Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead council leader Cllr David Burbage welcomed the announcement, stating
"We are delighted to welcome Reading on board. It shows just how widely the impact of a third runway would be felt across the south east."LibDem parliamentary spokesperson for Reading East, Cllr Gareth Epps said in a statement that it was a pity that it had taken so long for the ruling Labour group to face up to their responsibilities to represent the people of Reading, who oppose a third runway by an 'overwhelming majority', and explained the proposed third runway "makes a mockery of Labour's commitment to tackle climate change".
"We have built a broad coalition which comprises councils and MPs from every party, local authorities representing rural and urban areas as well as a host of environmental and residents groups. With support from so many different areas I am confident this is a battle we can win."
The move has been under discussion for several months as Reading's ruling Labour administration was criticised for putting forward an equivocal stance and refusing to stand up on behalf of residents against their party colleagues in government.
Abbey ward's Cllr Tony Page previously hoped to allay public anger by calling for a review designed to report back after the next general election, but he was criticised by LibDem transport spokesman Cllr Ricky Duveen for "shilly-shallying" around the subject.
The proposed expansion has recently come under increasing fire as the economic downturn has raised questions over the ability of private operator BAA to afford the massive investment required following the company's debt refinancing package only recently agreed in August 2008.
A spokesman for the Department of Transport confirmed that the government had "at no time" provided guarantees for financing of the project.
Meanwhile, BAA, the corporate owners of Heathrow, have announced that they are holding a 16-week consultation exercise to gather public concerns about the noise generated by aircraft flight paths - the consultation runs until October 5th 2009 and you can have your say online.
To find out more visit the Stop Heathrow Expansion and 2M Group websites.
For in-depth coverage of the plans' local relevance click here.