WHILE events organised by the city council, university and local environmental groups were taking place in Southampton to celebrate Clean Air Day, some people couldn't fail to notice the elephant in the square behind them. A corporate midsummer soiree was taking place in the Guildhall forecourt. Nothing wrong with that but there was something terribly wrong about the 5m high, gas powered heaters, blowing flames and pollution into the air.

Clean air campaigners saw the irony and a golden opportunity to take a photo from within the square with the heaters blazing away in the distance. Unfortunately one of the event organisers prevented this from happening, presumably in case the corporate lawyers got upset but mainly because he wanted good publicity from the event.

It's all about the council being seen to be doing something and ticking public engagement boxes. But the public have had enough of strategies and talk. We want action and change.

An ironic photo would have been huge publicity for the cause and could have got national coverage. Unless people start getting angry, nothing will ever change and people will carry on living in a city with some of the worst air quality in the UK.