Elmbridge councillors have officially voted against Heathrow expansion after months of deliberation. Councillors voted by a clear majority to oppose a 3rd runway, at the full council. Elmbridge Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Task Group, dealing with Heathrow expansion, had recommended Elmbridge oppose the plans on the basis of health concerns. More than 800 people had responded to the council’s survey on the plans and many said they had serious concerns about how the construction would damage the borough. A persuasive case for opposing the runway was made by councillor Christine Elmer, chair of the task group, Cllr James Browne and Cllr Tony Popham. Cllr Ellmer believed Heathrow was already a serious issue for the borough, because of high – and worsening – levels of aircraft noise, which continues late into the night. “The fact is that larger planes are flying lower than ever before in Elmbridge and there are no guarantees that this will desist. It cannot be right for residents, as one who wrote to me this week, to have to go to bed wearing earmuffs.” The runway would mean worse road congestion. Cllr Browne said he had not seen any “convincing or independent evidence” to suggest any economic benefits from expansion would benefit the UK and the borough. Local campaign group, Residents Action Group Elmbridge (RAGE) were delighted with the council vote.
Elmbridge Council votes to officially oppose Heathrow expansion
By Rachel Dickerson, Reporter (Local Guardian)
Elmbridge councillors have officially voted against Heathrow expansion after months of deliberation.
Councillors voted in a clear majority to oppose expansion at the full council last night.
The Overview and Scrutiny Task Group dealing with Heathrow expansion at the council had recommended Elmbridge oppose the plans – which would see 750 homes demolished in Longford, Sipson and Harmondsworth – on the basis of health concerns at a cabinet meeting last month.
More than 800 people had responded to the council’s survey on the plans and many said they had serious concerns about how the construction would damage the borough.
But last night councillors voted to oppose the plans following speeches from councillor Christine Elmer, chair of the task group, councillor James Browne and councillor Tony Popham.
Cllr Elmer said: “It’s absolutely vital now that this council takes a position.
“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that noise is one of the most serious issues that our residents face.
“We know that some our residents’ lives are literally being made a misery. They’re struggling with aircraft noise late at night and early in the morning from 4.30am.
“The fact is that larger planes are flying lower than ever before in Elmbridge and there are no guarantees that this will desist.
“It cannot be right for residents, as one who wrote to me this week, to have to go to bed wearing earmuffs.”
Cllr Browne compared Heathrow bosses’ suggestion that airport expansion would not impact on the “appallingly clogged up” M25’s traffic problems to Admiral Nelson turning a ‘blind eye’ at the Battle of Copenhagen.
He said: “If it’s in such an awkward position already then why make the problem worse by expanding this airport?
“I’m not so daft to think what decision we make here tonight will make a blind bit of difference as to what actually happens at Heathrow. However, we have been asked to debate this issue, and this is my contribution.
“I would agree an expansion of south east capacity but not at Heathrow and certainly not as it’s proposed.”
He added that he had not seen any “convincing or independent evidence” to suggest any economic benefits from expansion would benefit the UK and the borough.
Members pushed for an independent noise regulator to monitor sound from planes flying over the borough along with the dispersal of flights before the vote.
Anti-expansion campaigners Residents Action Group Elmbridge (RAGE) tweeted their delight following the meeting, saying that “good sense has prevailed”.
But a Back Heathrow spokesman said the council had “caved in to a vocal minority and dismissed the views of most local residents who support expansion.”
He said: “A survey of 1,000 Elmbridge residents by Populus found that 46 per cent supported expansion with 34 per cent against and 20 per cent neutral or unsure.
“For Cllr Browne to suggest that there is no ‘convincing or independent evidence’ to suggest any economic benefits from expansion would benefit the UK and the borough is a ridiculous and alarming dismissal of the facts.
“Might we point him towards the three-year study by the Airports Commission? Elmbridge residents who support Heathrow expansion do so because of the new jobs and investment opportunities that will come to the local area. The council has let them down badly.”
Elmbridge councillors have said they are against the Heathrow expansion due to health concerns for the people of the borough.
836 people in Elmbridge responded to the council’s survey on the Heathrow expansion and many said they had serious concerns about how the construction would damage borough.
Councillor Stuart Selleck said: “The cabinet cannot support the current proposals for the expansion of Heathrow Airport. It has yet to be convinced that the environmental impact of noise and air pollution has been sufficiently addressed.”
The council said it needed to create a separate body to voice its concerns about pollution fears in the borough.
Cllr Selleck said: “We need to ensure on behalf of our residents that we have do have teeth when it comes to challenging these organisations when it comes to airport expansion.”
Chris Sadler, councillor for Walton Central, said: “Having used the airport a lot, I recognise that it is a massive benefit to the economy in general.
“There is a balance between the business side and the environmental side.
“I have a sense that the airport will go ahead without sufficient protection for the health of people of west London and ourselves.
“We ought to be very careful about expanding an airport at the cost of the health of the people in the locality. The balance has got to be the health first then the growth, not growth at any cost.”
Roy Green, councillor for Hersham Village, said: “There are a lot of people in this borough, not just in northern parts, who are concerned about the noise of the aircraft.
“We are also concerned about the amount of traffic that coming through the borough on a daily basis making its way to the airport. Those who don’t get stuck on the M25 come down through these local roads.”
New group (RAGE) in Elmbridge, to oppose Heathrow noise and expansion, want MP Dominic Raab to “come off the fence”
November 17, 2015
A new community group has been formed in Elmbridge. RAGE (Residents Action Group Elmbridge) is opposing changed Heathrow flight paths & a 3rd Heathrow runway, believing there is quite enough noise pollution and air pollution already, from the airport. Elmbridge is affected by Heathrow flights. RAGE campaigners have demanded that their MP (Dominic Raab, Conservative – Esher and Walton) and Elmbridge Council take a stance on the issue – as a government decision on a new runway is anticipated before Christmas. Neither has reached an official view on a Heathrow runway. Dominic Raab is sitting on the fence, and not committing to oppose a Heathrow runway, presumably not keen to fall out with Tory leaders. He has said he is “scrutinising the Davies Report carefully, including testing the economic and environmental assumptions.” Mr Raab appears to be hoping there could, magically, be less noise for Elmbridge with a 3rd runway than currently. “I want to check the facts and evidence very carefully before coming to a firm view….” RAGE were shocked that Elmbridge Council had only just formed a task force on the issue. RAGE spokeswoman Katy Glassborow said Heathrow expansion would bring more noise and pollution, and Dominic Raab should find out what local people think and work to prevent the negative impacts on his constituents.
The DfT has written to organisations that are “stakeholders” for both the consultation it will hold, in early 2017, on its Airports NPS – and also a consultation on “modernising” UK airspace, in order to fit in a large growth in the number of planes. They will be holding a number of “stakeholder engagement events” in 11 locations across the UK. Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, , Belfast, Liverpool, Cardiff, Newquay, Reading and London. Organisations (the Dft does not mention individuals) can sign up at http://www.aviationconsultations.com/ to register and be sent more information. The DfT say they will then contact people next year with further information, including the date and location; details on how and where to register your organisation’s attendance; the option to attend one or both consultation events; and the running order of the day.
