IN THEIR OWN WORDS...

Prospective Constituency Candidates Were Asked To Provide Their Views On Heathrow Expansion And Early Growth

With an election imminent we thought we should canvass the views of prospective candidates for the area to find out their views to help you decide who to support. We contacted the candidates for the three main parties for both Brentford & Isleworth and Ealing Central & Acton and asked them the following questions :

Q1   Heathrow are proposing to increase the number of flights from 480,000 to 720,000 per annum by constructing a third runway by 2026. Do you think that this can be justified in the context of existing commitments to meet environmental targets and growing public concern about climate change ?

Q2   Heathrow are also seeking approval for “Early Growth” ahead on any new runway. This would have a very significant impact on this constituency with many communities not previously overflown finding themselves beneath new flight paths as early as 2022. Even those communities already overflown would lose their respite. Would you support or oppose “Early Growth” ?

Q3 If you oppose Heathrow expansion and “Early Growth” what steps would you take as MP ?

The responses from the candidates are set out below. This has been organized alphabetically by constituency and political party.

Brentford & Isleworth – Conservatives – Seena Shah

Q1 Do You Support Heathrow Expansion ?

I am a staunch environmentalist and my support for Heathrow’s proposal to increase the number of flights from 480,000 to 720,000 per year will be entirely contingent on both the environmental impacts and implications for my constituents. Like with HS2, the Government under Johnson has shown a commitment to question controversial infrastructural projects. Ultimately, the key challenge is to ensure large-scale projects ’stack-up’ before delivery begins. In the case of Heathrow,  the environmental case is at the very centre of this. At present, I do not believe Heathrow has a strong enough case to justify the construction of a third runway. If elected, I would not only vote against this proposal, but also vocally oppose it on the green benches and use my platform as an MP to organise demonstrations against it. 

Q2 Do You Support “Early Growth” ?

For much of the same reasons I object to the third runway, I would oppose “Early Growth”. Specifically, I am concerned that communities already overflown would be even more greatly disturbed by the noise pollution and air pollution from further traffic. In addition to all of this, the extra pressure with would put on our already stretched transport networks. At present, the evidence would suggest that the cost to the local community I am looking to represent would far outstrip the benefits. 

Q3 What Steps Would You Take As MP ?

If elected to be the Member of Parliament for Brentford & Isleworth, I would use my platform as an MP to organise community protests against the third runway at Heathrow. I would also commit to writing a joint letter with other West London MPs to both the Prime Minister and Transport Secretary to urge them to oppose plans for the third runway and “Early Growth”. Finally, I would raise the issue as much as possible on the green benches and encourage colleagues to do the same.

Brentford & Isleworth – Labour – Ruth Cadbury

Q1 Do You Support Heathrow Expansion ?

No - I have, and will continue to oppose building a third runway.  Locally it will mean yet more noise, traffic congestion, air pollution and overcrowded trains in an area of significant job vacancies. Nationally it will significantly add to UK carbon emissions and all for no net economic benefit.  

Q2 Do You Support “Early Growth” ?

Early Growth is expansion by stealth an extra 26,000 flights per year and new areas such as north Chiswick and Brentford being under the new late-joining arrival path. I know from regularly talking to residents already living under the flight path just how disruptive it already is- teachers have to pause in between lessons and residents being woken up at 5 in the morning are just examples of how disruptive the noise is already being.  I also know from talking to residents during the consultation earlier this year how worried people are about the additional disturbance, and the lack of answers and solutions that Heathrow have provided to residents about their plans to keep expanding - even if there isn't a third runway being built. Q3 What Steps Would You Take As MP ?

I will continue doing what I've been doing since 2015; speaking in Parliament, meeting ministers, leading the cross-party group of parliamentarians opposed to expansion and working with local community groups such as CHATR and BASHR3As someone who has been opposing Heathrow expansion for 20 years I believe we need an experienced, and strong voice to stand up against the Government’s decision to build a third runway. 

Brentford & Isleworth – Liberal Democrats – Helen Cross

Q1 Do You Support Heathrow Expansion ?

No it cannot  be justified - particularly given increasing concern about both climate change and air pollution. Liberal Democrats have consistently opposed to Heathrow expansion unlike both the Conservatives and Labour.Q2 Do You Support “Early Growth” ?

If we not allowing a new runway then we cannot allow "Early Growth" it would be unsustainable. Liberal Democrats have consistently opposed to Heathrow expansion unlike both the Conservatives and Labour.Heathrow must also improve surface access urgently - this means improving transport links from both the West and South by train and putting in place measures to discourage cars being driven to the station.


Q3 What Steps Would You Take As MP ?

Vote against any attempt to expand Heathrow or build a third runway in Parliament. Work with likeminded MPs across parities to vote to oppose Heathrow expansion.

