"We are not prepared to be ignored any longer"

packed meetingThere was a packed public meeting at Bitterne Park Secondary School last night (Oct 14). As planes flew over the meeting hall towards the runway, local residents heard from invited guest speakers, and discussed the airport's plans for expansion and how to oppose them. Airport operator BAA, currently consulting with "all key stakeholders" until the end of the month over their plans, and Eastleigh Borough Council,  the airport's planning authority, were noted by various speakers as being conspicuous by their absence from the platform.

John Denham MP, who chaired the meeting, summarised viewpoints aired by the community, saying: "We have actually had enough as things are at the moment. Whatever happens, we're not prepared to accept that it should get worse."

There was broad agreement when he concluded the meeting, noting what needs to happen now:

  • We all need to write to the airport. Don't rely on your neighbour: we need them to feel the weight of opinion. Copy your letters to Southampton City Council and Eastleigh Borough Council (there's an updated list of contacts here, and a draft letter here (pdf download) if you don't want to write your own).
  • The community expects Southampton City Council to be in there, fighting on our behalf, 100%
  • The community expects John Denham to take this to government, and to say this cannot happen: the damage will be too great.

The meeting also heard from:

  • Rob Creighton, from Southampton City Council
  • Nic Ferriday, from AirportWatch
  • Caroline Lucas, Green Party, MEP for the South East Region
  • Councillor Adrian Vinson, Leader of Southampton City Council

More reports from the meeting soon on bitternepark.info

Read the full closing speech here

Eastleigh Borough Council - Full council meeting

Thursday 20 October 2005 at 7.00pm Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Leigh Road, Eastleigh, SO50 9YN (not 6 pm as previously published!)
Telephone: 023 8068 8068
The Council will receive the recommendations of the Cabinet concerning the Council's response to the Southampton Airport Outline Masterplan Consultation Draft.

More info here

In the news:

€ The Southern Daily Echo today reported on its front page how a plane 'sucked tiles' from a local resident's roof.

€ Praise for Southampton Airport  from Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne

€ Tim Knight, Hampshire County Councillor Executive Member for Environment, on the airport 

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