Sunday, May 31, 2009

London City Airport,The University of East London and Knowledge Dock

Some time ago a resident came across a community report produced by the University East London (UEL) which was presented in the LCA's airport expansion plan. As you would expect the report skimmed over the real impact on communities, and yet again, in our opinion, was a paid for consultants whitewash of a report.

The University is based immediately opposite London City Airport, just across the dock. It's always puzzled us why UEL never objected to the increase in flights, noise and pollution. More so because, not only do they have the teaching campus situated by the airport, but also some recently built student accomodation blocks nearer to the Albert Basin. Residents have been talking to the students down on the campus, and the students do indeed complain of the noise from the airport. Why wouldn't they when jets pass in front of their homes just a few hundred yards away, and the din is heard throughout the university campus.

So indeed it is curious that UEL didn't object in view of this effect. But as you all know Fight the Flights (FTF) love a bit of ferreting around and using the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act to uncover information that some public bodies like to hide, and the results of the FOI requests are nearly always illuminating, on many counts. We should state, that a resident had emailed Mr Macrury, the project leader, twice, and had left a phone message once asking for further information on the community project. He failed on those three occasions to even acknowledge. This made us even more suspicious about the involvement of UEL with London City Airport.

So a FTF resident put in a FOI request to UEL asking them:
Could you please indicate:

1. If you have carried out any work, either paid or voluntary for
London City Airport or any of it's agents.

If so: please indicate what the work was (listing type and date),
the renumeration received (for each piece of work) and any gifts or
hospitality received.

2. Please indicate any other funding received by London City
Airport or any of it's agents.

They came back to us with the following answers to our two questions:

A 1. We have not carried out any work, either paid or voluntary for London
City Airport or any of its agents.

A 2. We have received three separate donations of £1,000 each (total £3,000)
from London City Airport to support our business plan competition 'E-factor.'
Brief details of the 'E-factor' competition can be found here:

Hmmm, no mention of any 'community report/project' in that answer! So then we requested an internal review, and asked why they had not declared the work carried out for the London City Airport Expansion Plan. It seems that UEL had suffered from a bit of amnesia and they somehow then remembered the work after this request:
Further to your recent request for a review of your recent freedom if
information request we have reconsidered our response. In your original
inquiry you asked us if we had carried our any work, whether paid or
voluntary, 'on behalf of London City Airport or any of its agents.' Having
carried out a thorough review of our financial records and contracts we are
satisfied that our original response was given in good faith and is, to the
best of our knowledge and belief, accurate. We are satisfied that we have no
records of contracts, or agreements, commissioning work, either paid or
unpaid, in which London City Airport and this institution have been parties.
We are also satisfied that we have had no similar contracts, or agreements,
with third parties identifying themselves as agents of London City Airport.
We have not received any sums from London City Airport other than those
disclosed in our response to your recent inquiry.

Our subsidiary company entered into a consultancy contract with York
Aviation. We accept that third parties (in this case York Aviation) may have
contracts or agreements with London City Airport in which work carried out by
our University is passed on, but not being parties to such contracts or
agreements ourselves we have no record of them.

Yours faithfully,

[University of East London request email]
University of East London
4-6 University Way
E16 2RD

So, York Aviation commissioned the work, on behalf of London City Airport! We think that makes York Aviation an 'agent'. So we went back for yet more clarification on which was appearing to be a rather muddy area! And why didn't UEL want to name this subsidiary of theirs?
Dear David,

Please state the name of the University of East London's

Also please could you indicate if it is the following work which
you are referring to:

Mr I Macrury was the project leader and an employee of the
University of East London, carried out a piece of work, listed
beneath and displayed on your own web site. There is no mention
that this work is carried out in liaison with York Aviation:

University of East London LONDON EAST Research Institute London
City Airport A study assessing the likely social and cultural
impacts arising from any change strategies introduced as part of
the London City Airport master plan. The proposed study will
involve a survey of local attitudes and value orientations towards
the airport, on the part of both long established and newly arrived
residents in Silvertown, North Woolwich, Beckton and Custom House.
In addition we will be auditing the perceived past, present and
future role of London City Airport amongst regeneration and
community organisations in Newham

Project Co-ordinator: Iain MacRury

Could you please provide the details as I originally requested for
the above piece of work and any other work carried out under the
same umbrella for London City Airport or any of its agents.

So would we get the whole truth, and nothing but the truth this time?
Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your e-mail message dated 23 April.

Our subsidiary company is Knowledge Dock (UEL) Limited, which is a wholly
independent limited company registered under the companies acts (registration
number 3576958). As a registered company, Knowledge Dock (UEL) Limited is
not a publicly funded institution and thus lies outside the scope of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 in relation to the disclosure of documents
that are either the property of the Company, or have been generated wholly
through contracts made between the Company and other third parties.

