Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Labour fail to vote over airfield

mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin">Filton Labour councillors failed to support
plans for a new aerospace hub and protection of the Green Belt at a crucial
strategy meeting in December.

At the South Glos council meeting meeting on Wednesday 14th December, councillors agreed to submit to a planning inspector a revised future development blueprint – its Core Strategy – that now includes the re-development of Filton Airfield and safeguarding of 50 ha of aerospace land to allow local firms to expand and new ones to locate here.

Despite campaigning heavily to save Filton airfield as part of the core strategy, all three Labour South Glos councillors for Filton, Adam Monk, Ian Scott and Roger Hutchinson all abstained from the crucial core vote rather than opposing it, joining all other Labour council members who also abstained on the night.

The Core Strategy includes the protection of the Green Belt stretching from Pilning all the way through to Frampton Cotterell and down the east of Kingswood – areas that had been under severe threat from the previous government's Regional Spatial Strategy.

But in the main vote only Conservative councillors unanimously backed the plans.

Ian Boulton, Labour councillor for Staple Hill and ex MP candidate for Filton and Bradley Stoke, explained the decision on the save filton airfield page saying:

 "If we had the chance to vote for the individual recommendations as we had hoped, there may well have been a difference in voting. It is impossible to say as that is now a hypothetical situation. However because all the recommendations were taken en masse, it made it impossible for us to do anything but abstain. To try and illustrate my point how would you vote if you had one vote for or against the following recommendations.

1. Santa Clause exists and is living just outside Croydon
2. Filton Airfield is an essential part of a world class centre of aerospace excellence.
3. The green belt at Haws Wood should be kept as is.
4. The moon is made of green cheese."

Labour fail to vote over airfield

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