Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Why are Londoners paying £7m (100%) of LCA's Security Costs?

Well it's a mystery to us how any private, share owned business could get away with NOT paying their own security costs and then having the cheek to pass these on to the communities that they operate in!

London City Airport costs us London tax payers a whopping £7 million for it's annual security, and surprise, surprise it doesn't want to pay a penny towards it.

Now we are clearly very concerned about the security and the safety of it's travelling passengers and of the communities around the airport - but should Londoners be expected to pay this whilst LCA pass the profits on to their share holders: Credit Suisse, GE and AIG? And we are not alone in our amazement at LCA's complete lack of willingness to shoulder even a percentage of their security the GLA the following question was asked by Len Duval, Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority:

Question number 0043/2007 Meeting date 10/10/2007

Question by Len Duvall I am not asking you to comment on the planning application; it is more about the commercial engagement with London City Airport . Are you aware that London City Airport provides no cost towards the security of its perimeters and, in a sense, that we and part of the GLA family are subsidising them? Before you enter into commercial agreements with London City Airport or give any undertaking that security, the primacy of security around our airports and users of airports comes first and therefore that they should not be subsidised by London taxpayers, they should make a contribution like other airports; even Heathrow are cooperating in that. There seems to be a real problem with London City Airport ; they do not seem to want to even engage in a conversation about costs and they are quite adamant they are not going to pay it. Do you see that as being a part of a discussion that you may wish to have to them before you exercise any commercial deal?

Answer by Manny Lewis, LDA Given that you have raised it, Len , absolutely, in terms of the Metropolitan Police Service position. I am not familiar with those security issues; you have alerted us to those. We need to follow those up both with the Metropolitan Police Service as well as with TfL and we will certainly now factor that in.

Say's it all about LCA really. We should add that Fight the Flights has asked LCA if they intend to contribute to the cost of security, or even pay for it in full in respect of their planned expansion, which will clearly increase the £7m bill as more security will be required. We are still waiting for a response.

Now what was LCA's Chief Exec Richard Gooding saying about how much LCA give to the community?? It seems that they take out far more than they put in.

Funds for dealing with crime are always short - perhaps this £7m would be better spent on the crime that's affecting London communities right now - youth crime . We are sure that the Metropolitan Police Service would be more than pleased to get £7m back for services provided to a profit making, private business so as to enable them to tackle the difficult job of policing London.

If there are any businesses out there who don't get £7m security a year and feel discriminated against then please send requests for tips on how to get such brilliant perks to:

well, you know who....