Royal Borough's Aviation Forum described as 'not fit for purpose'

Royal Borough's Aviation Forum described as 'not fit for purpose'

Philip Dewey

George Bathurst
'Not fit for purpose' was how members of the public described the Royal Borough's Aviation Forum at its meeting last night.

The comments were made by Mike Sullivan, of the West Windsor Residents' Association (WWRA), who criticised the forum for not acting sooner in submitting their objections to the Airports Commission regarding a proposed third runway at Heathrow Airport.

The deadline for submissions is next week.

Mr Sullivan, along with WWRA member John Holdstock, also criticised forum chairman Cllr George Bathurst (Con, Castle without) for 'marginalising' forum member Cllr Malcolm Beer (Old Windsor Residents' Association, Old Windsor), who serves on the Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Sullivan said: "Many of us believe the Aviation Forum is not fit for purpose and we are behind on everything. To do a catch up job like this is ridiculous.

"You need to make more use of Cllr Beer, you're supposed to consult him."

Mr Holdstock said: "We have a councillor who is enormously active in aviation and he should be leading our council in this aspect, it shouldn't be a party political thing where you're trying to marginalise particular positions."

Cllr Bathurst denied 'marginalising' Cllr Beer and said the forum had made good use of his expertise and said the forum had made 'good headway' in producing a submission against the proposed runway.

Cllr Beer said: "This is the biggest single issue affecting the community for many years and it's very important we don't miss out on this."

The forum meeting took place at the Macdonald Windsor Hotel, in Windsor High Street.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Bathurst accused Mr Sullivan and Mr Holdstock of playing 'political games'.

He said: "We have more important things to talk about like fighting a third runway.

"We're open to having an input from people but we should be focusing on a joint enemy, not scoring fiscal points."

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