Southwark Council backs Gatwick runway, hoping its residents will commute to airport jobs
Southwark Council has decided to back a Gatwick runway, and has entered into a partnership which it hopes would bring jobs and growth to the borough – if there is a runway. Southwark’s Council Leader has written to Stewart Wingate to propose a Memorandum of Understanding that would mean the airport and council would work together on jobs. Southwark believes “Government policy makes airport expansion inevitable” so they want to get the most out of it for their residents. There is the hope that more frequent trains from London Bridge to Gatwick will enable local people “to access thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships and opportunities for businesses” – so they would all be using the already highly crowded rail links. The Council also says: “Noise from aircraft, particularly in the south of the borough is a real headache for local people as flights come in to land at Heathrow. Gatwick flights predominantly fly south of London over less built up areas so far fewer people will be affected.” And Southwark is happy for all that misery to be put over the heads of others. Croydon also wants the jobs.
Southwark Council announces support for Gatwick Airport expansion
3 February 2015 (Southwark Council)
Southwark Council has thrown it’s weight behind Gatwick Airport’s bid for expansion and entered into a partnership to bring further jobs and growth to the borough – if a second runway goes ahead.
As the Government’s airport commission closes to consider whether a new London runway will be at Heathrow or Gatwick, Councillor Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, has written to Stewart Wingate, chief executive at Gatwick Airport, to propose a Memorandum of Understanding that would mean the airport and council would work together to help Southwark fully realise the economic growth and development opportunities that a Gatwick expansion could provide.
Cllr John said: “Government policy makes airport expansion inevitable, so we need to make sure now that any expansion offers benefits to our residents and will deliver real jobs and growth to Southwark.
“I am backing Gatwick’s plans which offer a real opportunity for Southwark and south London. More frequent trains for London Bridge, the opportunity for local people to access thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships and opportunities for businesses to supply the new airport will all benefit local people.
“Noise from aircraft, particularly in the south of the borough is a real headache for local people as flights come in to land at Heathrow. Gatwick flights predominantly fly south of London over less built up areas so far fewer people will be affected.”
The understanding is based around five key areas:
- Education, training and recruitment – Jobs and growth are a key priority for Southwark as part of our ambition to support 5,000 people into jobs and create 2,000 new apprenticeships. An expanding Gatwick offers crucial job and apprenticeship opportunities for the borough
- Housing provision – Southwark is ideally located to contribute to the larger workforce that Gatwick will require and has already committed to delivering 11,000 new council homes and quality, affordable homes to support the wider workforce
- Transport links – London Bridge will remain a key destination with potentially eight trains an hour travelling between the station and Gatwick and capacity needs to be ensured so local people can access the opportunities the expansion offers
- Noise – a commitment that new flights will be over less built up areas to reduce noise impact
- Supply chains – purchasing power at Gatwick is huge an a real opportunity for local businesses to supply the airport and its partners
Croydon Council backs Gatwick second runway by signing historic agreement with airport’s chief executive
Croydon, which has put its backing firmly behind Gatwick’s bid for a second runway in a move that could bring thousands of jobs.Gatwick’s main competition in securing permission comes from Heathrow, which hopes to build a third runway.
At the Develop Croydon Conference yesterday, council leader Councillor Tony Newman took to the stage with the airport’s chief executive Stewart Wingate to sign a memorandum of understanding.
This agreement means Croydon Council and the airport will be working together to push for the benefits a second runway could bring to the area.
The expansion could bring 22,000 new airport-related jobs and 14,000 others in the south London area, many in Croydon.
Mr Wingate said: “We are batting for the airport and batting for the region to say that expanding the airport is the best solution.
“Our relationship with Croydon has started to thrive and flourish.
“When you look at the second runway you realise that no area is as important as Croydon.
“If people want to take advantage of jobs at the airport it is a good opportunity to get a job where you are 14 minutes from your workplace.
“Croydon is really important in terms of getting more people into work in good quality jobs and this will have a catalytic effect.”
If built, Gatwick has promised to introduce a £3.75million apprenticeship fund, with emphasis going on finding places for Croydon residents.
The agreement says both parties will look to see how Croydon businesses will become suppliers to Gatwick, while the airport has promised £46.5million in a scheme to provide local authorities with £5,000 per new house built to help fund local infrastructure improvements.
The airport will work with Croydon Council to support the delivery of these new homes.
Coun Newman, leader of Croydon Council, said: “London’s new growth corridor starts in Croydon and runs through Gatwick to Brighton.
“Croydon is on the brink of Olympic-scale transformation, and just 15 minutes away by train, Gatwick can make a really important contribution to the regeneration and investment already under way in our borough.
“A second runway would bring huge benefits to our residents and businesses, as well as the wider region. It would create thousands of new jobs, boost businesses including Croydon’s growing tech city, and see further investment in the transport network.”
Gatwick hoping its “pledge” of £46.5 million if it gets 2nd runway will go towards a new Crawley hospital
The local Crawley press reports that Gatwick airport has said they will provide money to contribute towards the cost of a new hospital serving Crawley if they are allowed to build a 2nd runway. This is not a new offer – it was in their list of “pledges” put out in July 2014. However, last week Crawley Borough Council announced that it will tell the Airports Commission a new hospital for Crawley and Horsham must be built if Gatwick is expanded. Members of the council’s overview and scrutiny commission debated a report by council officers that the Commission had “significantly underestimated” what healthcare needs would be created by expansion. Gatwick has said it would provide a £46.5 million fund for community infrastructure projects if there is a new runway. (There is doubt whether a future owner of Gatwick would be legally held to any pledges made now by GIP). Gatwick says it would provide just £5,000 per new house needed, and it estimates that number to be 9,300. ie. £46.5 million. But that would have to cover all areas, down to the coast, not only Crawley. Other figures of the cost of building a hospital put the cost at around £330 – £430 million. Local hospital facilities in the area are already under pressure.