We were happy to disclose the fact that our subsidiary company had entered
into a contract with York aviation in order to clarify any misunderstanding
that might have arisen as a consequence of our not disclosing in response to
your original inquiry, which was about work that our University had carried
out 'on behalf of London City Airport or any of its agents,' work that London
City Airport had referred to in its published master plan. We are not,
however, in a position to disclose particulars of the contract or the report
that was produced because the work was conducted under a commercial agreement
between our subsidiary company and York Aviation.

Although the contract itself is confidential, Mr MacRury, however, has
informed us that the results of the work that was carried out under this
commercial contract are publicly available. They are reflected in the master
plan subsequently published by London City Airport.

The information published by the London East Research Institute on its web
pages does refer to the same piece of work that was the subject of the
contract between York Aviation and our subsidiary company. We agree that the
connection with York Aviation is not mentioned, but this web page is intended
to inform the public about projects and consultancy carried out by the London
East Research Institute and there is no legal, or contractual, obligation for
the name of the contractor, or any other commercially sensitive information,
to be disclosed in these reports.

Yours faithfully,

[University of East London request email]
University of East London
4-6 University Way
E16 2RD


Oh, so now we have the full information, but with UEL claiming that Knowledge Dock was a privately owned company, so they couldn't possibly share any more information on it? Hmm, well we thought so and then an annotation was added by another fantastic member of the community.

In fact it turns out that Knowledge Dock is not a private company at all, and UEL have even listed it in their annual report:


"According to UEL's Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2008 (, page 31), both of the shares in Knowledge Dock (UEL) Ltd are owned by UEL. This makes Knowledge Dock (UEL) Ltd a publicly-owned company under section 6 of the FOIA and hence a public authority for FOI purposes."

And if you go here you'll find it listed on the fantastic 'What do they know' website.

So if you have ever wondered why FTF gets so fed up with the behaviour of those linked to London City Airport, and the underhand secretive activities of the aviation industry and their agetns (such as UEL trying to hide the fact that York Aviation paid for them for this project) then this should give you a good idea why. Wonder why UEL didn't object to 50% more flights and BIGGER, NOISIER JETS? Well the answer is in this blog too.

Incestuous business relationships between the airport, it's aviation agents, the local council and dissapointingly now the local university. Nice little move by York and LCA to get UEL to do the research and neutralise any possible objection.

The erosion of democracy, moral and ethical business values appears to be based in the heart of Newham. However the lengths that UEL went to in trying to withold this information indicate even they feel uncomfortable about the whole situation.
And we WILL be asking for all the details on the work from the publically owned Knowledge Dock subsidiary of UEL.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sir Robin Wales Interview Interrupted By Aircraft Noise

This is SO Funny.

Sir Robin Wales Mayor Of Newham was interviewed this week by Dave Hill from The Guardian. The article 'Sir Robin Wales on Boris, affordable homes and regenerating Newham' is here. Sir Robin now has an Office in Building 1000.
It goes under some new name now as the name building 1000 in Newham was so bad no one would move in due to the noise from London City Airport.

Please Listen out for an interruption of the interview around 4min 20sec in as an Aeroplane was taking off.

How does anyone expect work to be done for Newham if the workers are going to be interupted every time a plane takes off or lands?

Don't worry good old Sir Robin will think something up with his good mate Richard Gooding CEO of LCY. They won't let a little thing like noise disruption stop the expansion of the airport.

The shareholders will make sure of that.


Press Release from HACAN Clearskies

Survey of candidates shows all other parties opposed

The Labour Party has become isolated in its support for a third runway at Heathrow. In a survey of candidates standing in the European Elections on June 4th, only Labour candidates refused to condemn the proposals to build a new runway. The campaign group HACAN wrote to all the leading candidates standing in the both the London and South East constituencies to ask their views on Heathrow expansion. No Labour candidate responded but the representatives of all the other political parties said they were opposed to the plans for a third runway (1).

HACAN Chair John Stewart said, “The silence from the Labour candidates has been deafening. We know there are many individual members of the Labour Party who oppose Heathrow expansion but this survey confirms just how isolated the Government is on the issue.”


Notes for Editors:

(1). A selection of quotes from candidates below:

Charles Tannoch MEP, standing for the Conservatives in London, emphasised the importance of high-speed rail as an alternative to expansion and said; “I oppose both as a resident and as a London MEP Heathrow expansion plans.”

