From a Freedom of Information Request, Back Heathrow can reveal the previous Conservative-led Windsor and Maidenhead council spent a whopping £43,531.93 on anti-Heathrow expansion campaigning from April 2020.
- £33,333.33 (the bulk of the total) spent between April 2021 to 31st March 2022, which went towards the failed legal challenge in the High Court - the case was thrown out on every ground.
- A further £10,198.60 was spent on various other fees between April 2020 and 31st March 2021, including £5,567.60 in solicitors’ fees paid to two other councils; the London Borough of Hillingdon and curiously, Dudley Metropolitan Council in the West Midlands.
Residents will find this particularly disappointing given the council has amassed £206 million of debt and almost declared itself bankrupt in April 2020.
Following the recent local elections result, the Conservatives have subsequently lost 15 seats, losing control of the council.
Parmjit Dhanda, Executive Director of Back Heathrow commented: “With a council as financially fragile as Windsor and Maidenhead, it’s astonishing such an eye watering amount of residents’ money was being spent on fighting expansion at Heathrow.
“Residents want the council to spend money on local services, not wasting money on campaigns.”
Local Windsor and Maidenhead resident, Mewa Mann said: “Considering the shaky finances of the borough, I can’t believe the previous Tory-led council has flushed over £40,000 of taxpayers’ money down the drain.
“As a supporter of the airport, it’s great to see how many jobs and tourists the Borough gets from it’s proximity to Heathrow. Opposing the growth of the borough’s biggest employer whilst failing to fix potholes, shows the council had its priorities all wrong.”