Luton and Bedfordshire Green Party

Green Party Policies for Luton

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Summary of main policy points

Tragedies in Wardown

Roughly 20 trees have been torn out in Luton's Wardown Park by Luton Borough Council's Parks Department. This bewildering act has shocked and saddened many local people, including Wardown Park Friends Committee. David Oakley-Hill, committee member and Chairman of Luton Friends of the Earth said: ”The thing people ... value most about the park are its trees. The way this row of deep red plum trees caught the light, with the pale green willows behind, provided a superb sight for 50 years. This destructive act and lack of consultation is unforgivable”.

The park, situated on New Bedford Road, is listed on English Nature's Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, and is renowned for its mature trees. Replacement trees have been planted, but it will be many years before they reach maturity.

The Council has also shown the hollowness of its vaunted (pre-election) green credentials in the park by removing all the shrubs around the lake and most of those on the island, converting what was an oasis for small birds and other wildlife into a desert.

To be fair, the Council have brought about some improvements to the park, such as the restored fountain and some refurbished buildings, and in planting new trees they are taking account, among other things, of both the effects of climate change (making beech a poor choice for a warmer, drier future climate) and new serious diseases threatening the future of some species (especially horse chestnuts, which may soon disappear as a new fungus disease kills them).

Cyclists forgotten again

The planned new super highway from the M1 to Luton Airport revealed again the Council's total lack of real concern for the environment by omitting all provision for cyclists, designing it instead purely for high-speed motor vehicles. When their error was pointed out in the form of objections by CTC representative Ben Garner, they employed expensive professional legal experts for a full day to try to defeat his arguments at the consequent public inquiry. Fortunately the government's independent inspectors had more sense and the Council have been forced to redraw the plans to include speed restrictions and a cycle lane. So far as I know Ben has no connection with the Green Party, but he is to be congratulated on the success of four years of hard work.

Of course a council or government which took global warming seriously instead of merely talking about it would not consider building the road in the first place.

Airport expansion

The following letter was published inthe Luton Herald & Post on 20th January 2005:

You report that our local prospective Tory candidate says of Luton airport that it is "vital to plan expansion in a sustainable way."

No air travel is sustainable. Air transport is, in terms of energy used per passenger mile, the least efficient means of mass transport ever invented. It is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution, and is unfairly subsidised by tax breaks not available to any other means of transport. Luton airport also imposes an unreasonable noise blight on our neighbours in nearby towns and villages.

The only sustainable expansion would the negative sort - reduce its activities, not increase them.

Jim Fisher
Luton & Beds Green Party

Luton Airport
Proposed Expansion

low-flying plane

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Produced by Jim Fisher, 48 Swifts Green Close, Luton, Beds., LU2 8BS
on behalf of Luton and Bedfordshire Green Party, 13 Wedgwood Road, Bedford, MK41 7NW.


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