Dear Editor, I find it deeply disappointing that Andy Street, chairman of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, has failed to show consistent leadership on an important issue at an important time.
As the Post has highlighted, Birmingham has been urging the Government to give it a key role in an aviation strategy to be published by Transport Secretary Justine Greening in the summer. The plans have the support of the LEP.
Yet Mr Street, also on the board of London First, the body representing major employers in the capital, has helped draft a report from the lobby group, which makes the case for a new runway at Heathrow – a partial document, which apparently makes no mention of Birmingham Airport’s aspirations.
At a time when Birmingham and the West Midlands should be firmly behind its own case Mr Street would seem to be piloting more than one plane.
To my mind it is a clear conflict of interest.
The argument is about making better use of existing regional airports before building new runways, or an entirely new airport, in the south.
Surely it is the primary role of the LEP chairman unashamedly to champion the causes of our own area? The clue is “local”.
Yet again government could claim that this region is incapable of pulling together as one – presenting mixed messages. Birmingham business has been united over many years on pressing for development of the airport and greater passenger usage despite many frustrations.