LETTER TO ADVERTISER FROM CLLR ROBIN PARKER CC
I was amused to discover that the Conservative Member of Parliament for Stevenage is against the proposed expansion of Luton Airport and that he was very critical of Stevenage Borough Council (SBC), who passed a Labour promoted motion at their recent full council meeting, on 10 October, supporting the expansion. He is quoted as saying that it showed the council “does not care about local people”.
This latter point may at times be true but, if he had been at the meeting, he would have seen for himself that, in the debate on the pro-expansion motion, all his Conservative borough councillor colleagues said nothing (as usual) and then all of them voted with all the Labour borough councillors (as usual) in favour of the motion and therefore in favour of the proposed expansion of Luton Airport.
I was the only councillor to speak against the motion and to oppose the huge Labour majority (as usual) and both myself and my only other Liberal Democrat colleague, Graham Snell, were the only two councillors to vote against the expansion of Luton Airport.
I made clear that I get many complaints from my local residents in the areas that I represent (Chells, Chells Manor and Mobbsbury) about aircraft noise, because the aircraft to/from Luton come right over Chells – but I am powerless to do anything about it. There is absolutely no way that I am going to vote for my residents to suffer huge increases in noise pollution in return for some vague promises (which we have all heard before) about local economic benefits. Even though SBC has no decision making power over the expansion, I believe it is important to express opposition to the expansion at all available opportunities – hence why the Liberal Democrats voted against the expansion.
So, we know Labour are in favour of Luton Airport expanding – but what about the Conservatives? Is the Conservative MP really saying that his Conservative borough councillors “do not care about local people”? If so, we should be told more!