Boris refuses City Airport’s plan to expand

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, has refused London City Airport’s plan to expand on noise grounds.  In a letter he has instructed Newham Council, who had approved the application, to refuse it.  Newham’s decision was always dependent on the Mayor’s approval.

Read the Mayor’s decision: LCA 3031 Stage 2 Letter – Refusal (26 March 2015)

London City Airport wanted permission to build new taxiways to permit larger planes to use the airport.  It also wanted more car parking spaces.  The decision will be a bitter blow to the airport as it will now no longer be able to bring in the larger planes it wanted to serve new destinations.

John Stewart, chair of HACAN East, which campaigned against the expansion plans, said “The airport is paying the price for being so cavalier about noise.  Quite simply, Boris did not believe its claims that it was dealing adequately with noise.  We salute his decision”

ENDS

For more information:

John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957385650

 

Key constituencies impacted by London City Airport 2015 General Election candidates

Key constituencies impacted by London City Airport

 2015 General Election candidates

Should you want to write to them about City Airport – maybe about its plans to concentrate the flight paths or about its plans to expand to allow bigger aircraft to use the airport – here is the list of candidates standing in the key constituencies, with their email addresses where we have them.

 Bethnal Green and Bow

Ali Rushanara MP       Lab        rushanara@rushanaraali.org

Matthew Smith            Con         matt4bgb@gmail.com

Teena Lushmore        Lib Dems

Alastair Polson          Green       dan.lee@towerhamlets.greenparty.org.uk

 Poplar and Limehouse

Jim Fitzpatrick MP      Lab        fitzpatrickj@parliament.uk

Christopher Wilford     Con        wilford2015@gmail.com

Elaine Bagshaw           Lib Dem

Maureen Childes        Green Party

 Leyton and Wanstead

John Cryer MP         Lab        john.cryer@unitetheunion.com

Matthew Scott          Con         matthew.scott@leytonandwanstead.co.uk

Martin Levin            UKIP       martinlevin@hotmail.co.uk

Ashley Gunstock    Green      ashley.gunstock@btinternet.com

Carl Quillian          Lib Dem

 East Ham

Stephen Timms MP Labour    stephen@stephentimmsorg.uk

Tamsin Omond     Green         info@thecommons.com

Samir Jassal        Con

Lois Austin          TUSC

West Ham

Lyn Brown MP   Lab             lyn@lynbrown.org.uk

Festus Akinbbusoye Con     festus@fest4westham.com

Jane Lithgow    Green         jane.lithgow@greenparty.org.uk

Paul Reynolds Lib Dems     paulemreynolds@gmail.com

 Ilford North

Lee Scott MP  Con           scottl@parliament.uk

Wes Streeting Lab            wes@redbridgelabour.org.uk

Philip Hyde     UKIP

 Ilford South

Mike Gapes MP   Lab       mike@mikegapes.org.uk

Chris Chapman  Con       cllrchrischapman@gmail.com

Amjad Khan       UKIP

Hornchurch

Angela Watkinson MP  Con  info@hx-upmtory.com

Paul McGeary     Lab

Lawrence Webb  UKIP        lawrencewebb@btinternet.com

Melanie Collins   Green       melanie.collins@greenparty.org.uk

 Barking

Margaret Hodge MP Lab   hodgem@parliament.uk

Mina Rahman          Con   mina@londonconservatives.com

Tony Ford Rablen   Green

Roger Gravett         UKIP

Joseph Mambuliga  TUSC

Romford

Andrew Rosindell MP  Con andrew@rosindell.com

Sam Gould            Lab       samualcgould@gmail.com

Gerard Batten       UKIP    gerard.batten@europarl.europe.eu

Lorna Jane Tooley Green  lorna.tooley@greenparty.org.uk

 Dagenham and Rainham

Jon Cruddas MP  Lab    jon@dagenhamandrainhamlabour.org.uk

Peter Harris         UKIP  info@peterharrisukip.com

Kate Simpson     Green  kate.simpson@greenparty.org.uk

 Eltham

