MORE than 70 residents voiced their support for Heathrow’s expansion at Hillingdon Civic Centre last week.

Parmjit Dhanda, executive director of the organisers, Back Heathrow, said: “Council Leader Ray Puddifoot and I, who have had a good rapport in the past, had a short but cordial conversation. I hope that will be a prelude to a proper dialogue.

“There is nothing for the borough’s residents to gain by us tearing strips off each other. My view has always been that we need an expansion which gets the best deal for local people, for jobs, air quality and all other issues.

“Proper engagement with Ray and his council will only improve the project, so I hope he’ll consider my offer to talk in the positive spirit I made it last week.”

Peter Kavanagh, regional secretary of the Unite union, has offered to meet Hillingdon’s Labour group of councillors to explain why so many local Unite members support expansion.

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Hillingdon is the lead council co-ordinating other boroughs, Wandsworth, Richmond and Windsor & Maidenhead, who are opposed to Heathrow expansion.

Cllr Puddifoot said this week: "For the absolute avoidance of doubt, Hillingdon Council regards Back Heathrow Ltd as a pathetic puppet of Heathrow Airport Ltd.

“A demonstration by a few dozen residents on the forecourt at the Civic Centre is indicative of the lack of support for the expansion proposal, which I am very confident will not happen.

“Again, for the avoidance of doubt, while I did say 'hello' to Parmjit Dhanda as I walked across the Civic Centre forecourt, I did not and will not waste my time talking to anyone employed by Back Heathrow Ltd.