Friday, October 23, 2009

Waltham Forest Cllrs Blast 'Arrogance' of Newham Council

A Liberal Democrat motion submitted to Waltham Forest Council demanding action over the lack of consultation on the expansion of London City Airport was last night unanimously supported by ALL parties. This blow has been dealt to London City Airport and Newham Council after an avalanche of complaints was received by Waltham Forest councillors, many from residents who have been newly affected by London City Airport aircraft noise over their homes.

The motion (see beneath) requested a list of items to be addressed and actioned including an investigation into why Waltham Forest was not formally consulted over the expansion of flights at London City Airport by Newham Council. As Newham Council is the planning authority for the airport, it is Newham's responsibility to formally consult on any changes proposed by the airport.

The Liberal Democrats have shown an outstanding committment to their communities on putting this issue on the agenda. As a result, it is most welcome to now see an all party group set up to deal with the injustice that Waltham Forest residents have been dealt by being denied a voice. Cllr Bob Sullivan stated, as quoted in an article in the Waltham Forest Guardian:

“The planning application was granted by Newham Council. Who decided they could impose on us more noise and pollution without consulting us? How arrogant.”

Cllr Qureshi who led on this issue showed his committment on the councils role in cutting carbon emissions, stating:

"This problem will not go away. It is going to stay with us and we need to fight against it.”

Congratulations to the Leyton and Waltham Forest Liberal Democrats, and to Labour and the Conservatives who will now be working on this as a community issue in the all party group for the benefit of the residents. It is refreshing to see a responsible all party council leading by example, putting their residents and the environment on the agenda, and not ignoring the erosion of quality of life, health and environment.

The full details of the original motion submitted are displayed beneath:

A. Expansion of London City Airport

Notice of the above Motion was given in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.
Councillor F. Qureshi will move; Councillor R. Sullivan will second
This Council recognises resident concern over the expansion of London City Airport, and believes that the increased number of flights using the airport – and the associated noise nuisance and environmental impact - is detrimental to Waltham Forest residents.

Therefore this Council requests that the Chief Executive:

· Carries out an immediate investigation into what Waltham Forest Council knew about London City Airport expansion and flight path changes, and what action was taken on the Council’s behalf.

· Writes to the Mayor of Newham, condemning the lack of consultation and their decision to allow further expansion of London City Airport, stressing the negative impact this decision has had on residents of Waltham Forest.

· Writes to the Mayor of London asking why he supported the expansion of London City Airport and what consideration was given to the detrimental impact of the expansion on residents of Waltham Forest.

· Write to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and NATS to ask what action they took to consult residents of Waltham Forest on the changes to flight paths and London City expansion.

· Asks the EU commissioner to investigate the expansion of London City Airport and the impact it has had on residents of Waltham Forest and East London.

· Investigates the option of Waltham Forest launching its own legal action against Newham Council over the non-consultation on the expansion of London City Airport.

This Council requests that the Chief Executive reports his findings back to councillors at the earliest opportunity.