Doctor Bike coming to Kirknewton for Big Bike Revival – June 11th with free puncture repair kits available on June 4th

Copy of Hip couple
Come see Doctor Bike and give your bicycle a health check on Sunday  11th June in the Green Room from 10am til 4pm.  You can also bring your bike along to give away, swap or sell on the day.  We also encourage you to give away, swap or sell your bike on our community facebook group at or our sales page at
In advance we are having an information stall in the Village Hall prior to the Community Clean Up at 10am on Sunday 4th June – you can register your bike for a check up in advance and get a free puncture repair kit (while stocks last) – even if you are not helping with the Clean Up.
The Big Bike Revival, an award-winning programme developed by Cycling UK and funded by Transport Scotland, helps people in Scotland to bring their bikes back into use by providing bike health checks, sharing maintenance knowhow and giving people more confidence in the saddle.
Partnered by 100 community groups and bicycle recycling centres across the country, the Big Bike Revival aims to reach thousands of people to encourage them to get cycling again and to replace short car journeys with the bike. In 2016, around 8,000 people participated across Scotland; this year events will run from 1 May to 11 June to encourage even more people to cycle for everyday trips.
Kirknewton Community Development Trust here has been awarded £900 Big Bike
Revival funding to deliver activities in the local community.
The Scottish Government has a vision to see 10% of every day journeys by cycle by 2020
and the Big Bike Revival will provide support and activities to encourage more people to get cycling to help achieve this vision. In 2016, Big Bike Revival activities in Scotland
encouraged over 4,000 new trips by bike, of which 34% were previously car journeys and2017 activities and events will build on this behaviour change outcome.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “I am delighted that the Scottish Government is once again supporting The Big Bike Revival in Scotland this year. This is an ideal opportunity for people across the country to give those old bikes sitting in the shed a new lease of life by re-discovering the joys of cycling. I would encourage everyone to go along to their nearest event and take part in the various projects that will be running over the next two months. Cycling is a wonderful way to keep fit and healthy and to spend time in our great outdoors.”
In autumn 2016 the Big Bike Revival came to Scotland after two successful years of the
project in England. Over 500 events happened from the 19 September to 31 October in
every local authority area in Scotland, with over 1,400 bikes revived and given a new lease of life.
With hundreds of events planned across the next six weeks and centres spread across
every local authority area in the country, the Big Bike Revival aims to bring thousands more bikes back into use.
Cycling UK’s Head of Development Scotland, Suzanne Forup said:
“The Big Bike Revival in Scotland reached communities across the length and breadth of
Scotland in 2016, from small rural villages to local communities in our biggest cities. This
year we are delighted to partner with group name in area here to help people fall back in
love with cycling again.
“For those of us that cycled as a kid, we all remember our bikes and how wonderful a bike ride was. The Big Bike Revival wants to capture that feeling for people who stopped cycling years or decades ago and reignite their love of cycling. Events and activities will help people fix up their cycles, grow their cycling confidence and learn about accessible local routes so they can get from A to B by bike with a smile on their face. We’re pleased to work across Scotland to help people in local communities enjoy the many benefits of cycling, and support them to swap the car when it comes to everyday trips.”

Kirknewton ‘Design Your Stone’ Winners

Kirknewton is hoping to have a Charles Jencks inspired artwork at the gateway to the village, using volcanic basalt stones donated by the Dalmahoy Estate near Kaimes.

The artwork, depicting order and chaos, will be a reminder of Ancient man, defence against battle axe wielding attackers, keeping the Romans at bay and the Iron Age fortress at Kaimes!

As part of the project, and to celebrate the year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, we asked the Primary School children to use their imagination and design their own stone. We received over 150 designs, all were fantastic and the children made it difficult for the judges to pick their winners.  The winners were announced by CEO Tony Foster at the Kirknewton Primary School assembly on Friday 19th May. You can see the winning designs and why we chose them below.

We also asked the Youth Club to decorate their own stone as part of a project at their overnight stay in Hillycow Wigwams.  Again, you can see their work below.

These projects are brought to you from Kirknewton Community Development Trust, from support from the Big Lottery Scotland.  Our funding continues until July 2018.


