Our burden

PUBLISHED: 16:42 22 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:01 24 May 2010

Are council tax payers in this area aware we are subsidising Bristol International Airport, a privately owned company, to the tune of a six figure sum each year through the police precept element of the council tax? While no-one denies people using the ai

Are council tax payers in this area aware we are subsidising Bristol International Airport, a privately owned company, to the tune of a six figure sum each year through the police precept element of the council tax?While no-one denies people using the airport should be protected against terrorism, what is outrageous is that a burden is falling on local council tax payers.This is because there is a shortfall in the subsidy provided by the Home Office. Surely this shortfall should either be met by BIA or central government.BIA could easily contribute more by paying their shareholders lower dividends or levying a charge on passengers who are actually using the airport.The proposed expansion of the airport will cause more noise and pollution of the atmosphere by greenhouse gases, as well as exacerbating the already severe traffic gridlock which exists in surrounding villages.The argument that BIA stimulates the economy of the area just doesn't wash, since the majority of the flights are holiday charters and cheap flight operators whose passengers do not spend much additional money in local towns.Many of the extra jobs trumpeted to be created at the airport are also likely to be in occupations such as catering, baggage handling etc.Alistair Darling has commissioned an independent review of policing at airports but no doubt this will take a long time.If you want to see the police manpower you have paid for in your council tax on the local streets in your community and not subsidizing a privately owned, foreign company, then make your views known to the police authority, your local councillors and council and your MP.These authorities and individuals are your public servants and should be accountable to you as taxpayers.Nailsea resident - Name and address supplied

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