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Press Release: GALBA Asks West Yorkshire Mayor to Support the Call for a Public Inquiry on LBA Plans

Campaigners against airport expansion ask Tracy Brabin, West Yorkshire Mayor, to support the call for a public inquiry into LBA’s plans

The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has written to Tracy Brabin, the new Mayor of West Yorkshire, asking if she has contacted the government to press for LBA’s controversial expansion proposals to be decided at a public inquiry. In their letter to the Mayor, GALBA point out that she expressed support for calling in LBA’s planning application at the pre-election Climate Hustings, organised by Friends of the Earth on Monday 26 April.

Chris Foren, chair of GALBA, said: “It was welcome to hear Tracy indicate her support for ‘calling in’ LBA’s expansion proposal. The planning application raises all sorts of highly controversial and technical issues. All we want to know now is whether she has written - or is going to write - to Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, asking him to hold a public inquiry.”

He continued: “While Ms Brabin doesn’t have direct control over the planning application, her position as Mayor could have significant influence. As she said in the hustings, we need a Mayor who can have conversations with government. Leeds Labour MPs don’t have direct control over the planning application either but almost all of them have written to Robert Jenrick calling for a public inquiry. We hope Tracy does the same and look forward to her reply to our letter.”

Recently, three West Yorkshire teenagers hand-delivered a petition, signed by over 55,000 people, to the Communities Secretary on behalf of GALBA. The petition calls for a public inquiry. GALBA has also joined a network of 16 national and local airport campaigns calling on the government to impose an immediate moratorium on all proposed UK airport expansions.

Experts warn that the cumulative impact of increasing emissions from all of the UK’s proposed airport expansions would severely damage the government’s new target of cutting emissions by 78% by 2035. The government has recently accepted advice from its expert Climate Change Committee to include greenhouse gases caused by flying in the UK’s carbon reduction target. However there is currently no plan for how to cut aviation emissions, which is why campaigners are calling for a halt on all airport expansion plans.

Additional notes:

1) GALBA’s letter to Tracy Brabin: a copy is attached. GALBA wrote on 19 May and sent a follow up reminder on 24 May. We have not yet received a reply or acknowledgement of receipt.

Brabin letter 210519
Download DOCX • 15KB

2) Climate Hustings: at 45:50 on this video Tracy Brabin indicates support for calling in LBA’s planning application for a public inquiry, saying “it’s good that it’s being called in.” At 20:58 she states “we need a Mayor who can have conversations with government.”

3) Local MPs support a public inquiry: Hilary Benn MP (Labour), Alex Sobel MP (Labour), Fabian Hamilton MP (Labour), Richard Burgon MP (Labour) and Philip Davies MP (Conservative) have all stated they support a public inquiry. Stewart Andrew MP (Conservative) has told constituents that he has spoken with ministers at the MHCLG to ensure they are aware of the strength of feeling about LBA’s proposals.

4) GALBA’s petition: you can view it here.

5) UK-wide airport expansion moratorium call: further details are available here.

6) UK airport expansion plans: details are available here.

7) UK emissions-reduction target to include aviation: the government’s announcement is available here.

8) Climate science and Leeds Bradford Airport expansion: the Leeds Climate Commission and experts in climate science from the University of Leeds have calculated that LBA’s proposals mean greenhouse gas emissions from the airport would exceed the amount allowed for the whole of Leeds, as set out in the Leeds Carbon Reduction Roadmap, from 2026 onwards. The Climate Commission report is available here.

9) LBA public inquiry decision postponed: on 6 April, Secretary of State Robert Jenrick postponed his decision on whether to call in LBA’s application for a public inquiry. This means that no changes can be made to flying hours at LBA until a final decision is made.

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