On 25 October 2016, the Government announced that the Heathrow north-west runway scheme is the preferred location for a new runway in the South East. The Government will be consulting on a draft National Policy Statement (NPS) and accompanying documents to take the scheme forward.
In his statement to the House of Commons, the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, also announced the need for measures to support modernisation of UK airspace and the management of aircraft noise. We therefore expect a separate consultation on the UK’s airspace policies to be published in parallel with the consultation on the Heathrow north-west runway scheme.
If your organisation may have an interest in one or both consultations, we are writing to advise you that a stakeholder engagement event will take place in your region. This will be an opportunity to access information on these important policy areas.
We will contact you with further information in due course, including:
The date and location;
Details on how and where to register your organisation’s attendance;
The option to attend one or both consultation events; and
The running order of the day.
To ensure that your organisation is kept informed of the event details, please register your interest in attending at www.aviationconsultations.com
You have the choice of venues of:
Route 4 from Gatwick (taking off towards the west, curving north and then going east) was changed in 2013 to fly slightly further to the north. This caused huge upset and opposition from those newly, and intensely, overflown. Finally in May 2016, the route was changed to be further south, but instead of relatively spread out across the NPR, it is concentrated. This has caused further upset and opposition from those now finding they have far worse noise than before. This changed route was “amended” (not a trial, technically) for 6 months, and that ended on 26th November. However, the altered route will continue for another 3 months, while the CAA evaluates their feedback on how the route has performed. The CAA will in due course produce their PIR (Post Implementation Review) of the changed route. Gatwick had more than 15,000 complaints from the public during the consultation. Some of the towns and villages badly affected by high levels of plane noise include Leigh, Salfords, and Horley. The route involves a very tight turn, and to stay within the 3km wide NPR, planes should not be accelerating too fast (to avoid swinging out too far, and being outside the NPR). People say planes are making more noise, as pilots use flaps in order to make the tight turn, and planes are lower than they need to be. An affected resident said “The planes should be flying a shallower turn with a slightly more northerly trajectory afterwards – just as they did with no significant problems for over 20 years up to 2012.”
Articles from Gatwick Airport on their “Route 4 Blog” can be found at
Campaigners claim the flight path, used for take-off, is “torturing” residents in a swathe of towns and villages
Claims that 75% of pilots using a controversial Gatwick flight path have failed to stick to it without breaking the speed limit will be investigated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as part of a three-month review.
Accusations that a turn in the Route 4 flight path is so acute that it breaches normal CAA rules with also be included in the probe.
Gatwick Airport received more than 15,000 complaints from the public during a six-month consultation on Route 4, which ended last week.
Campaigners claim the flight path, used for take-off, is “torturing” residents in a swathe of towns and villages, including Leigh, Salfords, and Horley, with unbearable noise. Pilots are desperately using plane flaps to try and slow down, they say, adding to the noise.
Route 4 has also led to more planes flying over Horley, something expressly forbidden, and new guidance has been issued to air traffic controllers.
Changes to Route 4 were introduced in May. A six-month consultation ended last week, but planes will continue to fly the route for at least another three months, as the CAA evaluates the responses.
Chris Quinlan, who lives in Leigh, said: “Everything points to the fact it is a bad design, and a bad route.”
“The planes should be flying a shallower turn with a slightly more northerly trajectory afterwards – just as they did with no significant problems for over 20 years up to 2012.”
The Route 4 change has brought more planes into the set noise preferential route (NPR), but prompted thousands of complaints from residents in places such as Leigh and Salfords who have not been overflown before.
Diane Tanner, from Newdigate, added: “The current design of Route 4 is too extreme and breaks rules put there for good reason. Departing aircraft are being forced to use lift-generating devices like wing flaps and slats which generate more noise, in order to try and stay within the speed limit and remain airborne whilst negotiating the turn.
“As a consequence of the tight turn and use of flaps, aircraft are lower and louder during the turn creating shock waves of noise for residents underneath the aerial bombardment of the turn.”
The claim that three-quarters of pilots were breaking the speed limit imposed on the tight turn came from a CAA representative appearing at a public meeting in Betchworth, say campaigners.
However, the CAA has declined to comment directly on those accusations while the review goes on.
A spokesman confirmed the path was designed to be compliant with all international safety standards and told this paper all data, including aircraft performance and navigation accuracy, collected from Route 4 will be assessed and analysed by the CAA.
He said: “We fully recognise the impact that aircraft noise can have on the quality of people’s lives in the vicinity of an airport and we have been fully engaged with local communities to explain the situation at Gatwick.
“The modified route four has now been is use for six months, which has enabled Gatwick Airport to gather valuable data to help determine the most efficient use of its departure routes.
“We are now in the process of carrying out a Post Implementation Review, which will involve a detailed analysis of all the data and residents’ feedback collected by the airport.
Gatwick Airport says 94% of planes using Route 4 have complied with the flight path
“Our review will take approximately three months and a final decision on permanent departure routes at Gatwick will be made following that work.”
Gatwick modified the flight path in May following the CAA’s review of P-RNAV, a satellite ‘precision area navigation’ system that led to flight path modifications when it was introduced in 2013, causing an intensification of flights over Dorking, south Reigate and Redhill.
After those changes caused thousands of complaints, the CAA conducted a review that required the track of Route 4 to be returned to a closer replication of its pre-P-RNAV form, and more in line with the set noise preferential corridor in which planes must fly.
But now residents in towns and villages further south say aircraft noise is blighting their lives like never before.
According to Gatwick, more than 94% of flights have stayed within the Route 4 path, but, in the first five months of its use, the number of aircraft overflying Horley rose from 1 to 3% to 8 to 9%, prompting new guidelines to be speedily issued to air traffic controllers.
As of November 11, Gatwick had received 15,689 complaints about Route 4, but the final total has not yet been confirmed.
Information on route performance and public feedback will no longer be regularly forwarded from the airport to the CAA, but noise complaints can now be registered via Gatwick’s dedicated noise website. [This is now the only way people can complain – no longer by phone or by email].
Plane Wrong calls for better track keeping on Route 4
10.12.2016 (Plane Wrong newsletter)
The CAA has now begun its review of the revised Route 4 that was implemented on 26 May this year.
Plane Wrong is calling for the track keeping to be improved and for the speed limit round the turn to be enforced. We have made a particular point about the need for the Route to operate correctly when there is a strong wind from the south west, conditions that are most likely to cause planes to fly outside the Noise Preferential Route (NPR) track keeping area. You can see our full submission here.
With the help of our consultants, To70, we have carried out extensive analysis of the comprehensive radar data covering 3 months of operation of the revised Route.
This revealed that 6% of flights were outside the NPR during the period studied and that a further 11% were outside the geographical limit of the NPR track keeping area but were not counted by Gatwick because they were above 4,000ft.
