14th November 2003
SSE Takes Campaign to Downing Street and the European Parliament
On Wednesday and Thursday, a delegation from Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) attended a conference on noise pollution and transport at the European Parliament. The purpose was to forge closer ties with MEPs, European Commission officials and campaigners from Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain on issues of common concern. The impact of noise on health and also on the development of children was a particular focus.
The SSE team was accompanied for much of the first day by television crews who tracked the group’s participation both at the conference and at a special reception co-sponsored by the campaign group with Uttlesford District Council during the evening.
Caroline Lucas, the London MEP who had organised the two-day event, and local MEP Christopher Beazley co-hosted the high profile gathering which brought together influencers and decision makers to reaffirm their commitment to protecting the region from the impacts of an extra runway at Stansted.
Meanwhile, in London the following day, a large delegation of Stansted protestors went to Downing Street to remind Ministers attending the weekly Cabinet Meeting that Stansted is not and never will be a soft political option for the siting of new runways. Transport Secretary Alistair Darling, Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett and Health Secretary John Reid were amongst Cabinet Ministers who could not have failed to notice the determination of protestors on their way out from the Cabinet Meeting. It was a reminder, if one was needed, of the opposition they will face if an extra runway for Stansted is proposed in the Air Transport White Paper.
Said SSE Campaign Chairman Norman Mead: “The debate is finely balanced, even at this late stage, and we are therefore focused on doing everything possible to influence the final outcome. A key element of this includes reminding the government of our firm resolve to fight against a second runway and to strengthen the alliances with those who can help us in Europe so that we are ready if we need to do further battle.”