The Labour group are disappointed to see that the controversial proposals for an airport in the Thames Estuary are once again gaining news coverage, this time as put forward by Lord Foster today.
Additionally, the Labour group is perplexed by the lack of unity in the message from the Conservative party. Though we welcome the cross-party consensus within Medway Council in opposition to all airport proposals to date – it does not seem that our Tory administration here in Medway are getting that message across to their counterparts in Westminster and City Hall.
Indeed, Boris Johnson, the Conservative Mayor of London, remains determinedly in favour of these plans, and it is as yet, not clear as to whether the Coalition government supports Lord Foster’s proposals.
The Labour group is reiterating firm opposition to any such proposal, and can offer strong assurances to the public that we have, and will continue to, work to have these plans comprehensively dismissed once and for all.
Leader of the Labour Group Cllr Paul Godwin said,
“There is an odd sense of déjà vu about all of this. We did, and still do, oppose any plans to build an airport in the Thames Estuary or on the Hoo peninsular. Not only would an airport have negative consequences for the environment but also the blight caused for local residents is totally unacceptable.”
“I am therefore calling upon the coalition government to comprehensively dismiss all airport plans. At a time of such stringent public expenditure cutbacks, it belies reason that £40 billion should be spent on a new airport – particularly in an area already rejected by the previous Government as totally unsuitable”
Cllr Stephen Hubbard, who represents Strood, said,
“In December 2003 the last Labour government comprehensively dismissed any proposal for an airport located on the Hoo Peninsula. The overwhelming environmental reasons given for the rejection of Cliffe Airport hold true for all the Thames Estuary alternatives whether it be the ‘Boris Island’ proposal that involves creating man made islands out into the Thames Estuary or any new land based options.”