Ealing Central & Acton – Conservatives – Julian Gallant

Q1 Do You Support Heathrow Expansion ?

The longer I looked at the proposals the more I became convinced that a third runway should not be built, primarily because it and its development would intolerably blight the lives of west Londoners.

A third runway would result in vastly increased particulate pollution from the flights themselves. The resultant noise will be well above the levels recommended by the WHO with the “sleep window” reduced to just 5.5 hours at best.

I am equally concerned about the entirely inadequate arrangements made for surface public transport, despite the fine drawings; we can expect more pollution and congestion from vehicular traffic on the ground.

Key thing for me was the disruption that construction and development would wreak on communities in west London over many years.

Q2 Do You Support “Early Growth” ?

I believe “Early Growth” is also known as “Curved Approach”, where new flight paths would increase the number of flights coming from the West (the USA mostly) into Heathrow PRIOR to any new runway coming on stream.

I’d oppose “Early Growth” for exactly the same reasons - increases in particulate and noise pollution. West Londoners need tranquility as much as everyone else. I live in Acton, so am very well aware of what ‘Early Growth” will mean for residents.

Q3 If you oppose Heathrow expansion and “Early Growth” what steps would you take as MP ?

As an elected MP one of the first actions I would take would be to force a clear message against expansion from Ealing Council. While our Conservative Group has unequivocally opposed the expansion of Heathrow, the Labour-led council's approach has been much more nuanced, especially when compared with the legal action undertaken by the coalition of Hillingdon, Maidenhead, Richmond and Hammersmith Councils.

I await the current appeal verdict anxiously but it’s by no means the end of the line. Count on me to actively campaign against Heathrow expansion; I will happily work with members of other political parties to achieve this.

I would encourage unity of purpose and action amongst the various groups and organisations which oppose Heathrow expansion. For example, is CHATR in communion with Wake Up Ealing, itself part of the the Ealing Against Noise Action Group.

Ealing Central & Acton – Rupa Huq

Q1 Do You Support Heathrow Expansion ? & Q2 Do You Support “Early Growth” ?

This is obviously a subject of concern to Ealing, Chiswick, Acton and wider west Londoners given our proximity to the airport. Whether in my 47 years in Ealing as a resident, as an MP for two terms and now Parliament has dissolved for the General Election I have steadfastly opposed and its expansion. In answer to the first two questions, it is a NO in both cases.

At a crucial juncture where we could be at the last moment to take leading decisions to save our planet, an extra runway at Heathrow - whose flightpath I and many in Ealing live in - seems at best counter-intuitive and at worst downright irresponsible. All west London Labour MPs and our leadership are united on this, see

‚Äčhttps://twitter.com/RupaHuq/status/1197452681771704320?s=20

Q3 If you oppose Heathrow expansion and “Early Growth” what steps would you take as MP ?

On the third (question) I will continue in the vein I have raising this in the House of Commons and through my extensive media contacts.

I have raised this subject on 18 separate occasions in Parliamentary sessions up to when the Environment Bill was debated in the dying days of the last Parliament. A searchable list of contributions is here:

https://hansard.parliament.uk/search/MemberContributions?memberId=4511&type=Spoken

I challenged the Secretary of State Theresa Villiers on government support for Heathrow Expansion – another broken promise of this government given David Cameron’s insistence that this would never happen under the Conservatives “no ifs no buts”. See:

https://twitter.com/RupaHuq/status/1190241570039238656?s=20

The airport is the biggest producer of C02 in Europe. In November 2017 I also held a Heathrow summit in Parliament in November 2017 where all sides of the argument were presented to constituents including Heathrow themselves and campaign groups where we were joined by neighbouring MP Ruth Cadbury -as you know as you and other CHATR representatives attended!

I have always been of the opinion that we need a better not a bigger Heathrow. Please see my speech made in the House of Commons in 2018 in the run up to the vote on expansion.

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2018-06-07/debates/9BBC42DB-DBD6-4B94-A022-9A32AD45B823/AirportsNationalPolicyStatement?highlight=heathrow#contribution-2CD1EDD3-8446-46D0-A3F3-E0A81643DF04

Our PM who said he would lie down in front of the bulldozers rather than see an extra runway then promptly fled the country to avoid embarrassment going instead on a trip to Afghanistan at taxpayer expense of almost £20,000. Alas this was lost but there are still court actions challenging the decision underway and I will continue to vocally oppose. See for example my SKY interview debating government minister Kwasi Kwarteng here:

https://tinyurl.com/yx7a3a6h

Whilst no longer an MP for the duration of the campaign, should I be re-elected I will take up this issue again with renewed vigour in mid-December.

Ealing Central & Acton – Liberal Democrats – Sonul Badiani

No response has yet been received from Sonul Badiani.