We love the colours and use of stones in Lucas design.


Again, a good use of colour with unusual aspects well represented in Amy’s design.


Payton did a great picture of a fortress – one of the best!


We love dinosaurs, and Ruairidhs was on of the best with fabulous colour.


Katie gave us a brilliant use of colour and glorious sunshine over the sea.


James gave us a good use of the theme order and chaos, using the volcanic hill in an imaginative way.


This design from Heather stood out with a celtic style motif.


Rebecca’s design captured kind words and community spirit of Kirknewton.

There was lots of things happening in Erin’s design and we liked the ‘Kirknewton Rocks’ catchphrase.  Great for the project!

Cameron gave us some of the best cartoon art on his stone design.


Nathan gave us the most colourful stone, making us hope the dream will become a reality.


Andrew’s design stood out due to unique design and use of one colour.


We really felt like Abby captured the volcano exploding in this picture.


Although the Development Trust support renewable energy and don’t agree with Williams ‘no wind mills’ message we felt having your say and being passionate about an issue was a good design idea.


The Youth Club also got the opportunity to paint and design stones at their overnight stay at Hillycow Wigwams.  Below captures the work they did.  Thanks to everyone who helped and contributed to this arts project.  Well done!



New Kirknewton Map launched


Very pleased to say the KCDT produced Kirknewton Maps have been distributed to 16,000 school bags across West Lothian.

An additional 4000 maps have been distributed across Kirknewton, new homes in Calderwood and Ratho, outlets such as Dalmahoy Hotel, Jupiter Artland, local shops and Visit West Lothian leaflet racks in several major tourist attractions across West Lothian.

If you have friends and relatives visiting then please let them know about local accommodation (listed on the map), cycling routes, places to visit and walks from Selm Muir Wood (with walk/cycle tracks developed by KCDT volunteers with Forestry Commission and Friends of the Pentlands) or around Harperrig Reservoir (the new car park was funded by LandTrust & KCDT, working with local contractors, WLC and Harperrig Local Nature Reserve Management Group). You may even find out something new about the local area you live (we did!).

Funding for the map was sourced by KCDT, was developed by a paid placement student from Napier University, designed by a local company and paid distribution by local people. An additional web and social media campaign is being launched to support the maps.

KCDT endeavour to encourage support for local business, maintain local employment, promote our local environment, provide skills and education opportunities and enhance the local economy for the benefit of our community. We hope such projects are an example of this and thanks for the kind comments we have received. Enjoy the sun and the great outdoors!

MSP Angela Constance responds to ‘fundamentally flawed’ Edinburgh Airport Consultation

