‘NIMBYs don’t have the majority view’

Cheryl Smart, chief executive of Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce
Cheryl Smart, chief executive of Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce

A business leader has launched a blistering attack on anti airport expansion campaigners.

Cheryl Smart, chief executive of Bedfordshire Chamber, based in Kimpton Road, Luton, has responded to a claim by Hertfordshire Against Luton Airport Expansion (HALE) that if “Chambers of Commerce, airport staff and other stakeholders” are sifted out, most people oppose expansion plans.

Mrs Smart fired a broadside in response. She wrote: “Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce is appalled by HALE’s reactionary stance which shamefully dismissed the recent results of a consultation on development at Luton Airport as “flawed” and “misleading”.”

HALE has, she said, “completely disregarded the views of over 1,000 hardworking, taxpaying, local, national and international businesses and their employees who contribute daily to our local economy and communities.

“Now is not the time for a small group of NIMBYs to represent their minority view as that of the majority, nor to seek to put our politicians over a barrel!”

She added Hertfordshire generates the highest number of passengers of any county using Luton airport for both business and leisure.

Concluding, she said: “If HALE gets their way, Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce believes our fragile economic recovery will be thrown into jeopardy.

We therefore call upon our national and local politicians to get behind our businesses, help us in the economic recovery, and support the much needed development at Luton Airport!”