His colleague Richard Ashworth MEP, standing in the South East, said: “The Conservative Party official policy is to oppose the construction of a third runway at Heathrow. I fully support this policy.”

Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrat London MEP Sarah Ludford said “Along with my Liberal Democrat colleagues at Westminster, in the London Assembly and in the European Parliament I am strongly committed to continue the Liberal Democrat campaign to stop a third runway at Heathrow. I have personally been an outspoken opponent of Heathrow expansion for the decade that I have been an MEP.”

Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas MEP, standing for re-election in the South East, said, “I am completely opposed to the proposal to build a third runway at Heathrow and am campaigning to put the brakes on all airport expansion, because it is massively incompatible with the need to significantly reduce greenhouse gases by 2020.”

Her colleague, Jean Lambert, the Green MEP for London said, “I do not support the third runway because I believe it is bad for the environment, bad for health, bad for education and because the economic case is not made.”

Nigel Farage MEP, the UKIP Leader, standing for re-election in the South East, said, “I remain unconvinced that a third runway is necessary for any economic reason and from a social perspective it is highly undesirable.”

For further information:

John Stewart

Press Release issued 29/05/09


FTF Comment: Labour have also chose to ignore the excessive negative effects of expansion at London City Airport on the communities of south and east London. Mary Honeyball MEP has refused to answer our questions on London City Airport.

Vote for an MEP who listens to you and your concerns about your community!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dave Hill Blogs on the Politics of City Airport

Dave Hill of The Guardian went to meet Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham today.

According to Dave, Sir Robin's office in Building 1000 has: 'a perfect view of the airport runway'. You can read more here on the 'Politics of City Airport'.

Roger Evans Listens & Puts Havering First

Yesterday, three of us from three different boroughs, went along to meet Roger Evans, GLA member at City Hall. Roger had kindly asked us along to present our argument against the expansion of London City Airport.

We hope we were able to convey to Roger not only our passion for our communities, but also our legitimate and grave concerns on the negative effects of expansion of London City Airport on South/East London and beyond.

Roger was exceptionally generous with his time with us yesterday, and he listened to the issues we raised. We could see that Roger cares about the residents of Havering and how future expansion and flight path changes may affect his borough, and he expressed his concern. We hope residents in Havering will feel able to approach Roger with their concerns, as he has invited them to do so on his blog. We all need to make the most of opportunities such as the one that Roger is offering for feedback and comments.

At the beginning of the meeting we had told Roger that if we were able to make him question at least one issue, which he had heard or been told, about London City Airport expansion prior to our presentation, then we would be very happy. We are happy.

Although we've thanked Roger privately, we'd like to thank him here too, for his time and consideration of the issues.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Beckton Alps


The highest point in Newham, with incredible views over London, is a slag heap of what was once the biggest gasworks in the world. It was also a dry ski slope but now lies derelict except for occasional bonfires. It is one of the 7 sites in the British Isles to have been chosen as part of the BIG ART project.

There is some discussion as to what should be put there and, as seems to be the case with anyone involved in Newham, there has been no consensus of opinion and it appears to have been put on hold for the moment. Given the amount of extra planes that will be shortly gracing our skies courtesy of the Borough of Newham I would have thought that there would be no problem in buying a couple of the redundant Boeings from the Plane Graveyard and sticking them on the site. ABC News



Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cllr Patricia Holland & London City Airport & Local People Upset They Can't Get Good Jobs

Whoops: Has Councillor Patricia Holland forgotten that her and her colleagues have been repeating the mantra that the airport was a major quality employer in the area? That the airport provided so much work for local people - all 120 jobs for Newham residents after 20 years of operation? Well she's been commenting on how there MIGHT be UP TO 200 new jobs at a new hotel at the Excel. She didn't go so far as listing what types of jobs will be offered at the hotel....but we believe you all know what kinds of jobs, and pay are generally offered across the hotel hospitality board once it's built.

It seems Patricia is also admitting that Councillors have failed in ensuring that local residents get a fair share of decent jobs in the past too! We couldn't agree more Patricia. Now what will she do about London City Airport? Is she going to enforce that those 1000 jobs they pulled out of the hat as part of the stick and carrot technique to this gullible council actually materialise? Will her colleagues who said that the job 'creation' value overode all the pollution and cost to healthcare, and the odd death as a result be worth it?
Hmmm seems Cllr Holland made a bit of an admission in her comment to The Wharf:

Custom House councillor Patricia Holland said it was imperative the community around Excel benefitted.

She said: "Recent events at the Excel have seen hotels around it full up, so this development should be welcomed.

"However, quite a few people in the area are upset they can't get good jobs and we need to ensure a fair share of them can work on this project."