Clive Efford MP  Lab       clive@cliveefford.org.uk

Alex Cunliffe     Lib Dem   Alex4Eltham@gmail.com

Peter Whittle   UKIP        info@peterwhittle.org

Spencer Drury  Con       spencer@spencerdrury.com

 Lewisham East

Heidi Alexander MP  Lab   heidi@heidialexander.org.uk

Peter Fortune    Con          peter@peterfortune.co.uk

Julia Fletcher   Lib Dem    julia.fletcher@virginmedia.com

Storm Poorun Green       storm.poorun@greenparty.org.uk

 Lewisham West

Jim Dowd MP   Lab      jimdowd.newlabour@care4free.net

Russell Jackson  Con   russell@russel-jackson.co.uk

Tom Chance  Green    tom.chance@greenparty.org.uk

Alex Feakes Lib Dem  alex@alexfeakes.org

Martin Powell  TUSC

 Bermondsey and Old Southwark

Simon Hughes MP    Lib Dem     simon@simonnhughes.org.uk

Neil Coyle                Lab            neil.coyle@neilcoyle.org.uk

Jean-Paul Flora      Con            jpflora@gmail.com

Rosamind Beattie    UKIP

William Lavin          Green

April Ashley            TUSC

 Lewisham Deptford

Vicky Foxcroft      Lab      vickyfoxcroft@hotmail.com

Birn Afolami         Con       birmafolami2@gmail.com

Michael Bukola     Lib Dem michaelbukola@hotmail.com

John Coughlin    Green     cllr_john.coughlin@lewisham.gov.uk

Chris Flood       TUSC

 Dulwich and West Norwood

Helen Hayes   Lab          helen@helenhayes.org.uk

Resham Kotecha   Con   resham4dwn@gmail.com

James Barber  Lib Dem  cllrjamesbarber@gmail.com

Rathy Alagarathan  UKIP

Rashid Nix            Green

Steve Nally          TUSC

Vauxhall

Kate Hoey MP   Lab         hoeyk@parliament.uk

Adrian Trett      Lib Dem   Adrian.trett@gmail.com

James Bellis    Con         vca@tory.org

Gulnar Hasnain   Green   gulnar.asnain@greenparty.org.uk

Greenwich

Matthew Pennycook Lab matthew@matthewpennycook.com

Matt Hartley            Con  matt@matthartley.org.uk

Ryan Acty              UKIP ryan@ryanacty.org.uk

Abbey Akinoshun   Green  hello@abbey4mp.org

HACAN East calls on the CAA to require City Airport to consult again on flight path changes

HACAN East has written to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) asking for it to require London City to consult afresh about its proposals to concentrate its flight paths.  Any new consultation should give people the option of saying whether they want all the flights concentrated on one area or whether they prefer some sharing of the burden.

Below we summarise the reasons we want a new consultation.  Our full response is at: London City Airport consultation report

‘Representative organisations’ can write into the CAA making comments on the consultation.  It seems they only accept submissions by post.  They need to be sent to:  The Director (LCY RNAV Replication ACP), Safety and Airspace Regulation Group, CAA House, 45-59 Kingsway,London WC2B 6TE

The reasons we are calling for a new consultation:

  1. London City didn’t make clear the nature of the consultation: in particular, it was not obvious that people were not being asked their views of the proposals.

The Airport is now saying that the consultation was not intended to assess how much support there was for the proposals.  Yet that was not made clear in their original, and very technical, consultation document.   Presumably this is why the airport can say it wants to go ahead with its proposals despite just 3% of people backing them.

  1. London City was in breech of CAA guidelines because it did not carry out a more extensive consultation warranted by the nature of the proposals

 The airport is arguing that because, in its view, the changes are minor, the CAA only required it to carry out the minimal consultation it did.  We are saying that the changes are far from minor.  They will mean that tens of thousands of people will get 30% more planes than they currently do.  It should, therefore, have carried out a fuller consultation.

