Mr Roe, just like Jeremy Taylor and Stewart Wingate can and have so far only put forward the case for the economic benefits to Gatwick Airport Ltd and local businesses whilst totally ignoring and dismissing the vast environmental devastation a second runway will bring to Crawley and whole of the South East.
Also ignoring the fact that most of the economic benefits will go outside of Crawley and most jobs to thousands of low skilled migrant workers from across the UK and EU. Crawley just does not have the unemployed work force to accommodate the thousands of potential new low paid and low skilled new jobs.
Stewart Wingate and Jeremy Taylor have refused to meet with local councils and community groups to specifically discuss the environmental issues.
The Commission has already concluded that a new runway will be required in the South East, with the current consultation document stating that a second runway will make Gatwick “at least as big (in passenger numbers) as Heathrow, Frankfurt or Paris and potentially as big as any airport in the world.”
Also that Heathrow would provide a greater economic benefit to the whole country than Gatwick and has/will have a far superior and multiple surface connectivity to London and the whole of the country. Gatwick only has the M23 road access and the Brighton Line, that will never be able to carry the potential extra 20 million airport passengers and new commuters forecasted to use public transport to and from Gatwick.
Mr Roe’s attack on Cllr Brenda Smith wrongly mixed her belief that “while acknowledging the economic benefits Gatwick has given to Crawley the the current proposal is too high a price for us to pay” with her questioning “the need for additional runway space in the south east”.
Mr Roe, in his privileged position that, can also command column inches, has the right to criticise what Cllr Brenda Smith (not the Mayor) said at a public meeting, but was wrong to make the cheap snipe, by mentioning her position as Mayor. Had Mr Roe been at the public meeting, that your paper reported on, he would have know that the Mayor Brenda Smith welcomed the gathering and then left the platform without making any statement of belief or asking any questions or giving her views. Later Cllr Brenda Smith, WSCC and CBC councillor for Langley Green, the neighbourhood closest to the proposed expansion, took to the platform and was very publically introduced as “ local borough and WSCC councillor and most specifically not as the Mayor”.
The article was not Cllr Smith commanding “column inches by virtue of her position” it was the paper doing what it should, “reporting”.
Mr Roe along with Stewart Wingate and Jeremy Taylor should respond to the very real environmental concerns/questions identifying the true level of public expenditure to fully mitigate the devastation that the potential environmental impact will have. The devastation a second runway would bring would never be able to be even partially mitigated, even at a great public expense.
Hopefully they will both be forced to answer these questions at the Airports Commission’s Public Enquiry at the Arora Hotel on December 16.
Ones Enough, Crawley’s Anti 2nd Runway Campaign