All the Liberal Democrat-controlled councils in London have backed the 2 Million Voices campaign, asking the government to review the environmental consequences of plans for a third runway at Heathrow.
The 2M Group is an alliance of local authorities concerned at the environmental impact of Heathrow expansion on their communities. Members are not anti-Heathrow but feel passionately that the Government consistently fails to either acknowledge or assess the airport's full environmental impact. Liberal Democrat-run Sutton, Richmond, Kingston, Islington, Southwark, Camden and Brent have all pledged support to the campaign.
Cllr Sean Brennan, Leader of Sutton Council and Leader of the Liberal Democrats on London Councils said: "Residents all across London are affected by Heathrow, either as near neighbours or because new flight paths are causing noise and disruption. It is excellent news that Liberal Democrats in London are working together on this issue. The government's three-month consultation has been too short to allow for a real assessment of the environmental and social impact of the third runway, and not allowed Councils the chance to get views from the residents and businesses who will be affected."
Caroline Pidgeon, Lib Dem London Assembly candidate for Lambeth and Southwark, added: "A further expansion of Heathrow would have major impacts on the environment and on residents right across London. The government's policy of proceeding recklessly, and rushing this through without thorough consultation and analysis, means that millions of voices will not be heard."
There are five ways in which the expansion plans would affect London:
- Building a new third runway will create a new flightpath across west London and bring noisier aircraft across parts of south London.
- Expansion would end the Cranford agreement which restricts takeoffs to the east from the northern runway.
- Annual movements would increase from 480,000 flights to as many as 720,000.
- A new Terminal Six would be created to support the third runway.
- The environment would be impacted and pollution would increase across London.
Photo: Six leading Lib Dem councillors protest with Brian Paddick. From left to right: Cllr Keith Moffitt (Camden), Derek Osbourne (Kingston), James Kempton (Islington), Sean Brennan (Sutton), Brian Paddick (Lib Dem candidate for Mayor), Robert Wharton (Brent), Serge Lourie (Richmond), and Caroline Pidgeon (Southwark).