17 October 2018 - Strategic Advisory Group: Communities & Stakeholders Notes
Meeting: HCEB Strategic Advisory Group: Communities and Stakeholders (SAGCS)
Present: Rachel Cerfontyne (Chair), Tony Booker (Colne Valley Regional Park), John Stewart (HACAN), Mark Izatt (Passenger Services Group), Simon Arthur (Heathrow Airline Operators Committee), Alan Hesketh (Heathrow Strategic Planning Group), Nigel Mells (Southside resident), Bradley Smith (Grundon), Caroline Morison (Hillingdon Clinical Commissioning Group), Christine Taylor (HASRA), Anna O’Rourke, Rebecca Cox
· Welcome and introductions
The Chair welcomed members to the first meeting of the SAGCS, explaining that as the first meeting it would be very fluid and interactive, focusing on emerging priorities and shaping work going forward. The issue of members interests was discussed, including recognition that those present all clearly had an interest in relation to Heathrow. The terms of reference for the SAGCS were agreed and all present agreed to adhere to the HCEB code of conduct.
ACTION: Anna O’Rourke would circulate a declaration of interest form and members were asked to declare anything that might be relevant.
Apologies had been received from Janine Subbiah (Union of Airport Workers) and Kris Beuret (HCEB NED who would be taking the portfolio for transport and environment).
· Membership of SAGCS
The Chair outlined how the HCEB structure and the two SAGs had evolved from the former HACC. Consideration was given as to whether there were any groups not currently included who should be invited to attend. It was suggested that residents who would be on a flight path for the first time following the airspace changes should be represented.
ACTION: Rachel Cerfontyne and John Stewart would discuss this outside of the meeting in the context of the conversations pending between the HCEB and a number of noise groups.
It was agreed that should the group feel that there were any gaps in their skill set in relation to any future issues then someone should be coopted on to the group to assist.
The expectations of the members of SAGCS were discussed, together with the problematic issue of representation given that no one was formally elected. The advisory capacity of the group in helping the HCEB in its work was emphasised.
· Issues facing the HCEB in relation to the proposed expansion of Heathrow
The Chair outlined some of these issues, including:
- those related to surface access, air quality, noise, environmental impact and the massive disruption to local communities during construction should the third runway be approved
- considering how to maximise benefits and minimise harm to those communities if expansion goes ahead
- ensuring that people had access to trustworthy, accurate, simple information that they could understand in relation to the forthcoming consultation on airspace change, and enabling them to meaningfully respond
- challenging Heathrow to effectively engage as widely as possible during the consultation on expansion, ensuring that they are clear on which options within the Masterplan are actually negotiable
- undertaking a needs analysis of those residents in the compulsory purchase zone
- building bridges between stakeholders and acting as devil’s advocate with Heathrow
- having an input into how the Community Compensation Fund should be spent.
There were many ways in which the HCEB could make a difference by providing advice, enabling people to have their voices heard and empowering people. The Board had commissioned research into how to increase meaningful engagement with previously unheard groups and meetings had been held with a variety of stakeholders to determine how the HCEB could most effectively engage with them. Plans were to be drawn up for a question time event in January to coincide with the airspace change consultation. This would include a panel with representatives from the CAA, NATS, the DfT and Heathrow and would provide an opportunity for it to be made clear to residents who was responsible for what in relation to aircraft noise.
ACTION: members were asked to forward any ideas for other similar targeted engagement acitivites that could make a difference, especially in reaching groups currently absenting themselves from the process.
· Issues facing the HCEB in relation to current airport operations
It was agreed that the HCEB had a vital role in this area and should be very clear that its focus went beyond expansion. A number of such issues were discussed and those present felt that if these were emphasised, together with conveying the message to residents that expansion was not a ‘done deal’, it could encourage people to begin to engage.
ACTION: consideration was to be given to identifying an issue specific to Hillingdon and demonstrating to residents there how engaging with the HCEB could make a difference.
· SAGCS’ engagement with Heathrow
One of the roles of the HCEB was to make recommendations to Heathrow. These, together with the airport’s responses, would be published. To date, recommendations had been made by the HCEB Chair based on an instinct about best practice, but going forward recommendations would be made by the Board in consultation with both SAGs. It was agreed that when such recommendations were made, Heathrow should be given a clear timescale for responding. The question of whether to invite representatives to future meetings of SAGCS was discussed. It was agreed that they should be invited to attend for part of a meeting should the group require them to answer specific questions. It was also agreed that it would be important to invite John Holland-Kaye to some meetings to demonstrate that the HCEB was holding him to account.
ACTION: John Holland-Kaye’s office should be contacted to book four dates for him to attend HCEB meetings or events, the first of which should be the question time previously discussed.
· HCEB Work Plan
This had been circulated to members in draft form and it would be developed further at the HCEB Team Away Day on 7 November.
ACTION: the order of the strategic goals in the plan should be amended, as it was felt that the current number one should not be first. The ‘here and now’ focus on current operations of the airport should also be emphasised more. The new version would be circulated to members when available.
· Future meetings – the frequency of meetings and preferred venue were discussed. Members agreed to communicate by email between meetings should this be required. Members also agreed that their email addresses could be shared.
ACTION: the HCEB team should set dates for 2019 as soon as possible. It was agreed that meeting notes should include just key messages, concerns, decisions and actions. These would be circulated to members before being published on the website.