Community Engagement?

Heathrow Community Engagement Board (HCEB) held a ‘Question Time’ on 23th Jan in Brentford.  The panel consisted of 5 members, but the only one who in any way represented residents’ interest was Ruth Cadbury, MP for Brentford and Isleworth. Thank you, Ruth!  3 others – John Holland-Kaye from Heathrow, Tim Johnson from the Civil Aviation Authority and Caroline Low from the Department for Transport (DfT) – are a cabal trying to push through a third runway.

Caroline Low from the DfT again tried to mislead the public by claiming “huge economic benefits” from Heathrow expansion. Despite the fact that her own department has published figure showing negligible benefits! (See ‘Economics and Costs‘ page, linking to detailed briefing.

John Holland-Kaye, trying to counter concerns about (proven) health impacts of noise and air pollution, argued that jobs are a health benefit.  This builds on Heathrow’s massive campaign of deceit and mis-information about jobs that would be created by a third runway and ignores the fact (noted by Ruth Cadbury) that unemployment is already low in the area.

Rachel Cerfonyne, head of HCEB, highlighted “lack of trust” as being a big issue.  It’s not hard to see why there is such a lack of trust!

The massive imbalance in the panel also caused attendees to question how independent the oft-claimed “independent” HCEB really is.