Mary Macleod Calls For Referendum On Heathrow Expansion

Local MP wants Hounslow Council to let residents vote on the issue

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Brentford and Isleworth MP Mary Macleod has written to the Leader of the Council in Hounslow to ask him to consider asking local people whether or not they support Heathrow expansion.

Mary’s request comes as the neighbouring London Boroughs of Hillingdon and Richmond have announced their own referendums on Heathrow expansion, and London Mayor Boris Johnson’s support for a London-wide referendum.

The Council leader of Richmond, Lord True announced that residents would be invited to publicly declare their views on expansion.

Mary commented: “I think it is important to hear the voices of local people who are impacted by any changes, since they live under the Heathrow flight path”.

She added: “The newly announced independent commission led by Sir Howard Davies will be vital in developing our long term aviation strategy, but I think the Council could show leadership on this issue by allowing local people a voice on whether or not a third runway should be built.”

Cllr Jagdish Sharma, Leader of the London Borough of Hounslow, said:

“We are very interested in the approach being adopted by our neighbours in Richmond. Although we haven’t been formally approached by anyone from the borough yet, it would be useful to asses the appetite for extending this proposal across all the councils affected by aircraft noise.”

Conservative councillors in Hounslow have also joined in the referendum call.

Cllr Peter Thompson, Leader of the Conservatives on Hounslow Council, stated:

“I sincerely hope that Richmond will not be alone in making this move.  We are against any plan to expand Heathrow now, or in the future. Whilst I welcome the reassurance from the Prime Minister and deputy Prime Minister that the moratorium on expansion until 2015 will remain, it’s not enough! 

"We need to kill Heathrow expansion for good.  We have heard too much from big money interests and groups claiming to represent “business”.  It’s about time the long-suffering people of west London had an opportunity to shout loud and clear to those that run the airport, and anyone inside government who may support them, that we simply don’t want more traffic, more noise and more pollution.”

Tony Arbour AM, the London Assembly Member for South West London, has called on Mayor Boris Johnson to support referendums in every London borough on whether a 3rd runway should be built at Heathrow.

Speaking at Mayor’s Question Time today Mr Johnson made clear that he supported this approach.

Commenting, Tony Arbour said: “I am strongly opposed to a third runway and it is crucial that the Government understands the strength of opposition to allowing Heathrow Airport to build one.

“I am delighted that the Mayor has today backed the idea of London boroughs holding referendums on this subject and I’m sure Londoners will be unsurprised to learn that the Mayor confirmed that he would vote ‘No’.”


.September 19, 2012

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