbers of visitors.

Thirdly, and most important of all it shows that when it comes to our environment, the people of Neath Port Talbot have indicated in their recent campaigns for better air quality, that they genuinely want to make a difference and are prepared to work in partnership, bringing the public, private and voluntary sectors together for the common good. This initiative today is a positive response to this rising tide of public concern about our local environment.

Finally, let me end on this positive note. We all recognise that we live in an uncertain world, threatened by global warming, energy insecurity and indeed job insecurity.

But these characteristics of globalisation cannot be ignored. We inhabit a global Wales, not a fortress Wales.

This local initiative is an indication that we can make a difference at the local level – as ever Neath Port Talbot thinks global and acts local and this has always been its watchword.

I believe this Charter reflects the ambitions of the recent Parliamentary Welsh Affairs Committee Report on 'Globalisation and its Impact on Wales'. This report ends on a positive note and this is how I will end today. I believe it should be our clarion call for the future.

The true ethos of internationalisation, the Report states, is the belief in "An open and internationalised environment building through external links a commitment to social cohesion, solidarity with the world and respect for the environment".

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