Try not to laugh at the hypocrisy. Pat perhaps could bring the issue up at the next Newham Homes meeting, on which Richard Gooding sits on the board with her.....and a whole selection of Royal Docks Councillors. Cosy.

Which MEPs Objected to London City Airport Expansion?

These are the two MEP's whom actively objected to the expansion of London City Airport. You may wish to consider them when you vote in the European Elections on 4 June 2009.

Both MEPs clearly considered all aspects of the airport expansion, good and bad, and came to the conclusion that further expansion was not acceptable:

Jean Lambert MEP - The Green Party (picture courtesy of Jean Lambert's Office)

Baroness Sarah Ludford - The Liberal Democrats

If there are any other MEPs who also objected, but we have failed to mention then we would ask them to let us know and we will happily update this post.

FTF is non party political and therefore listing or linking any political party, does not infer any political bias or preference of the residents campaign group.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mary Honeyball MEP and the European Elections

UPDATE: We have still not received a response to the questions we put to Mary Honeyball.

It is quite surprising that an MEP who is currently canvassing for votes seems to have such little concern in answering residents legitimate concerns at this time.

As we've suggested before - if your MEP does not address your concerns, or answer your emails, then find one that does, and move your vote. Mary's reticence to address the health and pollution concerns which affect broad swathes of east and south London, and the ADDITIONAL 46,000 residents as a result of London City Airport expanding, is quite outstanding.

Why wouldn't Mary have concern for the effect on children's development and an increase in NOx to air levels already exceeding the EU directive limits by 50%?

Because she doesn't care? Because perhaps she is pro-aviation at any cost to peoples lives and health in London? Because she doesn't care about east and south east Londoners? Because she didn't hear that 3000 people had premature deaths due to air pollution in London? Because she is out of touch?

Because all we want is a response to our questions from someone, who we pay the salary for, to represent us in the European Parliament.

What next after us mere residents daring to ask Mary asking and lobbying for MEP expenses to be fully transparent?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

London City Airport - Increased Pollution in Crash Zone

London City Airport claims in it's own Masterplan that: "The future expansion in aircraft movements, combined with the changes in aircraft and their engines, will increase NOx emissions mainly at the runway and Public Safety Zones [crash zone] away from residential areas"....

Is that why the only residential properties that would be covered by the crash zone which are in Greenwich were not initially consulted (and in fact we don't even know if they have been yet)?

What is even more curious, is that London City Airport were more than well aware of the Gallions Reach Urban Village developments in LB Greenwich, and how much the expansion would enlarge the crash zone over the area. So why do they claim that this increase in harmful NOx emissions would be away from residential areas? They knew that the crash zone would be covering 100s of properties in the area, and 1000s of residents.

So what, you may think? Well NOx is dangerous to humans - it can make you very ill, and in fact can worsen asthma, respiratory diseases and even kill you:

'NOx react with ammonia, moisture, and other compounds to form nitric acid vapor and related particles. Small particles can penetrate deeply into sensitive lung tissue and damage it, causing premature death in extreme cases. Inhalation of such particles may cause or worsen respiratory diseases such as emphysema, bronchitis it may also aggravate existing heart disease.

NOx react with volatile organic compounds in the presence of heat and sunlight to form Ozone. Ozone can cause adverse effects such as damage to lung tissue and reduction in lung function mostly in susceptible populations (children, elderly, asthmatics). Ozone can be transported by wind currents and cause health impacts far from the original sources. Millions of Americans live in areas that do not meet the health standards for ozone.

NOx also readily react with common organic chemicals, and even ozone, to form a wide variety of toxic products: nitroarenes, nitrosamines and also the nitrate radical some of which may cause biological mutations.'

So that's all very healthy for the residents in the crash zone in Gallions Reach Urban Village, West Thamesmead, Greenwich then!

So how much do the effects of NOx cost to the National Health System? Well according to Newham PCT health impact study they didn't seem to think there were any bad effects at all, or at the most, they were minimal. Is death minimal? Strange that, because as part of the NHS you would have thought they would have considered the health impact of the expansion of flights, and the cost of the impact on health to the NHS. Not only was the report weak, it failed to mention that Newham had the highest levels of mortality in under 30s in the UK from asthma (and Newham are even working with AsthmaUK on this issue right now, so you can't say they forgot) and failed to flag up any connections between pollution and respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, deaths in London due to air pollution, and the effect of excessive noise on the development on children. As for NOx directly related illnesses, it seems they've forgotten to address those!

