Stansted Airport Watch (SAW), a group which campaigns against proposals to expand London Stansted, has announced its intention to convert to a trust fund.

The proposal to establish the Stansted Airport Watch Foundation will be put to a 'Special General Meeting' (SGM) of its members later this month, and will require a two-thirds majority of the members present to be approved.

SAW chairman Brian Ross explained the reasoning behind the proposal - as some members are set to retire and want the group to be in safe hands.

He said: "Some of the most experienced members of SAW Executive Committee have recently retired and others, including myself, have signalled their intention to retire in the near future, after having given more than 20 years’ voluntary service to the campaign. 

"As they say, none of us are getting any younger!"

If the proposal is approved, the committee will then proceed to establish the SAW Foundation, which would be governed by a deed of trust, and to wind down SAW - a process that would take several months.

All of SAW's assets would be transferred to the SAW Foundation, which would be expected to amount to around £90,000.

To provide continuity, the five initial trustees would be current long-serving members of the SAW executive committee, but over time the intention would be to replace them with representatives from local town, parish and district councils.

Brian continued: "We are still considering how the trustees of the SAW Foundation, either individually or collectively, might continue to provide advice and support to local district, parish and town councils and the wider local community on the environmental impacts of Stansted Airport. 

"We will aim to ensure that, wherever possible, projects currently underway are seen through to completion. 


"Ultimately, local district, parish and town councillors and our local MPs should become more directly involved in dealing with the environmental impacts of Stansted Airport.

"By establishing the SAW Foundation, we will be laying down the seed-corn for the future. 

"In particular, if the threat of a second Stansted runway re-emerges, funds would be available from the outset to kick-start a new campaign."