  1. London City, by only consulting online, effectively disenfranchised a huge number of people.

The figures show that, in some poorer areas, 72% of people can’t operate on online and that 52% of those over 65 can’t.  This will apply to many of the boroughs in East London, some of them amongst the poorest in the country.

  1. London City refused to hold any public meetings or leaflet the most-affected areas.

 The airport was asked and refused.

  1. London City discounted over 1,000 objections

The airport discounted over emails it was sent via an online petition, despite assurances at public meetings it would accept objections in any format.  If people knew it was going to do this, many would have objected in a different way.

  1. London City’s press work seems to have been minimal

 We are asking the CAA to ask the airport for the details of their press releases and which newspapers used them.

  1. London City misinterpreted Government policy on respite.

 The airport maintained that sharing routes around different areas was not Government policy; that policy was to concentrate routes.  In fact, Government policy is to encourage concentration but with respite where appropriate.

City Airport wants to press ahead with controversial flight changes despite only 3% support in recent consultation

Press Release

 15/2/15 Press Release for immediate use

 City Airport wants to press ahead with controversial flight changes despite only 3% support in recent consultation

London City Airport wants to press ahead with its controversial plans to concentrate its flight paths despite only 3% of people backing them in the recent consultation.  The opposition to the proposals emerged in a report on the consultation which the airport released late on Friday afternoon (1).  The report now goes to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for approval.

London City’s consultation was widely criticized at the end of last year.  It refused to leaflet or hold meetings in the areas that would be worst affected by the new flight paths.  It justified its minimal consultation on the grounds that the changes it was proposing were not significant.  Despite criticism from MPs, local authorities, residents’ groups and members of the Greater London Authority, London City has defended its consultation in its report to the CAA.  It is also refusing to withdraw or modify its original plans.

Residents’ organisation HACAN East, which coordinated much of the opposition to the changes, has made clear the fight is not over yet.

HACAN East chair John Stewart said, “This latest report shows City Airport to be as unresponsive and arrogant as ever.   The fight will continue.  The campaign will now be pressing the CAA to order the airport to carry out a fresh consultation.”

Stewart added, “Our parent body, HACAN, works closely with Heathrow Airport.  The contrast with City could not be starker.  Heathrow has promised it will not concentrate all its flights over certain communities and is committed to full consultation on any changes that take place.  London City, by contrast, is a fourth division outfit with little concern for the neighbouring community.”

City Airport wants to concentrate both flights which are landing and taking off.  Among the worst affected areas will be parts of Leyton, Leytonstone, Wanstead, Collier Row and Havering in East London and Eltham, Catford, Dulwich, Brixton, Stockwell and Vauxhall in South London.

The campaigners accept there may need to be some concentration but are calling on the airport to vary the routes over the course of a day to give residents some respite as Heathrow is planning to do with its flight paths

Whatever the CAA decides, no changes to London City’s flight paths will be implemented before the end of this year.

ENDS

 Notes for editors:

 (1). The report can be found here: http://www.londoncityairport.com/content/pdf/LAMP-Consultation-Feedback-Report.pdf and the orginal consulation here: http://www.londoncityairport.com/londonairspacemanagement

For further information:

John Stewart on 0207 737 6421 or 07957385650

 

 

 

Waltham Forest Committee highly critical of City Airport

Waltham Forest’s Neighbourhood Scrutiny Committee were so frustrated at London City Airport’s repeated refusal to send anybody to the Committee that at last night’s meeting they replaced City Airport with a fluffy toy.

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The Committee resolved to:

1. Mount a strong communications campaign re: both the proposal by City Airport to concentrate its flight paths and City’s application for expansion just agreed by Newham but still to be signed off by the Mayor of London’s office.

2. Use the ward forums to make councillors aware of the issues

3. Ask to meet with the Civil Aviation Authority about the flight paths consultation.  The CAA will be assessing City Airports much-criticised recent consultation into the recent flight path changes and, if not satisfied with the consultation process, has the power to require them to reconsult.