Curious indeed! You may be interested to know that Richard Gooding CEO of London City Airport is on the board of the Newham University Hospital Trust(however his photo and reference to him has mysteriously disappeared - we'll be asking the Trust to confirm if he is still a member of the board). He's certainly listed as a stakeholder, as is his friend and fanzine editor Colin Grainger from the biased reporting Newham Recorder. No conflict of interest there then!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mary Honeyball and London City Airport

Mary Honeyball finally responded, albeit late, to some of our questions last night by email. She also wrote a public response on her own blog.

A resident initially emailed Mary on 7 November 2007, at the same time as emailing all other London MEPs. Mary failed to respond at that time, as did Robert Evans, though her colleague Claude Moraes, as well as other MEPs did respond. We accept what Mary says that the original email may have gone into her spam filter.

Mary came back onto the radar of the group when a resident discovered that she had declared her use of free parking at London City Airport, she was in fact the only London MEP who has declared use of this free parking. We understandably were interested in how many times Mary had used this facility, whether she flew a lot and how she felt about the impact of the airports expansion on the local area. We asked Mary for her comment and her side of the story on the parking issue and also the airports impact on the community as we offered to put her response on this blog. We highlighted the issue of excessive noise affecting childrens development and health and also Newham having the highest mortality rates in under 30's in the country. This request was sent to Mary on her online message form on Tuesday 5 May.

On 12 May we had decided that Mary perhaps wasn't going to respond at all and went ahead and blogged another article expressing our frustration with her for not responding to residents. We know that despite Mary having not responded, her office had spent a lengthy amount of time on our blog and website over a period of a few days.

We finally received an email from Mary last night:

'Thank you for writing. I did try and publish a comment on your blog but you appear to not allow comments, whereas I do. I've posted this response

on my blog.

Can you arrange to send me the 17 month old correspondence please? If the correspondence was emailed sometimes things get caught in my spam filter. I have checked for written correpondence, and can find nothing outstanding. Another possibility is that Claude Moraes MEP would have responded because he covers East London for Labour. The 3 Labour MEPs have divided London up into thirds for the last 5 years for casework. Robert Evans has covered West London. Claude Moraes has covered East London including Newham, and I have covered Central and South London. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,
Mary Honeyball
Labour MEP for London'

Ok, so Mary offers some explanations as to why she didn't respond in 2007, and we accept those. However Mary didn't answer all the queries we raised and we are still no further in knowing what she thinks about the expansion of London City Airport and the associated negative effects.

But also, although we accept that Mary has only used the car parking once in a year, we are very concerned that a privately owned airport (London City Airport) is offering free parking to ALL travelling MEPs. Is this morally right? Could this not be seen as a sweetener to keep MEPs on the airports side, particularly at a time when Global Investment Partners, (they are Credit Suisse and General Electric, the owners of London City Airport) are planning to expand flights to 176,000 over the most densely populated area in the country? And it goes further, this very same consortium are also bidding for Gatwick Airport.

This raises some serious issues, and of course we don't blame Mary for using the offer of free parking. However we do feel that MEPs whom use such offers from business should be more sensitive to the implications as they could be construed as a conflict of interest. At a time when the air above London City Airport exceeds EU directive levels by 50% and London is going be fined for this by the EU - it seems strange that the airport should give free parking to MEPs, and that it has been taken up.

We responded to Mary last night:

'Hi Mary

Thank you for the response.

Our blog site is for information
and articles only, it is not set up for comments - purely because we have the email address, and also on the website we have a contact form which is automatically emailed in. I'm happy to publish your response on the blog if you wish though.

I have a list of the MEPs whom were emailed/written to and it indicates that you were emailed on 07.11.07. I'm afraid as I sent that email from a different PC I'm unfortunately unable to locate a copy. Claude replied on the 20.11.07 - but unfortunately yourself and your other colleague Robert Evans did not respond at all.

I'd be really interested to hear your position on the airport expanding and how you feel that the current air quality can be improved whilst it expands in this densely populated area. Currently the air quality exceeds EU levels by 50% over the airport, and this clearly has enormous health implications for the residents of South and East London. Do you think it is acceptable that the airport failed to take noise and air readings for 8 years and that the application to expand was based on 'estimated' noise data? More so how do you feel in regard to the London Borough of Newham not enforcing the Section 106 planning agreement and allowing these breaches of planning law to take place over such a long period of time? Were you also aware that planes were operating illegally from the airport for almost a year, and the company was found guilty and fined at Stratford Court?These are all extremely worrying issues.

I realise that you are an MEP and therefore your focus is on European issues, but clearly these regional issues overlap into the European remit and I would value your comments on them and how you feel you could assist in addressing them for Londoners within your role.

