Winning The Recovery? Part I

On the 28th February this year, the Overview and Scrutiny Board of Luton Borough Council met. 

The Agenda and supporting documents can be found via :

Appendices A, pages 290-329, contain a most enlightening document, entitled “Winning the Recovery” the 2022-23 Business Plan for Luton Rising (LR). Its pages throw light on how LR is going to conduct its business for the next financial year.

Rather than cram all the little nuggets into one article, we will space them out to make them more easily digestible.

The first point that came to us was on the opening page of the introduction to the report, Page 290, Point 2- Background.  Here it states that this document is the first of LR’s Annual Business Plans to set out its corporate and business objects.

London Luton Airport Ltd, AKA LR, has been in existence since 1998, 24 YEARS THIS YEAR, and this is its FIRST Business Plan. What has it been doing all these years, winging it and making it up as it goes along?  Oh wait, hang on a minute, look at the financial abyss it has got itself in since 2015 – of course it has been winging it, or should that be whiming it?  

After all, the plans since then seem to have been built on the hubris and ego of a select few with no grip on reality?

We – like you Dear Reader – would be very interested to see the financials in the Business Plan for a company with debts of over half a billion pounds, and which grow daily. 

However, of course, that detail is not in this report. That detail is only in the version for the Council’s Executive Committee. After all, you can’t have the community LR trumpets to represent actually knowing the full details of the mess they are in, can you?

Page 297, contains a reference to Green Horizons Park. Is this yet another new LR project requiring millions to fund?  Actually no as, Page 321 sheds light on what this new development is, it is the funky new “greenwashed” name for New Century Business Park.

This is the Trojan Business Park which destroys Wigmore Valley Park, enabling it to then become Terminal 2, by building the New Century Park Access Road (CPAR) or now GHPAR.  This road has failed for the last five years to be funded, as apart from Terminal 2, Green Horizon Park has no business case at all, so the road has none.

LR is now concocting a business case for that development, and for the current business parks on the airport site.  The plan is to develop an exciting and compelling vision for the site to be home to advanced technology business/industry, with an emphasis on aviation and modern manufacturing.  This brief will be so compelling, that it will attract external financing.     

Hmmm, the current business parks have existed for over thirty years, apart from early use by an aero engine service company, and a couple of the based airlines, they have had no interest from the type of businesses mentioned, even when Luton Borough Council had the money to invest in them to attract such business.  Now it would seem the environmentally-conscious and dynamic leadership of LR will triumph after all this time, but we will not be holding our breath on any outcome other than more huge spending on the project, for no return as per usual.

Green Horizons Park – is this an odd name for a concrete and metal sprawl which will obliterate the natural green horizon of Wigmore Valley Park? Or has it been named because that will be the colour of the local atmosphere as they unleash clouds of Methane and other harmful gases when they dig up the park to create their Green Horizon and its access roads?

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