Post-Electoral Promises on Heathrow
Will Labour or Conservative go against a three line whip?
Denis Browne, Chair of the Planning Consultative Committee thanked Mary Macleod and Ruth Cadbury for all their work over the past few years campaigning against the expansion of Hethrow. He followed his thank by asking:
Can you confirm that if you are elected in May you will vote against any motion in the House of Commons to increase capacity, remove alternation or allow the continuation of night flights at Heathrow, even if your party imposes a three line whip to support a different view.
Ruth Cadbury (Labour) said "I have told my party, should it come to it and I am working to ensure it doesn't, that I would not vote with the party whip if the policy is to promote expansion at Heathrow" Ruth quotes her summary response to the Davies Commission, where she discusses capacity, alternation and night flights. In it Ruth says
"What residents need now, whether or not Heathrow expands, is a legally binding package of measures, independently managed, that guarantees the daily respite periods that alternation brings. Noise levels should get no worse than at present, the insulation package be equivalent to that for other major airports, and mitigation measures should be managed independently of the airport operator."
"Evidence is emerging of the impact of aircraft noise on sleep patterns, on heart and lung function, and on children’s cognitive learning so I have said that a full health impact study should be carried out."
Mary Macleod (Conservative) joins Ruth in the "Better not Bigger" slogan and replied saying "I can absolutely give residents the assurance that I will vote against Heathrow expansion if it is recommended by the Airports Commission. My campaign on Heathrow focuses on three main areas: keeping up the campaign against the third runway; campaigning for an end to night flights; and highlighting the importance of runway alternation and fighting for better noise insulation for our schools, residents and businesses.
In her response to the Davies Commission Mary says:.
"There are better ways to deliver the benefits that increased aviation capacity can bring – without increasing the already-high burden that local residents currently bear."
"Adding 260,000 additional flights at Heathrow, regardless of the noise efficiency of new planes, will impact local residents" ... [Any option] "should include an operational ban on night flights between 23:30 and 06:00" "All methods for reducing the impact of aviation noise on local residents should be considered..." "Runway alternation provides a critical respite for local residents and must be maintained..."
Joe Bourke (Liberal Democrats) says the Lib Dems "remain steadfastly opposed to any expansion of Heathrow for a simple reason - the environmental impact. The impact on air pollution, on noise pollution, particularly on people, living under the flight path. It's absolutely vital that politicians stick to the pledge of no third runway at Heathrow to protect the health of the community and improve air quality... I support maintenance of the status quo position on air traffic levels with a continued focus on reduction of both air and noise pollution levels." Read his full answer.
Daniel Goldsmith (Green) replied saying "I am a long standing opponent of Heathrow expansion and I confirm that when elected in May I will vote against any motion in the House of Commons to increase capacity, remove alternation or allow the continuation of night flights at Heathrow".
Richard Hendron (UKIP) in contrast says "I do support the expansion of Heathrow Airport, whether that’s by a third runway or an extension... So many people who live so close to the airport are reliant on the airport for job security.
"...if there was increased capacity in the day then there may not be a need for early morning flights so the time the flights run from could be pushed back, giving residents longer periods free from aircraft noise and light. Further incentives could be put in place to reward those aircraft with the lowest omissions and noise out put. We are moving to an age now where we are seeing quieter and cleaner aircraft. If only the quietest and cleanest aircraft were allowed to use LHR, this would have a massive impact on air quality and noise." Read his full answer.
The declared candidates for the Brentford and Isleworth seat in the General Election are Joseph Bourke (Liberal Democrat), Ruth Cadbury (Labour), Daniel Goldsmith (Green), Richard Hendron (UKIP) and Mary Macleod (Conservative).
Do come along and raise issues with the candidates at the election hustings on Wednesday 15th April.
The next meetings of the BCC, to which all are invited are a social evening on April 16th at the Griffin, with the next planning meeting combined with an AGM on April 27 upstairs at the Griffin. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be added to the mailing list for notifications of meetings.
April 17, 2015