YOUR LET­TERS

News that Hilling­don Coun­cil had re­fused per­mis­sion for air­port lobby group, Back Heathrow, to hold a fun day in a coun­cil-owned school had you fu­ri­ously cor­re­spond­ing this week. Here is a se­lec­tion from our mail bag

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

I AM pleased to re­port that Back Heathrow’s ‘Fam­ily Fun Day’, due to be held on Septem­ber 6, has been can­celled.

Trust them to come up with an event to ‘cel­e­brate’ the mis­ery a third run­way would bring to thou­sands of fam­i­lies who might end up un­der its flight­path.

How many chil­dren would have their ed­u­ca­tion spoiled by planes con­stantly fly­ing over their schools, their health af­fected by the air pol­lu­tion caused by the vast in­crease in traf­fic and the im­pact of early morn­ing flights?

I’m also sure Heathrow vil­lagers would not have ap­pre­ci­ated an event cel­e­brat­ing the de­struc­tion of their com­mu­ni­ties.

Hilling­don Coun­cil is to be con­grat­u­lated in stop­ping this nasty event and in once again stand­ing up for its res­i­dents against the threat of Heathrow ex­pan­sion.

DAVE ROBINS Wim­pole Road, West Dray­ton

WHAT the blazes is go­ing on? Our elected coun­cil­lors have de­cided that a fam­ily day for sup­port­ers of Heathrow should be de­nied the use of coun­cil premises.

What has hap­pened to lo­cal democ­racy?

We didn’t vote in this coun­cil to follow their own agenda. They are there to rep­re­sent all res­i­dents of the bor­ough, a great many of whom rely for their liveli­hood on the air­port or its satel­lite en­ter­prises.

Coun­cil­lors should re­mem­ber that op­po­nents of the bor­ough’s poli­cies also pay rates.

In­stead of throt­tling op­po­si­tion, they should al­low the time-hon­oured free­dom of all in­di­vid­u­als to ex­press their views.

I AM writ­ing on be­half of a num­ber of lo­cal res­i­dents, friends and fam­i­lies to ex­press dis­taste at the re­cent ac­tion of Hilling­don Coun­cil.

There will be a num­ber of dis­ap­pointed chil­dren as a re­sult.

It seems a lit­tle ma­li­cious and un­fair as ap­par­ently op­po­si­tion groups seem to be al­lowed fund­ing and venues.

Back Heathrow is a lo­cally based grass­roots or­gan­i­sa­tion with a wide mem­ber­ship from var­i­ous ar­eas, busi­nesses and res­i­dents who support the evo­lu­tion of Heathrow in the 21st cen­tury.

It seems grossly un­fair that a fun day for fam­i­lies should be treated in such a dic­ta­to­rial man­ner.

Many res­i­dents owe their em­ploy­ment di­rectly or in­di­rectly to Heathrow as many of the pre­vi­ous large em­ploy­ers have closed or re­sited. The majority of res­i­dents would have known of the air­port’s pres­ence when mov­ing to this area and for many it was the main rea­son to lo­cate here.

The air­port not only pro­vides job se­cu­rity but it is a na­tional as­set which, if ne­glected, will dam­age fu­ture in­vest­ment in the UK.

I re­frain from com­ment­ing on the Boris-Hilling­don co-oper­a­tive, as the dis­ad­van­tages would cover sev­eral col­umns.

BACK HEATHROW MEM­BER Name and ad­dress sup­plied

I HAVE just been made aware of a fam­ily fun day that was be­ing or­gan­ised by Back Heathrow at Minet School, in Hayes.

The event was not ad­ver­tised in Har­mondsworth, the vil­lage that will be de­mol­ished for the run­way if it is ap­proved. In July, the vil­lages, in­clud­ing our lo­cal schools, Heathrow and Har­mondsworth, came to­gether to re­mem­ber the men who left the area to fight in WWI, in­clud­ing many from Heathrow.

I can only com­mend Hilling­don Coun­cil for step­ping in and stop­ping the event.

I ap­pre­ci­ate school bud­gets are stretched but I ques­tion the judg­ment of the gover­nors of Minet School in con­sid­er­ing this or­gan­i­sa­tion ap­pro­pri­ate to use their premises for the Back Heathrow cam­paign, only to swell their school fund.

I would have thought that schools should be in the business of set­ting stan­dards and money is not the be all and end all. This sets a dan­ger­ous prece­dent, where any school could be used for pro­pa­ganda pur­poses.

Would the gover­nors of Minet School have con­sid­ered a fam­ily fun day to support frack­ing on Minet Coun­try Park?

VERONICA RUM­SEY Can­dover Close, Har­mondsworth

I FEEL I must write to in­form you of my frus­tra­tion at the un­der­hand ac­tions of Hilling­don Coun­cil.

A great deal of ef­fort and plan­ning has gone in to this event to show ap­pre­ci­a­tion to the sup­port­ers of this cam­paign.

The coun­cil sent a let­ter to the pri­mary school where the event was to take place, or­der­ing them to can­cel it. The rea­son?

“The coun­cil con­sid­ers that it is in­ap­pro­pri­ate for school premises in its own­er­ship to be used to pro­mote events by third par­ties that are linked to the fu­ture of Heathrow Air­port.”

