Wednesday 13 February 2008

Residents Say No To Heathrow Expansion Plans

Last night I counted over five hundred and twenty people in Hammersmith Town Hall. All but two (we took a vote) were there to voice their opposition to the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

The thirty three London Councils are also against the expansion of Heathrow. The last Labour Administration was against it as is (I think) the current Conservative one. Local MP Andy Slaughter (Lab) is also firmly against it. It seems that there’s a cross-party consensus at a local level in opposing the Heathrow plans.

I think this is important as I understand that the CBI backs the expansion as do the Government and Opposition front benches in Parliament. We have quite a fight on our hands if we’re to be successful.

I therefore welcomed the public meeting that took place last night. The only criticism I heard from some people who turned up was that it was short on action points. Several people came up to me and asked what had it achieved? We’ll have to see. People did get a chance to hear and question several speakers which included Lord Soley, the Campaign Director of Future Heathrow speaking for the expansion; with Nic Ferriday, from HACAN Clearskies and Andy Slaughter MP speaking against it.

Residents that were unable to get to the meeting but who still want to make their views known should click here to fill in the consultation. The consultation ends on 27th February.

I think it’s important and that H&F Council to have a united political front in opposing the Heathrow plan. I also think that this is what the public will expect their local councillors and MPs to do. Ealing’s Conservative Council had a meeting about Heathrow earlier this month and went out of their way to invite MPs from different political parties. So, I was disapointed that H&F Council only had the names of three Conservative politicians on the Heathrow letter that went out to all borough residents, that H&F Council tried to block Andy Slaughter MP and myself from being on the panel and refrained from including the Opposition in any of the post-meeting press briefings.

Please write to me by clicking here to offer your views about how we take this campaign forward. I’ll keep you updated.

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