Kate was shocked to hear about the helicopter crash in Vauxhall today. She spoke to send her condolences to the families of those killed and those wounded, and expressed her concern for people who were affected and frightened by the crash.
She said “we must be grateful for the superb response of the emergency services, who got to the scene and took action so swiftly. In particular the engines from Clapham Fire Station, who got there first and showed why this station must remain open.”
This is not the time to rush to judgements, but the forthcoming investigation of the crash must consider the increasing numbers of very tall buildings in central London, and review the regulation of helicopter flight. Many constituents have contacted Kate before about the proliferation of helicopters overhead, and the noise and safety implications of this. Kate’s concern stretches back years, and in 1991 she introduced a Bill to improve regulation of helicopter safety and planning controls on heliports.
She raised these matters in Prime Minister’s Questions today:
Kate Hoey (Vauxhall) (Lab):
May I thank the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition for their condolences to the families of those who died in this morning’s helicopter crash in my constituency, and add my condolences and sympathy? Does the Prime Minister agree that amazing work was done this morning, particularly by the fire service? Firefighters from Clapham station arrived very swiftly. Given London’s changing skyline, does he also agree that—not today, but at some stage—we will need to look much more closely at where, how and why helicopters fly through our central city?
Oh, is that the sound of a jerking knee?
Kate Hoey has been the MP for Vauxhall for twenty-plus years so she should know the area fairly well by now. She might have missed, however, the enormous traffic system that forms the centrepiece of her welcoming town centre. I wonder how many deaths there have been there in the last thirty or forty years compared to the two that have occurred through these evil rich man’s playthings? [Editor's note: Hoey lives on the other side of London and travels to her constituency and Parliament by Mini.]
Nobody in Hoey’s constituency is old enough to remember when it was a quaint country village. Complaints about noise and “safety” under those circs is pure old-fashioned I’m Alright Jack NIMBYism. In potentially-booming inner London and with developers champing at the bit to solve London’s housing shortage, take a wild guess as to whether Hoey is for or against any and all proposed developments in her constituency?