AIR quality in Middlewich will come under the microscope after councillors agreed to launch a review.

It means Middlewich Town Council will consider buying a new air quality monitoring station to provide real-time data and more information than is currently available in the town.

Cllr Graham Orme, independent, began researching the issue before he became a councillor last autumn.

He told Monday’s online town council meeting: “Do we as councillors and members of the community have and clear and informed understanding of the picture of air quality in Middlewich – not assumptions, but facts?

“There are designated air quality management areas in Middlewich but other important areas to be considered for monitoring have been missed.”

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A report presented to councillors highlighted air quality issues in Middlewich caused by traffic travelling through town, particularly when the M6 is closed.

Cheshire East Council currently measures the harmful pollutant nitrogen dioxide from three diffusion tubes in Middlewich.

But those devices do not measure particulates from diesel fumes, which can enter the lungs and cause damage to the heart, while they only provide one reading per month.

Cllr Jonathan Parry, Labour, said: “It is evident there are problems in Middlewich with air quality. Not enough is measured and particulates do need to be measures.”

Cllr Orme looked into devices that the council could consider buying to measure particulates and provide real-time data.

It is expected the kit would cost in the region of £4,000, but Middlewich Town Council would have to find the three best value options before settling on a particular measuring device.

Cllr Carol Bulman, Labour, said: “I really don’t think Middlewich [Town Council] should be spending much on this.

“We should be pushing for CEC to stump up, because it is not just our area [with air quality issues].”

However, other town councillors feared Middlewich would be overlooked for the kit in favour of other towns if CEC took the lead on buying it.

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Councillors agreed that a working group should carry out a review on air quality in Middlewich, including the potential purchase of the equipment.

Members also agreed they wanted to get the support of Cheshire East Council in the project and present their findings to the public.