ISSUE: Night Flights
Labour responds on the Night Flight votes issue - accusing the Conservative Councillors of party political jibes.....
Firstly, let’s set the facts out correctly. Labour Councillors did not vote in favour of allowing more early morning flights into Heathrow. We voted against a Conservative motion that wanted to make party political jibes at the borough’s two Labour Members of Parliament. The full text of the motion we voted against can be found on the council website – I’ll leave Putney SW15 readers to make their own mind up whether or not the motion was about nght flights or whether it was about making nigh flights a political football.
Labour councillors oppose any increase in early morning flights into Heathrow. We also want to see an end to noise disturbance from night flights for everyone in the borough. We support anyone, irrespective of their political persuasion, who campaigns for that end.
I applaud Justine Greening’s efforts to speak up for Putney residents on this issue in the same way her predecessor did. But I think her amendment missed the bigger picture. We need to control flights by noise-level, rather than by number, because a cap by itself will not guarantee a reduction in the level of noise experienced.
Labour councillors will continue to support the Council’s end goal: an end to the noise nuisance experienced in our borough as a consequence of night flights. What we won’t do is stand alongside the council when it deviates from that quest to seek cheap and partisan political advantage.
Your readers might wish to ponder the following fact: the council held two public meetings on night fights in September: one in Putney, the other in Battersea. Justine Greening was invited by the council to be one of the main speakers at the Putney meeting, and her attendance at the meeting was publicised by the council. Martin Linton the MP for Battersea was not invited by the council to be one of the main speakers at the Battersea meeting and nor did the council’s publicity for the event state that he would be there. What could possibly be the reason for this different approach, I wonder?
Councillor Stuart King
Labour Leader of the Opposition - Wandsworth Council
November 4, 2005
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