As the October nights draw in, we also edge ever closer to a decision on Heathrow. A government spokesperson has already confirmed that there will be an announcement this month so the wait may soon be over.
Ahead of the announcement, Heathrow has, unsurprisingly, featured heavily in the media. Boris Johnson remains probably the most well-known opponent of Heathrow expansion yet even he appears to acknowledge that the momentum seems to be against him. Press reports this week suggested that the Foreign Secretary will not resign from the Cabinet to “lie down in front of the bulldozers” if a new Heathrow runway is approved.
Heathrow is the UK’s largest port, handling over a quarter of British exports. Therefore, it was no surprise that Heathrow's cargo volumes rose six per cent in September on the back of growth to East Asia and Latin America. Heathrow’s success means that it will contribute even more taxes which will go towards helping the local area.
In fact, next year Heathrow will continue to pay the highest rate bill of any business in England and Wales by contributing £118 million, one third of which will be used by Hillingdon council to fund important public services. The irony of £40 million from Heathrow being spent each year in the constituencies of Boris Johnson and John McDonnell has not been lost on us.
Whilst a government decision on Heathrow expansion is expected imminently, the actual Parliamentary vote could still be weeks or even months away. Recent polling found that a majority of MPs in the House of Commons support Heathrow expansion and any future vote will be made easier by this week’s news that the Scottish Government is backing Heathrow’s new runway. This means that many of the SNP’s 54 MPs in the House of Commons are more likely to support Heathrow expansion.
With the government decision expected soon, media interest is picking up. Many journalists want to hear from local residents about why they support Heathrow expansion so that they can understand the benefits that a new runway will bring to local communities. The Guardian is one of these so if you are interested in telling your story, then please write your response HERE. Your stories help to explain why Heathrow expansion is so important for local people so please do click on the link.