A leading Labour member of South Gloucestershire Council has tabled an urgent question for this Wednesday's Council meeting following recent news that BAE Systems had sold Filton Airfield to Malaysian developers YTL. YTL's UK development chairman is Colin Skellett, who also chairs the Local Economic Partnership which has a leading role in supporting enterprise areas including Filton.
Labour Group's Deputy Leader Councillor Ian Boulton has tabled the question to the Council's Conservative Leader in order to ascertain whether there has been a conflict of interest and to prevent one occurring.
Councillor Boulton's urgent question reads:
“At the end of last week it was announced that YTL Homes Ltd had bought Filton Airfield for development. The Chairman of YTL Homes Ltd is Colin Skellett, who is also the Chairman of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) which has a role for marketing and developing the airfield. This must be a potential conflict of interest and most members of the public are likely to perceive it as such.
Given that negotiations will have been going on for some time prior to the very recent announcement, and the responsibility the LEP has for all of the regional enterprise zones, I ask the Leader what assurance can councillors and the general public have that there has not been a conflict of interest to date and what actions will this Council take to restore public confidence in what is already a sensitive and controversial development?”
Councilllor Boulton comments:
"The news that emerged at the end of last week raises many questions. As the agenda for Wednesday's Council had already been published I am only allowed one urgent question, and I hope that we get a full and clear answer to our concerns."