Angela Constance MSP has published her consultation response to Edinburgh Airport for all areas affected across West Lothian – here is her respomse on Flight Path A
Edinburgh Airport 2nd Stage Consultation Response from Angela Constance MSP
Flight path A – Runway 24 departures left turn
We investigated seven flight path options however flight path A7 was ruled out on
safety grounds. All flight path options for flight path A are examined in full on page 40 of the consultation book.
Our preferred option is flight path A6. To what extent do you agree with our preferred flight path A6?
Strongly Disagree
Please explain your answers and provide us with any other comments in the space
You have indicated in your guidance that all EA proposed routes for the purpose of this consultation are routes of 0-7000ft; that EA has two runways 24/06 and 30/12, the latter used when 24/06 is undergoing maintenance or wind direction prevents landing. In addition, on “new population impact” you stated that you used the 2011 census population figures but that EA also identified known areas of housing development. However, under “community impacts” you state that the population information was taken from the most recent census only i.e. 2011.
In the interests of all my constituents, I want to ensure that those who have already experienced aircraft noise for many years do not bear any additional burden and that those who are in the preferred flight path options have their views fully represented. In addition, the advantages and disadvantages of EA’s expansion should be dispersed proportionally and equitably. Whilst I accept that there are advantages that would accrue to the general population of Scotland, I am of the opinion that the greater level of advantage would be to the benefit of Edinburgh as the capital city, its businesses and tourist industry.
As such, identifying routes over my constituency is an unfair distribution of disruption as opposed to the level of benefit it would secure. West Lothian has no direct transport link to Edinburgh Airport and no representation on the Edinburgh Airport Community Board despite the considerable disruption/noise pollution experienced by my constituents from existing flight paths for many years. The proposals put forward should also take account of cumulative impact on some householders e.g. those adjacent to busy roads or railway lines.
Many of my constituents have asked that EA extend the consultation or withdraw it in its
entirety. Either of these options would allow EA to address what my constituents feel are
serious deficiencies in the process and content of the 2nd Stage Consultation e.g. to afford EA the opportunity to correct the out-of-data population figures and revisit the conclusions it has drawn based on those figures and which underpin the statements made in the 2nd Stage Consultation as well as addressing the change of focus on the flight paths.
I believe that this is essential because the consultation at this stage is fundamentally flawed.
EA have stated “You spoke, We Listened”. This statement is erroneous as the First
Stage of the consultation was directed at a different audience. Individuals who were
unaffected by the 1st Stage consultation did not respond because they felt that there was
no need to as their areas would not be affected. To come back in the 2nd Stage and say
that Preferred Route/s are now routes outside the original design envelopes and would
affect communities that were hitherto unaffected, is unacceptable.
  •  the population figures are inaccurate – six years out of date – and grossly underestimated
  •  the use of inaccurate and incomplete population figures undermines the conclusions drawn in the 2nd Stage Consultation
  • EA has indicated that it seeks to modernise the airspace to accommodate growth. I am informed that although passenger numbers have increased as a result of larger aircraft, the actual number of aircraft movements has decreased e.g. in 2016 EA website states that these numbered 121,800 which in turn is less than any year between 2004-2008. Moreover, there is no information on the envisaged potential increase in movements.
  • EA has not offered an option of “no change” to existing flight paths using the M8 corridor – an area less densely populated because it has been under a flight path for many years and where industrial estates are common.
  • EA has successfully lost all credibility in this consultation as a result of the initial faulty community engagement over the Tutor flight trials and how the 1st Stage Consultation was presented leading on to a completely different scenario for the 2nd Stage.
 The Department for Trade Guidance to the Civil Aviation Authority states that in
considering airspace change, the CAA should bear in mind the Government’s policy to
minimise noise impact of aircraft and those affected by it as well as considering the
value of maintaining legacy arrangements i.e. where route design options below
4,000(amsl) are similar in terms of impact on densely populated areas. The EA’s
proposal would lead to a significant number of people in West Lothian closest to EA
being directly impacted for the first time.
EA has not undertaken or produced safety and noise assessments on how these
proposed routes would affect local communities in terms of health, environment and
natural habitat.
In addition, I find that the consultation form questions are devised in such a way that they could be interpreted as leading to a desired EA outcome by default; that they promote division between local communities and without the extensive guidance do not have sufficient information on the form to allow an informed response. In addition, EA’s website has two versions of the consultation guidance – one a PDF version of 156 pages and one an easy read version of only 11 pages. The latter has no information relevant to completing the feedback form.
EA’s on-line information on route A indicates:
