A PETITION signed by 792 people was given to West Berkshire Council asking it to oppose the expansion of Heathrow airport. 

The petition was given to the executive on the council on September 5, and will be debated at a meeting of the full council on September 12. 

Jackie Paynter, who presented the petition, said: “Climate change is the overriding issue for the world and for us in West Berkshire. 

“As a council, you are responsible to all of us who elected you, indeed to all the residents of West Berkshire, to make decisions on things that we, as individuals, can’t make. You responded to the call to declare a climate emergency. 

“Surely, all planning and all future decision-making has to be done in light of this commitment you have made.” 

Heathrow airport is currently consulting the public on its plans to build a third runway. It is legally required to do so, and the consultation ends on September 13. Councillors will vote on September 12 on how West Berkshire Council should respond to the consultation. 

Ms Paynter said the airport will be 50 per cent bigger and have 700 more flights a day. 

She said: “The unsustainable growth in demand for flights is being driven, to a significant extent, by a minority of wealthy individuals. 70 per of flights are taken by just 15 per cent of the population.

“It’s not families taking the occasional holiday flight; most people in the UK don’t fly at all in a given year.”

The council declared a climate emergency on July 2, and pledged to become a carbon neutral district by 2030. But council officers recommended supporting the airport expanding—on the condition that it reduces carbon emissions. 

Ms Paynter said: “How can you expand Heathrow by 50 per cent and make it zero-carbon unless no planes use that bit!

“This is not about the narrow effects on West Berkshire alone. Climate change is a global problem and we are all witnessing the beginnings. 

“We ask you, as our council, to vote against the expansion of Heathrow airport.”