UKIP calls public meeting to discuss closure of Filton Airfield

Neil Hamilton addresses a UKIP meeting at the Aztec Hotel in Bristol.

A cross party public meeting has been called by the Filton and Bradley Stoke (FABS) branch of UKIP to discuss the impending closure of Filton Airfield and the wider implications for the communities of the area.

The meeting will take place at Filton Community Centre, Elm Park, this Friday (2nd November) at 7:30pm.

A press release put out today by Cllr Ben Walker (UKIP member for Bradley Stoke North on South Gloucestershire Council) says the local party branch recognises the importance of the airfield, both nationally and locally.

The meeting has been organised because UKIP believes “more support needs to be generated to stop the airfield’s closure for yet more housing in an already saturated locality”.

Speaking at a residents’ meeting in Filton today, Cllr Ben Walker said:

“This area has been grossly let down by its South Gloucestershire elected representatives and MP.”

“Building houses is short term growth. Employing and investing in a skilled tradesperson grows both the local and national economies and supports that person for years, along with their family.”

“Closing the airfield will result in a loss of employment, heritage and national defence capability. Your elected representatives are pawning our children’s futures.”

All members of the public are encouraged to attend the meeting and share their views as, according to UKIP, “the potential development of thousands of houses on the airfield site will not only result in a loss of industry, it will also force further traffic issues onto our already congested local roads”.

The meeting will be supported by Cllr Ben Walker, Neil Hamilton (UKIP National Executive Committee), Mr Alan Tink, Cllr Adam Monk (Chair of Filton Town Council), the Save Filton Airfield Campaign, Cllr Doug Daniels (Filton Town Council), Mr Tim Shawland and several former BAE employees.

Photo: Neil Hamilton addresses a UKIP meeting at the Aztec Hotel in Bristol [Photo: ©Bradley Stoke Journal]

Poster advertising a public meeting to discuss the future of Filton Airfield.

Related link: Cribbs/Patchway New Neighbourhood (Patchway Journal)

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  1. Smells of desperation. This isn’t a ‘discussion’ in any meaningful sense, it is a stitch up and rabble rousing. A ‘discussion’ would have some kind of balance and representation of other views.

    Why a single issue pressure group is involving its senior executive in this farce is beyond me, they must be truly desperate for any support they can muster. I wonder if Mr Hamilton is paid to answer questions as well as ask them?

    As for Ben Walker, I seem to remember him signing a letter to the Evening Post before the striking of his colours, which supported the airfield decision. I wonder why the sudden change of heart? If anyone has let the area down Mr Walker, it is you with your lies and duplicity.

  2. What rank hypocrisy from Cllr Ben Walker. As recently as August 14th 2011 he was commenting in the Bristol Evening Post that “The airfield has been economically unviable for many years” and that he will “campaign for desperately needed local housing to only be built” on the airfield. What’s changed since then Ben? If Ben walker told me the sky was blue I’d have to go outside to check for myself. How can anyone trust this man.

    Here’s the link to the BEP article so you can see for yourself:

  3. I’m glad Cllr Ben Walker has raised the subject of unviable and financially strapped local businesses. I note that his own company Oppo Complete Building Services is still showing on the Company’s House website as being very late with submission of returns and official accounts (returns should have been presented in April this year, still no sign of them) and that the Taxman has objected to Ben winding up his company until he submits his proper accounts. My advice to Cllr Walker is to concentrate on getting his own business affairs in order before skipping over the border to Filton. Just saying.

  4. Dear Ghost & Blinky (AKA??)

    Thank you for your very useful comments. For the record, I didn’t write the letter. I didn’t even see it before it went to press. I was asked about it, but unfortunately as these Tory things usally are, the conversation was very different to the action.

    Again, for the record, this meeting is a cross party meeting made up by Labour, Conservative & UKIP Councillors, professionals, Independents and Save Filton Airfield Campaign. Generally, people who care about the future of this area.

    Its a huge shame that the local Tory leadership see such action as negative and I for one wish that people online using these sites would actually post their real names. I’m convinced the readership would be very interested to see who you both are.

    Come along on Friday and you too can join in the discussions. We would all be very pleased to see you.

  5. Having read this article and read the comments of other commentators regarding Cllr Walker’s involvement in this issue, one can only conclude that is appears to be another Ben Walker flight of fancy if you will forgive the pun.

    As a Bradley Stoke Resident I feel very let down by Ben Walker. I put my trust in him when I voted for him in May last year and since then he has changed his political colours (and it appears his views) when he doesn’t get his own way.

    Let me tell Ben that his support for an Filton Airport will not go down well with residents here in Bradley Stoke. We don’t want a full blown commercial freight airport on our doorstep!!!

  6. So Ben you say you didn’t write the letter or even see the letter before it was sent to the Bristol Evening Post? So why did you put your name to it? Is it normal for you to put your name to something without knowing what it says? That’s a shocking admission. How can anyone trust you??? It’s almost like asking for a blank cheque from the taxpayer to bail out the redundant airfield – oh yes, that’s what you’re asking for as well. No chance.

