HCEB June Update

It has been a busy few months for HCEB and we’ve written up a whistle-stop review of some of the things we’ve been up to below.

On 18 June, Heathrow’s Airport Expansion Consultation opened for responses. It will be open until 13 September. This presents a really important opportunity for communities and stakeholders to make their voice heard about Heathrow Airport’s plans for expansion. If you would like independent advice or help on aspects of the consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Drop-in advice sessions for local residents

Our Residents’ Advisor, Nick Ward, has rolled out a program of drop-in advice sessions taking place in the communities most impacted by the airport. To find out details about future advice sessions, go to the local residents section of our website at www.hceb.org.uk/local-residents


YouGov Focus Groups

A clear priority for us is to broaden that demographic to ensure that we are representing the broadest possible mix of the full Heathrow Community in our recommendations to Heathrow Airport. We’ve partnered with YouGov to conduct some qualitative research into the attitudes of particular communities who live or work near the airport. They are looking specifically at the communities who we believe have not been properly engaged in Heathrow Airport’s consultations previously. So far, YouGov have conducted 6 focus groups for us, focusing on the attitudes & opinions of the BAME community, young people and Small & Medium sized businesses. 


Sustainable Communities

We’ve commissioned a significant piece of work through Temple Group looking at the communities around Heathrow Airport and researching how to ensure they are sustainable for this generation and the next.  We will be engaging with people from the very start of this project to hear from them on their views about the communities they live in.  We will be using it to make recommendations to Heathrow Airport ahead of their DCO application being submitted. 


Colne Valley Regional Park Tour

We recently had a tour of Colne Valley Regional Park, a critical regionally important area of green space. The impact that the proposed expansion of Heathrow Airport will have on the southern part of the park will be significant. This makes it so important that, if expansion does go ahead, the mitigation measures put in place are just as significant.  

Looking at some of the mitigations which were put in place when T5 was built, it’s clear there are some lessons to learn about how they should be delivered. We’ll be working with the Colne Valley Regional Park and our Strategic Advisory Groups to make recommendations to Heathrow Airport about how to ensure any potential mitigation measures 


Engaging Students and Young People

We’ve been working with experts in Student marketing, Campus Industries, to develop new ways of engaging young people in the debate about the future of Heathrow Airport and the communities impacted by it. So far, they have held pop-up events at Brunel, Royal Holloway and Reading universities. Using magnetic boards, we’ve been asking students to answer a short set of questions on what matters most to them a whether they’ll be engaging with the consultation process.

So far, the top issues for students are the environment and future employment. A surprising number of the students who responded were unaware that the consultation was happening so more work needs to be done to ensure they are fully engaged as it takes place over the summer. 


Website refresh & engagement toolkit

We’ve also given our website a refresh to ensure that it is focussed around the communities and stakeholders who look for information from us. We’ll be working on further improvements through the summer including some resources to help communities engage meaningfully with Heathrow’s Airport Expansion Consultation. 

We’ve also developed a public engagement toolkit which we will be launching on our website in the very near future. We’ve designed the toolkit to help ourselves and others plan consultations using appropriate and interesting techniques. If you do decide to use it, we’re more than happy to support you with further advice.


UK Airport Consultative Committees Conference

Last week, members of the HCEB Team attended the UKACCs Annual Meeting in Inverness. The HCEB fulfils the functions of its predecessor body, the Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee (HACC) and so this provided a useful opportunity to discuss with other airports the challenges they are facing and share best practice on community and stakeholder engagement.


Transport, Environment and Noise Advisory Group

Our Transport, Environment and Noise Advisory Group has had its first meeting and will be meeting for a second time next week. They will be looking at issues related to the Heathrow Surface Access Strategy and receiving a presentation on the issue of noise in the context of airspace .


Increasing the depth and diversity of the consultation responses

We have been working with a marketing agency called STACK on a series of recommendations to Heathrow on reaching specific groups within the community which Heathrow risks not engaging in.  This piece of work includes recommendations on improving communications during the consultation process – these recommendations have been taken from the surveys people responded to in December and following Heathrow’s consultation in January.  We have put these recommendations to Heathrow so that they may be taken into consideration as part of the planning for the consultation and have asked for a written response. We will shortly be publishing these recommendations along with the findings from the other pieces of work we have mentioned above.


Upcoming Events

§   2 July event

We are arranging a community event on 2 July at the Beck Theatre in Hayes.  We will be confirming the details very soon. 

§   Colnfest – 6 July

We have a place reserved for a stall at Colnfest on 6 July.  Please do come and see us! 

Sam Matthews