Hillingdon Conservatives have fallen into the trap set by the pro 3rd runway lobby by buying into their scare stories that the airport will close if it doesn’t get a 3rd runway.
Cllr Puddifoot has embraced the idea of Boris Island replacing Heathrow and is now promoting the closure of Heathrow with a proposal to turn it into a new town. Cllr Puddifoot launched Hillingdon Conservative’s new position on Heathrow in the Gazette on 22nd November 2013 when he said:-
“the land at Heathrow represents a ‘remarkable opportunity’ for future redevelopment. We have made it clear that there are far better uses of the land at Heathrow. Heathrow can’t expand any more, and three runways won’t cut it – we all know four will be needed. Why don’t we get the best of both worlds; build a new international airport and realise the potential for the Heathrow site?”
I moved a motion at full council reaffirming council’s opposition to a 3rd runway as well as calling on Hillingdon Conservatives to continue to support the campaign for a “Better Heathrow, Not a Bigger Heathrow”. However The Conservative administration moved an amendment that removed reference to a better Heathrow and replaced it with a statement that recognises the redevelopment potential of the site once the airport had closed.
The campaign opposing a 3rd runway has always recognised the need to balance the employment and economic benefit of having Heathrow Airport in our borough with the additional costs and problems that it brings to both the local authority and to the residents in terms of issues such as noise & air pollution.
I really cannot understand why the Conservatives in Hillingdon have taken this bizarre position on Heathrow. No one really believes that the airline industry would allow Heathrow to close, so why talk up its demise and play into the divisive hands of the pro 3rd runway lobby?
I don’t know what world Cllr Puddifoot lives in but in the real world his vision of a shiny new town in the south of the borough would be nothing more than a town of the unemployed and the disposed. His message of putting residents first doesn’t seem to apply to those who work in airport related industries.
The Labour group’s position remains 100% against a 3rd runway and we will continue to support the campaign for a “Better Heathrow, Not a Bigger Heathrow”.
Cllr Peter Curling
Leader of The Labour Group
London Borough of Hillingdon