LETTER: Politicians are not listening to voters

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Did you know last week your councillors were presented to by Alistair McDermid of Gatwick Airport and Rosemary French of Gatwick Diamond?

Thank goodness Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) also spoke and countering the spin from Gatwick and the eight-page document read out by Gatwick Diamond!

With reference to the thoughts of Cllr Frances Haigh, LibDem, detailed in the County Times last week, I make the followsing points.

During the recent Liberal Democrat conference Gatwick Airport were openly criticised for their expensive lobbying.

Gatwick were very busy during party conferences, Labour gave the CEO of Gatwick a platform nearly every day to sell spin; the Conservatives were bombarded by advertisements on political websites as well as all Gatwick senior management being present throughout to lobby.

The LibDem conference voted to keep policy to oppose building a new runway in the SouthEast and yet Horsham LibDems announced they will vote against national policy.

Surrey LibDems see the problems with expanding Gatwick and spoke strongly against Frances Haigh at the LibDem Conference, as did many other councillors, because they know what it will mean to our area and our quality of life.

Who can we trust when local representatives do not conform to what is democratically voted on by a national political party? Perhaps this decision is too important to be left to WSCC and HDC councillors and perhaps a referendum should be conducted as to whether us residents want to support Gatwick’s desire to urbanise our rural towns, villages and parishes of West Sussex?

It would seem from Ms Haigh’s pieces that HDC LibDems are to support an offshore company that will have sold before any Tarmac is laid in 2018.

We, on the other hand, will be left with the fallout of an inward migration of workers, all looking for affordable houses, using our roads, rail, hospitals, GPs and schools. Workers that will change the job market in this area as they, and their families, look for work.

Employers in our area already see Gatwick as a drain on quality staff and this huge influx will change salary structures and could well force companies to relocated. Gatwick, itself, had staffing problems and had to bus in staff from Southampton during the luggage fiasco, and airlines’ UK based food suppliers already advertise jobs in Portugal for catering staff.

Frances Haigh represents Horsham Park; well ADNID (Gatwick’s new flight path) gave Horsham North residents aircraft noise impact so Wizard should be a major concern for Horsham!

There is thinking that as urban areas have a daily decibel noise of about 70 plus that an aircraft above would not really be noticed by residents, so instead of victimising all those that chose tranquility, to live in rural parishes around Horsham, planes should fly over Horsham.

What about emissions and pollution from road and air; the South-East recently faced high pollution levels; what will adding an airport with 96 million passengers (Heathrow 72.3 million last year) on the roads, joined by 122,000 inward migrating workers, add to our pollution levels as well as emissions from aircraft overhead?

What about national policy that Climate Change Act cannot be ignored and that a new runway in the South-East would mean regional airports would have to reduce capacity potentially increasing unemployment in other regions?

http://assets.wwf.org.uk/downloads/wwf_regional_airports_report1.pdf

A new runway at Gatwick will bring economic gridlock to the South-East; the South-East that finances all those unemployed in the North as the South-East comes to a pollution, overcrowded standstill.

The Airport Commission were given the job to find a new runway in the South-East and not to look at the national framework of spare capacity at Luton and Stansted nor will Sir Howard Davies look at the widening gap between North / South divide, it is not in his brief.

Sir Howard Davies will receive his peerage and be gone, similar to the executives at Gatwick Airport that are spending so much time and money trying to convince our councillors to support.

Next year is election time for MPs and councillors, so residents will have a chance to express their views, as obviously some party members are not listening to us voters.

Residents should contact councillors now as HDC and WSCC will respond to the Airport Commission consultation this autumn!

SALLY PAVEY

Chair, Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE), Mayes Lane, Warnham