11th September 2002

Be a “Meldrew”

Stop Stansted Expansion campaign urges people: complain online via our website.

Stop Stansted Expansion Campaign organizers are now urging people ‘be a Meldrew’ and to use the newly created www.stopstanstedexpansion.com website to register their formal complaints about aircraft noise and track-keeping. Those wishing to complain about atmospheric pollution and fuel-dumping can do so by means of the air quality survey which is also accessible from the Home page of the website. The online system set up by the campaign group comes in response to numerous reports from its members that their complaints to the Airport have either been poorly handled or, some believe, ignored completely.

All complaints about noise received online by Stop Stansted Expansion will be automatically forwarded to BAA so that they do not ‘escape’ from the official statistics. Complaining via this route has the added advantage that it will permit the Stop Stansted Expansion campaign to ‘police’ BAA’s claims about complaint volumes.

Where people do not have access to the Internet, they are advised to continue to use the freephone noise complaints line a service that is run at BAA’s expense. The number is 0800 243 788. BAA has recently scaled down its noise complaints handling operations and now only promises to respond in writing ‘in cases where aircraft are found to have been at fault’. BAA offers no formal means of complaint about fuel odour or evacuation.

“People feel that BAA is becoming very cavalier in its attitude to callers,” says Stop Stansted Expansion Chairman Norman Mead. “Our members complain of BAA’s stock responses, of rudeness and of being ‘fobbed off’. We urge them not to be deterred. Every complaint counts. Market researchers tell us that we are all ‘Meldrews’, so let’s act like it and make nuisances of ourselves. Visit our website and make your complaint count.”

A new social group of people had been identified by the market research industry. The ‘Meldrews’ are frustrated and discontented with society. They are aged between 35-54 and are fed-up with Tony Blair, Iain Duncan Smith, and the government in general. They aren’t very positive about the future, and have particular worries about public services. (Source BBC Radio 4 Today Programme)

Campaigning against proposals to expand Stansted Airport