How can this be right when the silent majority of thou­sands rely on Heathrow for their jobs, and the many freight com­pa­nies would not sur­vive if Heathrow were to close.

This is the mes­sage that needs to get out there. It is not just a case of the third run­way but the reper­cus­sions if Heathrow has to close.

Hilling­don Coun­cil has ef­fec­tively put a gag­ging or­der on a cam­paign in the bor­ough by or­der­ing the can­cel­la­tion of this event and I sin­cerely hope it is not able to put the same pres­sure on your pa­per to pre­vent you from pub­lish­ing the facts.

We can­not sit back and do noth­ing if we want Heathrow to con­tinue to be a world-lead­ing air­port.

If Boris gets his way and closes Heathrow, it will af­fect every­body and com­pletely dev­as­tate the sur­round­ing area.

VAL CLARK Fern­dale Road, Ash­ford

BACK Heathrow are ei­ther obliv­i­ous or to­tally in­dif­fer­ent to the suf­fer­ing of those most af­fected by the pro­posal for a third and fourth run­way at Heathrow.

Their in­sen­si­tive plans for a ‘fun day’, when those fac­ing evic­tion or end­less mis­ery can find lit­tle to smile about, is beyond belief.

Amaz­ingly, now it is Back Heathrow that are disgruntled since their di­a­bol­i­cal pro­mo­tional event has been can­celled.

Do they think at all about peo­ple like Mrs A? She is in her eight­ies, she’s worked hard all of her life and she de­serves a rest. She doesn’t want com­pen­sa­tion for evic­tion, she just wants to live her re­tire­ment years in peace, in her own home with her own mem­o­ries and the support of her friends around her.

Mrs A is not alone; there are many oth­ers who will need forcibly eject­ing. I have faith that the Bri­tish pub­lic and any serv­ing gov­ern­ment will not stom­ach such cru­elty; not all of them put profit be­fore peo­ple.

The fun day kids will be obliv­i­ous to the plight of wor­ried res­i­dents be­cause their par­ents won’t have told them the con­se­quences of a third run­way. Mrs A de­serves her wishes, they should be her right.

One thing is cer­tain; the Back Heathrow fun day held no prom­ise of fun for Mrs A or those in a sim­i­lar po­si­tion.

NEIL KEV­EREN High Street, Har­mondsworth

BACK Heathrow are un­happy that Hilling­don Coun­cil stopped a school be­ing used for a fam­ily fun day.

I would ask why Back Heathrow thought a school could be an ap­pro­pri­ate lo­ca­tion to site their event in the first place. In re­cent years, re­search has shown that schools ex­posed to air­craft noise are not healthy en­vi­ron­ments be­cause ex­pe­ri­enc­ing el­e­vated lev­els of air­craft and road traf­fic noise in­crease stress in chil­dren, re­duc­ing their qual­ity of life and is linked to im­pair­ment of read­ing and mem­ory skills.

So if Back Heathrow achieve their cam­paign ob­jec­tives, chil­dren un­der flight­paths will have their ed­u­ca­tion ru­ined by noise pol­lu­tion. This would mean our chil­dren will be un­em­ploy­able in later life when they can­not at­tain the stan­dards re­quired in exams

Two months ago, Sir Howard Davies, Air­ports Com­mis­sion chair­man, vis­ited Beavers Com­mu­nity Pri­mary School in Houn­slow when the head­teacher drew his at­ten­tion to the plight of her pupils, some of whom not only have to en­dure air­craft noise but the hard­ship of liv­ing in a garage or shed owing to the high de­mand for hous­ing in the area.

Should a third run­way be built, around 1,000 fam­i­lies will be made home­less by de­struc­tion of prop­er­ties in Long­ford, Har­mondsworth and Sip­son. Where will th­ese peo­ple live? Will they be des­tined to ‘beds in sheds’ if re­quired to re­main close to their jobs and friends?

We live in a com­mu­nity which wants a good ed­u­ca­tion for their chil­dren so the next gen­er­a­tion can as­pire to a ca­reer of their choice and live in a sus­tain­able home, not the vi­sion Back Heathrow has for the fu­ture.

JANE TAY­LOR Chair­man, Har­mondsworth and Sip­son

Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion Rus­sell Gar­dens, Sip­son

I WAS hor­ri­fied to learn that Hilling­don Coun­cil has taken the po­lit­i­cal decision to or­der a school to dis­al­low a sum­mer fete, which would have brought funds into the school as well as pro­vid­ing some sum­mer en­ter­tain­ment for lo­cal peo­ple.

Those who support the mas­sive in­come that is gen­er­ated by the largest air­line hub in Europe – which in­ci­den­tally must also pro­vide wel­come funds to the coun­cil via rates and rents – can­not un­der­stand the think­ing be­hind what seems to be an ar­bi­trary, knee-jerk decision by some­one.

By alien­at­ing many who might not have cared one way or the other, as well as all those im­me­di­ately af­fected who earn their liv­ing di­rectly or in­di­rectly through Heathrow, they seem to have shot them­selves in the foot.

Some­one needs a re­think.

MARY CHEN­NELL Per­imeade Road, Perivale

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