Don't fall for fake jobs promise of third runway

When Theresa May launched her General Election campaign in Maidenhead, I had the pleasure of speaking with her.  As we walked along the High Street, I asked why she had changed her position about a Heathrow third runway, when Heathrow already overflies 750,000, three times as many population as ANY other European Airport (Paris, Frankfurt or Amsterdam) and with a third runway it would be four times as many, with ill effects of noise, pollution, public health etc.  She replied, "It’s about jobs” and then was ushered on to meet a market stallholder.

Mrs May's opposition to the previous plan for a third runway in 2008/10 with her several strong statements in Parliament, show that she understands well the ill effects for RBWM residents.

As a poignant example, health statistics show that citizens in the south of the Borough of Hillingdon, nearer the airport, on average die 7 years earlier than those in the north of the borough further from the airport.  The effects of noise and pollution include early deaths due to high blood pressure and bronchial problems, and children having underdeveloped lungs, slower learning, and increasingly it is being associated as a cause of dementia.  Every year 10,000 people in London die early due to pollution.

Regarding Fake Jobs, to gain approval to build Terminal 5, Heathrow said that they would create 6,000 jobs.  Ever since they have refused to say how many new jobs they have created at T5, and using the airport’s own figures, Heathrow staffing since then has actually reduced by 3,000.  Check-in and baggage handling have been largely automated and made self-service, they plan the use of driverless vehicles and Border Force didn’t take on any new staff for T5 – just moved people from other terminals.

For many years Heathrow has been adding eGates in Terminal 5 to automate entry procedures into the UK.

For many years Heathrow has been adding eGates in Terminal 5 to automate entry procedures into the UK.

 

Heathrow is seeking a cut in the ratio of staff to passengers and a reduction in their pay packages.  Heathrow's motivation for expansion is huge profit for its own mainly foreign shareholders, not to gain employees.

It is well known that The Thames Valley is an area of relatively high (some commentators say “practically full”) employment.  Those unemployed may not have a good match to Heathrow jobs and they may not pass the stringent airport security requirements.  Consequently Heathrow jobs are typically filled by people coming into the area, often from abroad, creating more pressure on local housing, infrastructure, schools, NHS etc.

Heathrow promises support for apprenticeships, but none for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.  

They haven’t fulfilled their own jobs promises and cannot be trusted on jobs promises for the wider economy, which are based on their inflated promises of business benefit for the country.

Real Jobs and real business for Britain can be better created by a more distributed approach via better use of regional airports and facilities, without the immense construction, social and health costs for West London and the Thames Valley of a third runway.  This would also help to relieve, rather than further exacerbate, the North-South divide, and relieve pressure to create more capacity and flexibility at Heathrow.

Mrs May needs to be better advised regarding Fake Jobs promises and the serious insurmountable hurdles of a Heathrow third runway – and we need real representation in Government regarding the serious ill effects to our local community.

Paul Groves, Maidenhead

 

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