Yours sincerely'

This response to Mary, simply repeated some of the previous requests raised in the email sent to her on 5 May. We really hope Mary can take the time to respond to all the issues raised as they are important to the community, as they affect us all in one way or another.

Picking up on Mary's comment about us not having a comment facility - those of you that know us and those of you that don't have long been commenting to us directly, and these comments are published as requested. You may also be aware that this blog is written by a selection of contributors. But most of all the point is that we are always open for dialogue and always have been, that is why we email asking questions and for opinions.

You can contact us on: or alternatively you can use the contact page on the website. We're always open for business!

Ah Go on! Have a laugh on BAA!

Apparently Colin Matthews of BAA is in a one night show which will possibly be the most hilarious night you've had since the start of the credit crunch. It's always entertaining listening to the money of big business green washing and spinning their way as far away from the truth as possible, we only wish it was Richard Gooding of London City Airport on the podium:

One night only

But spare a thought: whilst you are choking with laughter on the night, residents underneath Heathrow, London City Airport, and all of the collective flight paths, will be choking with pollution.

London City Airports Most Polluting Routes On Map

For the first time, you are able to see the amount of harmful emissions which London City Airport routes create over Europe on a map here. You can also see London City Airports Top 10 destinations by passengers.

The map shows the flight paths for LONDON CITY in 2008. Note that this does not take into account non-passenger air movements or any factors that would make emissions on a given route higher than normal (per passenger mile). For airports with large amounts of freight or non-commercial aviation the numbers will be higher than this total.

The total amount of CO2 emissions from London City Airport passenger flights in 2008 was 94454.86 tonnes.

Just how many of those trips could have been made by a less polluting rail trip? Quite a few by the appearance, especially Edinburgh. We'll be doing a follow up on the alternatives later on in the month.

Please consider TRAIN over PLANE if rail is an alternative.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Coming Soon: The University of East London, York Aviation, Knowledge Dock and London City Airport!

London City Airport Loses YOU Thousands On Property

Not only do you have to pay extra taxes for London City Airports security, but you also pay for the airports noisy, and polluting operations...on the value of your property.

The Stop Stansted Expansion campaign group looked into this issue more closely and presented evidence at the last Stansted Public Inquiry in 2007. Ken McDonald, the author, found that aviation expansion was responsible for the loss of domestic property value of approximately £1 billion in and around the environs of Stansted Airport. You can read the whole paper here.

The paper showed that airport expansion when announced by SERAS in 2002 had a subsequent negative economic impact in the area surrounding Stansted airport compared with not only the rest of Essex but also neighbouring Herts and South Cambs. You can also view this information on the Stop Stansted Expansion website together with all the back up figures from the Land Registry statistics.

We haven't carried out anything like this for London City Airport, but the same principles apply to the areas affected by London City Airports' threatened expansion and have potentially already lost domestic property owners £1000s on the value of their homes adding up to millions in the areas affected. That's exclusive of the effect of falling property prices caused by the current recession.

However, to all those doubters out there (mostly the airport shareholders and their staff) there is also further evidence to support the findings in Ken's paper: Findaproperty published an article entitled 'Beware The Pungent Pong' 10 Jun 2003 as a news item. It stated that being near an airport or flightpath reduces the value of homes at a minimum of 15%. Cranfield University's Peter Brooker also produced a paper on 'Aircraft Noise Annoyance House Prices And Valuation 2006. He quoted that current government policy (DfT) states:
“…we will work to ensure that aviation meets its external costs, including its
environmental and health costs. The aviation industry has a responsibility to
reduce its impacts under the 'polluter pays' principle.”

Valuation of aircraft noise’s external costs is a vital component of environmental
impact assessment. If, say, Heathrow airport’s runways are operated differently, or if
new runways are built, then what are the corresponding environmental costs? What
are aviation’s ‘external costs’ for noise disturbance?

And yet strangely that valuation of aircraft noise's external costs are not addressed in environmental impact assessments at London City Airport at all in so much as the value of property being affected. When this issue was raised to the Newham Council Planning officer - a resident was told that property value was 'not a consideration of the planning process in relation to London City Airports expansion'. It seems that perhaps the Planning Officer had misunderstood the policy principle, or perhaps chose to.

So how much can homeowners in Newham and the neighbouring boroughs expect to lose on the value of their property, simply because of noise and air pollution? Not being able to open windows is not a selling point, neither is not being able to sit in your garden, like the man in Bexleyheath complained about. The noise of City Airport planes really worried him. As we all know 99% of the housing affected in the noise contour zone will not be entitled to any noise management assistance from the airport at all.

At a minimum it seems that you will lose 15% on the value of your property. Seeing that the area is the most densely occupied area of the country, the loss to property value could well exceed that in the environs of Stansted. The property is blighted and the area is blighted due to London City Airport wanting to continue to expand.

