Councillors' Attendance Statistics
Agenda and minutes
Special Standing Committee on Heathrow
Tuesday, 2 October 2012 7:00 pm
Venue: Salon - York House. View directions
Contact: Jessica Vine, Senior Democratic Services Officer, 020 8891 7078, Email: email@example.com
APPOINTMENT OF CHAIRMAN
To elect a Chairman for the meeting.
The Chairmanship of this Special Standing Committee will rotate between the majority and minority group representatives. The previous meeting was chaired by a majority group representative, meaning that this meeting will be chaired by a minority group representative.
Councillor Elengorn was appointed as Chairman for the meeting.
To note any apologies for absence received.
No apologies were received.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members are asked to declare any interests in matters for consideration at the meeting.
There were no declarations of interest.
To consider the minutes of the meeting held on 16 August 2011 (attached.)
The minutes of the meeting held on 16 August 2011 were received and approved as a correct record of proceedings.
To receive a short presentation from the Richmond Heathrow Campaign.
The Committee heard a presentation from Mr Peter Willan and Mr Gareth Harper of the Richmond Heathrow Campaign (RHC). Mr Willan and Mr Harper provided the Committee with information about RHC’s development before explaining the current work of the group. RHC was formed from different community groups in Richmond and Kew who had first united to oppose the proposals for a third runway at Heathrow in 2007.
It was explained that RHC campaigned for reduction in noise and pollution associated with Heathrow and were opposed to expansion at Heathrow including a third runway and mixed mode; the group also campaigned for a ban in night flights between 11pm and 7am. However, RHC was not opposed to growth in passenger numbers in principle, nor was it opposed to airport expansion in other London locations.
It was hoped that by working with the aviation industry RHC could encourage better use of existing capacity at Heathrow airport. RHC had been meeting with the Department for Transport (DfT), BAA and local MPs as well as holding public meetings. The group had carried out extensive research on the capacity and connectivity of Heathrow. The airport currently operated with 20 million less passengers than its capacity. Therefore, it was argued that Heathrow did not need to expand, but that airlines needed to make better use of the flights and time slots in existence (by using larger aircraft and by better filling them). In addition, Mr Willan and Mr Harper reported that:
(i) RHC was concerned whether feedback from the current mixed mode trials was being properly recorded. It was requested that complaints sent to BAA were also copied to the Council or the local MP.
(ii) There was also a concern that residents were not aware of when respite periods should be experienced normally. For this reason RHC had assisted with the issue of a respite calendar to 10,000 local residents. The group feared that a lack of response to the trial would lead to permanent loss of runway alternation.
(iii) RHC supported the Council’s draft response to the government’s Draft Aviation Policy Framework consultation and the group also encouraged the Council to respond directly or through LAANC to all current consultations on aviation.
(iv) The group questioned the need for an aviation ‘hub’ at Heathrow: It was noted that currently 38% of passengers transfered at Heathrow. It was debateable whether this market should be expanded. The group argued that a hub was not deemed necessary in many other European countries, and that its creation would be at the detriment of other UK airports.
(v) RHC feared that if the USA hub model were followed this would mean that eventually four runways would be required at Heathrow.
(vi) The group felt that there was scope for increasing tax revenue from aviation, for example via taxing transfer flights.
In response to questions Mr Willan and Mr Harper explained that:
(i) It was hoped that some of these above issues could be addressed via the Davies ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
To receive a report on the Government’s ‘Draft Aviation Policy Framework’ consultation and to consider the Council’s draft response (at Appendix A).
An update on other aviation policy issues is set out at Appendix B.
The Committee heard a representation from Mrs Anne Cochrane, a resident of Barnes and representative of the Barnes Community Association Environment Group. Mrs Cochrane raised the following issues in relation to the current freedom trial at Heathrow:
(i) Mrs Cochrane was concerned that not enough residents of Barnes realised that the trial was taking place and therefore did not register complaints to BAA. She feared that the trial may lead to permanent mixed mode and that this would have a far greater impact on residents than anticipated.
(ii) It appeared that the number of flights had been reduced during the Olympics period and this was therefore not a fair example of the true impact of the trial.
In response to Mrs Cochrane’s concerns the Special Projects Manager and the Assistant Director informed the Committee that residents could contact the Council with any concerns about the trials, though official complaints needed to be registered with BAA. The trials had also been publicised via Village Newsletters and adverts in local papers; in addition there was information on the Council’s website. However, the Council was mindful that too much intervention could skew the results of the trial. The Assistant Director reported that the number of complaints to BAA had risen significantly in 2012.
The Committee discussed the Council’s draft response to the DfT’s consultation document ‘Draft Aviation Policy Framework’ as set out at Appendix A to the report. The Committee Members suggested that it would be useful to include the following in the final response:
(i) A statement on the need to review time slots at Heathrow to make operations more efficient and to make better use of existing capacity (in line the RHC presentation).
(ii) Clarification of the Council’s position on the issue of carbon trading.
(iii) A reference to the impact of Heathrow on Kew Gardens World Heritage Site and natural areas such as the Wetland Centre; to add that the Council was unable to request designation of such areas as ‘half day quiet zones’ because ‘out-of-alternation’ flights already take place over these locations.
(iv) A suggestion of a ban on non-emergency landing during night time hours.
(v) A request that BAA makes a financial contribution to the cost of installing specialised double glazing for listed buildings and in conservation areas.
The Committee discussed the government’s proposals to give greater powers to consultative groups such as HACC. Members initially felt that this may cause difficulties given the current nature and consistency of such groups and that it might be better for regulatory style committees to take on such a role. However, Members felt that further information on this issue should be provided by the government.
The Committee was provided with an update on other current consultations which related to the Draft Aviation Policy Framework Consultation. These were outlined at Appendix B (update).
It was RESOLVED:
1. That it be recommended that the above comments (i to v) be incorporated into the Council’s draft response to the DfT’s consultation (Appendix ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
The Committee will receive a verbal update on potential topics for future consideration and is requested to consider the timing and frequency of its future meetings.
The Committee discussed the scheduling of meetings and noted that topics such as Night Flights could be considered at a future meeting in 2013.
It was RESOLVED:
That the next meeting would be scheduled when required, to coincide with any significant updates in relation to Heathrow Airport or Aviation in South West London.