PROTESTERS SPREAD WORD
Campaigners put plastic runway on garden of Heathrow boss
POLICE were called after Heathrow villagers took their message of “no third runway” to the homes of senior airport bosses.
Residents against Expansion, from Harmondsworth, Sipson and Harlington, unfurled a plastic runway outside the home of Matt Gorman, Heathrow Airport’s Director of Sustainability and Environment, in Henleyon-Thames.
Christine Taylor, a campaigner whose home in Harlington will effectively be lost under a third runway, said: “He had ‘Proud to Back Heathrow’ stickers and posters and clearly wants an expansion so I thought he’d quite enjoy a little plastic runway.
“So we rolled it into his garden and caused minimal disruption. We just had a few calls of no third runway before we rolled up the runway and left.
“If we came with diggers, and tarmacked his house and built a runway on his back fence, which is what he wants to do to houses in Harmondswoth and Sipson, I could understand if he was upset.
“It put our arguments into a human dimension – these are real people. I think if he hasn’t learnt a lesson, he’d have to be totally insensitive and ignorant.”
Mr Gorman, who was home during the stunt on Bank Holiday Monday, remonstrated with protesters as neighbours gathered to watch.
A Heathrow spokesperson, said afterwards: “We can confirm that a group of people staged a protest at the home of a Heathrow colleague over the Bank Holiday weekend.
“The police were called in line with normal procedures and when they arrived the protesters dispersed.”
Residents set off on their ‘Heathrow Homeless Coach Tour’ from Harmondsworth Village.
As well as doorstepping Mr Gorman, the bus stopped at the large fourbedroom address of Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye, in Oxford.
Discovering the property was being renovated, Ms Taylor added: “It was particularly galling to see, when people are struggling along in a little house, where we’d like to extend but the house may have no future.
“He’s got quite a lot of room, he could house a few of us in there. I’ve got my suitcase ready.
“So if he wants to invite us back to live there in his nice, quiet, leafy street that he lives in, far away from aircraft noise, I’d be the first one on a coach to go.”
Residents brought a suitcase to highlight the plight of thousands of people who could be forced to look for alternative places to live.
The tour also included Prime Minister David Cameron’s constituency office in Witney, Oxfordshire.
Harmondsworth resident Armelle Thomas, 69, was photographed clutching an old photograph of her recently deceased husband Tommy, an RAF serviceman in the Second World War who died on August 25.
Armelle was determined to join the coach party to voice her disgust that her husband’s last months had been made a misery by the news that Sir Howard Davies had recommended Heathrow and the destruction of their longtime home.
Heathrow’s spokesman said in response: “Our plan has local residents’ views and the environment at its core. And it will create up to 180,000 jobs and £211bn of economic growth across the country.
“That’s why it has so much support this time from businesses, business groups, politicians, airports, airlines and a majority of local residents.”
n MAKING A POINT: Harmondsworth residents Veronica Rumsey and Armelle Thomas stand on the runway at John Holland-Kaye’s Oxford home. Left, a makeshift runway rolled out on to Matt Gorman’s drive