A third runway is not wanted on our green spaces
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