DD1460 Air Quality - EU funding and other arrangements update

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
09 March 2016
Decision by: 
Fiona Fletcher-Smith, Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment

Executive summary

In February 2014, the Mayor approved the GLA’s participation in the Joint Air Quality Initiative (JOAQUIN) project under MD1314. He delegated authority to the Executive Director for Development, Enterprise and Environment to take all steps necessary to deliver the approved programme, including revisions to the proposed budget allocations, as appropriate, within the overall amount approved and approving the receipt of and allocating any additional funding awarded by JOAQUIN.

In April 2014, DD1328 approved the receipt of funding to date and an allocation of £270,000 for the overall JOAQUIN project. 

This decision is seeking approval to revise the JOAQUIN project allocation in light of the final estimated funding to be received being £240,000 in total. It is not seeking any increase in expenditure.

The GLA has paid the London Borough of Islington £37,500 in grant funding for its involvement as the GLA’s sub-partner in lieu of decisions made in aforementioned MD1314 and DD1328 and the Executive Director is asked to approve a further allocation of £40,000 to Islington as reimbursement for additional activities and expenses incurred as part of the project.


The Executive Director approves the reallocation of funding within various strands of the JOAQUIN project as set out in paragraph 1.8 of this decision form, including a further grant of £40,000 to Islington Council as reimbursement for additional activities and expenses incurred as part of the project.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    JOAQUIN (Joint Air Quality Initiative) is an EU-funded cooperation project supported by the INTERREG IVB North West Europe programme. The aim of the project is to support health-oriented air quality policies in Europe. To achieve this, the project provides policy makers with information on the regional air pollution situation (e.g. measurements of emerging health relevant pollutants) and provides them with evidence to support the implementation of best-practice measures to strengthen current air quality policies.

1.2    JOAQUIN now has 15 partners from Belgium, The Netherlands, France and the UK, including: Flemish Environment Agency (Belgium), City of Antwerp (Belgium), IRCEL (Belgium), Flemish Agency for Care and Health (Belgium), Ecole des Ingénieurs de la Ville de Paris (France), ATMO Nord-Pas-de-Calais (France); Public Health Service of Amsterdam (Netherlands), National Institute for Health and the Environment (Netherlands), Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (Netherlands), Provincie Noord-Holland (Netherlands), University of Brighton, University of Leicester, Leicester City Council, airTEXT and the Greater London Authority. 

Initial Funding

1.3    JOAQUIN’s focus on public health and sharing best practice about high impact regional measures in broadly comparable cities was a good fit with the Mayor’s strategic objectives for air quality, as set out in his Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy. Accordingly, working with the airTEXT consortium (which comprises all the London boroughs), the Greater London Authority submitted a joint London bid to join JOAQUIN in early 2013. 

1.4    Initially the GLA was to receive £167,000 from the JOAQUIN project with a further £43,913 to be received on behalf of (and transferred back to) the London airTEXT consortium via Islington Council. DD1328 approved the receipt of an additional £60,000 EU funding taking the revised expected total received to be £270,913.

JOAQUIN underspend and additional resources for the GLA 

1.5    The GLA has been advised by the JOAQUIN project that underspend can be allocated to GLA air quality projects in future years. IPB and MD1314 approved delegating approval for the receipt of any additional funding and approval of the detailed arrangements to the Executive Director of Development, Environment and Enterprise. 

Reallocation of funding

1.6    This decision is being requested to enable the GLA to reimburse its sub-partner the London Borough of Islington agreed monies for work carried out under Project JOAQUIN. The London Borough of Islington as sub-partner has been paid £37,500 to date (as part of an initial allocation totalling £43,913). 

1.7    This decision is seeking endorsement to pay Islington a further £40,000 (£77,500 in total) to cover costs related to £15,000 for an extended Air Quality Champions programme (carried out by Sustrans - MD1314), £6,000 staff costs (DD1328) and expenses incurred as part of the JOAQUIN project and £19,000 to its delivery partner, Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants (CERC), for which the GLA as lead-partner has been reimbursed by the INTERREG IVB North West Europe programme board. The £40,000 reimbursement to Islington will be paid via a grant agreement.

