The publication of the list of key decisions to be taken by the Executive Committee of Luton’s Labour Council between now and September reveals that no date has been set for a final decision on the controversial proposed sale of the Old Bedford Road Drill Hall.
The Council and its leader got themselves into a massive controversy just before the recent local elections because of a huge row both within and outside the Council over whether the site should be used for much needed housing or sold to a local religious organisation. Having allowed negotiations with a preferred bidder to carry on for ages the Labour Council leader tried, with no noticeable success, to explain to a packed and angry public meeting how the Council had got itself into such a mess over the issue.
Liberal Democrat Councillors became suspicious when in March the Council decided to delay a decision on whether to go ahead with the controversial sale or to retain the site for a housing development. Claiming the chaos was all caused by the Labour Leader not knowing what was going on right under her nose they are now criticising the Labour leadership for further delays in reaching a decision.
“The original delay to the decision caused confusion and fury both in the religious group which thought it was close to a deal and amongst those who want the site developed for housing.” says Liberal Democrat leader David Franks.
“It is not clear whether the Labour leadership does not consider the decision important enough to be included on the forward plan of key decisions or whether they want to put it off until at least October. Either way they couldn’t be more wrong.”
“This important issue needs to be resolved and quickly. There are plenty of people out there who feel very strongly about the future of the Drill Hall and this further delay will just inflame tempers even further.”