“We strongly object to their expansion plans and are determined to preserve our right to say so out loud,”
– Liberal Democrat leader Cllr. David Franks.

With their increased strength in Luton Council chamber after the recent elections, Liberal Democrat councillors have been allocated two places on the board of the Council owned company London Luton Airport Limited. But Liberal Democrat leader Cllr. David Franks told the Annual meeting of the Council on Tuesday they would not be taking up their places.

The two Liberal Democrat former directors on the board of the airport company resigned in January saying they have been told they are not allowed to publicly criticise decisions of the board with which they disagree.

“We strongly object to their expansion plans and are determined to preserve our right to say so out loud,” says Liberal Democrat leader Cllr. David Franks.

“14 Luton schools are either close to the airport or sit under the flightpaths and they plan to have only one air quality monitoring site. That’s a woefully inadequate response. They say the equipment is expensive, we ask what price they put on children’s lungs?”

“Their plans will cover most of Wigmore Valley Park in concrete and make Ashcroft Road & Wigmore Lane major access routes to the airport, we cannot allow ourselves to be associated with this destruction of neighbouring residents’ quality of life.”

“These plans have Labour and Conservative finger-prints all over them, let no-one be in any doubt, we have never supported them and cannot stay silent now.”


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“We’ve been told the supermarket is needed for local Park Town residents who want a supermarket they can walk to. So, why does it need a car park with 108 spaces?

– Liberal Democrat leader Cllr. David Franks.

At a meeting of the Council’s Development Control Committee on Wednesday evening as Labour councillors tried to force through approval for a plan to build supermarket on the former bowling green in Gipsy Lane, Liberal Democrats employed a little used provision in the Council’s standing orders to block the scheme. By using this device, Liberal Democrat councillors removed the right of the Committee to make the decision leaving the members only able to recommend that the plan should be approved to the next meeting of the Full Council.

“We’ve been told the supermarket is needed for local Park Town residents who want a supermarket they can walk to,” claimed Liberal Democrat leader, Councillor David Franks. “So, why does it need a car park with 108 spaces? It seems every week the Labour council finds an excuse to build on another park or green open space. They will not be happy until they have covered every blade of grass in Luton with concrete and it’s time to call a halt.”


Luton Liberal Democrats are pleased to confirm their candidates for the Local Elections on 2nd May 2019 as follows:

Barnfield Ward



Liberal Democrats Call for End to Building on Parks

“The Labour Council has built on too much of Luton’s green open space it’s time to call a halt. It looks like they will not be happy until they have covered every blade of grass in Luton with concrete.” – Liberal Democrat leader Cllr. David Franks.

Following the Labour Council granting planning permissions for a supermarket on the Brache bowling green in Gypsy Lane and for an access road to a second airport terminal on Wigmore Valley Park, Liberal Democrat councillors are calling for an end to building on Luton’s parks and green open spaces.

The supermarket was approved against Planning Officer advice and the Wigmore Valley Park development was approved in the face of vigorous objection from residents.

“The Wigmore plan involves concreting over one of the biggest, busiest and most attractive parks in town” says Liberal Democrat Cllr. David Franks.

“Labour Councillors tell us children need somewhere to live, but children also need somewhere to play. A congested town like Luton needs its parks and green spaces.”

“The Labour Council has built on too much of Luton’s green open space it’s time to call a halt. It looks like they will not be happy until they have covered every blade of grass in Luton with concrete.”

The Council is currently consulting residents about their plan to build new homes on Wandon Park in Stopsley.


 

 

“We will not be gagged” says Liberal Democrat leader Cllr. David Franks.

The two Liberal Democrat directors on the board of the Council owned airport company have resigned saying they have been told they are not allowed to publicly criticise decisions of the board with which they strongly disagree.

“We have consistently opposed and voted against plans to build on Wigmore Valley Park and to make Ashcroft Road & Wigmore Lane major access routes to the airport,” says Cllr. David Franks. “We are also seriously concerned that not enough is being done to deal with the effects of air pollution on the health of thousands of children attending schools near the airport and the flight paths.”

“Now, we have been told lawyers say we are not allowed to publicly disagree with and criticise the decisions with which we have a sincere and serious concern unless the Labour members of the board agree that we may do so. This is a situation with which we cannot and will not live. We will not be gagged so we have both resigned from the board with immediate effect.”

The text of their resignation letter is as follows:
“You know we strongly disagree with the decision of the board to build on Wigmore Valley Park. You know we strongly disagree with the decision of the board to make Ashcroft Road and Wigmore Lane major access routes for the airport. You know we are not satisfied enough air quality monitoring is to be undertaken to establish what needs to be done to protect the neighbouring residents and particularly the health & wellbeing of the thousands of children who attend schools near the airport and/or the flight paths. You know that we are concerned that not enough work is being undertaken to reduce noise pollution.

Now, you are saying your lawyers say we are not allowed to publicly disagree with and criticise the decisions with which we have a sincere and serious concern unless the Labour members of the board agree that we may do so. This is a situation with which we cannot and will not live.

Please note my resignation from the board of London Luton Airport Limited with immediate effect and register my resignation with Companies House.

I have discussed this situation with my Liberal Democrat colleagues, and they have decided that they will not be nominating a replacement candidate for the board. This means all decisions henceforth will be made by Labour and Tory councillors and I will be free to criticise them as much as I feel I need to. Please acknowledge receipt of this.”