Station Road Busway, Luton

“We have suggested several times that the Council should compensate residents, now after years of complaining this completely pointless £2 excess taxi charge is to end.” – Liberal Democrat leader Cllr. David Franks.

At last, and after several years of complaints from local residents and Liberal Democrat councillors, Luton Council is to allow taxis from the town centre railway station to use the busway from the station to Church Street.

Until 24th April, when this experimental new system comes in, taxis from the station taking passengers to Stopsley, Wigmore, Vauxhall Park, Round Green, Hightown and anywhere involving the use of Crawley Green Road or Hitchin Road will still have to go via Mill Street, New Bedford Road and Hucklesby Way adding about £2 to the cost of every journey.

“There never was any sense at all in banning station taxis from using the busway to get to Church Street”, says Liberal Democrat leader Cllr. David Franks. “Only because of the Council’s perverse attitude, Stopsley, Wigmore and Vauxhall Park residents have been paying this penalty fare ever since construction of the busway started about ten years ago.”

“That’s ten years of paying an unnecessary £2 penalty on every taxi fare from the station. We have suggested several times that the Council should compensate residents, now after years of complaining this completely pointless £2 excess taxi charge is to end.”


Further to our report on 19th February relating to the council’s plans to implement fortnightly bin collections, we have had a huge response to our latest local Focus campaign and the message is clear – NO TO FORTNIGHTLY BIN COLLECTIONS!!!!!  

If you agree and wish to send a clear message of your opposition, please sign the petition on the back of the Focus Leaflet and return it to the address shown or alternatively e-mail us and we will add your name to the objections.


Wheelie Frustrating – Council proposes fortnightly black bin collection less than a week after latest denial

A national tour by a red bus emblazoned with the slogan “Brexit to cost £2,000 million a week. Is it worth it?” reached St. George’s Square, Luton on Wednesday 28th February 2018.

Speakers at the Luton event included Luton South MP Gavin Shuker (Labour), former councillor Sid Rutstein (Lib Dem), former FT journalist Quentin Peel and Bob Wilkin from local organisation Bedfordshire for Europe.

Liberal Democrat councillor David Franks described the visit as 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 balanced and fully-sourced summary of the various likely Brexit scenarios is set out at

During its tour, the bus is visiting towns and cities across the country at which there will be speaker events featuring local businesspeople, trade unionists, and politicians.


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

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.

“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.”