Tories oppose Stansted second runway
By Graham DinesPolitical EditorPLANS for a second runway at Stansted airport have been given a rough ride by a Conservative Euro MP, who said the Government's determination to build another Heathrow in Essex ignored European agreements on noise pollution.
By Graham Dines
PLANS for a second runway at Stansted airport have been given a rough ride by a Conservative Euro MP, who said the Government's determination to build another Heathrow in Essex ignored European agreements on noise pollution.
Following last week's declaration by the Green Party to fight further growth at the airport, Christopher Beazley told Stop Stansted Expansion campaigners that Whitehall was "deeply flawed."
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During a European election canvassing tour of the villages around Stansted which will be affected by the airport's growth, Mr Beazley listened to the
concerns of campaigners, whom he had previously introduced to European Commission environment officials.
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The EC is currently working on a proposal to incorporate World Health Organisation approved limits on noise pollution into future major transport infrastructure proposals.
Mr Beazley – number three on the Tories' East of England list, said: "The Government's scheme has not taken into account international agreements on noise pollution, the development of high speed rail networks or the current problems faced by budget airlines.
"The expansion proposal at Stansted is deeply flawed and is opposed by the Conservatives."
Mr Beazley said he was deeply concerned at voter apathy on June 10. "We cannot sit back and let the abstainers win the day.
"In some European countries, voting is regarded as the citizens' duty. Perhaps we might reflect what contribution towards the maintenance of our democracy we are prepared to make."
He said that under the closed list proportional representation system brought in for these elections by the Labour government, a low turnout could mean that small, extremist parties could gain seats they would never win under the traditional Westminster first-past-the-post system.
n Labour has declined to send any of its candidates to a European elections hustings meeting in Dovercourt tonight , citing fears over security and safety.
The East of England Labour Party claimed the organisers – Harwich solicitors Linn and Associates – had refused to give them a landline contact number to allow the party to verify their credentials. "We have attended scores and scores of election meetings, but we need to ensure our candidates are going to legitimate meetings."
A spokesman for Linn and Associates said: "If Labour is not prepared to show the political courage it takes to debate, then people will be able to judge them accordingly."
The meeting, at the Royal Dovercourt public house at 7.30pm, will be attended by UKIP Euro MP Jeffrey Titford and candidates Marc Scheimann (Green Party), Claire Strong (Conservative), Jim Rogers (Respect – the Unity Coalition) and Chris White of the Liberal Democrats.
LIBERAL DEMOCRAT TRIO: Suffolk Show made an ideal European election campaign stop for Lib Dem hopefuls (from left) Guillaume McLaughlin, Andrew Duff and Kathy Pollard