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At last Luton’s ruling Labour councillors have admitted, via today’s Luton Borough Council News Release, what they have been denying for more than 12 months – they are going to introduce fortnightly black bin collections.

This was denied as recently as last Monday 19th February at a full Council meeting when Liberal Democrat Councillor David Franks asked Labour Councillor Andrew Malcolm whether his proposed £100,000 cut in the waste service budget was to include fortnightly black bin collections – he replied “no”.

Can you believe anything they say?

One of our members had this to say about fortnightly bin collections:

“The real problem comes with larger families. This was implemented where my son lives. He has four children and even with dedicated recycling they need a large industrial bin to manage for two weeks – this looks really nice in front of the house. In summer they have to be on watch for maggots in the bin – many people have this problem.”

Though we consider it important to increase the level of recycling in Luton, we do not believe Labour’s policy of reducing opening times of tidy tips and reducing the frequency of bin collections is the way to do it.

We would like to hear your views.

A national tour by a red bus emblazoned with this slogan is due to reach St. George’s Square, Luton LU1 2NG at 16.30 on Wednesday 28th February 2018.

Liberal Democrat councillor David Franks says the visit is an opportunity to explain the benefits Luton has enjoyed through Britain’s membership of the European Union and the concerns many local residents have about Brexit.

“EU funding has contributed towards many local projects including the development of St. George’s Square, Stockwood Discovery Centre and the support of many local voluntary organisations providing real benefits for the town. Many businesses employing thousands of Luton people rely on our membership of the EU. The Vauxhall van factory exports thousands of vans to Europe every year and London Luton Airport’s success has been built on growing airlines like Wizz & easyJet flying to European destinations.”

“The bus is a light-hearted attempt to draw attention to a very big issue. The Government’s own leaked analysis is that Brexit, even with a Free Trade Agreement, will cost us 5% of GDP after 15 years. At today’s prices, that means our country being £2,000 million a week poorer than we would have been if we stayed a member of the EU. To put this in context, that’s 80% of what we currently spend on the NHS across the UK”. – Cllr David Franks

Vote Leave’s bus falsely claimed that we send the EU £350 million a week. Now the Government’s own analysis shows the hit to our economy from leaving the EU will be ten times as great as the cost of staying in. Some people want us to leave without a trade deal at all. Again, the government’s own figures say that would cost us £3,200 million a week or sixteen times the cost of EU membership. More and more people are asking ‘is it worth it?’

A fair, balanced and fully-sourced summary of the various likely Brexit scenarios is set out at

During its 8 day tour, the bus will make 33 stops in towns and cities across the country at which there will be speaker events featuring local businesspeople, trade unionists, and politicians.

Speakers at the Luton event will include Luton South MP Gavin Shuker, former councillor Sid Rutstein and Bob Wilkin from local organisation Bedfordshire for Europe.


You can follow “Brexit: Is it Worth It?” on Twitter and Facebook

“The key question is, if they plan to recover £400,000 more next year than they did this year, exactly how much are they currently overpaying?”

– Liberal Democrat leader Cllr. David Franks.

Luton Council met on Monday (19th February 2018) to confirm a Council Tax hike of almost 6% and as part of the approved budget agreed that over the next 12 months, they will try to increase the amount they recover of Housing Benefit which has been overpaid to claimants by £400,000.

“It’s great that they plan to increase the amount of overpaid Housing Benefit they recover but they need to be reminded that this is tax payers’ money they should not have paid out in the first place”, says Liberal Democrat leader on the Council David Franks. “The key question is, if they plan to recover £400,000 more next year than they did this year, exactly how much are they currently overpaying?”

“Unfortunately, when I asked the question at the Council meeting no-one was able to give me the answer. Is this because they did not know or because the answer would be too embarrassing?”

“The other issue is that Housing Benefit is paid to people who cannot afford to pay their rent, so they are often people who are struggling. Unless they have deliberately and fraudulently claimed benefit to which they are not entitled they could well have difficulty in paying it back. All the more reason why more effort needs to go into making sure people are not overpaid.”