NEXT week Eastleigh Borough Council make a decision that will affect the lives of people in Southampton for years to come.

Southampton International Airport has applied to lengthen the runway to enable the airport to accommodate larger planes.

These planes are bigger and noisier.

Although the airport's environmental assessment says there will be no "significant" increase in air pollution it also admits that levels of NOx will increase by 272% and mortality by 5%.

NOx is Nitrogen oxide which falls to the earth as smog or acid rain, a chemical that harms our lungs.

Noise will directly affect students at Bitterne Park Secondary School and St Denys Primary School, where it will harm their education.

Southampton City Council has come out against this airport application but they are not the decision-making body.

At the same time the government has proposed a £27 billion road building programme across the country.

Both these plans will undermine our efforts to cut air pollution and carbon emissions.

I have spent the last three years speaking out about these plans and will continue to do so.

The people of Southampton deserve better than this.

We can all express our views to our MP and councillors.

We can change things now.

Katherine Barbour

Southampton and District Green Party