Louise Goldsmith’s statement of 22 January made no secret of her position on the second runway at Gatwick.
We have one in or back garden already and we support it. A second would bring our county to its knees and, as Gatwick’s foreign owners sell out as they intend to do, they will leave the resulting enduring problems (and the bills) for the inadequate and unbudgeted infrastructure, housing, health, education and social services for our children and our grandchildren.
And the jobs argument doesn’t wash either. The county has no material unemployment. Indeed there are three times as many job vacancies as there are job applicants in some key sectors. Thus, there would be a multi-thousand-strong influx of imported workers and their needs that we cannot even meet today and for which Gatwick has not budgeted, despite their protestations.
The change in the WSCC’s position (and Horsham District Council’s ‘no’ vote) is good, and thank you to the councillors who voted ‘no’.
But surely now not telling the Airport Commission is perverse. As is the leader’s linking this non representation to ‘democracy’. Surely there is a clear voice from the people and the ‘no’ message should be passed on?
The council’s earlier ‘support in principle’ did damage enough. It was like the barrister dropping in a devastating out-of-order blow and then apologetically withdrawing it after the damage has been done. No one ever remembers the ‘correction’.
So now the council should do what was voted for and tell the Airports Commission that West Sussex people do not want a second Gatwick in our front as well as our back garden.
Coneyhurst Concern Group, West Chiltington Lane, Coneyhurst