Airport Consultation or Airport Propaganda?

Luton Council’s propaganda machine is flexing its muscles as it goes into overdrive with its latest Consultation on airport expansion, which – in our opinion – is anything but a Consultation and is more of “this is what we intend to do whether you like it or not”. 

The Council claims that the public can “provide their views” which is another name for talking to a brick wall because they will not be listening in our opinion. 

The Consultation is dotted with artists’ impressions of a grand new terminal, but history shows us that the council fails to deliver when it comes to its airport expansion promises and expectations.

Note the artist’s impression of the front of the expanded existing terminal and what was delivered.  No grand glass fronted terminal, as suggested in that Consultation, but a couple of cheap shop awnings that would have been better located at the front of a local parade of shops, plus a canvas bus station cover.

Robin Porter, who is the Chief Executive of Luton Council said “The proposed development would deliver enormous benefits, including an estimated 16,000 new jobs, with around a third of those directly employed at the airport”

We doubt very much whether anything like the number of jobs would be created. Also, what he doesn’t say is that the vast majority of new jobs created within the airport will be low paid work where workers are expected to work 24/7 shift patterns.  Check out the latest vacancies at the airport here and ask yourself would you want to work on a pittance starting at 4 in the morning including weekends and bank holidays?  He also fails to mention that one of the proposed long-term car parks has had outline planning permission for a Business Park for over 20 years that the council refuses to build.  This Business Park would have created thousands of highly paid jobs where workers get to see their families. 

Ciaran Scanlon, LLAL Programme Delivery Director, said “actively managing environmental impacts is an absolute priority for the airport company” yet the proposals will destroy Wigmore Valley Park, which has official County Wildlife Status and has two Asset of Community Value orders placed on it.   As a replacement to this much-loved park and county wildlife area, the council proposes a replacement potato field in Hertfordshire that will be at least 10% bigger than Wigmore Park (as though that was important!).   This field contains nothing and doesn’t even remotely compare to the diversity and richness of wildlife in Wigmore Valley Park.

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