The Route A design envelope covered areas in West Lothian including Livingston, Kirknewton, Polbeth, Addiewell, Blackburn, East Calder, Mid Calder and West Calder.
Yet the A6 route falls outside the original design envelope and impacts on communities that were informed at earlier stages of the consultation that they would not be affected by new routes. In addition, no trial has taken place to establish the impact of this change on the communities it will fly over. In effect, it can be considered a new, untested and unmonitored route. Your returns do not list what the impact would be for Wilkieston, Calderwood, East Edinburgh
Calder and Mid Calder as these communities are omitted from your tables. Only Kirknewton is mentioned.
In terms of preferred option A6, you have noted in Table 3 page 43 that
Noise – population overflown is less (positive impact)
Noise – new population impacted is slightly more (no change/neutral)
In terms of Kirknewton you have indicated a negative impact as it is closer.
However, you have quoted the 2011 census population figure and there is no mention of theimpact on Wilkieston, Calderwood, East Calder or Mid Calder as separate entities despite EA’s on-line information stating that the route design covered East Calder
You also state that this route would be for non-jet aircraft.
I am concerned that the preferred route A6 does not appear to take into account
the current and future housing developments in East Calder extending through to
Wilkieston and as a result does not accurately reflect the growth in population or
the anticipated growth in population. In brief, the consultation findings appear to
be based on out-of-date 2011 census data about population in the area, which in
turn has influenced and determined EA’s choice of the A6 route alongside C02
emissions. The core development at Calderwood alone involves 2,800 new homes
with a potential population of circa 7000. East Calder has a population of 5,600.
I am informed that East Calder and Kirknewton residents were informed following
the first part of the consultation that they would not be affected by any proposed
changes. To claim that the routes will be operating over 25,000 less people when
the population data used appears to be incomplete undermines the case for any
preferred option.
This route falls outside the original design envelope under Stage 1 of the
consultation and its introduction at this late state is detrimental to the interests of
those living within its range and undermines the consultation process.
There is concern at the height at which Kirknewton and the Calderwood development will be overflown. If it is 500-1500ft and not 3000-4500ft, the altitude difference could increase noise pollution to unacceptable levels. Kirknewton is nearer the airport and is 500ft above sea level, so the route over Kirknewton will have flights operating at full power at a much lower level than the other options. As a consequence, the noise disturbance will be greater.
The Ministry of Defence has located all cadet glider training for Scotland and
Northern Ireland at Kirknewton. I am informed that the Letter of Agreement with
the MOD means that during glider operation the A6 route would not be available.
EA has indicated that it is in discussions with the MOD but clarification on how
this would impact on the A6 route would be appreciated.
I am in receipt of complaints from East Calder, Kirknewton, Mid Calder, West Calder, Harburn and Deer Park in Livingston indicating an increase in aircraft noise. As EA has indicated that as there has been no change in the routes at present, it follows that there should be no change in the level of noise experienced by my constituents. Since my constituents are reporting increased noise disturbance and in some instances experiencing it for the first time, this would suggest that even if aircraft are flying on unchanged routes, current practices are  changing e.g. they are flying at different ranges within the route and possibly flying at lower levels.
There is concern that there has been no health impact assessment for the A6 route or impact assessments as this route falls outside the original design envelope with respect to Kirknewton, East Calder etc.
EA has indicated that it needs to expand provision and capacity. There is no information on the numbers of increased flights, whether they are short or long haul, internal or external, passenger or cargo and how these are allotted to aircraft type.
I believe that EA has no flight restriction times and is classified as a 24-hour airport. What guarantees can the airport give to ensure that night time disruption is kept to an absolute minimum especially in areas that would now be open to noise disruption especially from low flying aircraft. In brief, I would seek assurances that there would be no night time flights across my constituency on any flight routes.
The A6 route has not been properly trialled to assess impact on the Kirknewton, Wilkieston and East Calder communities. Such a trial should be undertaken to allow a proper assessment of the impact especially in terms of noise from low flying aircraft. Following a meeting with Edinburgh Airport officials and at the request of the Calderwood Residents Association, I have written to EA formally requesting a flight trial and/or test flights with decibel monitoring. Other constituents object to the A6 in principle and believe that the route option should be withdrawn completely.
The proximity of communities is not well represented. Illustrations imply that they are further apart than they are in actuality and that the impact of the flight paths is more localised and direct.
Constituents have queried the carbon footprint information and the impact on home and natural environments.
The proposed route exposes my constituents to an increase in noise and air pollution. This is aggravated by the fact that the vectoring allows a significant divergence from the route. This proposed route will fly over the planned sites for the new Calderwood Primary School and East Calder High School.

