Community engagement?

The Heathrow Area Consultative Committee (HACC) has been replaced by Heathrow Community Engagement Board (HCEB).

This is explained on HCEB’s new web site:

“The creation of a community engagement board was one of the measures recommended by the Airports Commission to help ensure that all local communities can contribute effectively to the planning process for the proposed expansion of the airport.

Last year it was agreed that the Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee (HACC), an existing forum for local authorities, airport users and interest groups, would take on the additional responsibilities of the engagement board. The HACC was relaunched formally as the HCEB at the start of 2018.

Over the next few months the HCEB will continue to evolve into an organisation which can represent all communities.”

West London Friends of the Earth was not invited to be a member but, as the meetings are public, we attended on 18 April.

We were struck by the report from John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow, who spent nearly 5 minutes talking about plastic cups, but barely mentioned noise, air pollution or climate change from aircraft or road traffic! If this sort ‘greenwash’ is allowed to divert attention from the real Heathrow issues, it does not bode well for the new board. We have written to the new chair of HCEB, Rachel Cerfontyne, but have had no useful response.