Emergency powers invoked to meet Davies Commission deadline
Emergency powers were invoked to ensure the Parish Council’s submission to the Davies Commission could be submitted on time due to a cock-up over the deadline.
Roland Hewson, parish clerk, confirmed on this website last night that Colnbrook Parish Council’s submission to the commission examining Heathrow’s Third Runway proposal was submitted by Friday’s deadline, despite a debate not occurring until Tuesday.
However minutes published today show that the council was operating under the mistaken impression that the deadline was irrelevant. The news helps to explain the lack of consultation to date.
The Davies Commission published all the options for short and medium term airport expansion on 17th August and allowed ten weeks for responses.
Colnbrook’s submission was lodged the day before the deadline. Acting under Standing Order 31 (“decisions in urgency”), emails and a letter were sent under recorded delivery against the proposals.
“… information supplied to the Chairman by a Commission representative that ALL submissions would be looked at irrespective of the deadline date of 27th September, had been incorrect …”
Community involvement in the parish response has been low key to say the least, with some parishioner’ views being gauged at the Apple Fair.
Most neighbouring villages have carried out one – if not a series – of public meetings, attended by representatives from the airport to explain the ramifications of each scheme on the local community.
The Parish has opted for a blanket objection to any further expansion at Heathrow:
The parish council is not anti-Heathrow and wants the Airport to thrive and provide employment opportunities to local people but it has a long argued that Heathrow Airport is at or has exceeded its optimum size, with local infrastructure stretched to full capacity and no room for external expansion without encroaching on greenfiled, greenbelt, amenity lands or crowding out other businesses. The parish council, therefore, has a history of opposing the un-restrained expansion of Heathrow Airport because of its negative impacts on neighbours, including ourselves.
Chair Peter Hood has excused himself from discussions on the issue. He declared an interest during Tuesday’s meeting that, under council rules, prohibits him from participating in the debate.
Although not on the Register of Interests, Hood’s employer Gratte Brothers recently won new business at Heathrow Airport.
It is not clear yet if another member of the council will take the lead role in what is likely to become a key area for the council over its remaining term.