The Financial Times reports:
A new runway at Heathrow airport would be a quarter-owned by local residents under plans submitted to the commission examining the future of Britain’s airports.
The idea, put forward by the Co-operative wing of the Labour party, would be a novel way to reduce the formidable local opposition to the project.
But the Co-op idea goes much further and proposes the setting up of a mutual runway trust with a 25 per cent stake in the project.
Not only would the trust be involved in business decisions related to the runway, it would also benefit from the “inevitable considerable profit” generated. The trust would have the freedom to invest in community projects or initiatives to benefit local people.
Gareth Thomas, chair of the Co-op party – which counts 32 Labour MPs among its members, including shadow chancellor Ed Balls – said one private company should not own the whole runway “lock, stock and barrel”.
Under his proposals, the trust would be modelled on a building society or foundation hospital, with a board of local council leaders and a professional executive, supported by a governing council of residents.
“The community should benefit directly by owning a powerful share of any new runway,” said Mr Thomas, MP for Harrow West. “Business as usual won’t be good enough.”
That’s not a bad idea. Turn the local residents into shareholders!Tags: United Kingdom