The airport isn't discussing this, and never will, as it could cost them money. The London Borough of Newham doesn't care about how much property owners lose, either in the quality of their lives or value of their homes - as long as they please Sir Rob and Richard Gooding. Newham are terribly impressed by big business, rather too easily impressed in our opinion.

What is most amusing about this evidence, and all the other evidence that has been carried out and supports that aviation does have a negative effect on home values is that London City Airport asked one of their consultants to carry out some research into this. Of course, they found that no value was lost at all on the value of properties.

You've got to laugh at how they managed to miss all this evidence! As we say, we are fighting against the lies, for the truth. Seems they still don't deal in the truth, particularly if it may cost them money in the community.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Does Mary Honeyball MEP Really Represent YOU?

The answer: well it's difficult if she doesn't respond to constituents correspondance.

Just an update on the responsiveness of Mary Honeyball to residents: Mary was emailed 17 months ago regarding London City Airport - she never replied. In contrast her colleague Claude Moraes MEP did respond.

Mary was emailed a week ago regarding her use of free parking at London City Airport - FTF wanted to give her the opportunity to comment. She has not yet replied.

With the current controversies around politicians expenses there is one overriding factor that continues to feed the anger that constituents feel with politicians at the moment: it is the sheer arrogance, the excuses, the attempt to bury bad news and of course, just completely ignoring the public.

Mary Honeyball MEP is paid out of all our taxes. We actually think that it is Mary's DUTY to respond to correspondance: it is not a choice, but a duty which she is paid to do. Or is there some kind of problem with Mary commenting on anything to do with London City Airport?? You can't help but wonder.

Or is it simply that Mary is out of touch and doesn't care about the people she is supposed to represent and doesn't think that the general public are worth responding to? Want any more hints/evidence about why the public have such poor opinions of some politicians right now? Yes, Mary is blogging of her trips around London in the run up to the EU elections for votes - but she's not managed to respond in 17 months to one resident!

It's simple: listen to the people you represent, and respond. Your paid to do it.

Vote for someone who listens and responds to you, not for someone who ignores you.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Residents Report - The State of London's Environment: Ignored by "The Money"

Last Saturday I spent the day at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre for The State of London Debate - arranged by the Mayor of London to increase the accountability of the GLA to Londoners.

On the whole I was impressed with the speakers, with the exception of Jo Valentine of London First and Stuart Fraser, Economic Development London Councils, who did not impress me at all. What struck me was their rather out of date attitude vis-a-vis the current problems of aviation noise and pollution in London. It seems they have an over-arching aim to make London the best city in the world in which to live, work and invest. Well obviously they have not cast their eyes over recent statistics with regard to air pollution in London; which is clearly not one of the best places to live because it is now known as the dirtiest, noisiest and most polluted capital in Europe.

In fact London's dirty air is responsible for the deaths of over 3,000 people a year. London's emissions are well above those that have been set by the EU and the United Kingdom is about to be fined.

I was disappointed that not only did neither Jo Valentine nor Stuart Fraser seem to grasp the serious challenges that London is facing with regard to the air and noise pollution suffered by millions, they showed no evidence of understanding that London needs innovative approaches and practical solutions to the problem. In fact they both reminded me of uninformed and not very creative dinosaurs.

In addition, the reply that Jo Valentine made with regard to a question on litter was actually quite disturbing. She stressed that it was very important indeed to clear up the areas of London that visitors would pass through during the Olympic Games. However, the other areas seen by and lived in by Londoners on a daily basis were not mentioned by her at all. Presumably, since only local people would see them they were not nearly as important and any litter and mess could be safely ignored.

Therefore I would hazard a guess that Jo Valentine is not a community person.



FTF comment:

Fraser and Valentine are both from banking backgrounds and clearly put profit before people. Valentine of London First (otherwise known as Money First), has been a long time supporter of London City Airports growth and appears not to be concerned about the negative effects of such business expansion on residential communities at all.

These individuals are clearly not concerned at the flawed and missing data that the airport has provided over the years, nor has Valentine acknowledged that the airport has failed to meet even 50% of it's most conservative prediction of the amount of jobs it would create in the last 10 years.

Valentine thinks that LCA is good for Newham: just 120 directly employed jobs have been given to Newham residents in over 20 years of the airport running. This is compared with an ever increasing amount of residents in east and south east London being affected by the 57DB+ noise contour. Upon any expansion almost 100,000 residents will be affected by these excessive noise levels.

