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Council leaders urge government to 'be bold and back Heathrow'

The leaders of more than 30 UK councils have put their names to a letter calling on the government to back a third runway at Heathrow.

Leaders of Oxford, Newcastle and Glasgow councils all signed the letter to transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin urging him to “be bold and back Heathrow”.

They said in the uncertain economic times following the EU referendum vote, investment in infrastructure was needed to support growth across the country.

They added that a green light for Heathrow could create skilled jobs, particularly in construction, and help connect local exporters to growing global markets.

The letter comes just over a week after Mr McLoughlin announced that a decision on runway expansion would be delayed until at least October.

Following the announcement, a number of construction firms including Balfour Beatty, Mace and Morgan Sindall signed a letter urging the government to act quickly and back Heathrow.

The fresh delay came almost a year to the day that the £20m Airports Commission report recommended Heathrow over Gatwick as the location for the South-east’s new runway.

Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate previously told Construction News that the airport’s plan to start construction on a second runway by 2019 could be pushed back if a decision wasn’t made by October.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Council leaders from across the country recognise expansion at Heathrow will benefit their local economies by creating skilled jobs and connecting exporters to growing markets overseas.

“Their support is further evidence that the next prime minister has the opportunity to make the right choice in the whole of Britain’s interest by expanding Heathrow.”

The full list of councils is as follows:

  • Jenny Laing - Aberdeen City Council
  • John Beesley - Bournemouth Borough Council
  • Martin Tett - Buckinghamshire County Counci
  • James Jamieson - Central Bedfordshire Council
  • Angus Campbell - Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
  • Thomas Beattie - Corby Borough Council
  • Chris Millar - Daventry District Council
  • Simon Henig - Durham County Council
  • Paul Diviani - East Devon District Council
  • Keith House - Eastleigh Borough Council
  • Sean Woodward - Fareham Borough Council
  • Frank McAveety - Glasgow City Council
  • Robert Polhill - Halton Borough Council
  • Roy Perry - Hampshire County Council
  • Sachin Ramesh Shah - Harrow Borough Council
  • Miles Parkinson - Hyndburn Borough Council
  • Mayor Joe Anderson - Liverpool City Council
  • Hazel Simmons - Luton Borough Council
  • Nicholas Forbes - Newcastle upon Tyne City Council
  • Mayor Norma Redfearn - North Tyneside Borough Council
  • Carl Les - North Yorkshire County Council
  • Alun Thomas - Neath Port Talbot Council
  • Mary Markham - Northampton Borough Council
  • Ian Hudspeth - Oxfordshire County Council
  • Sohail Munawar - Slough Borough Council
  • John Cotton - South Oxfordshire District Council
  • Iain Malcolm - South Tyneside Borough Council
  • Ian Harvey - Spelthorne Borough Council
  • Paul Watson - Sunderland City Council
  • David Renard - Swindon Borough Council
  • John Williams - Taunton Deane Borough Council
  • Nicolas Heslop - Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council
  • Mayor John Biggs - Tower Hamlets Borough Council
  • Anthony Trollope-Bellew - West Somerset District Council

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