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External link to STOP STANSTED EXPANSION campaign

Stop Stansted Expansion

STOP STANSTED EXPANSION

STOP STANSTED EXPANSION - JANUARY 2003

 

NEWS UPDATE - WHERE ARE WE NOW?

Since Stop Stansted Expansion's success in the High Court last November when the Government's consultation on the future of air transport was overturned, we have been busy preparing for the next round. We already have a head start in rolling out our plans thanks to the Government's delay in restarting the consultation - now due late February.

If you can attend, our community conference "Working Together to Win" at the Stansted Hilton (9 February) will explain more, examining our campaign plans for the new four month consultation and looking at how we can draw on local support to implement our campaign strategy. Telephone the campaign office (01279 870558) for more details.

Meanwhile, as a community campaign, we have already achieved far more than most people thought possible in opposing the Government's proposals for making Stansted the world's largest airport, double the size of Heathrow. We intend to continue to spearhead the local effort over the coming months - combining grass roots campaigning and local activities with political and Parliamentary lobbying - all supported by a comprehensive media programme to really drive home the message to Alistair Darling that we are not a soft target for expansion.

GETTING THE MESSAGE TO THE POLITICIANS

Our top priority is persuading Government Ministers and civil servants beyond the Department for Transport of the folly of the expansion plans. We are not only arranging briefing meetings to tell them face-to-face, we are also calling on the support of the community through letter writing and other campaign activities to reinforce the level of concern. (In February, we are targeting the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and need your help with this - see below.)

The rationale is that many members of the Cabinet and their advisors are currently unaware of the impact that the expansion proposals and the associated urbanisation would have on areas within their responsibility - such as our children's health, education and the environment. By making them aware of what is at stake, we believe we can win support in influencing the Secretary of State for Transport.

We will also continue to call on the Department for Transport to give greater consideration to the feasibility of offshore airports if expansion really is necessary - an area where we have already made great inroads and which the media have reported upon with interest. We are also exploring further legal avenues to back up our call. After all, while we believe that demand management must play a part in containing demand, if the Government is set on expanding capacity then options which do not blight the lives of over three quarters of a million people - as expansion at Stansted would - must be worthy of proper examination.

KEEPING THE COMMUNITY INFORMED

Our efforts to raise local awareness of the Government's plans and what they mean for the region will also continue. A programme of public meetings will begin once the new consultation begins so that we can explain what their impact will be. We also hope to continue to provide you with regular updates of this type in the months ahead - provided our funds can afford it!

Meanwhile, liaison with local media - television, radio and the press have so far been very supportive - will continue as part of our programme of providing regular updates on our activities, successes and plans. Our website also remains a vital source of information for thousands of people while our email database and monthly membership letters provide useful channels for sharing information.

STANSTED: THE WORLD'S LARGEST AIRPORT?

Many people, however, still fail to realise that the expansion plans will affect them. The truth is that this isn't just about adding a few more planes or passengers but about a fivefold increase in flights and nine times as many passengers if full expansion goes ahead with three extra runways. Even one extra runway - seen by some as a compromise option - would make our 'Airport in the Countryside' bigger than Heathrow.

We will therefore be working harder than ever to reach out into the community, to explain what is happening and how people can take action to oppose the plans.

DRAWING ON LOCAL SUPPORT

Boosting our membership is important as it will show the Government the scale of formal opposition in the community. It is also an important source of revenue for the campaign which has many costs to cover. These include publicity and campaign office expenses, media relations and lobbying consultants, print and postage - though we are fortunate to be able to draw on thousands of hours per month of voluntary support in running the campaign and many generous donors.

If you aren't already a member, please do consider joining now with a minimum recommended donation of £10. See joining form on separate leaflet or phone for one.

…AND FINALLY, FORTHCOMING CAMPAIGN EVENTS

9 February
SSE Community Conference, Hilton Hotel, Stansted Airport
15 February
Sorcery Among The Snowdrops Treasure Trail at the Gardens of Easton Lodge
15 February
Smooth Jazz Evening with the Jazz Voyagers, Clavering
22 March
Pies, Puds and Plonk Evening
5 April
Race Night, Little Easton

Stop Stansted Expansion Campaign Office: Tel 01279 870558

P.O. Box 311, Takeley, Bishop's Stortford, Herts CM22 6PY

Email: info@stopstanstedexpansion.com

Web: www.stopstanstedexpansion.com


PRESS RELEASE - 19 January 2003

WORKING TOGETHER TO WIN

Community Conference set to reinvigorate fight against Stansted Expansion

With the government's new consultation on expanding capacity at Britain's airports just around the corner, the campaign team at Stop Stansted Expansion is gearing up for its Community Conference to ensure that it is ready for the battle ahead.

The emphasis will be on "Working Together To Win" and tickets for the afternoon event which will take place at the Stansted Hilton Hotel on Sunday 9 February are now available from the Stop Stansted Expansion campaign office. Demand for places at the conference, capable of accommodating 200 people, is expected to be high.