This is because when planes reach 4,000ft. the NPR no longer applies. We have pointed out to both Gatwick and the CAA that this limit is entirely artificial as far as residents are concerned and therefore what they are experiencing is 1 in 6 planes outside the NPR, an unacceptable performance.
Our analysis also revealed that some planes are exceeding the speed limit around the turn. We believe this causes them to stay lower for longer, causing more nuisance after the bend. We have made this point in meetings with both Gatwick and the CAA and we have indicated to the CAA that we expect them to ensure that Gatwick enforces the rules.
The CAA’s review is expected to be completed by the Spring of next year.
Government expected to soften stance on concentration
The Aviation Minister, Lord Ahmad, met representatives from the Aviation Communities Forum (ACF) (of which Plane Wrong is a member) recently and told them that the consultation on airspace policy expected in the Spring of next year will include reducing the emphasis on concentration of flight paths. This is crucial for further campaigning on both Routes 3 and 4 as without a change in Government policy Gatwick appears unwilling to consider the sort of changes we believe are needed.
Gatwick’s new complaints system
Many supporters have told us that they don’t like Gatwick’s new complaints system and there was a good deal of discussion at our AGM on the subject. We have taken up specific concerns at the Noise Management Board (on which I have a shared place with CAGNE) and we are waiting for a response from Gatwick to the Board. They have so far said that they will accept letters where people can’t or don’t wish to use the online system but they will not provide a telephone number or an email address.
I hope you have a Happy (and not too noisy!) Christmas and that we will see further improvements in the New Year.
The Gatwick Route 4 blog says:
The CAA’s post implementation review of P-RNAV
What’s our blog about?
In line with CAA requirements, aircraft departing from Gatwick now fly using a method known as ‘Precision Area Navigation’ (P-RNAV). The system means departing aircraft follow more precise flight paths and has been introduced so that the CAA can eventually switch off ground-based navigation systems across the UK.
Before any of this could happen, Gatwick had to design and introduce new flight paths that sit within the airport’s nine noise preferential routes (NPRs) or corridors that departing aircraft fly within. Aircraft started flying these modified flight paths in late 2013 and early 2014 and these routes have just been reviewed (post implementation review) by the CAA to see if they are compliant with regulations.
Below is the 16th update in our series of blogs updating on progress following the CAA’s review.
Update by Charles Kirwan-Taylor, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Director
11 November 2016
The six months monitoring period of the amendment to Route 4 ends at 23:59 on 26 November 2016. As I have previously outlined, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has been receiving monthly data packages from Gatwick Airport regarding route performance and feedback received, this activity however will cease with the end of the monitoring period at which time we will forward our final data package to the CAA and publish a data summary to this blog.
We will continue to monitor Route 4 performance in common with all other departure routes from Gatwick Airport and report accordingly in our Flight Performance Team reports to the Noise and Track Monitoring Advisory Group and the Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee; details of which are available online.
The CAA has undertaken to evaluate the data and decide whether the amendment has been a success or otherwise approximately three to four months after the end of the monitoring period.
After the cessation of the monitoring period:
The current amendment to Route 4 will remain in place at least until we hear from the CAA. This is because the route flown over the previous six months is not a trial but an amendment as required in the CAA Post Implementation Review. Should the CAA deem this amendment to be unsuccessful, it would be at that stage when we would consider other options available.
Should the airport be required to return to a conventional navigation procedure in the event the CAA deems the amendment to be unsuccessful, this would not be a permanent solution but would only be in place until alternative solutions are developed. This is because Performance Based Navigation (PBN) Standard Instrument Departure routes are UK CAA policy under international implementation policies and are expected to be mandated in terminal airspace from 2017.
The Route 4 dedicated email address will close at 23:59 on 26 November 2016. After this time, the method for registering noise complaints will be via our dedicated noise website
Route 4 Statistics
Total number of Route 4 specific complaints up to 11 November 2016: 15,689.
Track keeping broken down by the individual Route 4 Standard Instrument Departure (SID) Routes is provided in the table below:
Gatwick Route 4 finally re-routed as local MP warns about noise misery dangers of a 2nd runway
May 29, 2016
On 26th May, the amended Gatwick departure flight path named “Route 4”, taking off towards the west from Gatwick, went in to operation. This route turning north and then east – to fly towards the east. With the implementation of precision-area navigation (PR-NAV) at Gatwick in 2014, changes were made to Route 4 which made it more concentrated, and slightly to the north of the main NPR (Noise Preferential Route). This resulted in thousands of people suffering intense and frequent plane noise, for the first time. The local group, Plane Wrong, was formed to fight the changes. The PIR (Post Implementation Review) by the CAA in 2015 showed that the change to Route 4 was not “compliant” with regulations, and it should revert to how it was before early 2014. However, it has taken a long time for this reversion to actually happen. The route that has now started means the SID (Standard Instrument Departure) turning circle is a little tighter so planes avoid the densely populated urban areas of Reigate and Redhill. It is regrettable that it took so long for an unacceptable flight path, that could be introduced so quickly without warning, could take so long to reverse. Local MP Crispin Blunt warned that the noise situation with a 2nd Gatwick runway would be completely unacceptable, with no noise mitigation measures in prospect.
“Plane Wrong” critical of CAA’s PIR decision to permit new easterly take-off route to continue
December 20, 2015
The CAA published its long-awaited Post Implementation Review report in early November. Gatwick is required by the CAA to change one westerly departure route (Route 4) that affects people in many villages to the South of Dorking and across to Reigate and Redhill. This has to revert back to being within the NPR (noise preferential route) as before. Local group, Plane Wrong, set up in response to the noise problems caused, says it welcomes the decision and wants this to be implemented rapidly so that residents do not have to suffer the noise for another summer. Plane Wrong is, however, dismayed at the CAA decision in respect of Route 3, which is not to be changed despite the fact that many more people are significantly affected by the change. This appears to have been entirely ignored. Plane Wrong has considerable doubts about some of the methodologies employed by the CAA to reach both these decisions. On the change to Route 4, Plane Wrong says the changes should be completed quickly, though the CAA has to test the change in simulators for Boeing and Airbus. They do not yet know when this work will take place. There is also a 2 month period that has to elapse after that, and there is no indication yet of when this will end.
The CAA’s disappointing PIR finally published, showing only one Gatwick route to be slightly changed
November 12, 2015
Since autumn 2013 there have been changes to flight paths for Gatwick airport, given provisional approval by the CAA. Routes have been altered, and flight paths have been more concentrated. This has been done without consultation of affected communities. The CAA has done a PIR (Post Implementation Review) that ended in January. It has finally, after delays, published its findings. These are regarded as very disappointing, as almost no concessions have been made and though hundreds of complaints were sent in, there are few changes to routes. GACC says: “In a 198 page report they devote only 2 pages to the possibility of dispersal – spreading the aircraft over a wider area – and to the possibility of respite – giving people a break from constant noise. And then reject both. We will now need to take the case to the Government and indeed will raise this when we meet the Minister for Aviation, Robert Goodwill MP …on 18 November.” The more concentrated noise has caused great distress for the people unlucky enough to live directly under the flight paths. The only change to a route is one which takes off to the west, and flies over Holmwood, Brockham and Reigate – Gatwick will be consulting on a revised route in the next few months. People are angry that the CAA, yet again, ignores input from the public.
