A month or so ago a couple of constituents, residents of Stockwood, came along to one of my surgeries. Their lives were, they said, being made a misery by aircraft noise. Sometimes it got so bad they couldn't hear themselves talk to each other in their garden. They'd tried taking up the issue with the airport bosses, but had got nowhere.
In a bid to find out whether other local residents were also being affected, I wrote to people living in that part of the ward, asking if they thought it was a problem too.
I've now had a lot of letters/ emails back. Although I've yet to do an analysis of the responses, it's clear that opinion is divided. Some constituents are saying, yes the noise is terrible and it's got worse over recent months; it's unbearable and we're really glad you're doing something about it. Others are saying it's not a problem at all, they've never noticed the noise. In fact some are saying it's not a problem at all and why on earth are you wasting your time on this when you should be bothered about X, Y or Z instead. (X, Y and Z almost invariably being traffic problems, which I'm now taking up with the Council).
My difficulty is that the people saying "yes it's terrible" live in exactly the same roads as the "no, it's not" people. So I'm going to write to the Airport boss, revealing the results of my amateur survey, and see what he has to say about it.