Sunday, 27 September 2009

Devon Lib Dems and airport expansion

On 18th Sept I posted a piece which mention LibDem backed airport expansion around the country. I was accursed by someone called David Cox (a former Lib Dem County Councillor in Devon) of lying about LibDem backing for Exeter Airport expansion.

Ignoring the fact the he didn't understand the difference between actively trying to deceive people and making an incorrect statement by accident, I thought I would check out his claims that the LibDems were not backing the expansion of Exeter Airport.

Exeter Airport is in Tory run East Devon District Council rather than the City Council, and they have the primary decision making power for the expansion plan. However...

On Tuesday 16th September 2008, Exeter City Council Executive Committee attended by Councillor Fullam (Chair) (Lib Dem) Councillors S Brock (Lib Dem), Edwards (Lab), R M Hannaford (Lib Dem), Mrs Henson (Con), Mitchell (Lib Dem), Mrs Morrish (Lib) and Wadham (Lib Dem) - 5 LibDems, 3 others - supported "the draft Exeter Airport Master Plan in principle subject to the comments in section 3 of the report with an amendment to paragraph 3.8 to request the immediate installation of real time noise monitoring equipment.".
The Exeter Airport Master Plan sets out the need to expand Exeter Airport! More here from the Western Morning News.


Actually it is worse than that. Devon County Council owned Exeter airport until it sold it in 2006. The Master Plan went first to the Scrutiny Committe and then to the Executive Committee on 2nd Sep 2008 of the County Council while it was still under Lib Dem control. These are a couple of extracts from the approved response to the Plan: "The County Council is pleased to see the expansion of terminal facilities at Exeter, together with the provision of additional aircraft stands, which will together support the operation of additional flights to more destinations." and hysterically: "The County Council would like to see a better performance, by the Airport and its clients, in terms of waste management, recycling and its overall "green performance"

Former Cllr Cox claimed the comments by Maidstone Lib Dems were opinions, rather than lies, in my response to their suggestion that councils up and down the country are backing green policies. I think you can judge for yourself.

Anyway enough of Devon, I will be back to campaigning in Maidstone tomorrow morning where the Greens are in the running to win our first seat in Maidstone.

2 comments:

KRA said...

Sorry the documents you quote do not show Liberal Democrat councils expanding airports; they show the councils making the best of the situation insisting on public transport links and that ground operations are carbon neutral. It was not within the gift of DCC or ECC to stop the central government driven airport expansion. Government Policy - The Future of Air Transport 2003, requires each airport to prepare a Master Plan for future expansion to take the increased capacity the government predicts. The minutes show no Green Party member exercising their right to speak under public participation, as they have done on other matters.

I’m happy to defend Devon’s record under the Liberal Democrats on recycling (considering it is a rural county), status as a FairTrade county council, support for the Transition Town initiative, micro hydro-electric schemes, local food for school dinners etc. Devon became England’s greenest county under the Liberal Democrats. Doubtless the Tories will me busy undoing all the good work, but I guess that’s democracy.

David Cox (still a town and district councillor)

Stuart Jeffery said...

David, they do not show the then Lib Dem controlled Devon County Council expanding the airport and I didn't claim that. It shows it supporting the expansion: "The County Council is pleased to see the expansion of terminal facilities at Exeter, together with the provision of additional aircraft stands, which will together support the operation of additional flights to more destinations."

You Lib Dems did not issue a response that said: "We do not support the expansion of Exeter City Airport because..." - your response said you were pleased with the expansion.