Aircraft Noise (Rate Reduction Compensation)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th February 1972.

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Photo of Mr Hugh Jenkins Mr Hugh Jenkins , Wandsworth Putney 12:00 am, 7th February 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what consideration he has given to the proposal of the Local Authorities Aircraft Noise Council that Her Majesty's Government shall provide local authorities with moneys to compensate them for reductions in rates to be given to householders affected by aircraft noise out of the revenues of the British Airports Authority.

Photo of Mr Michael Noble Mr Michael Noble , Argyll

I have not yet received any such proposal from the council.

Photo of Mr Hugh Jenkins Mr Hugh Jenkins , Wandsworth Putney

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a proposal of this sort and several other proposals are in the post addressed to him? I should have thought he would have received them by today but certainly he should receive them tomorrow. When he receives them, will he give them careful consideration? Will he consider not only this proposal but the series of proposals which will be contained in the document he will be receiving?

Photo of Mr Michael Noble Mr Michael Noble , Argyll

I assure the hon. Gentleman that the whole problem of aircraft noise occupies a great deal of my thought and time. I will do anything I can to try to help.

Photo of Mr Toby Jessel Mr Toby Jessel , Twickenham

Would my right hon. Friend be prepared to consider a scheme by which the noisiest types of aircraft, when taking off and landing, would pay higher charges than quieter aircraft and that the proceeds of these charges on the noisier aircraft should be used to relieve the rates in residential areas close to airports?

Photo of Mr Michael Noble Mr Michael Noble , Argyll

I have already indicated that this is one possible scheme, but it may have particularly deleterious effects on the British aviation industry.

Photo of Mr William Molloy Mr William Molloy , Ealing North

When the right hon. Gentleman receives the proposal, will he be prepared to consider calling a conference of all the local authorities involved to see whether something can be done to resolve their difficulties and the pressures which they are under from ordinary people who are suffering from this environmental abuse?

Photo of Mr Michael Noble Mr Michael Noble , Argyll

As I have said, I am always prepared to consider almost anything that might help. But the mind boggles a little at the hon. Gentleman's suggestion, because the key to this problem is that anything one does to help one area generally has repercussions on another area. If one were to get all the local authorities into a room, I do not believe that there would be any hope of agreement on anything.