Paul Carter, CBE, Leader KCC and Rupert Simmons, Lead Member for Economy, ESCC, have not yet rescinded their 'incredibly damaging' support for the 2nd runway at Gatwick.
This is an open letter to them and all 1000+ of you asking that they now do so.
It is absolutely crucial these key County Councils withdraw their support and let the Davies Commission know that. Here are the contact details for those that need to be persuaded:
November 10th, 2014.
Dear Mr Carter and Mr Simmons
It's time to wake up, smell the kerosene and formally rescind your support for Gatwick's 2nd runway.
If it is granted, the blight will be on your hands; the blight to tens of thousands of your constituents.
A superhighway potentially delivering a plane down twin narrow corridors nearly every 30 seconds (seeing as it's up to 55 per hour at the moment on 1 runway), creating a noise ghetto through the heart of the South East, over some of the UK's finest Heritage Assets and leading to the inevitable environmental persecution of the minority below.
A minority you will have failed to represent.
And as the aviation fuel drops into your Champagne as you toast your success, think back and think also of what you could have achieved - right now, today.
For next week or next month may be too late.
We get the feeling you're perhaps edging towards rescinding but to retain any credibility before the next elections you need to nail your colours to the mast before the tide turns.
Yes, you may lose a little face but you'll gain a lot of friends. And your party colleagues (or even yourselves if you're still considering re-standing) may even still gain a chance of election next time.
Any politician in West Kent or East Sussex worthy of the description realises that to support the 2nd runway will mean political oblivion at the next elections.
Presently your boat is sinking and you're taking every local councillor of your hue with you.
However let me compare you to West Kent's most famous resident, Sir Winston Churchill; he was renowned for his principles and those principles drove him to cross the floor - twice.
There is no shame in publicly changing your stance.
I see, Mr Simmons, you're a student of American history. You will therefore recall the great Washington-era statement that there should be 'no taxation without representation' that led eventually to the American War of Independence.
Astonishingly, we've discovered you made a unilateral decision, without a vote under delegated powers to support the 2nd runway - and compounded it by selecting the option most damaging to your constituents. (The Freedom of Information Act had to be used to secure this information ¹. Why?)
I suggest to you that there should be no support for a 2nd runway without representation for such from the people of your county.
Even just a vote from your fellow cllr's would be a start. Are they supporting you now?
Sir John Stanley, MP, called KCC's support for the 2nd runway 'incredibly damaging' ² and has been quite clear that Cllr Balfour's ³ statement that KCC's support for the 2nd runway 'is history' 4 is simply not enough.
Sir John went as far as to say
'Mr Carter must write a formal statement rescinding the awfully damaging recommendation. Until then, comments such as 'that is history' are meaningless.'
Only a formal rescinding will do.
Mr Carter - we appreciate that your determination to stop any airport in the Thames Estuary meant supporting a development at Gatwick or Heathrow; but that issue has gone away.
Gatwick had 11,311 noise complaints in the first 6 months of 2014 compared to 2,645 for the whole of 2013. 5
We'd love to know the figures for August-September. Indeed on November 5th emails to the noise line were bouncing back with a message that the 'recipient's mailbox is full and can't accept messages now'!
Doesn't this tell you something about the feelings of your electorate?
NATS recently blogged of their part in helping Gatwick achieve regular 55 air traffic movements an hour as result of two 'approach stabilisation trials' 6 under Gatwick's 'ACDM55 Project' in 2012 and 2013. No less than four world record days have been achieved in August 2014 for Gatwick of 900+ movements each day.
The approach trials removed a shortened approach path and pushed aircraft further east over more of your constituents.
Of course Gatwick insist there has been no trial. 7
Doesn't this conflict in core information from the two sponsors of the ill-fated 'Consultation' concern you?
And talking of the Consultation, why was it deferred? We all know the answer of course - because it was bereft of clarity and its proposals caused uproar (not least in your electorate).
Gatwick term the decision in corporate-speak;
'Gatwick Airport and NATS will defer submitting any proposals to change local airspace until more detailed work is done to better understand the available options and next steps'
The CAA, with refreshing honesty, were more clear
'You will have seen in the news however that Gatwick have postponed such a submission for change following significant local resistance'.8
This is perhaps the 'local resistance' that has resulted, I hear, in KCC & ESCC receiving a deluge of complaints and demands that they change their stance on the 2nd runway.
Are those complaints from your electorate really falling on deaf ears?
Where is the Consultation feedback promised in September? Is it so bad that they dare not release it before the next interim statement from the Davies Airport Commission, due, we understand, tomorrow? ('A feedback report detailing the results of the consultation will be published on this website in September 2014' 9.)
Gatwick as we now also know has paid no Corporation Tax for at least 3 years.
To misquote Ted Heath, are they really the acceptable face of offshore capitalism?
And are you really content to keep supporting such a business, a foreign owned business whose 'world record' flight numbers caused so much misery to your constituents this summer? And that's before the 2nd runway!
Are these owners such as the National Pension Service of Korea, The California Public Employees' Retirement System and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority really going to have the concerns of your constituents at heart?
If not, isn't that your role?
The Operators and Regulators of our airspace, Gatwick and the CAA, cannot even agree on the wind direction statistics.
Statistics that are core to the quiet enjoyment of our homes. If we cannot trust them to get these simple things correct, how on Earth can you trust them with a 2nd runway? 10
Clearer skies for a clearer conscience Gentlemen.
Founder & Leader, Gatwick Obviously Not.org
1 EIR Request 4450 Response
2 Penshurst, August 7th, 2014
3 KCC’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment
7 'There has not been any trial of a 'Superhighway' on our westerly approaches [landing into Gatwick from the east] and we are not planning any trials'.
Stewart Wingate, CEO, Gatwick, 28.08.14
8 Peter Gardiner, Business Manager to the Chair and CEO of the CAA, 1st October 2104
10 'This year Gatwick has seen record levels of traffic, which might have increased your awareness of noise in the area but at least 50% of operations have been on the easterly runway, which would in itself have reduced the impact in your area'.
PA to Dame Deirdre Hutton, Chair, CAA 08.09.14
'This summer has seen record numbers of movements from the airport, high ambient air temperatures and a near 50% use of easterly departures and arrivals'.
Dame Deirdre Hutton 21.08.14)
'Tom Denton advised the group that last year  there was an approximate 50/50 split between easterly/westerly operations, whereas this year  (to date) it is approximately 24/76'
Chair of Natmag and Gatwick's Spokesman for Corporate Responsibility
Extraordinary Noise and Track Monitoring Advisory Group Meeting 29.08.14
However Gatwick's own Flight Performance Team state that 2013 was a 68/32 split and the first 6 months of 2104 were the same.
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