KCDT shared ownership details of Fauch Hill windfarm on planning portal

Have your say on the Fauch Hill windfarm.  Hit the make a comment button and have your say

Full details of shared ownership between Kirknewton Community Development Trust and the Fauch Hill windfarm developers can be found in the public domain on the West Lothian Council planning portal.  The Heads of Terms are presented by Burness Paul as well as details in the letter of why the Scottish Government encourage shared community ownership.  Don’t let the legal language turn you off.  It’s time to have your say – hit the make a comment button at

The Kirknewton Community Council have made their views known to planning via the results of the community survey.  KCDT has made it’s written submission based on a mandate from the community to invest in renewable energy for the benefit of the whole community.  Don’t be afraid to have your say even if you took part in the recent consultation.  Your view, alongside policy considerations, is important.  No matter what side of the debate you are on, no matter what the outcome, at least you can say you tried to make a change.  It’s your community and it’s up to you.  Comment today via this link and hit the make a comment button.  Thanks!

Kirknewton / East Calder engagement with Edinburgh Airport – erm, where did our schools go?


Attached is a document of questions to the airport, with their response, and additional comment on that response ECDCC EAL Meeting 6_3_17 Questions EAL response KECC response 7_4_17 (1)

Below are some questions asked at a meeting on 6th March with Gordon Dewar CEO and Gordon Robertson Communications Director and their answers.

The airport were asked for additional information following initial questions, which were answered yesterday.


Pop 10 to 15,000

(GR) Weighting Table –we cannot show everything – it’s a presentational issue

Taken from 2011 census data – issue to get population measure, spoken to Planners and Developers BUT known expansions have not been included.  This is why it is a Consultation. BUT we need to evidence the Final Report to CAA

KB Population Density – can we have these figures – has not included East Calder, Calderwood etc

(GR) Presentational issue – we can assure you East Calder is included (The population numbers for Calderwood, East Calder etc are not included in the assessment and weightings of route A6—so must be included in another column. East Calder, Calderwood and Newlands would be overflown on route A6, but are not mentioned anywhere as being so—except possibly as ‘closer’)

RMcG The Chart is wrong – 2 nautical miles either direction, our concern is you have not looked at it properly. GR TO COME BACK WITH DETAIL

We show Kirknewton as being ‘closer’

 Population density mapping was used to assess the impact of operations on local communities, with population figures taken from the most recent census in 2011. It is not possible to include all towns and villages in the decision making matrix. The areas chosen were selected due to their location or proximity to the proposed flight paths. Although not all towns and villages have been included in the matrix, their populations have still been included in our route design through population density mapping.


(GR)  It was captured and included (Not visible to any Kirknewton enquiries)

GR to point us to the PAGE on the Website and weightings in the tables

We did have a response from Kirknewton Community Council, it may have been one of the ones submitted when we were experiencing a problem with our website during the initial consultation.  


These do not tie up. Graphs and Text not back to back – Figure 7 vectoring above 6000 ft

(GR)  We are now using ARNAV/GPS and Satellite technology (At present using Beacons on the ground – these will be discontinued) allows us to be far tighter. We have no control over 6000 ft – at 4,000ft its still in our control.  Earliest point you can start vector is 4000 ft.

We have had to take a view and try to balance it.

RMcG The information in this document is very misleading.  Height is important to Noise – What impact is this going to have?

SMcK Noise Mapping – is it based on theoretical – (GR) – YES

SMcK When does that become live?

Noise footprint, loudness, frequency.

(GR)  Consistent measure

Perception of noise has different impacts to different people. 

GD We are the fastest growing airport in the UK – people make an informed choice where they live.

RMcG Good neighbour – they will have a reason to be part of the consultation.

(GR)  – CAA will decide on balance

What effect will EAL have on these people below the flightpath regardless of conscience?

Noise contours terminate at 70 – what happens beyond that?

(GR) CAA set that

SMcK You set the brief.  We could make representation to CAA and ask.

(GR)  We can find that out and let you know

Noise contours terminate at 70 – what happens beyond that? –

Beyond the 70dBA Lmax contours, the noise from an aircraft will still be audible and a 60dBA contour would extend further along the route.  However at lower noise levels the noise is not intrusive.  Inside a property you would be unlikely to be disturbed by noise from Aircraft below 70dB


Reduced C02 emissions on A6 –this argument is pretty spurious.

(GR) Impacts on design, the greater it takes a plane to Istanbul – not a huge impact.

SMcK asked if EAL could advise what emissions resulted from each aircraft operation. Particularly small particulates (PM2.5 and PM10) and NOX.

