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Lord Bradshaw: My Lords, I listened carefully to what the Minister said. I quite understand the difference between 69 and 30, and I understand exactly what he is talking about. I am sure that the airports meet the minimum standards. However, the minimum standards are not good enough for the premises to which we have drawn attention: schools, hospices,
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hospitals, nurseries, places of worship and libraries. In fact, people who live around these airports say that they are disappointed at the level of funding for the BAA noise insulation schemes. They are particularly concerned that although it is possible to insulate against noise if all the windows are shut, it is necessary in hot weather to have ventilation systems as well or people suffocate in the interests of hearing less noise. That is not what we want people to do.

By pressing the amendment I am not seeking to change the law, because I have accepted that the Minister has adequate powers. What I am saying is that those powers are not being used. With deference to the noble Lord, Lord Smith, I realise that things may be different in the case of Manchester and East Midlands where voluntary schemes may work. However, the people around Heathrow, Gatwick and to some extent—and in the future possibly more so—Stansted are very concerned about the levels of noise. I should therefore like to test the opinion of the House.

5.20 pm

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 1) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 140; Not-Contents, 152.

Division No. 2


Addington, L. [Teller]
Ampthill, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Avebury, L.
Barker, B.
Berkeley, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brittan of Spennithorne, L.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Cavendish of Furness, L.
Chidgey, L.
Chorley, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Colwyn, L.
Courtown, E.
Craigavon, V.
Crathorne, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
DSouza, B.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dundee, E.
Dykes, L.
Eccles, V.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Falkland, V.
Falkner of Margravine, B.
Fearn, L.
Fookes, B.
Fowler, L.
Freeman, L.
Freyberg, L.
Garden, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goodhart, L.
Goodlad, L.
Greengross, B.
Hamilton of Epsom, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hanham, B.
Hanningfield, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hooper, B.
Hooson, L.
Howard of Rising, L.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Inglewood, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jones of Cheltenham, L.
Jopling, L.
King of Bridgwater, L.
Kingsland, L.
Kirkwood of Kirkhope, L.
Laming, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lang of Monkton, L.
Liverpool, E.
Lucas, L.
Ludford, B.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
Maclennan of Rogart, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mancroft, L.
Mar, C.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Methuen, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Monson, L.
Montagu of Beaulieu, L.
Naseby, L.
Neuberger, B.
Newby, L.
Newton of Braintree, L.
Noakes, B.
Norton of Louth, L.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
Palmer, L.
Patten, L.
Patten of Barnes, L.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Rawlings, B.
Reay, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rees, L.
Rees-Mogg, L.
Rennard, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Llandudno, L. [Teller]
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Russell-Johnston, L.
Sandberg, L.
Sandwich, E.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Selborne, E.
Selsdon, L.
Sharman, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Steel of Aikwood, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Taverne, L.
Tenby, V.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Tyler, L.
Ullswater, V.
Wakeham, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Walpole, L.
Windlesham, L.


Acton, L.
Adams of Craigielea, B.
Adonis, L.
Ahmed, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Amos, B. (Lord President)
Anderson of Swansea, L.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Bhattacharyya, L.
Billingham, B.
Bilston, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blood, B.
Boothroyd, B.
Bragg, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Burlison, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Chandos, V.
Christopher, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Crawley, B. [Teller]
Cunningham of Felling, L.
David, B.
Davidson of Glen Clova, L.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Dubs, L.
Eatwell, L.
Elder, L.
Erroll, E.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Filkin, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Giddens, L.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Brookwood, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grantchester, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Hart of Chilton, L.
Haskel, L.
Haworth, L.
Hayman, B.
Henig, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howarth of Newport, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jones, L.
Judd, L.
Kennedy of The Shaws, B.
Kilclooney, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Layard, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Leitch, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
McDonagh, B.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
McKenzie of Luton, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Maxton, L.
Moonie, L.
Morgan of Drefelin, B.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Newcastle, Bp.
Nicol, B.
ONeill of Clackmannan, L.
Ouseley, L.
Parekh, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Pendry, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Prosser, B.
Radice, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Robertson of Port Ellen, L.
Rooker, L.
Rowlands, L.
Royall of Blaisdon, B.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sheldon, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Finsbury, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Snape, L.
Soley, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Bolton, B.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Triesman, L.
Truscott, L.
Tunnicliffe, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Varley, L.
Wall of New Barnet, B.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Young of Norwood Green, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

28 Mar 2006 : Column 678
5.31 pm

Clause 8 [Functions with respect to health]:

Baroness Hanham moved Amendment No. 2:

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, I return to an issue that we discussed on Report. The amendment requires that the Secretary of State be made responsible for safeguarding the health of people around an airport as well as the health of people on board an aircraft. By returning to the amendment at this late stage, perhaps the Minister will accept that we still have severe concerns about the difficulties experienced by people who live near airports as a result of noise and air pollution.

We believe that it is now necessary to tackle this matter. We had a long discussion about the impact of noise in our debate on the previous amendment. As has already been made quite clear, noise has a considerable impact on the health of children as well as adults. It is very important that we recognise this. We all know that airports are necessary, but the consequences become greater as airports become larger and the number of flights through them increases.

It is very important that we start now to see what those health impacts are and how they can be mitigated. I do not want to tempt the Minister back
28 Mar 2006 : Column 679
into describing all the technical aspects of noise, as he did in response to the previous amendment; we will spare the House, and probably the Minister, too, from describing aspects such as the 57dBA Leq level, which he dealt with so carefully and ably. They are really important, but we will leave them as read so that we do not have to go through them again. What we cannot leave as read is the fact that noise has a serious impact on people's health. Without doubt, people living or working under flight paths to busy airports suffer high levels of annoyance and stress. A significant proportion of those people are children, and the impact of noise on those children's lives has been shown to be severe. Their sleep patterns and their ability to concentrate are severely affected, but are ameliorated when children leave the vicinity of an airport.

Having drawn attention to the fact that noise is a health problem, I shall concentrate on aircraft emissions, which affect local air quality. That impact is often augmented by road, rail and traffic emissions associated with airports. Research conducted at JFK Airport in New York reported that the airport was the largest single source of nitrogen oxides and the second largest source of volatile organic compounds in New York. The British Lung Foundation states that these pollutants alone can impair respiratory cell function, damage blood capillaries and attack the immune system. Together, however, the two chemicals can also combine to form ground-level ozone, which damages the respiratory system and causes breathing difficulties.

In Committee, I was heartened to learn of the Government's commitment to the WHO's guidelines for noise. However, I ask the Minister for a much firmer commitment on the time scale for meeting those guidelines than he has already given. Clearly, those who currently live in the vicinity of airports are already severely affected by the consequences of aviation, and they will not be satisfied by a vague commitment without a clear timetable of actions to meet those guidelines. You only have to drive past Heathrow to get a wave of diesel fumes, even from quite a distance.

Aviation is a unique industry that creates a specific set of health problems not only in aircraft but in the environment around airports. Those problems must be addressed. The Bill offers a timely opportunity to underscore the Government's commitment to the health of all those people whose lives are affected by aviation. The extension of the Secretary of State's powers, which the amendment would effect, would send a clear message to all those involved that the Government are taking the problem seriously. To pass up this opportunity would be to suggest to those living in close proximity to airports that their health and well-being are significantly less important than the health of the flying ticket-buying public. The Government have made a clear commitment to
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expanding aviation. I hope that they will embrace the responsibilities that come with this policy. I beg to move.

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