4. Link up with the GLA and the London Councils where they can.

The Committee thanked HACAN East for their work in bringing the issues into the public eye.  And gave the campaign group a round of applause.

 

Rotten Boroughs

The Sunday Times

9th February 2015

by Camilla Cavendish

Labour closes its eyes and pinches its nose in its rotten boroughs

I ONCE WATCHED, STUNNED, AS A SMILING DEVELOPER HANDED A BROWN ENVELOPE TO A COUNCILLOR IN THE BRIXTON COUNCIL CHAMBER

Tower Hamlets. Rotherham. Doncaster. Birmingham. Most of us thought rotten boroughs had vanished in the 1990s, along with Ted Knight in Lambeth, Shirley Porter in Westminster and Militant Tendency in Liverpool. But they seem to be making a comeback. With some corners of this land beginning to resemble 1960s Chicago, MPs who enjoy making grand speeches about “devolution” would do well to think about what can happen when the political elite loses sight of the reality of some local politics.

Last week’s resignation of Rotherham council’s cabinet comes more than two years after the exposure of its failure to protect as many as 1,400 young white girls from their systematic grooming and rape by men of largely Pakistani origin. This was not an honourable resignation, a recognition of the councillors’ part in an appalling human tragedy. It was forced on them by the government, which has rightly lost patience with people in powerful positions who are still, according to the new report by Louise Casey, “in denial”.

That’s a nice way of putting it. When Rotherham’s Labour council was told by its youth service what was happening, it shut down the youth service. It was warned by school heads that taxi drivers were ferrying very young girls to have sex. Rather than ban drivers, some of whom worked for the council’s home-school scheme, it stymied every attempt to tighten up taxi licensing.

The grim tale of petty rivalries, “misplaced political correctness” and collusion told by Casey, and Professor Alexis Jay before her, has strong echoes of the inquiries into the so-called “Trojan Horse” scandal in Birmingham, where the council ignored warnings that schools were being infiltrated by extremist governors. Rather than stop the bullying of head teachers who refused to impose Islamic values on schools, officers painstakingly penned 28 legal “compromise agreements” — payoffs with gagging clauses — to get rid of staff whom Muslim governors did not like. Officers have since claimed they did not spot a pattern. Frankly, “denial” seems too soft a word.

The malpractices of the 1980s were chiefly financial: taking backhanders from developers, or inflating bills for council work. An internal audit report into Lambeth in the early 1990s found that the council’s 3,000-strong maintenance department had billed millions of pounds of fictitious work and forced council tenants to have “repairs” to gas fires and appliances that were working fine.

I worked with Lambeth, Southwark and other councils in the mid-1990s when I ran a series of regeneration projects. I once watched, stunned, as a smiling developer handed a brown envelope to a local councillor in the Brixton council chamber, late at night after councillors had dismissed my plea to reject a particular planning application. To this day I don’t know what was in the envelope, but the gesture was clear: stuff the voters, we’ll look after you.

Yet that is all beginning to look like a golden age compared with some of today’s machinations. In Tower Hamlets, the mayor, Lutfur Rahman, stands accused of intimidation, misusing public grants, smearing his Labour opponent as a racist “infidel” and stealing votes — all of which he denies. Four local residents have brought a case against him alleging systematic voter fraud, which is being heard by Richard Mawrey, who exposed the Birmingham postal voting scandal.

Good leadership can put things right. Rochdale, just over the Pennines from Rotherham, faced similar problems of sexual grooming. But three years ago the Labour council appointed a new chief executive who confronted the problem and sacked staff, making clear that failure had consequences.

In Rotherham, poor leadership became entrenched. The council was an unaccountable, one-party state. In neighbouring Labour-run Doncaster, after two boys were horrifically tortured by two brothers in 2009 following repeated errors by a social services department that was broken, one social worker described the council to me as “a one-party state left to rot”. These councils escaped challenge: unlike Lambeth, which made significant progress after it went to no overall control in the 1994 elections and appointed a dynamic chief executive.