GR admitted that these are at their highest during take-off and he promised to REPORT BACK with the relevant data.

SMcK We would prefer the Status Quo – same flight paths- No expansion

GD We cannot support that

A3 existing on P39- A6 needed for Turbo Prop and then Jets?s (will inevitably follow)

(GR)  No intention to fly Jets, we are currently using Tala, we would need to talk to Communities if there was jets in the future.

How many planes would fly over A6?

(GR)  Between 39 and 41 per day Turbo only. There is no guarantee we are only looking at routes in general.

Jets get high quickly, Turbo props cannot manage that. Preference is for A and

Operationally A6 is better than A3

(GR)  We can give you Consultation Material and Route Option Design.

GR confirmed that any ‘future’ population was weighed less than existing in EAL assessments, which left the 10,000+ population expected in existing approved development plans, as being less important than others under the flight path


Gordon Dewar left the meeting at 1.30pm as planned.


Councillor Carl John asked about flight paths over schools – we have 6 schools in the area, and this did not seem to be Best Practice.

(GR) Wherever you fly it will be over schools. We took the findings on population and tried our best. (Several queries were made in respect of current and future population figures, but EAL had used 2011 census as ‘best available’’—which was seriously disputed by all residents and councillor)

Councillor John asked for the map with schools plotted on it

Please see map showing schools and care facilities attached to the email.

(Schools at Kirknewton, East Calder, Mid Calder, Ratho and Currie seem to be missing from this map?)


New populations impacted

(GR)  to provide and place on consultation website with sufficient time to allow public to view before close of consultation

This information has been included in the book in the matrix tables, however the colours in the tables have been changed and explained via the key at the bottom to show positive impact, no change and negative impact.



This table does not include either East Calder or Mid Calder both of which fall into the criteria overflown. EAL includes these communities when addressing impact but the Table 3 does not include this. Table 3 is misleading to the Public, Kirknewton should also be shown as Overflown.  Calderwood should also be taken into account.

REVISE TABLE and Provide detailed information.

The route does not fly over Kirknewton, East Calder or Mid Calder but does pass closer than current operations. As we have explained not all towns and villages have been included in the population matrix.


Labour and Greens comment on Airport expansion in parliament

Labour MSP Neil Findlay – Please watch and share my speech from my debate today on Edinburgh Airport’s flawed flight path consultation.

My full speech is also below in text. (Check against delivery)

Thank you presiding officer – air travel is a modern necessity whether that be for work or leisure many of us use it at some point.

For people living near an airport they know and accept that they have to endure some disruption; however, it is incumbent upon Government and airport authorities to keep the impact of air travel and noise to a minimum and reduce disruption on people’s lives.

Airport’s may need to expand at some point but that should only be when:-
• those airports reach capacity
• when there is an unanswerable evidence base for doing so
• And when actions are taken to ensure widespread community support and real and genuine mitigation measures are put in place and carry the confidence of the public.

Under the current proposals put forward by Edinburgh airport none of this has happened. There is no evidence base for expansion, the airport is not at capacity, there is huge community opposition and the mitigation measures promoted do not carry the confidence of the communities who will be affected. 
From the outset the consultation process on the proposals from Edinburgh airport to introduce new flight paths has been shambolic and flawed in so many ways. Let me set out why.

Edinburgh airport is not at capacity – it is operating below 2007 levels. The airport claim they have scheduling issues at peak time around 7 am. The rest of the time there are no capacity issues. Isn’t it therefore ironic that to address the 7am scheduling issue the airport have brought in charges on airlines to manage peak demand for slots. Edinburgh airport are one of the most vocal advocates of scrapping air passenger duty to increase demand yet impose their own flight duty to manage peak demand. And of course they haven’t been shy to add drop off charges for their passengers. Their brass neck is something to behold.

The initial phase 1 consultation process saw over 200 consultation responses lost, many people not notified of the plan and residents in places like East Calder, Winchburgh, Kirkliston, South Queensferry and Kirknewton advised by the online tool to check their postcode or their future postcode to see if they would be affected by new flight paths. Thousands of people were advised there would be no impact on them so never made submissions. Then lo and behold the phase 2 route options were published and these very same people find they are now very much affected by the plans having just spent hard earned money and life savings on a new home.

