Village shows community commitment

THE proceeds of two community fund-raising activities staged by the people of Duton Hill were presented to Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) and the Gardens of Easton Lodge Preservation Trust last weekend.

The donations followed the May Day Funday Sunday and a special quiz, which together raised a total of almost �1600.

Cheques were handed over by Alan Spinks, master of ceremonies from the funday, to Felicity Sutton for SSE and Jacquie Fanchette for the Gardens. They were joined by volunteers who had made both events a success and members of the Thaxted Morris Ring.

SSE chairman Peter Sanders was also present and spoke warmly of Duton Hill’s wonderfully generous support over the last eight years, which had provided significant resources for the fight against the major airport expansion proposed by BAA, culminating in the withdrawal of the second runway application last month.

However, he insisted the work was not yet over, saying: “There is little point in BAA withdrawing its application during this Parliament if it, or any future owner of Stansted, comes back with another application in the future.

“So we have one more task. Next year the Government will be drawing up its National Policy Statement on Aviation and we must make sure that the rejection of a second runway at Stansted is written into that policy so the threat is removed not just in the short term, but in the long term as well. This donation will be vital in enabling this work.”

Jacquie Fanchette, a regular volunteer at the Gardens of Easton Lodge, was also present to accept a cheque for �574 for the ongoing work to restore the Gardens to their former glory.

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“The withdrawal of the second runway application is of course good news for the Gardens, whose tranquillity would have been lost by having the expanded airport so close,” she said. “The trustees are determined to keep the Gardens open for the enjoyment of the public, and this contribution will help us achieve that aim.”

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