The agenda of an upcoming meeting of South Gloucestershire Council shows that Labour is continuing to press for answers to the key questions on the future of Filton Airfield, after its owners, BAE Systems, announced that they would close it.
Following a public meeting organised by the Labour-run Filton Town Council last Friday attended by around 100 residents, local councillor Adam Monk is seeking answers from South Gloucestershire’s ruling Conservatives on what the council will do to ensure an appropriate future for the site were the airfield to close.
The two questions, which Cllr Monk has tabled to Tory Council Leader John Calway, are:
“Given the pending closure of Filton Airfield, what actions will South Gloucestershire Council take to ensure that the land is used to attract sustainable employment utilising the existing skill sets of the highly qualified engineers based around the area?”
“With the previous strategy of the LEP [West of England Local Enterprise Partnership] looking to develop employment in South Bristol and the newly created Enterprise Zone in Temple Meads, what steps will South Gloucestershire Council take to remind our partners of the economic importance of the Filton area in the West of England?”
Cllr Monk (Labour, Filton) said:
“The airfield is a sensitive issue to the residents of Filton. As ward councillors Ian Scott, Roger Hutchinson and I would like to see the airfield remain in place, as would local residents. We need to understand what BAE Systems mean when they say the airfield is not viable under the current restraints. We also need to ensure that councillors and South Gloucestershire Council’s partners appreciate the economic importance of the aerospace industry in the West of England, which is predominately based in and around Filton.”
“High tech engineering companies will want to establish businesses where there is a steady supply of highly qualified resources available, and Filton is the natural choice for this. We must ensure that we are attracting high tech businesses to the area creating a centre of excellence for the aerospace industry and other sustainable engineering related employers. Finally it is essential that we identify a permanent home in Filton for Concorde, which is close to our hearts, as it is to most local residents.”
Source: Labour Councillors on South Gloucestershire Council