1.8    Reflecting this additional allocation for Islington, new opportunities and changed priorities it has been necessary to reallocate some of the funding received from JOAQUIN. These changes also reflect the revised expected total to be claimed by the GLA (£240,000, This includes an outstanding claim of £90,000, which is to be received by end of March 2016.  Due to fluctuations in exchange rates these values may change but all costs including exchange rate differences will be contained within the allocated funding). 



JOAQUIN allocation as per DD1328

Revised JOAQUIN contribution

(this decision)

Why a change has been made
(if applicable)

Clean Air Zones (CAZ) at Schools




Funded by GLA air quality programme (Clean Air Fund)

Cleaner Air Champions (CAP)



Match funding for Islington to extend the original scheme (via Sustrans).

Breathe Better Together (BBT) communications project



This has been covered by GLA air quality programme and match funding from Defra.

Barts NHS Trust AQ and public health project




Wrapping of AQ monitoring stations



Lack of resource and support from boroughs to carry out project (see additional line below).

Contribution to cleanerairforlondon / BBT website / running costs



This has been covered by borough contributions.

Contribution to Mayoral Mansion House air quality event (via grant to City of London)




GLA staff costs





Post holder resignation and need for associated works to be carried out. Therefore, 2015 – 2016 changed from £46,000 to £42,000 (11 months as bottom of the grade 8 salary scale).

2016-17 changed from £11,500 to £53,000 to fund AQ staffing to carry out related works (grade 8 post for 12 months).

Travel expenses



Overestimation of expenditure in DD1328.

Project audit costs



Now reflects the final outcome of a competitive procurement process.

airTEXT project and associated consortium costs



Adjusted to include delivery partner £19k costs (CERC). This cost is provided as grants to Islington as Chair of airTEXT consortium.

GLA air quality programme (2016/17)



New addition to reflect income in advance as agreed with JOAQUIN project (anticipated to be used for monitoring station wrapping when more resource available).

Total allocation




Final estimated income





Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1       This decision seeks approval for expenditure related to the JOAQUIN project.  The broad objective of this project is to support health policy aimed specifically at tackling pollution. The JOAQUIN project, for example, facilitates measures related to detecting imminent health threats. It also initiates trails and projects to inform decision makers and improve policy regarding air quality.

2.2       Key outcomes specific to London are as follows:

Clean air schools programme – opinion research to understand the potential effectiveness of a number of targeted measures to raise awareness, reduce emissions and reduce exposure at schools and amongst students. Alongside, further consultancy support to develop a trial, implement and monitor targeted interventions. Four schools are participating in the programme.


Cleaner Air for London website / Breathe Better Together campaign – a dedicated one stop shop website, information and tools for the public and external organisations, related to air quality in the capital.

AirText – a dedicated facility that uses data from around 30,000 pollution sources across London to produce forecasts of air quality. It is used by thousands of Londoners whom are particularly susceptible to poor air quality.

Air quality champions – recruitment and training of volunteers to raise awareness about London’s air quality challenge and what actions people can take to protect their health. The champions promote cycling and walking, improve the area by planting trees and green walls, raise awareness and give advice on improving home energy and reducing individual exposure. The initial project recruited 21 cleaner air champions with 205 hours of volunteer time accrued, reaching 1,743 beneficiaries and making significant links with other community groups, schools and organisations.

Equality comments

3.1    There is currently significant exposure of the London population to air pollution. Although this exposure is predicted to decline significantly by 2020, current modelling results show that in 2020 there will still be more than 300,000 people living in locations with average NO2 levels above the EU legal limit value. In contrast, average concentrations of particles (PM10 and PM2.5) were, by 2010, already within EU Limit Values for the annual average concentrations.

3.2    Populations living in the most deprived areas are on average currently more exposed to poor air quality than those in less deprived areas. 51% of the Lower Super Output Area (LSOAs) within the most deprived 10% of London have concentrations above the NO2 EU limit value. This is in contrast to 1% above the NO2 EU limit value in the 10% least deprived areas.

