Heathrow’s U-Turn!

Apparently, this time around, too few of us are complaining at the new runway in review for Heathrow. A mix of resignation and apathy at the Government U-turn. The research says that we feel shell-shocked and powerless to effect change. The thing is though, Heathrow’s expansion doesn’t make much sense and will make Central/West London less fun to live in. So if you don’t feel smothered by the apathy write to TFL.

This is what I wrote:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I would like to lodge a formal objection to your plans to build a third runway at Heathrow.

I live in Chiswick and the noise levels with aircraft at or below 2000 agl will be far in excess of the 55 dB threshold. Why would you want to deafen millions of people and blight a large part of one of the worlds greatest cities?

In addition the pollution levels will be significantly increased exposing millions of people to a surge in cardio respiratory diseases. In response to this, the NPS have claimed that there will be ‘mitigating measures’ but they’ve been woefully vague and general in nature. Obviously, they’ve opted for marketing and presentation because you can’t mitigate for carbon particles falling from the sky. Increasing the burden on the NHS and reducing quality of life.

Locally, we’ve had a plethora of new blocks and developments in the area increasing the traffic to breaking point. Adding further Heathrow traffic will both increase pollution and decrease quality of life even further.

With the economic argument The Davies Commission report predicts the economic benefits of a third runway at Heathrow to be around £130bn, with costs of £17.6bn. However deducting the additional £20bn of possible surface access costs (per TfL estimates)reduces the net benefit to some £92.4bn, compared with a net £80bn benefit for expanding Gatwick. The difference between the two options of £12.4bn is much smaller than the difference of £32.0bn predicted by the Davies Commission, thus considerably reducing the validity of the economic case for a third runway at Heathrow.

Both the Davies Commission and the Government assume that the airport (ie the private sector) would pay for both the costs of building the new runway and the extra costs of surface access directly attributable to having a third runway. The latter, according to TfL could amount to up to£18bn compared with a Heathrow estimate of £5bn, of which Heathrow says it will contribute only £1.1bn. I question whether adequate surface access will be built, and am concerned about the possible effect on public transport and traffic congestion in west London.

Lastly, the government pledged that this would never happen. Which makes them dishonest and dishonourable.

Runway Consultation

Student Assault!

One of our tenants was, the other day, lamenting the fact that he will leave University with £50,000 worth of debt and will probably be in one of our studio flats for many years to come!

I’ve never understood the rationale for making students take out loans to study. We live in a service orientated country where manufacturing and agriculture has been in decline for many years (we haven’t fed ourselves for decades). As a mature, developed economy we’ve moved brilliantly towards providing services to the world (Financial & Creative), but student loans are a barrier to developing the expertise required to carry on doing so. Taking on a debt of £50,000 to get a degree is going to make many think twice about going for further education. And that’s happening!

A “service” country by definition requires an educated population to maintain a comparative advantage over anybody else. If we’re dumber – we’re not going to get the business. SO WHY MAKE THE NEXT GENERATION DUMBER???
The Government(s) seem to want to reduce their outgoings across the board, but a generation that will statistically make less money (and therefor pay less tax) is mind-numbingly short-sighted.

You’d imagine that it would be the Conservatives that would do away with free Universities but it was actually Tony Blair and Labour. (Who went to Oxford for free). And the charges have incrementally become increasingly punitive.
Now that the student debt is a fair chunk (£12 Billion), it’s the Conservatives who have sold that debt off to the bankers whilst patting themselves on the back for a stitch up well done.

These Bankers are the loan/debt Bankers that almost ruined this country in 2008 and their only mission (whatever the Government says) is to extract maximum returns from the students. It’s the thin end of the wedge, slight of hand politics, that is mildly revolting, and that leaves our poor students holding the bag!

Economics Manufacturing
Econowatch – UK can’t feed itself
Which Student Debt
UCAS Applications Down
Telegraph – Selling Student Debt




Rentals Down/Ownership Down

The stats and the experience are pointing to the fact that rental returns are down for this period. The implication is that the Stamp duty rise galvanised the sector into buying just prior to the rise and putting those properties on to the rental market.
The thing that I don’t understand though is that property ownership is down in the stats and there is an under-supply in the market.
So either people are staying with Mum & Dad longer than they should or enough of the other bunch are feeling un-welcome and leaving in their drove.

ONS Background


It irritates me no end that people keep telling me that the economy is going from strength to strength post Brexit!
It irritates me because A) We’re not post Brexit. We’ve merely agreed to start talking about leaving.
B) On the vote our currency went into freefall so our exports went through the roof and strengthened the economy. But the problem with that is that it’s a short term fix because it’s massively inflationary so the bits they import to make the bits they export are going to get more expensive.
Plus, since we import loads of our stuff everything is going to get more expensive which means your pound isn’t going to take you as far. So in real terms you’ve lost shed loads of money & good luck with your holidays!

Oh, and if we pat ourselves on the back one more time, I’m going to vomit!

BBC – Hammond