I READ with interest Cllr Alan Dean s letter (postbag January 4) in which he challenges the Government to reply to the unanimous decision of Uttlesford District Council s planning committee to refuse to extend the number of passengers who might use the te
I READ with interest Cllr Alan Dean's letter (postbag January 4) in which he challenges the Government to reply to the unanimous decision of Uttlesford District Council's planning committee to refuse to extend the number of passengers who might use the terminal at Stansted Airport.
He said this was the democratic decision of the population of the district.
We all know that Cllr Dean is a strong supporter of local democracy and for this he deserves credit, but I fear he tends to muddle the various degrees of democracy.
If we follow his logic there will be no development of necessary facilities anywhere in the country, let alone this district.
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As these decisions rest on local councils, it is more than unlikely that any other local authority would agree such development in their particular area either.
Following this, where does he expect development to take place, especially so since we're informed that the demand for increased capacity is universal.
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Unfortunately, Stansted Airport was selected for development in 1961 by the government of the day, who we assume were democratically elected, in the teeth of local opposition.
Is it likely now that the present Government will back down and go elsewhere in spite of the present opposition?
We know that Cllr Dean's solution to the problem is fewer aircraft paying higher taxes and hence fewer aircraft movements. Is this a real solution or merely a smoke screen?
Many more of us fly, and more and more frequently, so is the majority likely to accept a restriction? I fear not!
Surely the best solution to this problem is not an outright refusal on dubiously authentic democratic grounds, but a careful and cautious agreement to continue to manage the problem to the advantage of local democracy and the national interest.
After all, we know the Government is elected democratically too.
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