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Council leaders tell Government – Make a bold decision, expand Heathrow

Local council leaders from around the UK have become the latest group to join the growing number of voices calling on the Government to be bold and back expansion at Heathrow to benefit the whole of the country.

The Leaders of 34 councils, including Oxfordshire, Harrow, Newcastle, Neath Port Talbot and Glasgow have all signed a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, urging the Government to make the right choice for the whole of Britain and expand Heathrow.

In the letter they say that in these uncertain economic times following the vote to leave the EU, investment in infrastructure is even more important to support growth across the country. They say a ‘green light’ for expansion at Heathrow would create skilled jobs and provide an economic boost to their local economy. They say that Heathrow as the national hub should be able to build on the success of Britain’s network of airports, helping to connect local exporters to growing markets overseas.

Chief Executive of Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye, said: “Council leaders from across the country recognise expansion at Heathrow will benefit their local economies by creating skilled jobs and connecting exporters to growing markets overseas. Their support is further evidence that the next Prime Minister has the opportunity to make the right choice in the whole of Britain’s interest by expanding Heathrow.”

Expansion of Heathrow is already backed by business, trade unions, politicians and airlines as the best solution to Britain’s aviation capacity crunch. Supporters include the CBI, Federation of Small Businesses, chambers of commerce across the country, Unite, the GMB, 37 British airports and airlines such as easyJet, which plans to operate from an expanded Heathrow. A large proportion of the community local to Heathrow also supports expansion.

Recent polling by ComRes shows that two thirds of MPs think greenlighting Heathrow expansion will strengthen Britain’s economy.  MPs also ranked Heathrow expansion as the top infrastructure project for spreading growth across Britain – ahead of projects like HS2, HS3 and notably with Gatwick expansion last (Heathrow 41% vs Gatwick 3%).

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