Supported financially by Uttlesford District Council, the conference aims to reinvigorate, refocus and remotivate those who will be affected by the massive development and major urbanisation which would accompany the addition of between one and three runways to the airport.

Said Stop Stansted Expansion campaign chairman Norman Mead: "We're organising the conference to show members of the local community as well as campaign supporters where we are up to and to show how we're taking the fight forward."

The programme will begin with a short summary of the campaign's response to the consultation, particularly on the key areas of health, noise and the environment, with fuller details of why demand management and offshore options must be given greater prominence in the government's plans for the future.

Meanwhile, plans for the year ahead will be explained and a panel session held with members of the main working group. This will include an outline of how the key campaign areas of grass roots activities, Parliamentary lobbying, legal routes and media relations will be integrated to achieve maximum results.

Guest speakers at the event will include Sally Oliver, mother of celebrity chef Jamie who has done so much for the campaign in raising awareness at national level. Local MPs Mark Prisk and Sir Alan Haselhurst have also been invited to give feedback from Westminster while there will be a report from one of the region's MEPs on the close attention which the European Parliament is paying to the consultation debate. There will also be an opportunity to put the politicians on the spot and ask them how they intend to help persuade Alistair Darling to rule out further expansion at Stansted.

Workshop discussions and feedback will round off the afternoon, providing a mechanism to explore and gather ideas as well as support for particular initiatives. These include raising awareness of the expansion threat, letter writing to politicians and others, including the media, who might support the cause, boosting membership, developing the events programme and fundraising to sustain the campaign.

Tickets are available from the Stop Stansted Expansion campaign office, with a nominal charge of £5 each towards costs. This will cover refreshments, delegate pack, CD copy of the campaign song by composer Barrington Phelong of Inspector Morse fame, due to be released shortly, and free parking at the conference venue.

To book or obtain further details, call 01279 870558, email info@stopstanstedexpansion.com or visit the website at http://www.stopstanstedexpansion.com/sse_conference.html.

Media wishing to attend or cover the event should contact Carol Barbone in the Stop Stansted Expansion press office who can also provide further information on the programme: T 00332 4303 9191 or M 0777 552 3091, email cbarbone@mxc.co.uk.


PRESS RELEASE - 27 January 2003

GREEN MINISTER TOLD TO WAKE UP BY STANSTED CAMPAIGNERS

The government's environment Minister Margaret Beckett could hold the key to keeping Stansted as an 'airport in the countryside' - if only local people take the time to tell her in writing what is being proposed.

The news comes from Stop Stansted Expansion which is this week launching a new letter writing initiative targeting Mrs Beckett who is Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Green Letter campaign is designed to capitalise on the government's delay in restarting the consultation into expanding Stansted Airport - now due late February - and make sure that internal pressure is brought to bear on the Secretary of State for Transport, Alistair Darling, by his Cabinet colleague.

To this end, 50,000 leaflets will be dropped through letterboxes by hundreds of campaign volunteers throughout Bishop's Stortford, Uttlesford district and as much of Harlow and Sawbridgeworth as possible, urging people to get writing, while those on the campaign group's email database will also be sent details of how to get involved.

Margaret Beckett's official role is supposed to be custodian of the environment and, she claims, the main aim of her Department is: "Sustainable development, which means a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come, including a better environment... and thriving economies and communities in rural areas and a countryside for all to enjoy."

However, it appears that she has allowed her colleague Alistair Darling at the Department for Transport to get the upper hand. His plan to make Stansted the biggest airport in the world would devastate the local environment and create a concrete jungle for miles around on an unimaginable scale.

"We want to encourage Mrs Beckett to wake up and start fighting her corner," says Stop Stansted Expansion chairman Norman Mead. "If she receives lots of letters, she might just do this. We don't expect her to come out fighting in public against the proposals but we understand that, behind the scenes, she is perfectly capable of standing up to Alistair Darling!"

"Meanwhile," he continues, "we will be making a formal request to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs through Sir Alan Haselhurst for a meeting with Mrs Beckett to make it clear how the expansion plans and mass urbanisation they would create around Stansted as well as further afield pose such a threat to our much loved and irreplaceable countryside."

Ideas for points to make and sample letters have been created by Stop Stansted Expansion to provide inspiration to those who want to put pen to paper. These are available from the campaign office (Tel 01279 870558), by email (info@stopstanstedexpansion.com) or download them as a Word document (54kb) here.

Further Information: Carol Barbone, Stop Stansted Expansion press office Tel 00332 4303 9191 or Mob 0777 552 3091, email cbarbone@mxc.co.uk.

Further comment: Norman Mead, chairman, Stop Stansted Expansion, Tel 01279 659483.

External link to the FIVE PARISHES

Five Parishes

   

External link to STOP STANSTED EXPANSION campaign

Stop Stansted Expansion

External link to the FIVE PARISHES

Five Parishes

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