Quietly but decisively, the coalition government has started to take over some of these failing institutions. In Doncaster and Slough, it has handed child-protection functions to independent trusts, rather as the Blair government successfully relieved Hackney council of its schools. In Rotherham, Eric Pickles, the communities secretary, is appointing government commissioners to run the council until new elections next year.

This is a massive intervention in democratic institutions. But there has been no outcry. For local democracy is getting thinner and thinner. Fewer and fewer people vote in local elections, especially if the outcome is a foregone conclusion. And fewer and fewer MPs sit on local councils. In 1960 about a quarter of British MPs were also local councillors; now it is fewer than 1%. This is at odds with France, Finland and Spain, where most national politicians sit on their local authority. This gives them both a greater stake and more say. Working in Lambeth, I saw how hard the indefatigable MP Kate Hoey had to work sometimes to exert leverage over the council on behalf of voters.

The disconnect between local and national politics has made councils defensive and MPs reluctant to interfere — especially if MPs are reliant on ethnic votes. Four years ago, Jack Straw warned that some men of Pakistani descent viewed “vulnerable young white girls” in some parts of the country as “easy meat”. The MP Keith Vaz attacked him, for “stereotyping”. Birmingham Labour MPs attacked the coalition for appointing an outsider, Peter Clarke, to investigate the Trojan Horse scandal, when their priority should have been to get the truth.

It is Labour’s misfortune that it happens to have a greater presence in areas of high deprivation, compounded by immigration pressures. In Tower Hamlets it expelled Rahman five years ago for his close links to an extremist Muslim group, only to watch him be elected mayor.

These problems go deeper than any one party. But Labour needs the courage to take on its demons as Neil Kinnock did when he attacked Trotskyite infiltrators in Liverpool responsible for “the grotesque chaos of a Labour council hiring taxis to scuttle round a city handing out redundancy notices to its own workers”.

Louise Casey states that “Rotherham council is a place where difficult problems are not always tackled as they should be. Without accepting what happened and its role in it, it will be unable to move on and change.”

I would be less restrained. I would suggest that wilful, active denial on the scale we saw in Rotherham is a crime. And that there needs to be an urgent debate in the Labour party about whether it, too, is in denial.

Blog: why Newham needs proportional representation to give a voice to those Labour is not listening to

By all accounts this week’s Newham Council planning meeting which gave London City permission to expand was an improvement on the 2009 meeting that allowed flight numbers to double.  I was at that 2009 meeting.  It was one of the very few times in my adult life that I lost my temper in public.  I sat there in despair and rage as I watched a handful of councillors, few of whom seemed to have the ability to make the decision, condemn tens of thousands to a lifetime of noise and air pollution.

This time round, I understand, the councillors were brighter and better-informed than the 2009 automatons but they still – with one honourable exception – voted to approve the expansion.  Yet again Labour councillors were bedazzled by the (dubious) claims that thousands of jobs would be created.

And I stress the word ‘Labour’. Not because this is an anti-Labour blog, but to highlight the fact that 60 out of 60 councillors in Newham are Labour.  Yet, at the 2014 local elections, 37% of people voted for other parties.  Who speaks for them?  Nobody.

There is no challenge to the Labour machine.  The victims of noise and air pollution are left in utter despair.  They are trapped in a borough ruled by a Labour Party that has never said no to the airport.  If ever there was a case for proportional representation at the local elections this is it.

Right now the Labour machine – and particularly this Labour machine presided over in autocratic fashion by Labour Mayor Robin Wales for the last 20 years – can run roughshod over people.  When HACAN East held Mayoral hustings last year, Labour not only refused to come but launched a desperately inaccurate attack on us in the media.  Here’s the email Ken Clark, then the Mayor’s election agent, sent out,

From: Ken Clark [mailto:kenhhclark@yahoo.co.uk]

Sent: 12 May 2014 14:15
To: johnstewart2@btconnect.com
Subject: HACAM EAST Hustings

HACAM EAST Newham Hustings Royal Docks Monday 12th May 2014

A Newham Labour spokesperson said:

“Newham Labour will not be at the meeting on Monday evening, organised by two self-appointed organisations that deliberately misrepresent the views of the Council and those elected to it.

