Three SHE public meetings in the Heathrow villages for residents threatened by 3rd runway
Residents from the Heathrow villages joined local MP John McDonnell (Hayes & Harlington) and Chair of Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE), Jackie Clark to discuss the impacts of a third runway on the local area. The meeting was the second of three planned around the area. John McDonnell outlined the latest developments with the campaign, and some of his activities on the issue in recent months. They also outlined the plan of action for later this year, if the Government announces its support for the runway. John said: “In Hayes we face being subject to more aircraft noise, more air pollution and a poorer quality of life. Even if the government opts to support a third runway in July or September, we will fight this in the courts, as we did last time. And we will win again.” The subject of most concern was air pollution, and in particular the impact on children. Parts of Hayes and West Drayton are the most polluted areas near Heathrow, with air quality monitors register damaging level of NO2 above the EU limit of 40 micrograms per cubic metre. Other topics discussed throughout the evening included aircraft noise, traffic congestion and the political situation. Some residents remain unaware of the terrible impacts of a 3rd runway with a further 260,000 flights and associated road traffic including many more heavy goods vehicles
Residents question MP about runway
22.4.2016 (SHE – Stop Heathrow Expansion)
Residents joined local MP John McDonnell and Chair of Stop Heathrow Expansion, Jackie Clark to discuss the impacts of a third runway on the local area. The two explained both the current state of play on Heathrow and the plan of action for later this year, if the Government announces its support for a third runway.
Speaking at Hayes & Harlington Community Centre on Thursday evening, McDonnell outlined the latest developments with the campaign, and some of his activities on the issue in recent months.
John McDonnell, MP for Hayes & Harlington, said: “In Hayes we face being subject to more aircraft noise, more air pollution and a poorer quality of life. Even if the government opts to support a third runway in July or September, we will fight this in the courts, as we did last time. And we will win again.”
Topics discussed throughout the evening ranged from aircraft noise, air pollution, traffic congestion and the political situation.
One theme that dominated the evening was air pollution, particularly in relation to children’s health whilst at school. Jackie Clark, Chair of Stop Heathrow Expansion, said: “Right across the south of Hillingdon there are very high levels of asthma sufferers, particularly amongst school children. It’s very worrying to think if Heathrow get their way, considerably more numbers of children would experience higher levels of pollution-inflicted illnesses in Hayes and beyond.”
Stop Heathrow Expansion are holding another meeting, open to all residents, on Thursday 26 May in Yiewsley. http://www.stopheathrowexpansion.co.uk/three-public-meetings-announced/
Robert Barnstone 07806 947050; firstname.lastname@example.org
Three public meetings organised by SHE
TUESDAY 5TH APRIL, 8PM – CRANE COMMUNITY CENTRE, FULLER WAY, HAYES UB3 4LW
THURSDAY 21ST APRIL, 8PM – HAYES AND HARLINGTON COMMUNITY CENTRE, ALBERT ROAD, HAYES UB3 4HR
THURSDAY 26TH MAY, 8PM – ST MATTHEWS CHURCH, HIGH STREET, YIEWSLEY UB7 7QH
The meetings will have guest speakers including John McDonnell MP.
The locations and distribution of the SHE newspapers have deliberately focussed on West Drayton and Hayes this time. These areas would be the new “front line” if a third runway gets the go ahead.
Parts of Hayes and West Drayton are also shown to be the most polluted areas near Heathrow, yet many of its residents are still unaware of the terrible impact of a third runway with a further 260,000 flights and associated road traffic including many more heavy goods vehicles.
Air quality monitors in both areas register damaging Nitrogen Dioxide ABOVE the EU annual legal limits of 40 micrograms per cubic metre. Worst still the annual figures are arrived at by examining the pollution over a year, which evens out the high and the low readings.
You and your children cannot hold your breathe during a period of very high pollution and wait until pollution levels drop before you inhale.
The Hayes monitor is at the junction of North Hyde Road and North Hyde Gardens, a residential area that already suffers heavy traffic. The West Drayton monitor (picture below, conveniently blending in with the green surroundings) has the highest Nitrogen Dioxide levels of all the 11 monitors around Heathrow. It is sited by Keats Way, only a few metres away from Cherry Lane School and Children’s Centre!
