After voting against Heathrow runway, Runnymede councillor puts new motion to reverse decision
On 22nd January, Runnymede Borough Council voted against a Heathrow 3rd runway. They have previously been supportive. However, Councillor Furey (also a Surrey County Councillor) has put down a motion for discussion at a Council meeting on 5th March, to reverse that position. The motion states: “This Council reconsiders the current policy to support Gatwick Airport expansion at the expense of Heathrow. I call on Members to consider the economic and social benefits that could be derived from a third runway and the harmful impact of undermining Heathrow’s position as Europe’s most important aviation hub. Members are asked to support reconsideration of the recent policy change and restore support for Heathrow expansion, subject to suitable noise, transport and infrastructural mitigation.” Local campaigners are dismayed by this attempt to reverse the runway decision, after such a short time. They do not believe the somewhat nebulous claims of ‘social and economic’ benefits of Heathrow expansion. No local councillor has been able to adequately quantify or qualify what exactly these benefits are for local residents. Residents of Runnymede are urged to attend the Council meeting on 5th March at 7.30pm at the Civic Centre, Addlestone.
Runnymede document here
NOTICE OF MOTION FROM COUNCILLOR J R FUREY
Motion to be moved by Councillor J R Furey:
“This Council reconsiders the current policy to support Gatwick Airport expansion at the expense of Heathrow. I call on Members to consider the economic and social benefits that could be derived from a third runway and the harmful impact of undermining Heathrow’s position as Europe’s most important aviation hub.
“Members are asked to support reconsideration of the recent policy change and restore support for Heathrow expansion, subject to suitable noise, transport and infrastructural mitigation.
Your support greatly appreciated.”
The local campaign says:
Local campaigners from the Stop Trial Flight Routes over Englefield Green, are being encouraged to attend the meeting, which will be on
Thursday 5 March 2015 at 7.30pm
in the Council Chamber at the Civic Centre, Addlestone.
They say that although this specifically affects those living in Runnymede borough, support from all affected by Heathrow greatly appreciated.
The Englefield Green group was instrumental in getting Runnymede Borough Council (RBC) to overturn its support of Heathrow’s expansion in January this year. Now, unbelievably, Cllr Furey, Addlestone, has tabled a motion to overturn this.
Your attendance and support is – once again – vitally needed at this crucial time.
Some councillors seem determined not to listen to the very sensible arguments put forward against airport expansion – which we heard so clearly articulated by Cllrs Taylor, Kusneraitis, Gilham, Prescott etc at the recent committee meeting that determined RBC’s position.
It is disappointing to note that Cllr Furey cites the ‘social and economic’ benefits of expansion at Heathrow. To date, none of the councillors who trot this line out have been able to quantify or qualify what exactly these benefits are for local residents.
Whereas the disadvantages for those of us in the borough have been clearly laid out (full details can be obtained from the EG response to the Davies Report which you can find on our website www.stopegtrials.com ).
It is also interesting to note that Cllr Furey has – once again – included the word mitigation in his motion. Hiding behind the spurious term of mitigation just is not acceptable when the adverse affects can be clearly seen.
Even the Surrey County Council submission in response to the Davies Report states that any ‘mitigation’ needs to be clearly defined before the council can support expansion. There seems to be considerable disarray amongst some parts of the council.
There remains the fear that the council is prepared to abandon constituents and residents in North Runnymede (Egham, Thorpe) and particularly those who are especially hard-hit in parts of Englefield Green for some nebulous notion of benefit for the greater borough.
Every day more evidence surfaces that calls into question Heathrow’s integrity regarding expansion e.g. The disclosure that £17m has been spent on expansion propaganda; the fact that EU air quality standards will be breached by 2030 – even without a 3rd runway.
That parts of our council are refusing to acknowledge the evidence is of great concern.
We had a packed public gallery in January when this last went to vote – and it was clear that those in attendance were passionately against expansion and backed the committee’s decision.
Please try to attend the full council meeting on Thursday 5th March at 1930 at the RBC offices in Addlestone as, once again, a good attendance is important.
If you can spread the word that would be really helpful. Also, those in the area: please lobby your councillors.
Although we can count on the support of Cllrs Taylor, Prescott and Kusneraitis, it would be helpful to make your views known to e.g. Cllr Meares – and others outside of Englefield Green (in the borough of RBC).
NB for further info on Cllr Furey, a google search will turn up some interesting info [including a drink driving offence, and little interest in the protection of Green Belt land. AW note]..
Runnymede Council drops its support for Heathrow 3rd runway
At a meeting on Thursday 22nd January, Runnymede Borough Council voted against their previous pro-Heathrow expansion stance. Runnymede has became the first council to change from a position of supporting a new runway at Heathrow. A packed public gallery burst into applause when the council’s Corporate Management Committee voted by six votes to three to change the policy. Many of the residents were from areas that had seen an increase in flight numbers during the recent trials by Heathrow. The Committee argued that the environmental downsides outweighed any economic benefits that Runnymede might get from expansion. Unfortunately the council voted instead to back a 2nd runway at Gatwick. The way the Airports Commission process has been conducted, the impression has been given that there will be a runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick. In reality, it is still very much whether there will be any new runway – so not a binary choice. The vote by Runnymede leaves only two councils, Slough and Spelthorne, as fully behind a Heathrow 3rd runway. The Council meeting and the vote came about due to pressure from local groups, such as Englefield Green and Windsor.