16th December 2004

SSE celebrates “A year of spectacular achievement”

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has published its Annual Review 2004 to coincide with the first anniversary of the Government’s Air Transport White Paper.  The review highlights the growing strength of the campaign during 2004 and its many spectacular achievements in challenging BAA’s proposals to turn Stansted into ‘tomorrow’s Heathrow’.

Said Norman Mead, SSE Deputy Chairman: “This time last year, BAA was confident that it had won the day and that it could destroy the spirit of this local community by telling us all that its expansion plans for Stansted had Government support and were therefore a ‘done deal’.   Twelve months on, BAA perhaps now recognises that it misjudged the mood of this community.  It underestimated the people of East Herts and North Essex and the result has been an overwhelming show of defiance towards BAA and a huge upsurge in support for SSE.”

SSE’s annual review shows the scale and intensity of the campaign which in the space of just over two years has come from nowhere to receiving the accolade of ‘Best Community Campaign’ in the House of Lords in April, leading a successful shareholder revolt at the BAA annual general meeting in July, securing the support of the East of England Regional Assembly in opposing a second Stansted runway in November and making history with the first ever Judicial Review of any Government White Paper, currently underway in the High Court (13-20 December).

“This campaign continues to grow from strength to strength, surprising even those of us who are most deeply involved,” said Mr Mead.  “The past 12 months have been inspirational and a clear demonstration of what ‘people power’ can achieve.  We may be fighting the might of BAA but when a pensioner sends in a cheque for two pounds or a schoolboy donates his pocket money it is a reminder of the strength and depth of community feelings and of the importance of stopping BAA from desecrating this area with an airport far bigger that Heathrow is today. The stakes are high and the challenge is enormous but we are not in the least over-awed by that.  It is a privilege to be involved in this campaign and, step by step, in 2005, we will continue to build on the progress we have made on so many fronts in 2004.”

ENDS

Campaigning against proposals to expand Stansted Airport