Letter: Luton's efforts set an embattled town on the road to economic recovery

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The Independent Online
Sir: Caroline McGhie's one-sided and inaccurate report on Luton ('Life in Luton is no longer a joke', 2 June) thoroughly misrepresents our town. Her point about the negative equity housing trap could easily apply to almost anywhere in the South-east. Similarly, the effects of the recession. But her description of urban decay and street violence made me wonder if she was talking about the right place.

Ms McGhie could have written about:

Luton's crime reduction programme, which has led to a decrease in crime levels - figures that have bucked the national trend and won praise from the Home Secretary on his recent visit.

The plans for a pounds 13m entertainment complex in the town centre later this year and the launch this month of a regional business centre. This, along with the recent opening of a new pounds 9m cargo centre at Luton airport, hardly displays a lack of business confidence.

The council's investment throughout the town last year of more than pounds 5m in home and environmental improvements.

Luton College's successful bid for university status.

Local authority and local industry working together - clearly evident in the conference that Ms McGhie attended only four months ago - to set Luton back on the road to economic recovery.

All this and more could and should have been reported. But, as they say, why let the facts spoil a good knocking story?

Yours faithfully,


Leader of the council

Luton, Bedfordshire

3 June