Hammersmith residents query council spending on opposing Heathrow expansion

First published on 31/07/18

Hammersmith residents at the Back Heathrow meeting

Hammersmith residents are querying why boroughs across west London are spending council taxpayers’ money trying to block economic growth and overturn Parliament’s decision to back expansion at Heathrow.

At a public meeting hosted by community campaign group Back Heathrow, local supporters of the proposed new runway discussed the overwhelming parliamentary majority in favour of expansion and the decision of five local councils, including Hammersmith and Fulham, to spend local council taxpayers’ money to oppose it.

Nigel Peterson, local resident, said: “We are local people and we need to be listened to. This is an enormous amount of money to spend taking expensive legal proceedings against a project which so many local people support. We would much rather that money be spent on cash-strapped council services like schools or social care.”

Parmjit Dhanda, Executive Director at Back Heathrow, said: “Local authorities need to take notice of the silent majority of their residents. Parliament passed this with a huge majority and with support from across the House. 100,000 people in the boroughs around the airport support this project, as well as the CBI and Unite and GMB unions.

“The new runway will generate 180,000 new jobs, and 10,000 apprenticeships.

"Over the past decade, some local councils have spent nearly £1 million of taxpayers’ money funding campaign groups and expensive lawyers. Its time they respected the views of local people, businesses, unions and the democratic will of Parliament."


Back Heathrow's response to 5 Councils in Heathrow Judicial Review

First published on 27/07/18

 

It's time that the five councils taking up a judicial review against a new runway at Heathrow respected the will of local people and MPs - and stopped wasting council taxpayers money, said Back Heathrow.

Back Heathrow's Executive Director Parmjit Dhanda said: 

"Less than a month ago Parliament gave the green light to Heathrow expansion with a cross-party majority of nearly 300 MPs. Over 100,000 local people support this project, the CBI and the TUC back it too.The Independent Airport's Commission began this process with a clear report stating that the new runway can create 180,000 new jobs, reduce the number of households affected by noise and meet all environmental obligations.

"Yet these councils have failed to engage in this process or accept technological advances in aviation. Instead they have chosen to spend nearly £1 million of taxpayers money over the past decade on campaign groups and expensive lawyers. Its time they respected the views of of local people, businesses, unions and the democratic will of Parliament."

Back Heathrow is a community organisation with over 100,000 supporters in west London and the Thames Valley who back Heathrow expansion. Presently over 76,000 people work on site at Heathrow and expansion is set to create 180,000 new jobs across the UK and 10,000 apprenticeships. Independent polling by Populus states that more people in the 12 constituencies adjacent to Heathrow support expansion than oppose it.


Back Heathrow speaks to Hounslow Pensioners Forum

First published 29/06/18

 

Parmjit Dhanda speaks to the Hounslow Pensioners Association.

Back Heathrow Executive Director Parmjit Dhanda joined the Hounslow Pensioners Forum this morning for a good discussion about the planned Heathrow expansion.

With 100,000 registered supporters in West London and the Thames Valley, the campaign group has been backing the local community’s call for a new runway and the thousands of jobs and economic benefits it will bring.

Mr Dhanda says: “With Parliament now in behind the third runway, it was a good opportunity to get out and talk to members of the Hounslow community about the benefits of expansion and to listen to their feedback.

“It’s important to Back Heathrow to help ensure that this is the best possible project for local communities, so we are encouraging groups like the Hounslow Pensioners Forum to help shape those plans when the detailed consultation begins.” 


Council Tax Should Not Fund Legal Fees, say Back Heathrow

First published 28/06/18

 

Back Heathrow Executive Director Parmjit Dhanda says a pending threatened judicial review against Parliament’s decision to allow the Heathrow expansion is a waste of hardworking taxpayers’ money.

Following the landslide victory in Parliament on Monday, four councils and the Mayor of London have threatened legal action in a bid to put a stop to the project.

With 100,000 registered supporters in West London and the Thames Valley, campaign group Back Heathrow has been backing the local community’s call for a new runway and the thousands of jobs and economic benefits it will bring.

A plane comes in to land at Heathrow (Source: The Daily Mail)

Mr Dhanda says: “This week MPs across Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of Heathrow expansion with a majority of 296.

“Now is the time to work together and put our differences aside to get the best possible deal for our country and for local communities. It would be a shame to see this opportunity squandered and money wasted by going against the clear will of Parliament.

