Heathrow’s Anti-expansion Campaign Turns To ‘Pod’

Public video booths enable residents to send a personal message to Geoff Hoon

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Hounslow Council is taking the unusual step of setting up public video booths so residents can send a personal message about Heathrow expansion to the government’s new transport secretary, Geoff Hoon.

The booths will give people who say NO to Heathrow expansion the opportunity to explain why they think he should abandon the government’s plans to expand the airport.

The responses will be sent via podcast to Mr Hoon, who is expected to decide whether to press ahead with plans to double the airport’s capacity later this year.

The council’s lead member for aviation, Cllr Barbara Reid, who will be joining members of the public to record her own message, said, “The Government appears to be hiding behind a big pile of consultation papers and pollution charts and contour maps, trying to find a way to justify its plans to expand Heathrow.

“But if they really want to know what to do about the airport, they should listen to some of the personal stories of the people who say NO to airport expansion

“We believe that if the new transport secretary takes a moment to listen to some of the hundreds and thousands of people who say NO to expansion, then he’d be in a better position to make the right decision about Heathrow.”

The government’s consultation on plans to double Heathow’s capacity (from 67m to 151m passengers per annum) was launched in November last year. Since then the campaign to Say NO to Heathrow airport has gathered huge support and momentum.

The 2M Group of local authorities opposed to expansion has double in size from 12 councils representing 2 million people, to 21 councils representing 4 million people.

Early this year, the four main candidates for Mayor of London, including Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone, publicly pledged their opposition to the government’s expansion plans. Last month, the likelihood of a third runway being built was cast into doubt when David Cameron announced that a future Conservative government would say NO to a third runway and to introduce high speed rail instead.

This week (Monday 6 October) the new head of the Environment Agency, the former government minister, Lord Smith, spoke out in opposition to plans for a third runway because it would be ‘very detrimental’ to the health of West Londoners.

Despite the growing opposition to its plans, the government has shown no signs of abandoning its plans to build a third runway.

Campaigners are also concerned that plans to increase the capacity of the existing two runways by replacing runway alternation with mixed mode would have a major impact on the 2 million people who live under Heathrow’s flightpaths.

The video booths will be open for three days at the following times:
Thursday 16 Oct: Feltham Library, 12 noon – 8.00 pm
Friday 17 Oct: Hounslow Library, 9.30 am – 5.30 pm
Saturday 18 Oct: Chiswick Library, 9.30 am - 5.30 pm

People who cannot attend on of these sessions can also make their voice heard, you can send their reasons for saying No to: FREEPOST 2nd Class BUSINESS REPLY SERVICE Licence No HL 417 SAY NO Corporate Communications London Borough of Hounslow Lampton Road Hounslow TW3 4DN

You can also take part in the People Who Say NO campaign by emailing your reasons for saying NO to sayno@hounslow.gov.uk.


October 8, 2008