Two local authorities – Slough and Spelthorne councils – have announced the formation of a “Working with Heathrow” group, designed to maximise the huge employment, apprenticeship and investment opportunities to be created by a new runway at Heathrow Airport, while minimising or mitigating negative impacts to residents and businesses.
In a joint statement, Cllr Sohail Munawar, Leader Slough Borough Council
and Cllr Ian Harvey, Leader Spelthorne Borough Council, said: “The need for greater air capacity in London is acknowledged by all sides, and out of all the viable options for our long-term future, Heathrow’s expansion has been chosen as clearly the best.”
In an appeal to other councils, they say: “We hope that other local authorities will now join with us and seize the opportunity to work together with Heathrow to secure the best deal from its expansion for all our residents.
“Attitudes toward expansion are changing right across West London and the Thames Valley as residents, businesses and local authorities alike recognise the shot in the arm expansion will give the economy in these uncertain times. This is evidenced by a recent survey carried out by the London Borough of Hounslow which found for the first time a majority of its residents backing expansion.
“Heathrow has been giving our local economy a huge boost for generations and this expansion will bring even more jobs and growth, and improve our status as a global hub for trade and travel. But infrastructure projects of this scale are hugely disruptive, and if the third runway goes ahead, some people will lose their homes, while many more will be affected.
“We are duty-bound to work with the airport to pick a way through these complex challenges responsibly. We have in our hands a golden opportunity to influence an infrastructure project that will shape all our futures. We must not squander it.”