Council criticised over two year delay to release of Luton survey findings

Luton Town Hall
Luton Town Hall

Luton Borough Council has been accused of “brushing off” a resident over the results of a survey which took more than two years to be published.

In August 2013 the council commissioned BMG Research to conduct a ‘Perceptions of Luton’ survey of the town, in order to work out what residents are most concerned about.

A total of 957 respondents completed a questionnaire and BMG Research filed a full report of its findings in January 2014, but the findings were not published.

That is until Thursday, when the council was pressurised into placing the final report onto its website along with a note which reads: “The council wishes to thank the 1,000 people who contributed to the Perceptions of Luton survey carried out in Autumn 2013.”

Lib Dem councillor David Franks told the Luton News that a resident who had been in touch with him had “badgered” the council to release the report.

He said: “He has been brushed off time and again and the bottom line is why has it taken that long and what are they trying to hide?

“I am still waiting for answers on why this took so long.”

The survey found that a similar amount of people rate their experience of Luton positively and negatively (around 40% each), while one in seven remained neutral.

Key phrases used to describe the town were said to be “multiculturalism”, “busy”, “dangerous” and “dirty”.

Cllr Franks added: “(The results) do not give a good impression of the town, nothing in there surprises me.

“Top of the list is that people think that the town is dirty and we have urged the council to spend some of its savings on increased enforcement of litterers.

“There are people who care about the environment and they are constantly on to me about issues.

“They are people who really care and should be encouraged.”

A council spokesperson said: “The Perceptions of Luton survey formed a valuable part of our research in preparing the Luton Investment Framework, which was approved by executive on 8 June.”