A third run­way is not wanted on our green spa­ces

The Wokingham Paper - - VIEWPOINTS -

The Labour Group in Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough Coun­cil is op­posed to any third run­way at Heathrow.

Aside from the en­vi­ron­ment im­pact of in­creas­ing air travel by ex­pand­ing Heathrow’s ca­pac­ity as a hub air­port, a third run­way will in­crease the eco­nomic dom­i­nance of the south east.

For the last 40 years, eco­nomic pros­per­ity and growth in Wok­ing­ham has been driven by two fac­tors - our prox­im­ity to Lon­don and ease of ac­cess to Heathrow along the M4

- the lat­ter be­ing the ma­jor driver be­hind the de­ci­sion of multi­na­tional af­ter multi­na­tional to lo­cate close to the M4, bring­ing in thou­sands and thou­sands of well paid jobs.

It has been clear for some­time that eco­nomic growth has out­stripped the ca­pac­ity of Wok­ing­ham to ab­sorb the many peo­ple who, rightly, have cho­sen to move here to ben­e­fit from the em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able.

We see the ev­i­dence ev­ery day, with com­mu­ni­ties changed be­yond recog­ni­tion by more hous­ing, roads vir­tu­ally at a stand­still and ever-shrink­ing green spa­ces.

The only way to pro­tect what re­mains of the char­ac­ter of our com­mu­ni­ties and our qual­ity of life is to spread eco­nomic growth more evenly through­out the coun­try and, if ca­pac­ity must in­crease, to in­crease the ca­pac­ity and routes at our re­gional air­ports.

Such a re­dis­tri­bu­tion of eco­nomic growth would not dam­age the Bor­ough, a Tory hard Brexit is the threat here, as there would be con­sid­er­able in­er­tia from our cur­rent eco­nomic base to keep this area pros­per­ous.

I was glad to see Theresa May op­posed the third run­way in her elec­tion cam­paign last year.

Let’s hope she and all our lo­cal MPs fol­low through on the Par­lia­men­tary vote and vote against the pro­posal.

Cllr Andy Croy, Leader of the Labour group on Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough Coun­cil and mem­ber for Bul­mer­she and White­gates

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