The campaign against Heathrow Expansion is not what it seems. Both the Conservative and LibDem approach has been to pay ‘lipservice’ to the anti Heathrow expansion campaign. However you should know that it was they who set the parameters of the flawed Davies Commission. The Davies Commission is ONLY looking at the economic impact of airport expansion. It pays little attantion to the social impact, the environmental impact or the public health impact.
The Davies Airports Commission will probably report in June 2015: A Labour Government will not be pressured into any hasty decisions, no matter what Davies reports. First and foremost there will be public consultation on the outcome of Davies and only when that is complete will a Labour Government consider the options fully to make a decision.
If elected as you MP I will make sure that the public consultation is comprehensive and appropriate. Residents living close to any further proposed airport expansion deserve to be able to both inform and strongly influence the Government decision in a coherent consultation process designed to meet the needs of residents.
As both a local resident and your potential future MP I have many concerns about the proposals for Heathrow Expansion and I want answers to some difficult questions:
If the expansion were to go ahead at Heathrow the immediate effect would be to jam the M25, the M4 and the A4 with additional lorries, cars and buses to service the expansion work: The M25 is already at a standstill on most work days during peak hours between the M3 and M4 junctions. The large scale works would impact on all feeder roads in the area causing even longer tail backs of lorries and greatly increased air pollution.
Air pollution is already a serious problem in Windsor constituency and the RBWM local authority and Government should currently be working harder to bring it down to acceptable standards. We have car fume pollution from the Bermuda Triangle of the M25, M4, A4, aircraft fumes and also the fall out from the Colnbrook Incinerator, where rubbish from all over West London and the South east is burned. Recently scientists have told us that diesel fumes are much more dangerous than they originally thought and the same sort of issues are now beginning to emerge on the invisible discharge from incinerators: The result will inevitably be that current so-called safe levels of pollution regulations will be revised in coming months and years and they will become harder to meet (rightly so). Many airlines and road transport companies use old planes and vehicles to keep their costs down. Air quality is an issue that will have to be dealt with much more rigorously in the future for all our sakes.
At present there is some underemployment in the constituency and more full time work for those people would be welcome but it is likely that many of the workers for Heathrow expansion would be brought in from other areas. The extension work would require up to 70,000 new homes for workers moving close to the airport. Some of those would be built in other constituencies but the overall effect would be to worsen the housing shortage that already concerns us locally and prices would be pushed up even further making homes even less affordable for local people than they are at the moment. Equally our flood plain is needed for drainage and it would be shortsighted to build on it.
Additional services such as hospitals, GP surgeries and schools would be needed and the difficulties in developing these would create pressure on existing services which are already overstretched. The additional problem of limited land availability would make this a tortuous and confrontational drawn-out process.
Noise pollution is the most immediate concern of many local residents and it is yet another public health concern as sleep deprivation does damage ones health, it is linked to heart disease, stress and depression. The skies above Windsor and Ascot are already very noisy and public health must be protected.
Before I would support Expansion at Heathrow I would want to be convinced that each of these issues had been tackled and solved and I do not believe that is possible or likely in the forseeable future, therefore I do not support the expansion and will campaign both within my Party and locally to get the right result for Windsor Constituency.