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Home Medway News Article
In what could be a “pivotal year” for a decision on an airport in Medway, the council has doubled its budget to fight the plans.
The council spent £50,000 on the airport campaign last year and the decision was announced during last week’s budget meeting to spend £100,000 over the next financial year.
Deputy council leader Cllr Alan Jarrett (Con) said: “It’s an important year as we have had the findings of the Davies commission and there is a fair chance it will all accelerate in the lead up to the general election.
“It’s a maximum amount - we wouldn’t want to run out of money half was through a potentially pivotal year.
“It demonstrates Medway Council are resolved to keep fighting this problem until it goes away.”
So far, three sites have been proposed: Cliffe, Grain and two floating islands in the estuary dubbed “Boris Island” after the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who is a fierce supporter of the idea.
The idea for a Medway airport is vehemently opposed by all the Towns’ MPs, and Chatham MP Tracey Crouch said: “The vast majority of people locally are opposed to their airport and recognise the consequences it would have on the local environment.”
Last month Sir Howard Davies, chairman of the Airports Commission told MPs he needed more time to assess whether the Thames Estuary scheme was viable.
He said a decision would be made by the autumn.
His interim report preferred Heathrow and Gatwick but didn’t rule out the estuary.
The fighting fund money will be spend on hiring consultants to help with lobbying as well as holding events across Medway and London to drum up opposition to the airport plans.
The idea of an airport in Medway was first proposed in the 1940s, and has been on the agenda a number of times as Britain has sought to expand its aviation capacity.
The last time was in 2003, when the Labour government looked at building an airport at Cliffe.
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