Why the Government’s decision to pursue a 3rd runway is wrong

Cabinet yesterday (5th June) approved plans to build a Third Runway at Heathrow.

Below is the statement from Transport Secretary Chris Grayling with my notes (in italics) as to why this is the wrong move –

 

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Taking the fight against Heathrow Expansion to the seaside

Today saw the TUC bring their conference to Brighton where senior Trade Union officials and their members meet to discuss policy matters and campaigns ahead.

With the Trade Unions split on whether to oppose or support a Third Runway at Heathrow, my friends at Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) decided to run a coach full of campaigners from Harmondsworth to the seaside to put their side of the story and convince the Unions that opposition is the best course of action.

Leaving the Village at 9.30am, we arrived in a wet and windswept Brighton just before 11 and formed up outside the conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were joined shortly for a briefing on the latest developments by Hayes & Harlington MP John McDonnell, who posed with the team from SHE for photos afterwards (Below)

 

With the wind whipping up, the two of us holding the long banner were struggling to hang on to it – after John McDonnell commented on the weather, I joked that we were about to get some impromptu kite surfing in at this rate. His response was to quip, ‘ what’s that, the UKIP air force?’ – he obviously hasn’t heard the news! Whilst it was strange to be joking with a man who I have locked horns with politically for many years (Some of it quite unpleasant), it shows the strength of feeling against the runway that such diametrically opposed characters can come together and work alongside people of all backgrounds and political views on a subject that transcends politics and affects so many.

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UKIP – Job done or only just started?

With the resignation of both Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless, many in the media are now saying that UKIP has achieved its goal and it is no longer relevant on the political landscape.

Indeed, the aforementioned Mr Carswell has been gloating on his Twitter feed about a council byelection in his area where the Tories have taken a seat from UKIP , claiming that many Kippers think ‘job done’.

So, what is the reality? With the triggering of Article 50 and the initial founding reason for UKIP (Leaving the EU) looking like a reality, what have UKIP got left to offer?

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Rumours of the demise of UKIP are greatly exaggerated

The following article is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the official view of the party

Uxbridge street stall Oct 2013 with MS MG and Ilyas
It is often said that a week is a long time in politics – with the events of the last seven days it has certainly seemed that way!

Following on from the surprise resignation of leader Diane James MEP after just 18 days in the role, we have now seen media headlines surrounding an altercation between two of our MEP’s in the EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Party is currently investigating what actually happened and as such it would be wrong for me to speculate before that investigation is concluded. I feel sure that we all wish Steven Woolfe MEP, a personal friend and a thoroughly decent man, a speedy recovery.

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Davies Commission recommends Heathrow Expansion

UKIP Hillingdon Press Release – 1st July 2015

 aeroplane

For immediate release

 

Davies Commission recommends Heathrow Expansion

 

The long awaited Davies Commission report in to aviation in the South East has been released this morning and recommends expansion at Heathrow.

UKIP Hillingdon reject the need to build an additional runway at Heathrow based on a flawed business case which is all about the profits of big overseas investors and not the needs of the UK economy and local people.

 

CD leaflet image jpegCommenting on the news, Hillingdon Chairman and spokesman for Hayes & Harlington Cliff Dixon said, “The figures show that both business and ‘hub’ flight numbers are in decline as new aircraft enable longer distance point to point flights with the trend moving from business to leisure travel.

The case for one ‘super airport’ when we already have excess capacity in the South East at Stansted, Southend and Luton and a runway that can be re-activated at Manston for larger aircraft is unproven. Indeed, the old BAA was broken up to stop one company having a monopoly on air travel around the capital yet expanding Heathrow will effectively reinforce the dominance of one site.

New York is a similar city to London and operates with multiple airports yet the Davies Commission was instructed to look at a single airport expansion only rather than consider upgrades across the South East that would put less strain on surface infrastructure and the communities that have to live around an expanded Heathrow”

Bryan sensibleUKIP Heathrow Villages spokesman Bryan Tomlinson stated, “Our community in the Villages has suffered blight, noise and pollution from Heathrow with the two runways, adding a third will make our environment impossible to live in.

Air pollution is already double the maximum safe limits – On a bad day it can be up to nine times that limit with many people suffering adverse health conditions because of the aircraft emissions and the increased traffic levels that the airport brings.

To add a third runway to benefit the pockets of rich overseas investors at the expense of our historic local area is unacceptable”

 

Press release ends….

 

The Davies Commission to report tomorrow

Sir Howard Davies will be publishing his report in to aviation expansion in the South-East tomorrow morning.

