Ealing Council, that has avoided opposing Heathrow runway, wants £150 million to compensate residents

Last time round when there was nearly a 3rd Heathrow runway, in 2008- 2009, Ealing Council was part of the 2M group of councils opposing it.  In the intervening years, there are only 4 councils really taking forward the opposition. Ealing has increasingly been seen as changing its stance, to luke-warm support for the runway.  In July 2015, rather than restate its anti-runway stance the Labour group passed a motion “demanding answers” from the Conservative government on what it intended to do at Heathrow, if expansion is permitted. Its MP, Virendra Sharma, who had been against the runway, announced in August that he now supported it. Now the council leader (Labour) Julian Bell says he wants demanding £150 million, so Ealing can cope with the environmental impact of the runway at Heathrow.  “”While we welcome the jobs and economic benefits of Heathrow, a 3rd runway will inevitably cause more noise, pollution and traffic that will damage the quality of life of local people. …Straight talking and tough negotiating is what is needed if this goes ahead and I will continue to demand Heathrow Airport provides the best compensation deal for the people of Ealing.”  Slough Council got a deal with Heathrow early on in 2015, to try to get financial benefits from the airport, in exchange for not opposing it.



Ealing needs £150m in compensation to cope with Heathrow expansion, council leader says

Council leader Julian Bell said he is demanding £150m so that Ealing can cope with the environmental impact of a third runway at Heathrow
BY DAVID RIVERS (Get West London)
27 OCT 2016

It will take a compensation package of £150million for residents in Ealing to cope with the impact of a new runway at Heathrow Airport, council leader Julian Bell has warned.

On Tuesday (October 25) government gave its backing for a third runway at Heathrow Airport, which sparked a wave of criticism from campaigners .

Reacting to the announcement, Labour Councillor Bell said he is demanding a compensation package of £150million from Heathrow Airport to deal with the environmental impact.

Cllr Bell said: “When you already live next door to a notoriously loud party house the last thing you want to see is a van delivering gigantic speakers.

“While we welcome the jobs and economic benefits of Heathrow, a third runway will inevitably cause more noise, pollution and traffic that will damage the quality of life of local people.

“This news will cause serious anxiety for my residents which is why I am demanding a £150million package of measures to mitigate the environmental impacts of a third runway and compensate those affected if the Government is determined to press ahead with this.

“Straight talking and tough negotiating is what is needed if this goes ahead and I will continue to demand Heathrow Airport provides the best compensation deal for the people of Ealing.”

His comments were condemned by opposition leader, Conservative Councillor Greg Stafford, who criticised Cllr Bell for not joining other councils in taking legal action against the Governments’ proposal.

[The councils that say they will be taking legal action are:  Windsor & Maidenhead, Richmond, Wandsworth and Hillingdon].



How Ealing could be affected by Heathrow noise

In January 2008, when Ealing was part of the 2M (standing for 2 million residents) group of councils, the group put out this document on how increased flights from a new Heathrow runway would affect the borough:




• South Acton is under the flightpath to the third runway so aircraft coming in overhead throughout the day when the airport is operating on westerlies – up to one every 90 seconds. • Noise from take-offs when the airport is operating on easterlies – many more than now.


• Noise from take-offs when airport is operating on easterlies. • Aircraft coming in for the first time over south Ealing.


• Close to the third runway flightpath so noise from arriving aircraft throughout the day when airport is operating on westerlies – up to one every 90 seconds during peak periods. • Take-offs from third runway when the airport is operating on easterlies – one every 90 seconds during peak periods. • Noise from take-offs from the existing north runway when the airport is operating on easterlies – as a result of ending the Cranford agreement restricting departures from this runway.




Ealing Council leader challenged to ‘sit on fence’ under flightpath

Opposition councillors have accused Ealing’s Labour leader of backtracking on his commitment to oppose a third Heathrow runway

BY STEVE BAX (Get West London)
30 JUL 2015

Ealing Council leader Julian Bell has denied claims that his Labour administration is backtracking in its opposition to Heathrow expansion.