“The evidence of numerous polls consistently shows that in a majority of constituencies surrounding Heathrow Airport, more residents support expansion than oppose it.

Residents are set to benefit with 77,000 new local jobs, and 5000 new apprenticeships.

Mr Dhanda added: “Every penny spent challenging this legitimate decision by parliament is a penny less spent on vital local council services.”


“Time to respect a democratic decision” – Parmjit Dhanda, Back Heathrow

First published 26/06/18

 

Head of community campaign group Back Heathrow Parmjit Dhanda, says the decision by MPs to go ahead with the third runway at Heathrow is democracy in action.

With 100,000 registered supporters, the campaign group has been backing the local community’s call for a new runway and the thousands of jobs and economic benefits it will bring.

Mr Dhanda says: “This is a great result for those of us who have been campaigning for so long and so hard. Now it’s time to work together and put our differences aside to get the best possible deal for our country and for local communities.

“We haven’t built a new runway in London or the South-East since the Second World War.

“This has been many years in the making and it is fantastic for all those involved to finally be able to get on with this crucial infrastructure project. But it is also an important time to take stock, consult and to make this the best scheme possible.”


Supporters ask Ruth Cadbury MP to vote yes on Heathrow tonight

First published 25/06/18

 

Back Heathrow and supporters of the Heathrow expansion today handed over 500 letters to Ruth Cadbury MP's office asking her to vote yes when Parliament debates the third runway decision this evening.

Back Heathrow is a community campaign with 100,000 registered supporters which has been rallying communities to back a third runway and the thousands of jobs and economic benefits it will bring.

Back Heathrow supporter Fritz Pandalitschka handing in over 500 letters to Ruth Cadbury's office today.

Supporter Fritz Pandalitschka says: "I know Ruth Cadbury is staunchly opposed to a new runway. But I wanted to be here today as a representative of thousands of members of the silent majority of Brentford and Isleworth residents who support the project. I hope Ruth will respect us and the democratic views of Parliament after the vote."

Heathrow expansion will generate 77,000 local jobs and 5,000 new local apprenticeships. The project is backed by both the CBI and the TUC.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Back Heathrow congratulates MPs on getting on with Heathrow vote

First published 21/06/18

 

Back Heathrow Executive Director Parmjit Dhanda says confirmation that Parliament will vote on the Heathrow expansion on Monday has been a long time coming.

Back Heathrow is a community campaign with 100,000 registered supporters which has been rallying communities to back a third runway and the thousands of jobs and economic benefits it will bring.

Mr Dhanda said: “We haven’t built a new runway in London or the South-East since the Second World War. By 2025, the Chinese will build 136 new airports.

“This has been 10 years in the making and it is fantastic for all those involved to finally get the certainty needed to get on with this crucial infrastructure project.

“A new runway at Heathrow represents an opportunity to create 180,000 unionised jobs across the country and an opportunity to boost the UK's economy at an uncertain time. It is high time we got on with it, let’s secure the benefits this project will bring.”


Thousands of letters pouring in urging MPs to vote ‘yes’ on Heathrow expansion

First published on 20/06/18

 

Thousands of supporters are writing to their local MPs urging them to vote in favour of Heathrow expansion and the jobs and economic benefits it will bring as Parliament prepares to vote.

An expanded Heathrow is a crucial infrastructure project that will create 180,000 jobs nationwide and 10,000 apprenticeships. It will also provide new domestic connections that will bring £187 billion worth of economic benefits.

As the vote nears, community campaign group Back Heathrow has been appealing to people across local communities to write and urge their MPs to vote in favour of expansion and they have responded in the thousands.

Slough hand in June 18

This week the group delivered thousands of letters it had received from local people in support of expansion to several MPs at Westminster including to Seema Malhotra, Virenda Sharma, Tan Dhesi, Steve Pound and Kwasi Kwarteng.

Parmjit Dhanda, Back Heathrow Executive Director, said: “With the vote for Heathrow expansion imminent, this is a critical moment in the battle to secure the benefits that a new runway will generate.

“More than 10,000 supporters have written in already and the mail bag of returns continues to pour in each day.

 “This is a sign of the strength and support for this project in West London and the Thames Valley. In constituencies like Slough, and Feltham and Heston, I am certain we will top 1000 responses urging MPs to back Heathrow.”


