Mary Macleod Presses Transport Secretary On Heathrow

Local MP wants quick report from new Independent Commission

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Brentford and Isleworth MP Mary Macleod has asked the Transport Secretary, Rt Hon. Patrick McLoughlin MP, to ensure that the new Independent Commission on aviation capacity reports as early as possible.

In a Parliamentary Question on the floor of the House of Commons, Mary said: “I welcome the Government’s decision to set up a commission on aviation capacity. I hope that it will create a new, innovative solution to capacity needs - and realise that a third, fourth and fifth runway at Heathrow is not the answer. May I urge my Right Honourable Friend to encourage the Commission to report as quickly as possible?”

Mary’s question comes as the Sir Howard Davies begins his work on the determining the future for the UK’s airports. Mary said: “Whilst I agree that the Davies Commission is important in creating a long term aviation strategy for the country, I want to make sure that local people know what the Commission is recommending, particularly for Heathrow, as soon as possible.”

She added: “We need a lasting solution for the country and I do not accept that a third runway at Heathrow is the answer.”

Last month she wrote to the Leader of the Council in Hounslow to ask him to consider asking local people whether or not they support Heathrow expansion by way of a referendum.

Neighbouring London Boroughs of Hillingdon and Richmond have announced their own referendums on Heathrow expansion.

Mary commented then: “I think it is important to hear the voices of local people who are impacted by any changes, since they live under the Heathrow flight. The independent commission led by Sir Howard Davies will be vital in developing our long term aviation strategy, but I think the Council could show leadership on this issue by allowing local people a voice on whether or not a third runway should be built.”

Cllr Jagdish Sharma, Leader of the London Borough of Hounslow, said they were "very interested" in the approach being adopted by Richmond but had not formally been approached by anyone in the borough. He said it would be useful to assess the appetite for extending the proposal across all councils affected by airport noise.

Conservative councillors in Hounslow have also joined in the referendum call and Tony Arbour AM, the London Assembly Member for South West London, has called on Mayor Boris Johnson to support referendums in every London borough on whether a 3rd runway should be built at Heathrow.

October 23, 2012