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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Email to the sheep in Cheltenham Scrutiny committee

Dear Councillors,

I attended the scrutiny committee this week to hear the debate on the airport. I can only say how appalled I was at the level of scrutiny you showed on the business case put forward by Councillor Les Godwin.

In fact there was no scrutiny at all. You merely agreed with everything said by Les Godwin and you were all unanimous in your praise of his paper.

It seems that many of you need reminding of the history of this proposal. The airport was forced to produce a “Green Management Plan” to address the genuine concerns that this development would result in significant CO2 emissions at a time when the rest of the population are being told to do everything possible to reduce their emissions and be ready to pay increased utility bills as a consequence. A key part of the Airport’s green management plan was to impose a CO2 ceiling of 4,000 tonnes annum and a commitment to an annual review.

However, section 7.3 (extract attached) of Les Godwin’s business case which covers the environment, completely ignores the CO2 ceiling and there is no reference to any annual review of the “Green management plan.”

When I asked Les Godwin why this was not included and how he expected the airport to make the returns he claimed while simultaneously staying within the CO2 targets, he pleaded ignorance and said that he did not know that the CO2 targets were not included. He is therefore either stupid or pretends to be stupid. I will leave if for you to decide.

As it does not take much intelligence to work out that it would be impossible to make the returns claimed whilst staying within the CO2 limits, I would like you to explain to me and the other people that are equally concerned by this development why you did not ask the obvious question of how the airport was to stay within its Green Management target whilst making the returns claimed.

Your behaviour skilfully re-enacts George Orwell’s Animal Farm. We have the advocates of environmental destruction, such as Les Godwin, taking over our planet in the same way as Napoleon took over the farm. Napoleon’s take over was consolidated with the support of bleating sheep in the same was as you all unanimously praised Les Godwin.


Section 7.3 of Joint Airport Scrutiny Working Group

Amongst the conditions are a number which capture and reflect aspects of the airport’s Green Policy. These conditions specifically relate to the airport operations and are set out below:

(a) The number of air movements at the airport shall not exceed 95,000 a year (excluding police, emergency and military related flights)
(b) The airports main hours of operation shall be restricted to between the hours of 0830 – 1930 with no more than 1.5 % of movements per annum outside of these hours (excluding police, emergency and military related flights, and those arriving late for operational reasons)

(c) The number of movements between the hours of 23.00 and 06.00 shall be limited to 100 per calendar year (excluding police, emergency and military related flights).
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