General Election candidates discuss airport expansion at hustings event

PUBLISHED: 16:00 06 December 2019

John Penrose (Conservatives), Suneil Basu (Green Party),  Patrick Keating (Lib Dems) and Tim Taylor (Labour) at the Climate and ecological emergency hustings at Victoria Methodist Church.      Picture: MARK ATHERTON

John Penrose (Conservatives), Suneil Basu (Green Party), Patrick Keating (Lib Dems) and Tim Taylor (Labour) at the Climate and ecological emergency hustings at Victoria Methodist Church. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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An election husting was hosted by the Extinction Rebellion (XR) groups to find out the prospective MPs’ thoughts on climate and ecological emergency.

John Penrose (Conservatives), Suneil Basu (Green Party),  Patrick Keating (Lib Dems) and Tim Taylor (Labour) at the Climate and ecological emergency hustings at Victoria Methodist Church.      Picture: MARK ATHERTONJohn Penrose (Conservatives), Suneil Basu (Green Party), Patrick Keating (Lib Dems) and Tim Taylor (Labour) at the Climate and ecological emergency hustings at Victoria Methodist Church. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

John Penrose - Conservative, Suneil Basu - Green Party, Patrick Keating - Lib Dem and Tim Taylor -Labour Party were all present at the meeting held at Victoria Methodist Church, in Station Road.

The host asked the party members a series of questions regarding various issues such as Bristol Airport expansion, farming, sustainability and whether they would join the XR rebellion protests.

One of the questions asked was whether they thought the airport expansion was a good idea.

Mr Taylor said they need to stop the Bristol Airport expansion.

John Penrose (Conservatives), Suneil Basu (Green Party),  Patrick Keating (Lib Dems) and Tim Taylor (Labour) at the Climate and ecological emergency hustings at Victoria Methodist Church.      Picture: MARK ATHERTONJohn Penrose (Conservatives), Suneil Basu (Green Party), Patrick Keating (Lib Dems) and Tim Taylor (Labour) at the Climate and ecological emergency hustings at Victoria Methodist Church. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

He said: "I've come to the conclusion that the Bristol Airport expansion isn't a good idea.

"We need a national strategy in airport expansion and Labour has proposed a series of national tests on airport expansion looking at things like noise reduction, emissions and environmental impact."

Mr Penrose said: "Around the past nine to 12 months, every single parish in the villages around Bristol airport asked me to speak to the secretary of state to call in the decision around the planning application of the airport.

"The huge growth of air travel isn't in this country. The growth is miles away in Africa and South East Asia.

John Penrose (Conservatives), Suneil Basu (Green Party),  Patrick Keating (Lib Dems) and Tim Taylor (Labour) at the Climate and ecological emergency hustings at Victoria Methodist Church.      Picture: MARK ATHERTONJohn Penrose (Conservatives), Suneil Basu (Green Party), Patrick Keating (Lib Dems) and Tim Taylor (Labour) at the Climate and ecological emergency hustings at Victoria Methodist Church. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

"As countries develop, as they get richer and get themselves out of poverty, they will fly more.

"We need a national answer and we need also an international answer, otherwise we will never fix this."

Mr Keating said: "Lib Dem's have set quite strong plans and we cover more things like no extra runways at Heathrow, and to tax people who fly more frequently.

"The important things to do are to offer people an alternative.

John Penrose (Conservatives), Suneil Basu (Green Party),  Patrick Keating (Lib Dems) and Tim Taylor (Labour) at the Climate and ecological emergency hustings at Victoria Methodist Church.      Picture: MARK ATHERTONJohn Penrose (Conservatives), Suneil Basu (Green Party), Patrick Keating (Lib Dems) and Tim Taylor (Labour) at the Climate and ecological emergency hustings at Victoria Methodist Church. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

"The train service in the UK isn't quite good enough to get them where they want to be on time."

Mr Basu said: "We need to add fuel taxation on the aviation industry and end cheap flights.

"It's obscene that I can fly to Edinburgh for half the price of a rail ticket.

"I'm against additional runways in Britain and in Bristol."

Climate and ecological emergency hustings at Victoria Methodist Church.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONClimate and ecological emergency hustings at Victoria Methodist Church. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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