In a one-hour period in January 2016 it recorded Nitrogen Dioxide at 228 micrograms per cubic metre – an eight-year high!! There is no doubt that pollution is damaging our health.
No one should be simply sitting back and hoping that our government sees sense and calls a halt to further expansion at Heathrow. We need to take action before a decision this summer.
Please come along to one of our meetings and encourage others to join us to find out how they can help our campaign.
The Stop Heathrow Expansion website states (2015):
The Greater London Authority (GLA) has just reported that Hillingdon Borough has had the greatest increase in population of all the London boroughs since 1939, with an increase of around 130,000 people (82%). A large proportion of those have been housed in the southern wards, which are the most densely populated. These are the areas in the borough that will be most affected by Heathrow expansion.
Health services are already unable to cope and services have been crumbling for some time. Talk to Hillingdon residents, particularly those living in the south, and you will hear about the difficulty of accessing services too. Four out of five Heathrow Villages have no GP surgery, dentist or pharmacy. It is not uncommon to wait 3 weeks for a GP appointment for illness. We hear of GPs leaving the area but none arriving. If your illness becomes serious and you need to visit the A&E at Hillingdon Hospital you can expect a long wait. If you need a scan you could find yourself waiting a long time – only to discover that a transit passenger who has just been taken ill at Heathrow is ahead of you in the queue.
Problems are not exclusive to Hillingdon. Services around West London are coping with cuts, forcing many people to seek medical care outside of their local area. For example, patients living in Heathrow Villages ward may have to have blood tests at Ashford Hospital, dental treatment in Hounslow and see specialists at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey. This knock-on effect will certainly be more apparent to people in other areas when the first flood of people looking for the promised new jobs arrive.
The impact on health should be a major concern. No amount of projected financial benefit should detract from the damage caused to the health of those forced to live with Heathrow expansion.
We are aware that the Commission has numerous advisors who can assist with examination of the research evidence that shows the detrimental impact of noise and air pollution on health. Our representative at the Commission event in December and the Hillingdon Borough submission have both listed some figures (patients suffering specific conditions such as asthma) but even these do not show those who have not been diagnosed or are being treated for an airport-related illness not featured in the list. People living under threat of losing their homes have also asked us to mention the impact on mental health and stress-related conditions.
Fundamentally, it should be a basic human right to breathe without the fear that the air in your lungs is shortening your life. People currently living near Heathrow cannot do that.
It is important that the damage caused by particulates generated by increases in road traffic, which includes the planned increase in freight vehicles, is examined. It is not acceptable that children should be expected to live, play and learn in an environment that is known to damage their developing lungs. Life expectancy in the south of Hillingdon is 7 years shorter than in the north of the borough and pollution is said to be responsible for one in twelve deaths in London. Even if Davies puts Heathrow profit before people, the cost of caring for those made ill by pollution and prematurely dying should be factored in to the estimated costs.
At London rally, John McDonnell hits out at “lying” aviation officials over Heathrow claims
At the huge anti-Heathrow 3rd runway rally, Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell lashed out at ‘lying’ aviation officials, saying ‘poisoned’ air is killing residents in the area. He said the aviation industry has ‘consistently lied’ about expanding the UK’s largest airport. He said if it would be ‘down to people power’ to prevent the 3rd runway being built, if the expansion is backed by Parliament and court appeals against the decision fail. “I will welcome back to my constituency, climate camp and all those demonstrators that will take action to prevent this runway being built.”… He said in his Hayes & Harlington constituency, next door to Heathrow: “… at the moment, people are literally dying. They’re dying because the air has already been poisoned by the aviation industry. …They’ve promised us after every inquiry, no further expansion. They are liars. They have consistently lied to us. They now tell us if they get a 3rd runway, there’ll be no increase in noise and no increase in pollution. They lie every time to us.” He said up to 4,000 homes would be demolished, or rendered unliveable in his constituency. Both main mayoral candidates, Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan, also addressed the rally, and spoke about the seriousness of the risk to ever worse air quality – with its health implications.