Plymouth Airport – Do You Want It Or Not?
Today, Maddi Bridgeman addressed Plymouth City Council over the vexed topic of Plymouth Airport. Maddi represents Viable the organisation that is trying to save the airport as a going concern for Plymouth.
Maddi recently submitted the petition in support of saving Plymouth Airport. The petition contained so many names that Maddi was invited to address the Council and the normal 5 minutes for here speech was increased to 10 to reflect the degre of support. Here is the transcript of her speech. Please read it and afterwards, tell us what you think. Do you want it or not?
My Lord Mayor
Ladies and gentlemen of the Council
10 months ago, no one had heard of Maddi Bridgeman.
I was insignificant, unknown, just a mother working to support her family.
A mother who was horrified when she heard the news that the airport was to close.
I became involved because I worry about my children’s future, their future employment.
Today I stand here to represent the people of Plymouth (and around the World) who took the time to sign a petition to Save Plymouth Airport.
I am here on behalf of 37,861 people, I am here because I love my city and I am doing this for the future generations of Plymouth. In the past few months whilst collecting signatures for this petition I have spoken to (face to face) thousands of Plymouth’s citizens.
I have listened to their complaints and heard their stories on how the closure of our airport has affected their lives.
- A disabled mother who cannot visit her daughter in Manchester because the journey by train or car is just too painful.
- Off-shore workers who can take up to 24 hours to get home to their family following a month long shift.
- A son who travelled to Plymouth from Hungary to visit his mother on Mothering Sunday and the journey took almost 48 hours.
- A large employer who used to charter aircraft to fly his staff to Glasgow, this was both time and cost effective
In the 1990s I worked for BAE Systems. I used to chauffer important visitors, I saw first hand the overseas investors who flew into Plymouth, visited our factory and invested in the business. At that time the small plant in Southway employed over 2,000 staff. I look around Plymouth today and I see empty business units, run down vandalised factories that once employed hundreds of people. Empty shops in our city centre.
Yes we are in a recession, but recessions do not last forever.
Her Royal Highness Princess Anne visited Plymouth earlier this year; her helicopter had to land on a piece of waste ground, what impression does that give of our city?
The emergency services have been denied access to land at the airport when carrying casualties at night, how many lives have been put at risk because of this?
So, I am asking you today to protect the airport as an airport for the long term. Until an operator and investment can be found. We are hampered geographically by poor transport connectivity, there should be NO rush to redevelop the land for short term gain. Once it has gone, our prospects have gone.
This is about Plymouth’s long term future. We need to put Plymouth back on the map, globally.
Your discussion and debate today should not be about lining share holder’s pockets but securing the future of our city.
How many of you joined the Council to do something good for your constituents? Today you can show the 37,861 people who took a few minutes to sign this petition that you are here to do something good, so please agree – to secure the future of our airport and the future employment of our people and their children.
What Do You Think?
Do you agree with Maddi? Should we keep Plymouth Airport as an airport or do you think it’s day is over and we should allow it to be used to develop housing? Maybe you don’t think it’s a viable business or perhaps you feel it was viable but mismanaged? It’s time to share your opinions in the comments section below.