Heathrow has announced seven firms have been contracted to design plans for its expansion (which it presumes it will be going ahead … eventually). The group – Amec Foster Wheeler, Arup, Atkins, Grimshaw, Mott MacDonald, Jacobs and Quod – will now be known as the Integrated Design Team. Back in March this year, Heathrow said following “a competitive process Arup, CH2M, MACE and Turner & Townsend have been chosen to work alongside” the airport to deliver its expansion as “partners in the Programme Client Team”. Now the four newly announced have been awarded 4-year term contracts. Barry Weekes, Head of Design at Heathrow, said: “With their institutional knowledge of Heathrow, and proven record in building complex infrastructure projects, the members of the Integrated Design Team will allow us to hit the ground running to deliver Heathrow expansion.” Amec Foster Wheeler will “continue to assist Heathrow with its sustainability strategies and Environmental Impact Assessment.” Arup will “utilise its engineering expertise as well as continuing to lead Heathrow’s passenger experience and baggage improvement programmes.” Mott MacDonald brings knowledge developing airport masterplans, as well as its significant engineering expertise. Quod will “offer its town and country planning consultants expertise and extensive knowledge on making successful DCO applications.”
Heathrow names seven firms for airport design
By Aaron Morby
Seven firms have been contracted by Heathrow to design plans for the airport’s sustainable expansion.
The group – Amec Foster Wheeler, Arup, Atkins, Grimshaw, Mott MacDonald, Jacobs and Quod – will now be known as the Integrated Design Team.
The seven teams have each been awarded 4-year term contracts.
The appointment of the IDT follows the announcement of the partners in the Programme Client Team in March. These included: Arup, CH2M, MACE and Turner & Townsend.
Barry Weekes, Head of Design at Heathrow, said: “With their institutional knowledge of Heathrow, and proven record in building complex infrastructure projects, the members of the Integrated Design Team will allow us to hit the ground running to deliver Heathrow expansion.
“Their appointment is a significant milestone in what will be a fast paced design and engineering schedule. We are now well on our way to delivering Britain’s new runway, providing the additional capacity our country needs to maintain its place in the world as a prosperous, outward looking trading nation.”
Key airport design roles
Amec Foster Wheeler will continue to assist Heathrow with its sustainability strategies and Environmental Impact Assessment. Arup will utilise its engineering expertise as well as continuing to lead Heathrow’s passenger experience and baggage improvement programmes. Atkins was appointed for its engineering capability and record of delivering Heathrow’s IT and asset replacement programmes. Grimshaw will work as Concept Architect within the IDT after the successful delivery of Terminal 2B Jacobs will provide airport planning and engineering services and build on the work it has already done with Heathrow. Mott MacDonald bringsknowledge developing airport masterplans, as well as its significant engineering expertise. Quod will offer its town and country planning consultants expertise and extensive knowledge on making successful DCO applications.
Heathrow hopes prematurely announcing “client partners” to build its hoped-for runway will boost its chances
March 16, 2016
Heathrow does not have any sort of (public) consent from the Government to build a third runway. It had hoped to be given the “nod” for its runway in December 2015. But the government realised there were too many environmental and economic problems that the Airports Commission had not dealt with adequately, and no decision could be made. The government is how hoping to make some sort of statement – probably in mid July. There is a likely major legal challenge from 4 local councils to the airport’s plans. Nevertheless, in an act of bravado (desperation?) Heathrow has announced that following “a competitive process Arup, CH2M, MACE and Turner & Townsend have been chosen to work alongside Heathrow Airport Limited to deliver Heathrow’s expansion as partners in the Programme Client….With the programme’s client partners now on board Heathrow is ready to begin the process of expansion as soon as Government gives the green light.” … “The client partners have been tasked with ensuring the programme is delivered to the highest industry standards in planning, innovation and quality.” Quite what the contract is between Heathrow and these firms is not specified. Critics say Heathrow is jumping the gun, and “counting some very expensive chickens before they are hatched”. Gatwick is also trying the same sort of thing.
When the Conservative government announced it was backing a 3rd runway at Heathrow, Zac Goldsmith (MP for Richmond) resigned. He had said even before the May 2010 election that he would do this, and as a matter of principle, he did so. The by-election was therefore triggered on the issue of Heathrow, largely because Richmond is badly affected by plane noise from landings every few minutes, for over half of most days. The Liberal Democrats, with only 8 current MPs, (now 9)fought the seat on the issue of Brexit, and their candidate, Sarah Olney has now won – with a margin over Zac of around 1,800 votes. (Richmond was a held by the LibDems until 2010). Sarah Olney, who only joined the LibDems in 2015, is also very much opposed to Heathrow expansion, so will carry on the fight against the runway. Her primary focus, however, has been Brexit. Richmond is one of the constituencies that voted most strongly for Remain, and so Sarah’s campaign was about Brexit – with everyone appreciating that all candidates (except one minor one) were against the runway. Those who backed Zac will be saddened that his principled stand, which is regrettably rare in politics, has been hijacked in order for the LibDems to get another MP. Zac is widely acknowledged to have been an excellent MP. Opposition to the runway will continue in Richmond, as the area would lose half of its “respite” period without planes overhead, it the expansion was allowed. Tania Mathias, who leads local MPs against Heathrow, has already congratulated Sarah on her win, and said she looks forward to working with her.
Richmond Park by-election: Lib Dems’ Sarah Olney defeats Zac Goldsmith in Brexit backlash
By Barney Henderson
The Liberal Democrats candidate Sarah Olney has defeated Zac Goldsmith, overturning his huge majority, in the Richmond Park by-election.
She won 20,510 votes compared to Mr Goldsmith’s 18,638. The Labour candidate, Christian Wolmar, got 1,515 votes.
Mrs Olney said the result was a rejection of the “politics of anger and division”.
“We will defend the Britain we love. We will stand up for the open tolerant, united Britain we believe in,” she said.
“The people of Richmond Park and North Kingston have sent a shockwave through this Conservative Brexit government, and our message is clear: we do not want a hard Brexit. We do not want to be pulled out of the single market, and we will not let intolerance, division and fear win.”
Mr Goldsmith said: “This by-election that we just had was not a political calculation, it was a promise that I made and it was a promise that I kept.”
Mr Goldsmith quit as Tory MP in protest at the Government’s plans to build another runway at Heathrow.
Following his resignation from the Conservatives, the party announced it would not put forward a candidate to challenge the Richmond Park seat.
The Lib Dems tried to switch the focus of the campaign to Brexit in the staunchly Remain constituency.