Will Fraser and Valentine be two of those residents we wonder? If they were, would they still choose to ignore the social, over the profit? Lets hope their children don't have to sit in a class room that is disturbed by a flight roaring over every 90 seconds, and their development being affected, lets hope also that they don't have to deal with the illnesses associated with excessive aviation noise and pollution levels.

Newham residents haven't gained much at all from this airport that has been allowed to grow beyond the limits promised faithfully to the communities of East London: Newham is still one of the most socially deprived boroughs in the country, and tops a lot of other 'negative' categories in healthcare and childrens educational development. It also has one of the worst housing shortages in the country.
So obviously 20 years is not enough for the airport to have shown the 'trickle down' effect - so businesses answer is? To expand more, to socially experiment more, on one of the poorest boroughs in London. And lets not forget that this 'experiment' cost London taxpayers £24million pounds over the past 5 years.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


Happening at 6 airports across Europe!
12 noon, Saturday 16th May 2009
The day of the Eurovision song contest

12 noon - on the dot! - flash your red t-shirt in the departures section of Heathrow Terminal 1

Flash Heathrow! Flash Paris! Flash Frankfurt! Flash Amsterdam! Flash Brussels! Flash Dublin!

Join us! Bring your friends, wear a red t-shirt, bring instruments, download your favourite eurovision song onto your ipod or phone, wear a silly hat or wig, dust off your dancing shoes! Let's party!

Now for the serious bit: airport expansion is seriously bad for local people, increased noise, air pollution, and especially the climate. The aviation industry want to expand airports across the UK and Europe, but opposition is huge, and the scientists are telling us we have to drastically cut emissions if we are to beat climate change. Flashmobs are a fun way to highlight the real opposition there is to expansion at airports across Europe. Here's another big chance to show our opposition to a 3rd runway at Heathrow.

See you in Departures at Terminal 1 at 12 noon on the dot!

All over by one o'clock.

Tell BAA to get in tune! No Third Runway!

(and please tell your friends, forward to lists etc)

European Elections June 4th - Don't Forget to Vote!

The European elections on June 4th are your opportunity to influence politics in Europe.

Perhaps you'd like to re-elect an MEP that you feel has been responsive to your region and have worked hard on issues you care about, or perhaps you'd like to change your vote because the only time you ever contacted your local MEP, they didn't even bother to respond. Which is rather rude really, considering we pay them.

You can see the areas that the EU cover here, they include air, emissions and transport and environment.

So it's your chance to have your say and your vote is really important. You can find out more here.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Boris Johnson Uses 'Hear Say' Not Evidence As Justification For Expansion At London City Airport

Ever wondered why Boris has such double standards and likes to try and bury his decision to support London City Airport expansion at every opportunity?

Well we thought we'd ask where Boris gets the statistics he keeps throwing out at residents when he is challenged on his decision to support expansion at LCA. Boris is particularly keen to use the stick and carrot of jobs....but really Boris, this FOI request (see beneath) and answer from your office appears to indicate that you have no such evidence to support what we know are incorrect and unsubstantiated claims that you keep throwing out!

We find it quite dissapointing that this FOI response indicates that he simply bases his decisions on 'hear say'? No wonder he's got so many double standards, he needs to start dealing in evidence and the facts. Can't say this is the type of behaviour that builds confidence or trust - but then Boris seems willing to sacrifice anything for his double standards over London City Airport - even his credibility. Boris can keep trying to bury the LCA issue - but Heathrow will not save his face as double standards are not attractive and objectors to the expansion are not going anywhere.

1) At the Mayors Question time Boris Johnson claimed that the "expansion of London City Airport would provide 1000 new jobs". Can I have a copy of all documentation that the Mayor has seen to support this claim PRE this request.

The Mayor received a verbal briefing before PQT, so the Greater London Authority holds no such documentation.

2) Can I also have a breakdown of the 1,000 jobs and a time line for the jobs?

The Greater London Authority does not hold this information.

Yours sincerely

Zoƫ Newcombe
Mayor’s Office

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Mary Honeyball MEP - Dives in For Free Parking at London City Airport

More stories from the gravy train, or was that gravy plane?
London City Airport provides free parking to all MEPs so we thought we'd see who took them up on the offer. Of all the London MEPs, it is only Mary Honeyball whom has declared she uses this 'gift'.

Even stranger is that a resident who contacted Mary with their concerns about the expansion of London City Airport is still waiting for a response after 17 months. Seems Mary just doesn't have time to reply to those very residents who she'll be expecting to come out and vote on June 4th in the European Parliamentary Elections!

Mary clearly isn't very concerned about how her travel habits impact on the local communities she expects to vote for her. And we thought she was a champion for women and children!