Grow­ing sick of Heathrow plans

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION - AND AD­DRESS

AS A mem­ber of the Heathrow Vil­lages com­mu­nity, I must in­form your read­ers that Rob Gray and his Back Heathrow one-man band do not speak for us and has no right to pre­tend he has our com­mu­nity’s support.

Rob Gray is a paid PR lob­by­ist pro­tect­ing the for­eign own­ers of Heathrow Air­port. Back Heathrow does not have support in our vil­lages and the er­ro­neous 40,000 sup­port­ers he men­tions are just peo­ple like my­self who filled in their bi­ased survey by email.

I un­der­stand that Rob Gray is still sulk­ing after Heathrow Vil­lages com­mu­nity lead­ers stopped his ridicu­lously in­sen­si­tive Minet Fun Day.

It wasn’t Hilling­don Coun­cil, it was us. To or­gan­ise an event in a school to cel­e­brate the de­struc­tion of schools and homes shows how out of touch Rob Gray is. If Har­mondsworth Pri­mary School is bull­dozed, there will be no fun days ever again at that school for those in­no­cent chil­dren.

Rob Gray must stop try­ing to bully us with threats of Heathrow clo­sure. Heathrow is go­ing nowhere. The Chi­nese and Qatari gov­ern­ments that own big shares in Heathrow will not al­low its clo­sure.

Heathrow and the air­lines are slash­ing jobs and wages as a re­sult of au­to­ma­tion and cost-cut­ting, so the de­cline in jobs is down to Heathrow’s greed and noth­ing else.

Heathrow is only burst­ing at the seams be­cause of its own mis­man­age­ment of this mo­nop­oly as­set. Flights are on av­er­age only 82 per cent full and each av­er­age pas­sen­gers per plane fig­ure is 205. With larger planes hold­ing 300 or more pas­sen­gers and each air­craft be­ing full, Heathrow is only op­er­at­ing at be­low 50 per cent ca­pac­ity.

If Heathrow can’t man­age to look after two run­ways and five ter­mi­nals suf­fi­ciently, it does not de­serve to de­stroy our com­mu­nity in its cor­po­rate land grab.

Rob Gray is cor­rect in one as­pect; Heathrow isn’t per­fect. Noise stress is knock­ing seven years off our lives, and lung prob­lems in our com­mu­nity are much worse than the na­tional av­er­age.

Grow or de­cline? We are grow­ing sick of hav­ing Heathrow as a nui­sance neigh­bour threat­en­ing us with evic­tion.

I com­pare how our bor­ough is im­prov­ing to the state of other ar­eas I visit, and am glad to live in Hilling­don bor­ough.

It wasn’t al­ways like this – I’m a life­long res­i­dent in the bor­ough and I can re­mem­ber some years ago feel­ing em­bar­rassed when fam­ily from out of the area vis­ited be­cause the whole area looked run down, with weeds at knee height on the pave­ments and out­side Ick­en­ham Li­brary.

So praise where it’s due and a big thank you from me to those re­spon­si­ble for all th­ese im­prove­ments. (And be­fore any­one asks, no, I don’t work for the coun­cil!)

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