It is deeply worrying that the Government has approved a third runway at Heathrow.
A third runway would inflict devastating damage on the environment and to the quality of life of millions of people and I will fight them every step of the way. We need to make Heathrow better not bigger.
Ealing's Conservative Council is a member of a broad coalition opposing the Labour government's damaging plans on Heathrow.
After careful consideration of the environmental, social and economic impacts of expansion, I do not believe that the case for a third runway at Heathrow has been made; the costs of expansion significantly outweigh the benefits - benefits which remain unproved and uncertain.
The extra 222,000 flights a year at Heathrow, which would come with a third runway, would blight the lives of thousands of people in Acton, Ealing, Greenford, Hanwell and Southall with
increased aircraft noise and pollution levels leading to serious damage to the health of local communities. They would also undermine our efforts to meet our national targets on climate change.
That is why it has been decided that an incoming Conservative government would give the go-ahead for a new high speed rail line linking up Heathrow, St Pancras, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.
I welcome the Government's change of heart in agreeing to study a high speed rail proposal, but I fail to see why they refuse to accept that high speed rail could provide an alternative to a third runway.
Many people depend upon Heathrow for their livelihood, so this high speed rail line would provide the opportunity for sustainable growth at Heathrow to ensure that we remain competitive, as well as helping to reduce pollution and emissions from domestic transport. By relieving overcrowding problems at the airport our proposals would do a huge amount to make Heathrow better.
Ealing's Conservative council will do all it can to oppose the third runway.
CLLR DAVID MILLICAN
Representing Northfield Ward Cabinet member for regeneration and transport
Members' Room Ealing Town Hall