This occurred because the whole consultation is based on the population from the 2011 census – a whole six years out of date. This completely fails to take into account the huge number of new houses built in Calderwood, Winchburgh, Kirkliston and other areas. And isn’t astonishing that the developer of the huge development at Winchburgh where 4000 new houses, a secondary school and much more will be built has not even been consulted by the airport about their proposals. I have spoken to a number of residents who bought houses in new developments on basis they believe they wouldn’t be affected – only to find out they now are.

The airport claim 25,000 fewer people will be overflown – yet the methodology behind this claim is nowhere to be seen.

Yet again there is no evidence base in this flawed process.

The consultation process has also been heavily loaded in favour of the airport. Community councils whose members are lay people with limited expertise in the highly technical world of aviation have been asked to comment on very complex documents with no support or technical advice available to them. This is completely unfair and loaded in favour of a big powerful and influential business who have consultants, technicians and spin doctors coming out of their ears. That is neither fair nor just but I do however want to pay tribute to all those community councillors and members of the public who have committed he time and effort to this cause.

And Presiding officer most disconcerting in all of this is how this new consultation sets community against community. In developing several route options they are effectively saying to people – OK you might not want flights over your property so which community would you like to send them over –a divide and rule strategy if ever there was one.

Other concerns include the way data has been presented, the loss of submissions at phase 1 and the failure to fully analyse health and environmental impacts.

But let me be clear Edinburgh airport is not developing these plans in isolation. A freedom of information request I have just received lays bare how they are absolutely complying with the SNP Government’s policy. At a meeting between Nicola Sturgeon and the Chief Executive of easyjet in November the First Minister said and I quote “The Scottish Government will continue to support all Scottish Airports to grow the number of routes to and from our airports.” The paper goes on “We are keen to explore further route development options with easyJet and to support their aspirations to expand in Scotland.” Crystal clear. Isn’t it therefore crass hypocrisy for Fiona Hyslop and Angela Constance to sit in cabinet supporting this policy and the scrapping of air passenger duty but all the while claiming to their constituents in Broxburn, Linlithgow, Uphall, Dechmont and East Calder that they oppose these proposals. They have been well and truly rumbled trying to ride 2 horses at the one time.

Presiding officer I am more convinced than ever that this plan for more routes and flight paths is about one thing and that is fattening Edinburgh airport for a future sale at an inflated profit. That is what GIP the owners of the airport do.





Scottish Green MSPs today used a Holyrood debate on Edinburgh airport’s expansion plans to call on the Scottish Government to step in and halt the company’s flawed consultation.

Last week 20 community councils affected by the plans came together at a summit meeting at Holyrood hosted by Mark Ruskell, Scottish Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife.

In today’s debate, Mr Ruskell said:

“These proposals will impact heavily on West Fife. Dalgety Bay alone will go from being overflown on 70 days per year, to potentially facing flights 365 days per year, 18 hours per day, with no respite.

“This unfair consultation pitches communities against each other. Instead we need to agree that this consultation is not fit for purpose and should be halted immediately.

“Last week, I held a meeting in parliament for affected Community Councils. Representatives from 20 councils, across 6 local authority areas attended, and each had their own story to tell about how they felt misled, or ill-informed. There is no information on the social, economic or environmental impact of the proposed routes, because these assessments have simply not been done.

“The Scottish Government must step in and force the CAA to put a halt to this consultation.”

Also speaking in the debate, Andy Wightman, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, said:

“This consultation has been seriously flawed, the airport operators have misled the public and have displayed an arrogance and contempt for public opinion. Edinburgh Airport, NATS and the CAA have virtually all the power. They got it from Conservative Governments who privatised the airports, who privatised NATS and who created the modern CAA whose statutes privilege commerce and the needs of the private airline industry.

“Are these proposals in the public interest or are they designed to boost the asset value of a company to be sold off at profit in the years ahead by a bunch of faceless offshore speculators? Edinburgh Airport exercises power in the interest of its faceless shareholders in far-away tax havens.”