A BID by the leader of the council to block the government's attempts to exempt London from strict air quality limits is being heard today (Wednesday).
Councillor Ray Puddifoot (Con) is currently meeting with the European Commission in Strasburg and is accompanied by several other members of the 2M pressure group.
He is there to persuade the commission that relaxing air quality targets will undermine their effectiveness and will also point out the Government's actions stem from the fact it is trying to get permission for a third runway which campaigners say will increase air pollution even further.
The trip comes just one day after Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly announced that a decision on the expansion of Heathrow Airport will be delayed until the end of the year.
Reacting to Ms Kelly's announcement, which is apparently to allow full assessment of the 70,000 responses to a public consultation, Deputy Leader of Hillingdon Council Councillor David Simmonds said: "There is overwhelming opposition to expansion at Heathrow and, along with other councils in the 2M Group, we have been campaigning for some time to ensure that people make their opinions known.
"Hillingdon stands to loose more than 700 homes and the impact is much greater when all the boroughs are taken in to consideration. Enough is enough. We
hope the extra time taken to assess the results will find what we all already know- there is no viable case for further expansion at Heathrow."
Pressure group HACAN believes the delay in making a decision has been caused by the fact the Department for Transport failed to carry out the full range of impact assessments and had also ignored the advice of its own environmental advisor the Environment Agency.
John Stewart, Chairman of HACAN said, "We regard Ruth KellyÕs statement as merely an attempt to try and forestall any legal challenge. It is a sign that the GovernmentÕs case for expansion remains very shaky indeed."