Rather than restate its anti-third runway stance at last Monday’s (July 27) full council, the Labour group passed a motion “demanding answers” from the Conservative government on what it intends to do at Heathrow, if expansion is permitted.

The motion was supported by Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors, while the Ealing Conservative group abstained.

Afterwards, Lib Dem leader Cllr Gary Malcolm rounded on the Labour group and Cllr Bell for not taking a tougher line.

He said: “It is a shame that the Labour party are sitting on the fence, dancing to the tune of David Cameron. Liberal Democrats reaffirmed our opposition to Heathrow expansion as we do not want to see more noise and air pollution.

“Why doesn’t the council leader sit on his fence at a school in Hounslow – then he will appreciate the noise children suffer, day in and day out!”

Cllr Gregory Stafford, leader of Tory opposition, said the Ealing Labour leadership had “refused to confirm” they intend to stick to their 2014 manifesto commitment to campaign against expansion at Heathrow Airport.  [They are no longer part of the 2M group of councils, against a larger Heathrow]. 

Pointing out that Labour councillors had refused a Conservative amendment reaffirming the council’s commitment to campaigning against further expansion, Cllr Stafford claimed: “Nationally, Labour has changed their minds on Heathrow expansion.

“It should therefore come as no surprise that the Ealing Labour are trying to quietly back away from their 2014 Manifesto pledge to on this issue as well. Given that they are also reneging from their pledge of a weekly waste and recycling service, it is clear that their Manifesto has been a waste of a good tree.”

But Labour said residents would remember that it was the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in coalition government who had set up the Davies Commission in 2012 which last month recommended a third Heathrow runway.

Denying he was on the fence over the issue, Cllr Bell said: “The council will continue to fight any environmental impacts of current airport operations and if the government go ahead with expansion we will fight against the impacts of expansion.

“We will also fight the dangerous proposals of Boris Johnson to close down Heathrow airport that would lead to a catastrophic loss of local jobs.”

He added: “Indecision and uncertainty are the worst possible outcome for local people. We need to know what the Government intends to do.”

The motion passed by the council calls on David Cameron’s government to clarify what noise performance targets there will be and how a ban on night flights will be enforced.

It also seeks answers on respite periods, compensation packages and commitments on local jobs.



The local MP, Virendra Sharma, was opposed to a Heathrow runway in 2009, but has now changed his mind and backs the runway.

He wrote

Virendra Sharma: This is why I changed my mind [on Heathrow]


Extract below

Expansion won’t just continue to provide the jobs that we currently have, but it guarantees up to 40,000 new jobs and £35bn of economic growth in London alone. Heathrow will also double the number of apprentices from 5,000 to 10,000. That could mean the almost total eradication of youth unemployment across communities next to the airport, and thousands of newly-skilled young people throughout the capital. It is why I was so proud to join Lord Blunkett at the announcement of Heathrow’s Skills Taskforce, which he will chair. His history of delivering as secretary of state for education and employment, and then as home secretary, means he brings an unrivalled level of experience to the important task of teaching and training across our region.

But it isn’t only those directly employed by Heathrow who stand to gain from expansion. With thousands more employed in my borough, Ealing, and across London, there will be many more people spending money in the local economy, meaning more jobs locally and success for local small businesses.

The newest plans from Heathrow are a significantly enhanced offer for international trade, with twice as much freight capacity, allowing exporters in my constituency to take advantage of the airport on their doorstep. And with 40 new long-haul destinations, as well as up to 16 domestic routes, it will keep London in its rightful place as a world city at the centre of global commerce, where it has been for centuries.

We will soon have the first Crossrail trains running through Ealing and Southall and, by the time Heathrow expansion is completed, upgraded Piccadilly line trains will also run through the south of the borough. Not only will the issue of overcrowding at our local stations have been resolved, but Heathrow will then be the world’s best connected airport, with quick access for us, rapid links to East London through Crossrail, and to Manchester and Leeds through HS2. We will be ideally placed to benefit from increased trade and inward investment.