Mrs Olney, 39, is a newcomer to politics having only joined the Lib Dems in May 2015.
A North Kingston resident for six years, she is a qualified accountant and works at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington. She is also chairman of North Kingston Liberal Democrats.
Pressed on the first things she will begin working on as an MP, she said: “Brexit and Heathrow were the two key things we fought this campaign on, so those are the two priorities when I get into parliament.”
Ms Olney said she now wanted Parliament to “override” the Brexit referendum.
“It does look now as if we can have a vote in Parliament that might override the referendum. And I will, obviously, be voting to Remain because that is always what I have believed,” she told Sky News.
Asked if she would actively resist Brexit as an MP, she said: “Absolutely. Now I’ve been given this mandate.”
A Conservative Party spokesman said the result would make no difference to Brexit plans.
He said: “Commiserations to Zac Goldsmith on his defeat. Zac has been a strong and principled champion for the residents of Richmond Park and North Kingston over the past six years as their Member of Parliament, and a popular figure in the Conservative Party. We are sorry that he is no longer in the House of Commons.
“This result doesn’t change anything. The Government remains committed to leaving the European Union and triggering Article 50 by the end of March next year. In addition, we will continue to take decisive action in the national interest to secure the UK’s place the world – supporting a third runway at Heathrow to secure jobs and business opportunities for the next decade and beyond.”
Tim Farron, the Lib Dem leader , said the “message is clear”.
“The Liberal Democrats are back and we are carrying the torch for all of those who want a real opposition to this Conservative Brexit government,” he said.
“We are the only party fighting to keep Britain open, tolerant and united, and the only party that has said, loudly and proudly, that we want Britain to remain a member of the Single Market and that we want the people to be given the final say over the Brexit deal. That message has been resoundingly backed by the people of Richmond Park.”
[Asked at one of the local hustings events whether, if Sarah Olney won, Zac would continue to fight Heathrow as hard as he could, Zac replied that he would. So the questioner commented that if he voted for Sarah, he would get two people both opposing the runway plans ….. AW note].
Zac Goldsmith: “Whatever the outcome I will fight on for the environment and against Heathrow.”
On 25th October, 2016 Zac resigned.
He said: “I promised you if my party won the election, the third runway would be scrapped. And I wasn’t making it up.”
He added: “There was no small print, no expiry date, no ambiguity. It was a simple promise. And it mattered. I know it mattered, because the thought of Heathrow expansion fills most of my constituents with dread.”
Mr Goldsmith said the government had chosen the “most polluting, most disruptive, most expensive option” but it had “also chosen the option with the least chance of being delivered”.
He added: “The sheer complexity, cost and legal difficulties mean it is unlikely ever to happen. It will be a millstone round this government’s neck for years.”
“This election must be a referendum on Heathrow expansion”
The Liberal Democrats have defeated Zac Goldsmith to win the seat of Richmond Park, south-west London.
2.12.2016 (New Statesman)
Goldsmith resigned from the Tory party and contested the by-election as an independent, citing his opposition to a third runway at Heathrow. But the Lib Dems fielded Sarah Olney – who only joined the party in 2015 – and fought a campaign on their opposition to Brexit. Goldsmith backed leaving the EU in June.
Olney received 20,510 votes to Goldsmith’s 18,638 – overturning his previous majority of 23,015. The Greens, Ukip and the Tories did not stand a candidate. Labour, along with the smaller parties, lost its deposit.
Sarah Olney becomes the Lib Dems’ ninth MP – and their only woman in the Commons.
She said: “The people of Richmond Park and North Kingston have sent a shockwave through this Conservative Brexit government, and our message is clear – we do not want a hard Brexit. We do not want to be pulled out of the single market, and we will not let intolerance, division and fear win.”
As my colleague Stephen Bush wrote yesterday, the Lib Dems have been increasingly bullish about their prospects in Richmond Park all week, despite an early poll of the seat which put them well behind: “Richmond is ripe with the voters that the Liberal Democrats believe represent their path back: affluent, educated, part of that small group that might not have voted for Tony Blair and David Cameron, but felt the benefits of both administrations, and, broadly, hasn’t been actively distressed by the result of an electoral contest – other than the European referendum.”
The result in Richmond will make many in Labour and the Conservative party nervous. For Tories who won their seats from Lib Dems in 2015, this is a sign that there is a small but significant block of voters for whom Brexit is a motivating issue. (Nearly three-quarters of voters in Richmond voted Remain.) For Labour, the concern is that a political discussion polarised around pro/anti-Brexit lines leaves them out of the picture – as has happened in Scotland, where the narrative is framed around independence/unionism.
This is the second good result for the Lib Dems’ anti-Brexit strategy: in the by-election on 20 October, they reduced the Tory majority in Witney by 20,000. The Oxfordshire seat, previously held by David Cameron, is also affluent and Remain-voting. The party has also done well in local elections since the referendum, particularly in the south-east of England.
However, don’t start ordering your “Prime Minister Farron” baseball caps just yet. By-elections are notorious for wild swings, and the Lib Dems’ polling is still low nationally . Plus, the party threw the kitchen sink at Witney, with the leadership privately saying that they had activists braced for an autumn general election, who would instead be deployed there.
Also in “smaller parties quite chipper” news, the Greens are claiming credit for the win, saying that by not fielding a candidate, they helped the Lib Dems defeat a “regressive alliance”. In 2015, the Greens received 3,548 votes in Richmond Park, while Goldsmith was defeated by 1,872.
Zac first said he would resign if his party backed a Heathrow 3rd runway, in the election campaign in 2010
Mr Goldsmith said he would not vote along party lines if he felt any issue had a negative impact on residents if he was elected as Conservative MP for Richmond Park.
Mr Goldsmith a told hustings in this constituency he would step down if a David Cameron Government cut services at a local hospital, did a U-turn on blocking a third runway at Heathrow or introduced parking charges in Richmond Park.
Asked by BBC Radio Four Today presenter James Naughtie at a local hustings if he would tell parliamentary whips to “stuff it” if he disagreed with policy, Mr Goldsmith replied “absolutely”.
The millionaire ecologist told the meeting, organised by Richmond Chamber of Commerce: “There are various things I have said in this campaign with absolute certainty.
“I said there will be no Heathrow expansion under our Government, there will be no charges for parking in Richmond Park and Kingston Hospital will be safe.
“If any of those promises are broken I will trigger a by-election and allow people to penalise my party.”
Mr Goldsmith had been odds-on to win the seat from incumbent Liberal Democrat candidate Susan Kramer, but has seen his standing suffer because of the row over his non-dom status.
Last November Mr Goldsmith, the green adviser to David Cameron ….
The LibDems were the main reason why the government could not go ahead and back a Heathrow runway sooner. Being in Coalition from 2010 to 2015, the Conservatives could not back any runways, as this was opposed by the LibDems. Hence they set up the Airports Commission, with the aim of putting the runway issue “into the long grass” for several years, so work could be done by the Commission in order to get a runway built sooner, once the Coalition government ended.