I received the following from my friends at the independent campaign group She Heathrow Expansion (SHE) earlier today –

STOPHEATHROWEXP1-1024x768 Harmondsworth

The Davies Commission Publishes Tomorrow

Thank you for your continued support for our campaign against further expansion at Heathrow.  As you will probably know by now, the Airports Commission recommendation for the site of a new runway in the South East will be made at 7am tomorrow morning.  From 5.30am journalists will be allowed sight of the final report but because of the sensitive nature of its content they will not be allowed to reveal the recommendation in advance.  Therefore, we expect to be in the same position as you, regarding whether Heathrow is the favoured option, until 7am.
Most of our committee and many residents will be involved in media interviews throughout the day.  We have arranged interviews with everyone from BBC Radio London, Breakfast TV shows, Sky TV, Radio 5 Live, Radio 4 Today programme, Channel 5 News and Channel 4 News with Jon Snow to name just a few.
Whatever the recommendation, remember that this does not bind the government to follow the results of the Commission’s report.  Our case is extremely strong and we do not believe that a third runway or extension to the existing northern runway are deliverable options. Therefore, if Sir Howard Davies recommends Heathrow for expansion, we will step up our opposition.  If the decision is for Gatwick, we remain determined to ensure that Heathrow is not considered by the government and that our future is protected from further threat.  The people of London and the surrounding areas impacted by its noise and pollution deserve a break.
Thank you again for your valued support.  We will contact you again soon, in the meantime keep an eye on our website: www.stopheathrowexpansion.co.Neil Keveren and the Stop Heathrow Expansion team
Kind regards
The SHE committee

 

Heathrow Villages – History on your doorstep

With the sun shining brightly this morning, I decided to show my wife around some of the landmarks in Heathrow Villages

With the ongoing fight against the new runway and the rubbish and pothole issues that are frequently highlighted by our representatives in The Villages, it is good to highlight some of the positive aspects of life in the area and to take some time to look around the sites of historic interest that Heathrow Expansion would blight

The Great Barn, Harmondsworth

Great Barn internal shotReferred to as ‘The Cathedral of Middlesex’, the Barn was constructed in the 16th century and was still a working building up until the late 1970’s.

Restored by English Heritage in conjunction with The Friends of the Great Barn, it was re-opened to the public in April and can now be viewed on the second and fourth Sunday of each month between April and October.

Situated behind the historic St Mary’s Church, my wife and I were treated to a tour by local expert Justine Bayley, who pointed out a number of facts about both the building and it’s reconstruction that highlighted the level of craftsmanship that has enabled the structure to survive for centuries with hopefully many more to come.

For more details on The Barn please visit http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/harmondsworth-barn/

The next days available to view are 14th and 28th June

 

 

The Barnes Wallis memorial

Barnes Wallis memorial

Just around the corner from The Great Barn is the relatively recent memorial to the famous inventor Barnes Wallis, who developed the revolutionary ‘bouncing bomb’ that RAF Lancasters of 617 squadron used to destroy the Ruhr dams in 1943. The leader of the raid, Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC, was one of my boyhood heroes so it was good to see the architect of the raid remembered in this way. Barnes Wallis had previously designed the Wellington bomber, the mainstay of RAF Bomber Command in the early years of World War 2 and went on to play a key role in the development of the Tallboy and Grand Slam weapons that were used to sink the battleship Tirpitz and wreck well fortified underground weapons factories in Germany respectively.

The immaculate state of the memorial is a tribute to local resident Armelle Thomas, who was instrumental in its construction and spends time making sure it is always well kept.

Cranford Park

Cranford Country park sign

Cranford Park is a haven for wildlife and one of the prettiest walks in Hillingdon. Amongst the numerous plant and insect life, the park is also home to such birds as the Skylark, Meadow Pipit and Nuthatch along with birds of prey such as the Kestrel and Sparrowhawk.

We kept to the pathways whilst visiting in order to not disturb the nests of the Skylarks, which they build on the ground and are very busy at this time of year.

A number of them were noticeable in the air with their distinctive calls, drowned out only by the noise of the Greater Airbus and Boeing that were in evidence on the flightpath in to Heathrow on a regular basis!

Heathrow Villages have been local communities for centuries, with settlements at the ground where the park now sits dating back to The Bronze Age. Seeing the beauty and the history today makes me more convinced than ever that a Third Runway at Heathrow must be stopped to preserve the area for many generations yet to come.