    Interestingly also I note you don’t respond to the comments made by BradleyStoker78. I think we Bradley Stoke residents would like an explanation please.

  7. Dear Mr Walker,

    Thank you for your very useful response.

    I’m so sorry that you were misrepresented so badly by the letter you signed (or not?) which appeared in the Evening Post. If I had my name put to something I had not seen, agreed to, or agreed with, I would certainly have contacted the editor immediately to ask that it be removed. Can I inquire why you did not do this? Or perhaps you did and the editor refused?

    I, and I’m sure many other readers, would also be interested to hear who actually put your name to the letter without your prior permission. Were it me, I would certainly make an official complaint. Have you perhaps done this? I am a Conservative supporter, there is little point in denying that. However, I expect my party and the local representatives I vote for to behave in a certain way. If you let me know who the culprit is, I will certainly complain to them myself. Their actions were clearly unacceptable if what you say is true. As such, if you are going to make an accusation, you should do it properly.

    Whilst your meeting may be cross party, that was not my point. The sole Conservative (why just the one when there are two representatives from Lab and UKIP?) is an airfield campaigner. My earlier point is that there seems to be no representation of public figures with differing views. I would also say that, whilst he is a nice enough man from the brief occasion on which I met him, Cllr Daniels is about as much of a Conservative as yourself, in that you both probably were at one time in the past, but at some point that fell by the wayside.

    Can I also ask what the comments of the Tory leadership have been about your meeting? I’m afraid I have not seen any and would be interested to know.

    Regarding my name, I’m afraid I will have to decline. I’m sure at some point in the future you will knock on my door and I fully intend to take up as much of your time as possible. I wouldn’t want you passing me over. Suffice to say, I am not an important local figure such as yourself. It is entirely appropriated that you (and Cllrs of ALL parties) disclose your identity, but I would not presume to ask a private citizen to do the same. That would be none of my business. I do however use the same name for every post on every Journal site. I am not Binky, if that is your concern, and I’m sure the editor would call me on it if I were, however I’d rather that any other information more personal than that remain private.

    I’ll also have to decline the invitation to your meeting. Again, it smells like a stitch up, I wouldn’t want to boost your numbers so you can claim to be ‘representing me’, and to be perfectly frank, I have better things to do with my life.

  8. What’s this about Doug Daniels not being a Conservative now? News to me! He’s one of the most traditional “get Britain building” Conservatives I know. I wish there were more like him!

  9. Following a complaint and threat of legal action from Craig Heely, a comment posted at 11:34pm yesterday by ‘True Blue Conservative’ has been removed from the website.

    Mr Heely claimed the comment was defamatory.

    The Editor attempted to contact ‘True Blue Conservative’, both through the email address given when the comment was submitted and by placing a message on this thread, but no reply was forthcoming.

    Readers are reminded that they assume full legal responsibility for any comments submitted.

  10. Bert, a “get Britain building” Conservative? Why is he protesting that an airfield is closing then on which things are going to be, um, built?!

  11. I’ll be there tonight and will ask Ben Walker about ‘that’ letter and what happened there.

    I note another name on it is Tory Cllr Brian Hopkinson of Stoke Lodge in Patchway TC and Bradley Stoke TC as well as SGC, another man famous for flip flops and U Turns, recently over Highwood Road.

    As the Tory Party are so obsessed with Ben Walker and his finance issues could they perhaps also take into account Cllr Brian Hopkinson has been ‘warned off?’ by the FSA over bad advice given to his clients and refusing to compensate them, even being deemed as ‘not a fit and proper person’ in the report.

    This is neither slander nor libel, just Google Brian Hopkinson FSA and the report is there for all to read, so let’s have some balance regards the attacks on Ben Walker with having a closer look at those still within the Tory Party ranks who perhaps are also guilty of something, hey, aren’t we all?

    Indeed, perhaps all Cllrs should be checked as ‘fit and proper’ before we let them near decisions that govern people’s lives, especially financial ones. Perhaps an attachment of earnings order could be used by SGC to help pay people back what they have lost due to the likes of Brian Hopkinson or anyone else for that matter.

    Dave Tiley Patchway Town Councillor for what it’s worth – SFA.

  12. Hi Di.

    It was a relatively well attended meeting for modern times I believe, some 66 people there? Neil Hamilton spoke mostly, did bring immigration into the debate reference building houses on the airfield, but said he will try and use his Westminster contacts to raise the issue once again before it’s really too late. Time will be the judge of what he can do, I’ll leave the likes of him, Alan Tink and Ben Walker to expand on that, it was their meeting. Ben spoke well, and I did ask him about ‘that letter’, he did say who actually wrote it and what went down, but in these times and with false allegations and scandals flying around I’ll keep my own counsel on what he told me, and stick to the facts that concern me that I have previously referenced. Clearly I hope the airfield could be saved as a working model with alternatives proposed by SFA, but wonder if UKIP can bring any more to the party, good luck to them anyway.

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