The LibDems played an important role in slowing down the process of Heathrow getting a runway. And their policy was that there should be no new runways, largely on climate grounds. Zac Goldsmith, by contrast, often intimated that a new runway was needed somewhere, but did not go quite as far as to say it should be at Gatwick.
However, at the party conference in 2015, Nick Clegg, Vince Cable and Ed Davey tried to get the party to agree to a runway at Gatwick. Conference refused to allow this, and voted against it. The party’s policy remains that there should not be any new south east runways.
Chris Grayling criticised Transport for London’s (TfL) predicted costs for improving road and rail links for the Heathrow expansion. Giving evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee on Heathrow’s 3rd runway, the transport secretary said he considered it “ludicrous” that TfL (who are the experts on transport in London) calculate the necessary work as about £15 billion. He said it looked to him as if “somebody has taken every possible transport improvement in the whole of metropolitan London and thrown it into the mix.” While the Airports Commission estimated that surface infrastructure changes would cost £5bn, TfL estimated the costs of keeping transport flowing – even with a 50% larger Heathrow – to be around £15m-£20m. Heathrow said it would pay for just £1.1 billion. TfF have responded saying. “Expansion at Heathrow will significantly increase demand for access to the airport. Our expert analysis indicates approximately £15bn more investment will be needed beyond what is already committed and the key component of this is a new southern rail link from Waterloo to Heathrow. Thus far, the government have given no commitments to deliver this new rail link, despite the Airport’s Commissions recommendation to do so and, without such a commitment, the aspirations for no increase in road traffic are not credible.”
Transport for London hits back at Chris Grayling’s dismissal of Heathrow costs
By Rebecca Smith (City AM)
Transport for London (TfL) has hit back at the transport secretary, after he branded its cost estimates for rail and road improvements around Heathrow expansion “ludicrous”.
The Airports Commission had estimated that surface infrastructure changes would cost £5bn, but TfL responded by saying the figure underestimated the cost and required changes would cost in the realms of £15m-£20m.
A TfL spokesperson reiterated the prediction after Chris Grayling said he did not see where the £15bn could have come from.
“Expansion at Heathrow will significantly increase demand for access to the airport,” they said.
“Our expert analysis indicates approximately £15bn more investment will be needed beyond what is already committed and the key component of this is a new southern rail link from Waterloo to Heathrow.
“Thus far, the government has given no commitments to deliver this new rail link, despite the Airport’s Commissions recommendation to do so and, without such a commitment, the aspirations for no increase in road traffic are not credible.”
Transport for London analysis of Heathrow expansion surface access costsGrayling made the comments yesterday while giving evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee on Heathrow’s third runway.
On TfL’s cost estimate for surface infrastructure changes, the transport secretary said it looked to him as if “somebody has taken every possible transport improvement in the whole of metropolitan London and thrown it into the mix, and probably funding a large chunk of Crossrail 2 out of it as well”.
[Chris Grayling is keen that Heathrow’s landing charges do not rise, to deter demand. He considers all the necessary transport work will be done anyway, so Heathrow’s impact will be minimal. AW note]
Chris Grayling calls TfL’s Heathrow expansion cost estimates “ludicrous”
By Rebecca Smith (City AM)
Chris Grayling has called Transport for London’s (TfL) predicted costs for improving road and rail links for the Heathrow expansion “ludicrous”.
Giving evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee on Heathrow’s third runway, the transport secretary discussed warnings from TfL that making such improvements could cost up to £20bn.
The Airports Commission had estimated that surface infrastructure changes would cost £5bn, but TfL responded by saying the figure underestimated the cost and required changes would cost in the realms of £15m-£20m.
“I think it’s ludicrous to be honest,” Grayling said. “I do not see where £15bn can come from if you look at what we’re actually seeking to deliver around Heathrow Airport.”
He said it looked to him as if “somebody has taken every possible transport improvement in the whole of metropolitan London and thrown it into the mix, and probably funding a large chunk of Crossrail 2 out of it as well”.
He noted that changes to the M4 were happening already as part of the government’s ongoing road improvement process, while M25 changes will be funded by Heathrow Airport itself and rail improvements partly funded by the airport and partly the government as “these are long planned projects which would happen regardless of the airport expansion”.
Listing Crossrail’s opening in the next couple of years, HS2 providing better connectivity and TfL’s plans for the Piccadilly line to boost capacity, Grayling said these amounted to “a huge step forward” with the wheels in motion already.
“I’m baffled as to where TfL manages to get a £15bn figure from because I don’t know what you’d spend the money on”.
Grayling also said he felt Heathrow would plump for the runway ramp option for crossing the M25 rather than building a tunnel as it would be “operationally easier as well as less expensive”.
Transport Secretary ‘baffled’ by TfL’s Heathrow expansion cost estimate
1.12.2016 (BBC) Image captionA decision on whether to expand Heathrow or Gatwick later this month
The transport secretary has said he is “baffled” by warnings from Transport for London (TfL) that improving road and rail links to an expanded Heathrow Airport could cost up to £20bn.
Chris Grayling was giving evidence to House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee where he dismissed the accuracy of TfL’s estimate.
Last month the government backed building a third runway at Heathrow.
The Airports Commission estimated transport improvements would be £5bn.
But TfL responded to the commission’s recommendations in October 2015 by insisting that figure “underestimates the actual cost by £10 to £15bn”.
Mr Grayling said: “It’s ludicrous, to be honest. I do not see where £15bn can come from if you look at what we’re actually seeking to deliver around Heathrow Airport.
“It feels to me like somebody has taken every possible transport improvement in the whole of metropolitan London and thrown it into the mix, and probably funding a large chunk of Crossrail 2 out of it as well.
“I’m baffled as to where TfL manages to get a £15bn figure from because I don’t know what you’d spend the money on.”
‘Quantum step forward’
The transport secretary said the cost of the runway crossing the M25 will be met “directly by the airport” while plans for rail links such as HS2, Crossrail and an improved London Underground Piccadilly line were already happening.
Heathrow would make a “financial contribution” towards further proposals to create rail links between the airport and the lines to Reading and Waterloo, Mr Grayling said. [How much unspecified].
The transport secretary added: “It will be a quantum step forward in public transport access to Heathrow.
“It will become by far the best connected airport in the country if you look at the different rail and Underground access it will have.
“I’m very satisfied that there is a very bold, comprehensive plan to deliver all that and I understand how it’s going to be funded.”
A TfL spokesman responded to the transport secretary’s comments saying Heathrow expansion would “significantly increase demand for access to the airport”.
He added: “Our expert analysis indicates approximately £15bn more investment will be needed beyond what is already committed and the key component of this is a new southern rail link from Waterloo to Heathrow.
“Thus far, the government have given no commitments to deliver this new rail link, despite the Airport’s Commissions recommendation to do so and, without such a commitment, the aspirations for no increase in road traffic are not credible.”
