Aberavon AM, David Rees, has welcomed the announcement that ‘The Port Talbot Urban Trees Project’ is one of 14 projects that will benefit from funding announced by the Welsh Government. The Environment Minister, John Griffiths, has announced funding of £494,016 to support 14 local authority-led projects that will improve local environment quality across Wales.

The tree planting project in Port Talbot, designed to improve air quality, will receive £27,833. This project has selected what species of trees to plant based on research on their abilities to remove pollutants from the air. The trees will also improve the tranquillity of the areas planted. The announcement follows the Minister launching his Tranquil, Greener and Cleaner Places programme at the Environment Matters? conference in May.

David Rees AM said:
“I would like to congratulate The Port Talbot Urban Trees Project on their successful application for a project that will improve local communities. Unfortunately, many of our poorest communities are those that suffer most from low quality local environments, be it poor air quality or limited access to green spaces, so I look forward to seeing the results of this project.”

David Rees AM added:
“We must cherish and preserve our local environment for future generations.”

Speaking about the programme the Environment Minister said:
“I am committed to improving local environments and was delighted to announce the pilot Tranquil, Greener and Cleaner Places programme earlier this year. Today’s announcement supports local authority projects that deliver environmental improvements for everyone to enjoy. The programme focuses on improving air quality, environmental noise and tranquil green spaces.
“I am concerned that our poorest communities, and especially those living in urban areas, experience the worst quality local environments with fly tipping, litter, unsafe roads, high levels of pollution and lack of access to green space. The projects receiving funding today will provide an immediate benefit to poorer communities.”

Guidance and application forms were sent to local authorities in June and 35 bids were received from 18 authorities. Applications were considered by a panel including independent advisors from Environment Agency Wales, the Countryside Council for wales and Public Health Wales.