A storm of protest has broken out over the decision by Hillingdon Council to ban a Heathrow Airport expansion lobby group from holding a fun day at a council-owned school.
Within hours of Back Heathrow announcing its Saturday, September 6 family fun day at Minet School in Hayes had been scrapped following a council directive, angry emails began arriving at getwestlondon.co.uk deploring the decision.
"I am writing to express my disgust at the undemocratic decision taken by Hillingdon Council to ban the Back Heathrow family fun day from using council owned facilities," wrote Richard Wilson.
"The decision made is undefendable [sic] in my view and smacks of oppression."
David Hicks said: "I would just like to voice my total disgust at the way Hillingdon Council has stopped Backing Heathrow [sic] from holding an event on Primary School Premises, a premises that would have been paid for, thus giving money to the funds of a school."
And Nikki Drewett wrote: "I do not understand how a local Council has the legal right to do this, especially as this was not a political event, but merely an opportunity for families to have a fun out day. I hope the Council are proud of their behaviour."
On the website facebook.com/UxbridgeGazette, Bill Cullen posted the comment: "It's Puddifoot [Hillingdon Council leader Councillor Ray Puddifoot].
"He likes absolute power. And we all know what absolute power does to people. Advice is to not vote him in next time."
And Laura Malcolm wrote: "Our council's stance to the major employer in the area, astounds me. The economic naivety is incredible."
A solitary note of approval was heard from Dave Robins: "I’m pleased to report that Back Heathrow’s Family Fun Day has been cancelled.
"Trust them to come up with an event to 'celebrate' the misery a third runway would bring to thousands of families who might end up under its flightpath.
"How many children would have their education spoilt by planes constantly flying over their schools?", he wrote.
The fun day was scrapped after Dan Kennedy, the council’s interim head of performance and improvement, wrote to Roy Hill, the Minet chairman of governors, on Tuesday, August 19, ordering him to cancel the booking Back Heathrow had made back in June.
The move came when council officials became aware that a group whose policy is directly contrary to its own had booked a council-owned school. Back Heathrow advocates airport expansion and the building of a third runway, something the council has long opposed.
The two bodies clashed sharply this year in a row that also involved the Labour group on Hillingdon Council and accusations that the ruling Conservatives were actively working to close the airport.
Tories on the council have instead argued they 'stand ready' to provide an alternative in the form of industry, retail, housing and more if the airport were ever to close.
Council leader, Ray Puddifoot, said: “The council’s position is very clear - we are not in support of a third runway at Heathrow, therefore it would be inappropriate to host an event that actively promotes the delivery of a third runway at one of our schools.”