A TfL spokesperson said: “Expansion at Heathrow will significantly increase demand for access to the airport. Our expert analysis indicates approximately £15bn more investment will be needed beyond what is already committed and the key component of this is a new southern rail link from Waterloo to Heathrow. Thus far, the government have given no commitments to deliver this new rail link, despite the Airport’s Commissions recommendation to do so and, without such a commitment, the aspirations for no increase in road traffic are not credible.”
The Mayor of London has submitted evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee, on Heathrow’s environmental impacts. The Mayor believes Heathrow expansion could have a very detrimental impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners. The submission says: “It is regrettable that Government has decided to take forward Heathrow expansion in spite of the clear evidence of its serious environmental impacts in terms of air quality and noise and, perhaps of greatest concern, what it would mean for public health.” … “It is yet to be demonstrated that an expanded Heathrow could operate without exceeding legal limits for NO2.” … “Delivering significant mode shift will be critical to limiting highway traffic and helping tackle air pollution; but no new rail infrastructure is deemed by Government or the Heathrow Airport Limited to be required for expansion, rendering such an aspiration simply not credible.’ … “Little consideration has been given to the impact expansion will have on the growth in highway trips associated with air freight and induced economic activity…” … “A three-runway Heathrow would result in an increase in the number of people exposed to significant aircraft noise (at 55dBLden) of over 200,000, compared to a two-runway Heathrow…” and “Even with the partial night flights bans being proposed, the proposals are likely to lead to a net increase in flights across the night period (11pm-7am) of at least 30%.” … and there is more …
Written evidence submitted by Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross CBE, on behalf of the Mayor of London
Evidence from the Mayor to the Environmental Audit Cttee, looking into the environmental impacts of a 3rd Heathrow runway.
Thank you for the opportunity to make a submission to inform your ongoing work in relation to airport expansion. I am responding on behalf of the Mayor.
It is regrettable that Government has decided to take forward Heathrow expansion in spite of the clear evidence of its serious environmental impacts in terms of air quality and noise and, perhaps of greatest concern, what it would mean for public health. The recent court judgment, which the Mayor participated in, quashing the Government’s current Air Quality Plan as inadequate and unduly optimistic, simply underscores the need to properly and robustly assess and address the consequences of this lamentable decision.
That is why the Mayor will be seeking to hold Government to account. To that end, he announced last week that he has directed Transport for London to provide advice and assistance to the group of boroughs preparing a legal challenge – and he has not ruled out joining any legal challenge as a full participant.
The Mayor believes these proposals could have a very detrimental impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners. His fundamental concerns include:
It is yet to be demonstrated that an expanded Heathrow could operate without exceeding legal limits for NO2.
The requirement for Defra to draft a new Air Quality Action Plan incorporating more realistic emissions factors is likely to further complicate attempts to demonstrate the compliance of an expanded Heathrow.
Delivering significant mode shift will be critical to limiting highway traffic and helping tackle air pollution; but no new rail infrastructure is deemed by Government or the Heathrow Airport Limited to be required for expansion, rendering such an aspiration simply not credible.
Little consideration has been given to the impact expansion will have on the growth in highway trips associated with air freight and induced economic activity (attracted to the area as a result of an expanded airport, albeit not directly related to the airport); both could have a disproportionate impact on local roads.
A three-runway Heathrow would result in an increase in the number of people exposed to significant aircraft noise (at 55dBLden) of over 200,000, compared to a two-runway Heathrow (applying similar assumptions); Heathrow Airport Limited claimed a new runway could lead to less noise, but only by not comparing like with like – it assumed measures, notably flight routing optimisation, in its expansion scenarios but excluded them from its non-expansion scenarios.
Applying DfT WebTAG guidance indicates the monetised impact on public health from the noise of an expanded Heathrow to be £20-25bn over 60 years.
Even with the partial night flights bans being proposed, the proposals are likely to lead to a net increase in flights across the night period (11pm-7am) of at least 30%.
For most people living under the flightpaths in the vicinity of the airport, the respite from aircraft movements will be half of what is offered today – i.e. just a quarter of the traffic day.
Taken together, this presents a potentially serious challenge to the health of hundreds of thousands of Londoners. The Mayor believes it would be wholly unacceptable if potential gains in noise and air quality as a result of other measures, such as London’s action on vehicle emissions and aircraft operational changes unlocked by new technology – which could substantially benefit local communities – were instead banked by the airport to enable expansion.
The Mayor believes that such is the scale of the environmental impacts that would result from a third runway at Heathrow, it remains highly uncertain that these impacts are capable of being successfully addressed.
There is also a submission by “Sustainable Aviation”, an aviation industry group that hopes to persuade the world at large that aviation is a green industry, and really trying hard to be environmentally friendly. While growing the industry, and its carbon emissions, as fast as it can.
It is full of worth aspirations, and every possible incentive to become wonderfully green, but with almost nothing to actually stop “business as usual” growth. It is written in the standard language of the industry, the DfT, Heathrow etc. (And it, of course, only mentions in-bound tourists, and outbound freight – and economic benefits to everyone …)
Below is one section of it, as an example” :
CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS
3.1 UK aviation is able to accommodate significant growth to 2050 without a substantial increase in absolute CO2 emissions, through the deployment of more efficient air traffic management and operational practices, more efficient engines and aircraft, and the partial displacement of fossil-based kerosene with sustainable aviation fuels.
3.2 The global aviation sector aims to halve net emissions by 2050 compared to 2005, despite continuing growth in aviation connectivity. Sustainable Aviation’s CO2 Road-Map, published in 2012, set out that this could be achieved for UK aviation through:
Changes in aircraft technology, such as improved fuel consumption, improved aerodynamics and reductions in the weight of aircraft engines
Changes in operational techniques, such as continuous descent and climb operations and more direct routes being flown through improved air traffic management both in the UK and across Europe.
The introduction of renewable aviation fuels – the technology is already proven for these but the challenge is the commercialisation of such fuels, which will require Government support similar to that provided to renewable road fuels.
Market-based measures – although the aviation industry will continue to make significant reductions in its own CO2 intensity, a global CO2 trading scheme will be required to enable aviation to contribute to overall CO2 reductions beyond those achievable within the aviation sector.
