VIDEO BRIEFING: Parish Council sets outs views on Heathrow Expansion
Chair Peter Hood gave an open and frank summary of Colnbrook Parish Council’s policy towards Heathrow expansion at the Westfield Community Centre on Tuesday night.
Around 20 residents attended the meeting at Westfield to lobby councillors following the disappointing turnout at the CCA’s Third Runway meeting three weeks ago.
Not on the formal agenda, a 50 minute public session was allowed. Residents asked questions on topics including the botched Brands Hill road ‘improvements’ and the new fracking threat to the west of Brands Hill as far as Ascot. But, unsurprisingly, Heathrow expansion dominated the session, with several residents complaining that they had only recently become alerted to the threat through Colnbrook Views and Streetlife.
Parish chair Cllr Hood explained for the first time the reason for the Council’s deliberately low profile approach to the Third Runway but committed the Parish to revising this if it was what residents wanted.
He also promised that councillors would seriously consider a request for a village-wide meeting to set up Colnbrook’s own opposition group, and would also discuss a local referendum. Councillors were set to debate both Heathrow Expansion and the Brands Hill debacle following the public session.
While Cllr Hood spoke at length for the Parish, Cllr Dexter Smith responded to questions about the Council’s submission to the Davies Commission and was disapproving of Heathrow’s tactics. Cllr Laxman spoke to distance the Parish from the October 20 meeting and to gently admonish a resident for not bringing her concerns directly to him rather than the meeting.
No other councillors spoke during the public session.
But the last full Parish Council meeting of the year was the also the first ever to be recorded and published under new Localism powers granted to residents on August 6.
In an experiment in bringing local democratic closer to the public Colnbrook Views is pleased to be able to bring you its first Video Briefing. This abridged version of the public session focuses on the comments about airport expansion.
The Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014 came into effect on August 6 and have caused upset in some parishes around the country where councillors have resisted the intrusion of cameras.
Not so, thankfully, in Colnbrook where hopefully our first attempt to bring the Parish to Colnbrook’s increasingly vocal online community may yet see councillors themselves join in the online debate?
In the mean time we await news of how far councillors have gone toward meeting the request to call a village-wide meeting in conjunction with the two biggest residents groups, the CRA and CCA. Minutes should be published within the next week.
Should broadcasting Parish Council meetings become a matter of routine or should the privilege to spectate remain restricted to those who make the effort to go along to the meeting? Please let us know your views.