We need airport answers

AT every twist and turn of the airport debate, pro-expansion councillors have refused to tackle the points raised by objectors in an open an honest manner.

Time and again we have raised issued which have not been addressed.

The issue that drives me is, of course, the fear expressed by the world’s scientists that climate change will cause mass loss of human life.

Needless to say councillors refuse to explain how they can support their ‘Nottingham Declaration’, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, yet support aviation expansion.

David Amess MP has rightly taken justified concerns about night flights to the EU, pressing the argument that a short period of uninterrupted sleep is a fundamental human right.

Councillors claim they understand residents’ views but are powerless to demand a night ban at Southend. Yet it is my understanding that not one single Southend Cabinet Member has written to the Secretary of State to support a change in UK legislation in this regard.

Interestingly, it is the false claims made regarding employment growth which leave pro-expansion councillors floundering.

The truth is that aviation is a net drain on the UK economy. Tourists departing by aviation spend more money abroad than those arriving in the UK.

In 2008, the loss to the UK economy was £19.6bn. In 2009, this reduced (due to the reduction in the value of sterling) to £15.1bn. That is equivalent to a net loss of over 600,000 jobs in the UK.

You would think that any councillor seeking to create jobs in UK tourism would do everything possible to constrain aviation and encourage more UK residents to holiday at home. But no; some openly boast they will support flights to Ireland, spending a month’s disposable income that would otherwise have gone on social activities which sustain jobs here in Southend.

In light of the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the pro-expansion brigade, it should come as no surprise that those opposed to aviation expansion will be working over the months and years ahead to reverse the damage done by this council’s irresponsible and irrational decision.

  1. Statistical data source: Office for National Statistics: The Pink Book (no data yet for 2010)
  2. Councillors flying to Ireland:- Those who nodded in support of Graham Longley when he announced at the full council meeting that it was ‘his duty’ to support the new flights to Ireland and would be flying to Ireland forthwith.

Jon Fuller, Southend

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