The London Assembly has reaffirmed its position on Heathrow expansion during a public meeting with the author of the Airports Commission report, Sir Howard Davies.
Assembly Members agreed a motion that says a firm ‘no’ to expanding Heathrow, opposing totally the recommendation made in the controversial report.
Sir Howard Davies and Phil Graham, from the (now closed) Airports Commission, attended a Question and Answer session at the London Assembly.
Over the two-hour session, they answered questions on a range of issues including:
- reasons for rejecting Gatwick
- night flights
- conditions imposed on Heathrow
- air pollution
- adequacy of surface access
- amount of money needed to be paid by the taxpayer for surface access improvements
- carbon emissions, impact on regional airports etc.
The Assembly members were not persuaded by the replies they received.
A two hour session would barely introduce the topics for discussion. So for Howard Davies this was a walk in his well rewarded park.
After the Q&A session, a motion was voted on.
It was passed unanimously..
The full text of the amended Motion is:
“That the Assembly notes the answers to the questions asked and reiterates its belief that there is no circumstance under which Heathrow expansion would be acceptable.”
The motion was proposed by Richard Tracey, and seconded by Darren Johnson.
The Assembly say this is an absolute NO to Heathrow.
Richard Tracey AM, who proposed the motion said:
“A third runway at Heathrow would be the wrong choice for Londoners and the country. Increased noise in west London and the fact that the additional landing space would not solve the long term aviation capacity problem makes the policy a non-starter. This is an opportunity for the Assembly to go on record to show we are united in our opposition to this flawed option.”
Darren Johnson AM, who seconded the motion said:
“The Assembly has been united in opposing Heathrow expansion for a decade, and I’m glad a majority still oppose it today. A third runway would make it impossible to tackle climate change and reduce air pollution below legal limits, and it would expose one million Londoners to aircraft noise. The only people to really benefit would be the owners of Heathrow airport.”
The London Assembly
The London Assembly is an elected body, part of the Greater London Authority, that scrutinises the activities of the Mayor of London and has the power, with a two-thirds majority, to amend the Mayor’s annual budget and to reject the Mayor’s draft statutory strategies.
Assembly Members also champion Londoners’ concerns by investigating important issues and pressing for changes to national, mayoral or local policy.
Assembly Members are elected at the same time as the Mayor.
Eleven represent the whole capital and 14 are elected by constituencies.
The Airports Commission
The Airports Commission was an unelected group appointed by the UK Government (in practice Chancellor George Osborne).
The Commission was led by the controversial ex civil servant, Howard Davies, who had to resign from his previous post as director of the London School of Economics over links to Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi.
Howard Davies is now the Chairman of UK Government owned and controlled Royal Bank of Scotland, a position he was given by Chancellor George Osborne.
See the session with Davies
The session was fully recorded. See the web cast link below.