3.3    In developing and designing this programme we have worked with the London boroughs and other stakeholders to develop our proposals. Raising awareness about air pollution and the provision of alerts services for vulnerable Londoners explicitly reflects and responds to health inequalities. In shaping our interventions with schools, a prioritisation based on exposure identified above will ensure that limited resources are targeted in such a way that they both tackle air pollution while also reducing social and health inequality.

Other considerations

Key risks and issues

4.1    No additional funding is required from the GLA to secure this additional funding from JOAQUIN.

Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

4.2    The Mayor’s manifesto set out his commitment to continue improving air quality in London. The success of the first Clean Air Fund was highlighted. CAF2/3 continues this innovative approach and supports the Mayor’s preferred approach of working with Government and London boroughs to deliver improvements for London.  

Mayoral strategies

•    Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy (MAQS):
-    Policy 3: Identifying priority locations and improving air quality through a package of local measures;
-    Policy 4: Reducing emissions from public transport, including buses;
-    Policy 12: Raising public awareness of air quality issues, ‘Develop a central air quality website for London on the GLA website, which will include data, technical information and advice on how to improve air quality.’;
-    Policy 14: The Mayor will assist boroughs in carrying out the exercise of their statutory duty to improve air quality in London.

•    Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS):
-    Proposal 92: Reducing emissions from public transport, including buses;
-    Proposal 94: Introducing targeted local measures at poor air quality priority locations to reduce emissions and improve local air quality.

•    Mayor’s Health Inequality Strategy (MHIS):
-    Commitment 22: Improve the quality of London’s existing homes and neighbourhoods, especially in those areas with the poorest levels of health.

Impact assessment and consultation

4.3    No formal consultation or impact assessment has been undertaken for these projects. However, they are linked to Policy 3 (Local Measures) of the Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy, which was subject to formal public and stakeholder consultation. Furthermore, the projects below are an evolution of the Clean Air Fund, which was referenced in the Mayor’s manifesto. 

4.4    Key stakeholders include: participating boroughs, participating schools and third-party organisations, with whom the GLA will work to deliver specific components of these programmes. GLA has been working closely with the partner boroughs and other stakeholders consulting with them on arrangements for the programme. This will continue during implementation. There will also be interest from the broader air quality community and we will partner with Air Pollution Research in London (APRIL) to ensure the benefits of the programmes are properly and robustly evaluated. This will support wider roll-out in future years if the projects are successful.

Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought to approve the reallocation of funding for the JOAQUIN project, which have been re-profiled since DD1328. This includes getting approval to grant the London Borough of Islington £40,000 for their work on Air Quality Champions. This is made up of the remaining £6,000 towards airTEXT consortium work (grant of £43,913 to London Borough of Islington was approved under DD1328 and £37,500 has been paid to date towards this ), additional grant funding of £15,000 for the Borough’s work on Air Quality Champions and £19,000 as reimbursement to the borough for work they have done with CERC delivery partner. 

5.2    This grant to Islington is to be funded from JOAQUIN EU income.

5.3        To date this project has received income of £150,000 and a further £90,000 is expected to be paid in by EU by the end of 2015-16. This will mean during the project life it is expected to receive approximately £240,000 of funds against the expenditure of £180,000 for the project to the end of 2015-16. The surplus income will be requested to be an income in advance adjustment at year end to resource Air Quality projects in future years. It should be noted that the income in advance is subject to year-end approvals and permission to carry this income to 2016-17 has been granted from the organisation paying the income to the GLA.

Investment and Performance Board

7.1    This was considered at the IPB Board meeting on 3rd October 2013. 

7.2    The IPB approved in principle the GLA joining the Joint Air Quality Initiative for North West Europe as lead partner for the London bid and approved the delegation of authority to the Executive Director - Development, Enterprise and Environment to approve the receipt of and allocate any additional funding awarded by JOAQUIN and revise the proposed budget allocations, as appropriate.

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