3.3 In our progress report published last year, we noted that:
20 million tonnes of CO2 emissions were saved from UK airline flights in the last ten years. [That amounts to below 6% of the total. AW note]
More than 470 new, cleaner and quieter, aircraft (costing $50bn) have been introduced by UK airlines since 2005, which are 20% more fuel efficient. [By cleaner and quieter, which is aviation greenwash terminology, they mean more fuel efficient and marginally less noisy. AW note]
Since 2008, 400 procedural airspace changes and more efficient air traffic control has enabled savings of more than 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. [Some of those changes have caused real upset and misery to those finding themselves under newly concentrated flight paths. AW note]
The opponents of a new Nantes airport and Notre Dame des Landes are still waiting to see if the authorities try to force them off the land. On the 10th November, there was a good gathering (150 tractors and 500 people) who surrounded one of the farms on the ZAD (zone à defendre) to show solidarity against possible evictions. Now another gathering is planned for 2nd December, as they fear the threat of an attempt to start the removal work is even stronger in the days and weeks ahead. They say “We can not accept that the government does not respect the environmental code and the law on water and protected species.” And “it is our duty to prevent the destruction of fertile soils of the ZAD and the expulsion of those who make a living there.” The plan is meet up, speeches etc, and then pot au feu! In another solidarity campaign, there will be a relay of tractors taking good quality hay grown on the ZAD, up to farmers in Normandy, who do not have enough. On 13th to 16th December 3 hay trailers will start from the ZAD at NDDL, led initially by tractors of farmers at NDDL. Every 20 to 30 km, the relay will be passed to other local farmers with their tractors who take the next stage. Held in the squares of towns or villages, the relay stops will be an opportunity to communicate about the struggle against the planned NDDL airport – and national issues.
Mobilisation des paysannes et paysans de Copain le 2 décembre 2016
Le rassemblement paysan du 10 novembre pour entourer de nos Tracteurs Vigilants la ferme de Brigitte, Sylvain et Justin Fresneau a été une réussite (150 tracteurs et plus de 500 personnes).
La menace d’une tentative de début de travaux est des plus forte pour les jours et semaines à venir.
Nous ne pouvons accepter que le gouvernement ne respecte pas le code de l’environnement et les loi sur l’eau et les espèces protégées.
Aujourd’hui, construire un aéroport à NDDL est illégal car l’aménagement de l’aéroport actuel est une alternative tout à fait viable au long terme.
Il est de notre devoir d’empêcher la destruction des terres nourricières de la Zad et l’expulsion de ceux qui la font vivre.
Pour nous, paysannes et paysans de Copain, c’est maintenant qu’il faut affirmer notre détermination à empêcher tout début de travaux ou d’expulsion.
Il y a bientôt quatre ans, nous protégions la ferme de Bellevue de la destruction, en occuppant le corps de ferme et les 120 ha.
Depuis, nous entretenons les prairies et les cultures, et la ferme est devenu un lieu de vie, d’échanges, d’émulation et de création.
Nous avons donc décidé:
Un appel à tous les paysannes et paysans et aux comités de soutiens :
Rassemblement le vendredi 02 décembre 2016
à 11h00 à la Ferme de Bellevue
Pour réaffirmer comment nous protègerons la Ferme comme l’ensemble de la Zad
11h00: chantiers de protection
12h00: prises de paroles et conférence de presse
13h00: Pot au feu !
L’ACIPA appelle ses adhérents et sympathisants à accompagner ce rassemblement.
Heathrow has paid Populus to carry out surveys across various parts of London and surrounding areas for several years, trying to get results that show high levels of support for Heathrow. Though all results are published, in the proper manner, the details of the phone script for the interviews is never given. People interviewed have expressed the opinion that it is biased. Now the Evening Standard reports on a recording of a local voter being interviewed for the telephone survey. The interviewer is heard pointing out that legal battles could be “potentially costly” and that Heathrow “has committed to reduce the number of people significantly impacted by aircraft noise, extend the ban on night flights and play their part to improve local air quality”. The interviewee was asked how they would vote in the Richmond by-election and whether a legal challenge being mounted by four local authorities was a “waste of time and money” or a “reasonable” use of taxpayers’ funds. This appears to be not only biased interviewing, likely to skew the results, but also intended to reduce the vote for Zac Goldsmith. Zac called a by-election on the Heathrow runway issue, and Heathrow would see it as a positive sign for them – they want Zac to be beaten (by-election on 1st December).
Heathrow Airport in row over secret recording of Richmond voter quiz
By JOE MURPHY (Standard)
Heathrow was embroiled in a by-election row today after quizzing Richmond Park residents on whether a legal challenge to a third runway at the airport was a “waste of time and money”.
Allies of Zac Goldsmith accused the airport of undermining his election campaign by asking questions that could sway voters.
A secret recording of a local voter being interviewed for the telephone survey has been heard by the Standard.
The interviewer is heard pointing out that legal battles could be “potentially costly” and that Heathrow “has committed to reduce the number of people significantly impacted by aircraft noise, extend the ban on night flights and play their part to improve local air quality”.
The man was asked how he would vote in the by-election and whether a legal challenge being mounted by four local authorities was a “waste of time and money” or a “reasonable” use of taxpayers’ funds.
Lord True, the Tory leader of Richmond council and a supporter of Mr Goldsmith, said the survey was “an unwelcome intervention” that could “undermine the campaign of Heathrow’s leading opponent”.
He said: “I think it is spectacularly ill-judged and inappropriate. They seem to be very leading questions to me.”
Mr Goldsmith, who is standing as an independent candidate after resigning the seat as a Tory MP, is attempting to turn the election into a referendum on the third runway. He said: “They know that if I lose, they win.”
A Heathrow spokesman denied the claims and said: “On behalf of Heathrow, Populus has polled residents in the 12 constituencies around the airport annually for the past four years.
“This polling assesses local views on a number of topical issues linked to the airport and its expansion. This year’s questions include one about the judicial review that some local authorities have launched against the Government. Heathrow enjoys a constructive relationship with Mr Goldsmith, and we have no intention of interfering in the by-election in Richmond.”
Leading Green party members in Richmond Park are split over co-leader Caroline Lucas’s decision to back Lib-Dem candidate Sarah Olney. Some support Labour’s Christian Wolmar, and Clare Keogh, who was the Green candidate in Kingston and Surbiton in last year’s general election, attacked the Lib-Dems for their “regressive role with the Tories in government”.
Text of phone script of Heathrow commissioned Populus poll shows degree of bias
December 12, 2014
In July to September 2014 Heathrow commissioned yet another telephone poll by Populus, on attitudes to its 3rd runway plans. The poll showed 49% net in favour, 32% net opposed and 19% neither support nor oppose. The figures are broadly similar to polls in March 2014 (48% support, 34% against, 18% unsure), November 2013 or May 2013 and there was 50% support from a Populus poll in 2007. Though Populus publish details of the numbers, they do not publish the script used for the phone interview. An enterprising resident, irritated by the polls, noted the wording when telephoned – which indicates how much bias there is in the way the poll was conducted. There was no mention that the poll was paid for by Heathrow. The most dubious question is number 11 which asks: “Are you more or less inclined to support expansion of HRW (or maybe it was a 3rd runway?) knowing that it will mean: 11.1) An additional 41,000 jobs by 2030 (options more, less, or no difference); 11.2) Doubling youth training schemes from 5,000 to 10,000 places (options more, less, or no difference); 11.3) Reduction in number of people impacted by daytime aircraft noise (options more, less, or no difference); 11.4) Reduction in night time disturbance [not specific] (options more, less, or no difference). Unbiased?