News Update 6/12

All,

Apologies for the lack of communication of late, so much has been going on that has required our group’s attention. I will cover a couple of pressing matters here and send further communication shortly.

Date for your diary: Thursday 11th December at 1930. For more info, see bottom.

Since the end of the trials we have enjoyed some blissfully quiet days (due to prevailing easterly winds that mean there have been a much higher percentage of take offs to the east than is usual). We have also had to endure some days that seemed as though the trial routes and frequencies were still ongoing. This is not unique to Englefield Green but has been reported by many residents affected by noise pollution from Heathrow – in an area stretching from Teddington to Sandhurst. Heathrow maintain that all has returned to pre-trial conditions, and pilots using Heathrow have confirmed this for us. Heathrow attribute our experience to ‘increased noise sensitivity’ post-trial. It is difficult to know how to proceed with this.  We would ask you to continue logging particularly noisy days or low, loud, frequent activity with the relevant authorities (you will find all contacts on the website www.stopEGtrials.com). We will continue to look for reasons why our experience on the ground does not bear out what Heathrow are telling us. In the meantime, you might like to join the conversations regarding the above (and other related matters) on two Facebook pages: stopEGtrials and Heathrow Flight Blight (both by invitation).

Many of you will remember at our meeting in Englefield Green that our local councillors voiced their anti-Heathrow expansion stance (in line with Philip Hammond’s), they also promised that we would have proper ‘non-conflicted’ representation (that would actually turn up)!! at influential groups such as the Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee. Since the end of the trials there has been talk from our councillors of ‘keeping the momentum going’ so that we wouldn’t have to endure noise like we experienced during the trials.

Sadly, this seems to be a lot of hot air. We have seen no evidence of keeping any momentum going. On Wednesday 3rd December a number of local councils and MPs gave their evidence in response to the Davies Commission (who, as you will, know are considering options for another runway/airport expansion) at a meeting at Heathrow. There was absolutely NO spoken representation from Runnymede or Englefield Green on your behalf. One of our councillors has told me that they consider providing a response to the Davies Commission beyond the ability of the council. Hence it seems that you – unlike the vast majority of residents local to the airport – are represented by a council who (instead of providing a response) say they really should ‘bring it on to their radar and have it looked at by an appropriate committee in an appropriate way’ at some indeterminate time in the future. Bearing in mind that responses must be received by 3/2/15 (and the Davies report is huge) this all sounds a bit vague to us. One of our group is currently preparing a response – so if she’s able to do so, why not our elected representatives?

Runnymede Borough council’s position remains pro-Heathrow expansion due to the ‘economic benefits.’ In October 2014 there were approx 350 people in Runnymede taking job-seekers allowance so clearly we would not be able to provide the workforce (estimates range from 50-150,000 additional workers needed). So, on top of the proposed increase in noise pollution that would be hellish for all, imagine the strain on the infrastructure (housing, health services, roads). Although, I’m sure, all of us recognise that our vicinity to the airport affords us certain advantages, few of us (I’m sure) would want to agree to an increase in annual flight movements from 480,000 (which is the cap on capacity and is currently at 95%) to the 740,000 which would be allowed if a third (or longer) runway at Heathrow were permitted.

Finally,

PLEASE ATTEND THIS MEETING on Thursday 11/12 at 1930

A question is being put to Runnymede full council (by an Englefield Green resident) to reconsider its position on Heathrow expansion. Your attendance is needed!! It would be ideal if a large number of local residents came to hear the question and the associated SHORT debate – it will be an opportunity to hear the opinions of your council and councillors on this matter which has the potential to substantially adversely impact your life and blight your home.

The meeting will be at the council offices, Station Road, Addlestone KT15 2AH. Note: this item on the agenda will not be overly long: you do not need to stay for the rest of the meeting.

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