A reporter for the Luton News / Herald and Post was, unsurprisingly, covering the airport expansion decision on Friday (a topic covered by my fellow councillor, Richard Stay, on his blog). When this reporter commented on twitter about a poll, Mr Dan Heley took the opportunity to ask her a different question - had she considered polling people about the possibility of housing expansion West of Luton towards Caddington?
Mr Heley, you may remember, stood for the Labour Party in this ward in 2011 but feels that perhaps Caddington and Slip End are represented by the wrong council in being part of Central Bedfordshire rather than becoming part of Luton Borough.
I can tell you that the Neighbourhood Plan Questionnaire distributed around the two parishes earlier this year included a question about whether the parishes should be making additional provision (over and above housing need for the villages) to accommodate extra housing for neighbouring authorities. The questionnaire was completed and returned by 947 people, a significantly high 38% of the total sent out. A resounding 60% of respondents were "strongly opposed" to the suggestion of housing expansion by neighbouring authorities and a further 15% opposed. I think that the message is clear that people in these villages do not want Luton to expand into the green belt and threaten rural communities with coalescence with the town.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion but if Mr Heley were to knock on a few doors around here, I think that he would find very little support for his notion of "being in LBC remit". A lot of people have told me that they moved out to the villages from the town; precious few have ever expressed a desire to relocate the other way and none want to see the developed, urban borders of Luton Borough coming any further west.