One of my photos

Decision time

January 25th, 2015 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · 1 Comment · Politics

Tomorrow night the local council will be having a special meeting about airport expansion and deciding whether to support an extra runway at Gatwick, oppose it, or not offer an opinion.

It is a strange one because the topic is just about the most significant one locally for a long time, and yet the decision itself is just about the least significant – because, depending on your level of cynicism, those making the decision either:

  • Have already made up their minds and won’t change it
  • Will make their decision based on statistics, regardless of local opinion

In any case, the council’s opinion will just be one of many.  Presumably all the councils and resident groups around Gatwick will opppose expansion at Gatwick while all the councils and resident groups around Heathrow will oppose expansion there, and it will all cancel out.

I think I shall stay at home. I have sat through quite a few of these debates and heard all the arguments from both sides many times and not just recently – this was all going on when I was on the council about 15 years ago.

Personally I am in favour by default. Ideally, everything would stay much as it is, but expansion at neither airport doesn’t seem to be an option and I am really against expansion at Heathrow because of the number of businesses that would start drifting away from Crawley towards there.

I think I know which way the council will go tomorrow, but I’m less sure of how the Airports Commission will eventually decide. Whatever they decide it is going to be an interesting few years around here as we either have to work out how to cope with expansion and make it work for us, or have to cope with Heathrow expanding and try to stop companies like Virgin Atlantic moving their offices across there.


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