In what could only be described as a farce, we were all sat down in the Chamber and told:
1. The chair wasn't able to be there so the deputy chair Cllr Pat Murphy was to act in his absence.
2. Cllr Murphy then declared a conflict of interest and left the chamber.
3. The rest of the planning committee then voted for a temporary chair.
4. The temporary chair then read out a message from The Mayor of London's office to ask a decision to be deferred, or that the Mayor would have to make a request to the Secretary of State to 'call in' the application in on the grounds of a safety report that is currently being carried out for the proposed (?) Thames Gateway Bridge.
5. The decision was taken to defer, rather than face a public inquiry at this stage (!), until the report is available and the safety aspects considered.
6. Some residents expressed their annoyance to the committee for wasting their time and in having to take a day off work to attend, another requested that the committee consider holding the meeting at the more usual time, in the evening, and give more notice to residents.
The Mayor has supported the application to expand to 120,000 flights on the basis of what we see as flawed information. We have been advised that in a judicial review it would be seen that way too: no reliable actual noise or air pollution data for a period of years, and employment figures pulled out of a hat by LCA (remember 406 directly employed staff become 2000 staff when LCA say it has 'created' the jobs!!), and a lack of detailed information on the environmental effects on the communities across the whole of London. Some of these points were raised as weaknesses by the GLA planner in the GLA planning report but the Mayor appears to be happy to make a decision over Londoners health, safety and the environment regardless of the lack of detailed information.