One of my most important reasons for formally opposing Heathrow expansion was the risk of increased noise and pollution. We have taken part in a public consultation on Heathrow’s noise and property compensation plans. Heathrow listened to local residents and now we will benefit from a night flight ban, runway alternations which ensure guaranteed periods of noise respite, and innovative procedures like steeper approaches which are already being trialled. Heathrow has also offered £610m more than the previous third runway proposal did for noise insulation.

No airport will be without an environmental impact, and Heathrow’s poor record on emissions was the other major source of concern I had regarding expansion. Heathrow has, however, introduced higher landing costs for the loudest and most polluting aircraft and no additional capacity will be released until the airport guarantees it is on course to comply with EU emission limits. The push to encourage as many passengers to travel by public transport as possible will also reduce emissions from private vehicles, one of the largest contributors to pollution.

The Environment Agency has been invited to take up the role of an independent aviation air quality authority, to provide transparent scrutiny of the plans. It will ensure that Heathrow delivers what it has promised as an increasingly green and quiet source of employment and skills for a successful West London.

Heathrow’s new expansion plan is one that works for everyone in West London and across the capital. It is one which I now support, and according to new Populus polling this week, a strong majority, 64 per cent, of my constituents do as well.

There have been many developments since the 2009 proposals, and with all of the changes made to the plans, I know an expanded Heathrow would represent a world-beating offer for Ealing, Southall, West London and the entire country.



Slough Council hoped to do a special deal with Heathrow, to get benefits if a 3rd runway was allowed. Other councils have hoped that by not opposing the runway, they could get benefits.

Slough Council secret deal with Heathrow includes gagging order, making it impotent in fighting for a better deal from Heathrow for 3 – 4 years

Residents of Colnbrook, close to Heathrow and due to be badly affected by a 3rd runway, submitted a FoI request to get the details for the secret, but legally binding, deal done between Slough Borough Council and Heathrow airport. The details of the deal are worrying. As well as finding out that Colnbrook, and help for the residents, do not feature in the deal, it has emerged that  Slough Council has accepted what amounts to a self-imposed gagging order, unable to criticise Heathrow for the next 3 to 4 years,until Heathrow is granted a Development Consent Order (DCO).  As well as a boost for investment in the town and improved access from central Slough to the airport, the secret agreement sees Heathrow commit to supporting the Council’s representations to Government to seek compensation for lost business rates, put by the council itself at up to £10 million earlier this year.  In return, however, Cabinet is legally bound to giving public support for the airport until final permission, is granted.  A Development Consent Order is at least three years away, possibly four.  Residents expected that their council would have argued for “world class” compensation and mitigation.  Read the Agreement for yourself in full.



Slough’s £1.5 million deal with Heathrow “unlocked funding denied to other councils” like Hillingdon

Slough Council has backed Heathrow’s runway plans, and entered into a deal with Heathrow to try and get the maximum benefits.  Slough Council says its deal will “unlock £1.5 million in direct financial support denied to neighbouring councils.”  Slough’s Deputy Leader James Swindlehurst has refuted suggestions that its partnership with Heathrow is anything less than the strong package he promised in January to mitigate the worst impact of airport expansion for communities closest to Heathrow. This has meant that Slough has secured funds for mitigation while neighbouring councils have been left with nothing. “Councils like Hillingdon, who have not negotiated with the airport, have no funds being allocated to them.” Cllr Swindlehurst says the agreement provides a guaranteed minimum of £100,000 per year for 15 years where Heathrow and the Council will allocate the money to fund specific improvement projects in selected wards. That would only follow approval of the Development Consent Order for a 3rd runway, but  Cllr Swindelhurst says additional funding pledges specifically mentioned in the agreement are in addition. Hounslow is now in talks with Heathrow, to get a financial deal. Hilliingdon has refused to enter into financial negotiations.