Adam Afriyie
MP for Windsor
Update from Thames Valley Police

Thames Valley Police is set to increase security measures in Windsor from this evening (27/3).

Specialist barriers will be put in place around Windsor Castle ahead of the Guard Change which is set to take place on Wednesday (29/3).

Security measures and activities, including those for pre-planned events in crowded places have been reviewed by the Force following the recent terror attack in Westminster.

Assistant Chief Constable Dave Hardcastle, head of operations for Thames Valley Police, said: “While there is no intelligence to indicate a specific threat to Windsor, recent events in Westminster clearly highlight the need for extra security measures to be introduced.

“The Force believes that it is proportionate and necessary to put in place extra security measures to further protect and support the public and the Guard Change. This is consistent with security deployments in London.

“Preventative measures such as these have been put in place across the UK over the past 10 years at various events.

“The national threat level remains severe, which it has been since 2014, and I would urge the public to be alert to the threat of terror attacks but not alarmed, and to remain vigilant.”

The new barriers will support existing road closures and will be used to secure the Guard Change route during the operation.

They will only be used to support these closures and will remain open at other times.

Ch Insp Sarah Grahame, deputy LPA commander for Windsor and Maidenhead, said: “I hope that people in Windsor will understand the reasons that these barriers are being introduced, and will see why they are necessary.

“Windsor is a safe place to live, work and visit, and these extra security measures at the Guard Change will offer further protection for people in the town in light of recent events in Westminster.

“Acts of terrorism and hate crimes are committed by a small minority of people, but have a big impact on communities, and it is essential that we all continue to work together and share information in order to combat this threat.”

Cllr Simon Dudley, leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, says: “We support the good work of Thames Valley Police and the Metropolitan Police in their work to make Windsor a safer place for those who live, work and visit the town.

“These measures will increase security at the changing of the guard ceremony and the council is offering its help where necessary to ensure that this valued and popular tradition can continue.”

 

For details of the dates on which the Changing of the Guard will take place, please go to http://www.windsor.gov.uk/things-to-do/changing-the-guard-p264351

 

Heathrow noise update

The letter below has gone out to constituents in response to queries about what is being done to tackle the airspace changes, that have increased noise over parts of the constituency.

The focus is:

  1. Pressing for a consultation on, and change to, NATs Guidance on airspace strategy.
  2. Asking for NATs to have responsibility for the level of ground noise imposed by aircraft
  3. Urging the use of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) to mitigate noise
  4. Calling for air traffic controllers to monitor flights up to 7,000 ft, rather than just 4,000 ft.

The letter can be read in full below. Click to enlarge.

Heathrow update letter (July 2015)

 

The Airports Commission is stuck in the past

While it is disappointing that the Commission’s first recommendation for a third runway at Heathrow reflects a backward looking view of aviation world, there is good reason for optimism. Gatwick remains on the table as a credible and commercially viable option.

With the door open for Gatwick we may finally be closer to a decision and I will be urging the Government to take the opportunity of a generation to choose Gatwick.

Heathrow – Our Noisy Neighbour

UK Airports 57 db contour graph

Noise comparison at UK airports, Click to enlarge.

One thing is for certain: Britain needs more aviation capacity to remain an open, globally-focussed trading nation. But the decision on expansion needs to take into account a range of issues, including the environment, local communities, feasibility and the needs of Britain’s aviation market.

The argument over noise is often dismissed as small-minded nimbyism. But airplane noise isn’t just a matter of irritation, it is linked to significant productivity losses and health complications such as hypertension, hearing loss, insomnia, mental health challenges and cognitive impairment. We must take this seriously.