Heathrow jobs so vi­tal to area

Surrey Herald/News - - LETTERS -

IN last week’s edi­tion you re­ported that LibDem, Sur­rey County and Spelthorne Bor­ough Coun­cil­lor Ian Beardsmore sup­ports LibDem leader Clegg’s man­i­festo com­mit­ment to op­pose ex­pan­sion of Heathrow. This is shock­ing but some­thing we would ex­pect from a party that is no­to­ri­ously anti-business and con­sis­tently fails to un­der­stand the needs of a mod­ern econ­omy. LibDems ap­pear to be­lieve that the sta­tus quo can be main­tained at Heathrow. The fact is, it can­not. Last year Dubai over­took Heathrow for the ti­tle of largest in­ter­na­tional air­port for the first time. Look at Frankfurt, Am­s­ter­dam, Paris, etc. If Heathrow does not grow to com­pete with th­ese de­vel­op­ing air­ports, it will sim­ply stag­nate and be­come ir­rel­e­vant and sooner or later close, tak­ing with it many lo­cal jobs. This is what the LibDems are ad­vo­cat­ing! Ap­prox­i­mately 7,400 Spelthorne res­i­dents work di­rectly or in­di­rectly at Heathrow and many, many more in the bor­ough are sup­ported by wealth gen­er­ated at Heathrow.

It is es­ti­mated that there are more than 100,000 Heathrow-re­lated jobs in the sur­round­ing area, of which 76,500 work di­rectly at Heathrow. Cllr Beardsmore de­scribed po­ten­tial ex­pan­sion at Heathrow as ‘a blight on Spelthorne,

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