“These groups are fully aware that any expansion of London City Airport is currently subject to a planning application. As the planning authority, Newham Council has written to more than 25,000 local homes asking for their views on the proposed expansion of London City Airport and will listen carefully to these and other responses as part of a proper process.”

“By contrast, we were not even consulted about the date or time of Monday’s meeting and are already fully committed that evening to meeting hundreds of residents across Newham as we continue our campaign to elect a Labour Mayor of Newham, local Councillors and MEPs.”

Ken Clark

Election Agent

Sir Robin Wales

Here was my reply:

From: John Stewart [mailto:johnstewart2@btconnect.com]

Sent: 13 May 2014 09:18
To: ‘Ken Clark’
Subject: RE: HACAM EAST Hustings

That is a strong and serious allegation to make that we “deliberately misrepresent” the views of the Council.  I assume you have hard evidence to back this up.  Can I ask you to email chapter and verse of any evidence you may have of any time HACAN or HACAN East has deliberately misrepresented the views of the Council and those elected to it?  We take pride in being a credible organisation.  If we have deliberately misrepresented you, we will acknowledge it.  But we need to see what evidence you are basing this allegation on.  If you do not have such evidence, we would ask that you withdraw your allegation.

I look forward to an immediate reply because, as things stand, the name and reputation of our organisation has been smeared.

John Stewart

Chair HACAN

Despite further requests from me, Clark never did respond.

Ken Clark, now a Newham Councillor, proposed the motion at this week’s planning meeting to approve London City’s bid to expand.  His daughter works at the airport……as he admitted.

 There are signs that not all Labour councillors are happy with the Clark/Wales axis.  But what is really needed is proportional representation so there are other voices in the council chamber.  That will at long last give something for those beside the airport and under the flight paths for whom Labour in Newham has snuffed out any hope.

Newham Council defies thousands of objectors to give City Airport expansion the go-ahead

Scroll to foot for a report in the Evening Standard

 Last night Newham councillors defied thousands of objections to give the go-ahead for London City Airport’s expansion plans.  The Strategic Planning Committee voted to approve the proposals for more runway space to allow bigger planes to use the airport.  Plans for an extended terminal building, a new hotel and more parking spaces were also given the nod.

John Stewart, chair of HACAN East, which opposed the expansion plans, “Once again Newham Council has ridden roughshod over the objectors and fallen for the spin of the airport that expansion will create thousands of more jobs.  That claim is based on the flimsiest of evidence.”

Stewart added, “What we do know is that the plans will mean worse noise and air pollution for communities close to the airport and more planes overhead for the thousands under the flight paths.”

Approval of the plans was proposed by Councillor Ken Clark who admitted his daughter works at the airport.

 Evening Standard:

City Airport expansion gets go-ahead but campaigners say it will create ‘ghettos and misery’ http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/city-airport-200m-expansion-gets-goahead-but-campaigners-say-it-will-create-ghettos-and-misery-10022363.html …

 

Here’s a Campaign Flyer for you to use

A key focus for this campaign is to let people know about what City Airport is planning.  Many people who will be affected by the proposed flight path changes and expansion plans don’t even know it’s on the cards.

City Airport clearly doesn’t want to engage with local residents: they made one attempt to contact local press about the flight path changes – and during the August Bank Holiday week!

 So it’s down to us to tell people what’s going on.  Your help is vital here: 

  1. Please print this poster and display it in your window so it’s visible from the street.
  2. Then print a few extra copies and hand them out to your neighbours.

 Click here to download poster: Campaign Flyer

It may not seem a lot, but think about how many people will become aware of this campaign if everyone who reads this does this!