A rebuttal to the Telegraph from Parmjit Dhanda

On Sunday (9th of June 2018) the Telegraph ran an article titled Clearance for Heathrow's third runway is a double blow (paywall) - by Liam Halligan.

Below is our Director, Parmjit, clearing up some of the points discussed.

Dear Sirs,

I am writing to point out several inaccuracies in your recently published article, ‘Clearance for Heathrow’s third runway is a double blow’.

You argue that adding another 250,000 flights a year will “make a mockery of our anti-pollution laws”. The independent Airports Commission and the Department for Transport concluded that a third runway at Heathrow can be delivered in accordance with legal obligations on air quality. Heathrow has put in place a triple-lock guarantee on air quality to bind itself to these obligations, and at Back Heathrow we expect that strong commitments will also be tied in to the detailed planning consent (the next stage in the process after a Parliamentary vote).

You mention that Heathrow should give up slots for leisure routes in favour of links to “far-flung business hotspots”. Hub airports work because of the right mix of leisure passengers, business passengers, and cargo. It’s also worth remembering that destinations are selected by airlines and not airports. In this case Heathrow has a good mix of businesses that have grown around the airport and a resident community that like to use it for holidays too.

You cite Gatwick’s financing of ‘major improvements’ and say it’s therefore ‘deeply perverse’ to expand Heathrow.  Heathrow has invested over £11 billion this past decade – that’s private money that has created thousands of jobs for the local community, 76,000 people work on the site. It’s a success story that has led to Heathrow winning awards for having the best terminal in the world and has seen the airport named as the best in Western Europe.

You refer to the “astonishing” £18 billion cost of expansion. Heathrow’s latest estimate for its proposal is £14 billion. This means £14 billion worth of private investment in the UK – creating new local opportunities for work and businesses. That’s part of the reason that both the TUC and the CBI back the project.

You rightly point out that Britain’s regions need greater connectivity. A strong hub airport boosts rather than hinders other UK airports, by filling gaps in the network and connecting other regions to travel and trade with the world. That’s why over 40 airports across the UK - from Aberdeen and Belfast to Newcastle and Liverpool, support Heathrow expansion.

Finally, you claim that since the Government’s decision to back expansion in December 2016, “no progress” has been made. I agree that progress is slow in this country for major infrastructure projects. But the government has held two consultations on the draft National Policy Statement to hear a range of views, and last week they tabled the final NPS on Heathrow expansion and there has also been another raft of public consultation. If we don’t move forward with Heathrow now, the alternative will be to do nothing, as the Secretary of State has said quite clearly, there is no Plan B.

Heathrow expansion is a crucial national project which is backed by over 100,000 local residents. While it is right and to be expected that this major project should be debated, it’s important that the correct and most up to date information is used for this discussion.

 

Kind regards,

Parmjit Dhanda

Executive Director, Back Heathrow


“Time for Parties to Come Together in National Interest” says Back Heathrow

Back Heathrow supporters dressed as Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn on parliament square

The government and opposition parties should put party political squabbling to one side to help deliver the world’s biggest privately funded infrastructure project, says Back Heathrow.

Back Heathrow is a community group rooted in west London with over 100,000 supporters of a new runway at Heathrow Airport.

At an event in Parliament Square today, Back Heathrow campaign activists dressed as Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn congregated in front of giant poster of the House of Commons, replete with a runway bridging both sides of the political divide.

The event was attended by MPs from all sides of the House and by Back Heathrow’s Executive Director, Parmjit Dhanda.

Parmjit said: “This is a project that the Labour Party has backed under two Prime Ministers, now it has the support of a Conservative Prime Minister, the SNP, the DUP and over 100 Labour MPs.

So it is crucial that MPs are not whipped to vote against this as part of a political game. That kind of behaviour has held back the creation of 180,000 jobs and billions in economic benefits for decades. Its time for all parties to come together, cut out the squabbling and do what’s right for our country.”

MPs from across the political divide supported the event, asked why they support Heathrow expansion:

Steve Double, MP for St Austell and Newquay

It’s about what is right for our country in terms of growing our economy and international trade. Local businesses in the South West see the benefit of a direct link to Heathrow, both in being able to export as well as enabling us to bring tourists in with a direct link to and from Heathrow.”

Gavin Shuker MP for Luton South

It’s in the national interest to get Heathrow working, and working properly. I represent an airport constituency and in the South East the demand is massive. It’s the same for the whole country, so Parliament needs to get on and back Heathrow.”