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Your lead article last week did not provide any information for readers as to why, and how, we intend to deliver the London Luton Airport Vision for Sustainable Growth 2020-2050. Please allow me to provide the missing context.

Luton Borough Council and its airport company London Luton Airport Ltd are committed to the vision as a fantastic opportunity to contribute to the forecast shortfall in national aviation capacity, and to support economic growth, jobs, prosperity, wellbeing and aspiration in Luton and across the sub-region.

We are fortunate in having an international airport, owned by the council’s airport company, London Luton Airport Limited (LLAL).

Not only is the airport a key source of sub-regional economic success, employment and a magnet for investment, via LLAL it also has a strong and proud track record of providing significant financial support for community activities and services.

Already London Luton is the international airport of choice for the Oxford-Milton Keynes -Cambridge priority growth area (England’s Economic Heartland), it has the potential to become the same for north London.

The airport has been growing incredibly quickly recently, to the extent that, at the current rate of growth, it will reach its permitted capacity of 18 million passengers per year (mppa) within around three years.

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LLAL is looking to plan now for further growth in order to make an even greater positive impact.

The council and LLAL believe it is realistic to be able to use the existing runway for up to 36-38mppa.

This will help with the significant unmet demand that UK aviation as a whole is facing, and bring further benefits and opportunities through increased jobs and revenues.

For every additional million passengers passing through London Luton Airport each year, according to Oxford Economics it delivers 800 more new jobs and a further £76 million into the sub-regional economy.

We take our responsibilities to our neighbours and the environment very seriously, and the vision sets out how LLAL will develop a new environmental strategy for the airport.

We understand that airport operations can bring adverse impacts, and we will work hard to minimise and mitigate these as we develop our plan.

Our technical advisers are now working to draft a masterplan which will outline the airport’s potential, and how it can be achieved.

We will work with stakeholders to ensure all aspects of our plans are as good as they can be, and are committed to a full, robust and thorough approach to engagement with all our partners and communities.

An ambitious vision like this is very complicated. There are legal processes that need to be followed for any planning application of this size, which would be determined by the national Planning Inspectorate.

We anticipate that a clearer understanding of the scope of the project should emerge by spring/summer 2018, and look forward to beginning the initial round of informal public consultation in mid-2018.

If you want to find out more about our vision for London Luton Airport, please go to


Leader, Luton Borough Council

I was in St Albans on the Sunday morning of the recent snow, and it was great to see volunteers with shovels at many junctions in the city centre helping motorists caught out by the sudden heavy snowfall. The gentleman I spoke to at the corner of London and Lattimore Roads said he had been there for two hours.

He refused my offer of a drink for his efforts, so I will be making a contribution to charity instead. I hope that he may see this, and that others that were helped may think of doing likewise.


By email

Is it just me, or do others share my concern at the closure of the Vintry Gardens Christmas market for two days during the recent snow?

As I strolled down to the gardens through the festive wintry weather on the Sunday, I was met by two stewards at the entrance who informed me that the Christmas market was closed due to health and safety reasons ie (I assume) the presence of snow on the ground !

Now colour me cynical, but if you hold a Christmas market in December, the probability is that you just might experience some seasonal weather.

If not snow in recent years, then frost and ice are pretty likely at this time of year. I would not have minded so much, but those few hardy souls who had braved the weather to sell their goods at the farmers’ market on the same day were working away in St Peter`s Street as usual with nary a jobsworth to bid them or their enthusiastic customers to take care, let alone have that market close down.

Believe me, the snow was just as present in St Peter’s Street as it was in the Vintry Gardens.

Perhaps the pernicious spectre of personal injury litigation had raised the antennae of whoever is charged with these decisions at the Civic Centre and/or Cathedral.

Given the welcome success of the market thus far this season - following on from less than happy times in earlier years – I would have thought the powers that be might have served both Christmas market stall holders and the public better by getting the stewards to clear the market paths and common areas rather than have them turning people away.



On the evening of December 13, the government debated, and voted on ‘Amendment 7’ to the EU Withdrawal Bill. This important amendment was put forward by Dominic Grieve, and ensured that Parliament would have a ‘meaningful vote’ on the final EU deal.

For both Leave and Remain people, it was important, as “taking back control” was a vital platform of the Leave campaign, and those who voted Remain did not do so to see their rights of citizenship being removed by an increasingly autocratic Eurosceptic Cabinet.

Hitchin and Harpenden voted overwhelmingly in the EU Referendum to remain in the EU.

And so, many of us emailed or tweeted Bim Afolami, our MP, who was elected to represent us and put our concerns first, asking him to vote to let Parliament have the final say.

But our MP chose to ignore us, his own constituents. As he has done on every Amendment so far, despite assuring us that he would “look carefully” into our concerns and take them on board.

Words cannot express how disappointed we are with his actions. In ignoring the wishes of those who elected him to the House of Commons, Mr Afolami is putting party before people.

It is a slap in the face for everybody who put their cross in the box by his name.

It is a kick in the teeth for everybody who cares about the future of our EU friends, (whose position is NOT secure, despite the claims being made by Theresa May).

It is turning a blind eye to those of us who have marched, petitioned, leafleted and campaigned to preserve the jobs and lifestyle we now enjoy.


(on behalf of the 48%- Hitchin and Harpenden)

Coldharbour Lane, Harpenden

Your article on the closure of Cuffley Camp must be sad news for the many who have worked and played there over the years.

This site has no connection with the Tolmers Scout Activity Centre (also located in Cuffley) which is wholly owned by the Hertfordshire Scout Council and is a registered charity,

Tolmers Scout Camp was established in 1941 by the Boy Scouts Association (as it was then) as the last of a ring of Scout Campsites around London. Following the management of the Centre for 25 years, Hertfordshire Scout Council purchased the freehold in 2010. It continues to progressively offer a full range of adventurous and educational activities for young people and adults.

These activities are led by qualified and experienced staff and many schools and other youth orientated organisations have been using these facilities for decades. Our accommodation is modern and to make better use of visitors time, we also offer full onsite catering if required.


Archivist & Historian, Hertfordshire Scouts

One might add to your shock headlines last week that it is typical of Luton Airport management to release their horrendous new expansion plan in the busy run-up to Christmas (as they did four years ago for the current plan) - much of it presumably to satisfy north London demand.

In addition, to use the word ‘sustainable’ shows they don’t know what it means: a project which will massively increase fuel use and the formation of vapour trails downtrack, with their known climatic impact, is anything but ‘sustainable’. And with SE airspace already being heavily congested, adding to it seems foolhardy.

For those concerned at the implications, I suggest going to


Fairmead Avenue, Harpenden