Before you read these comments they are my impressions and recollections of last nights 106 Manston meeting, they are of course not meant to be a verbatim report just a slanted view and my memory may not be that reliable.
The overwhelming impression that I got from tonight's meeting over Manston, were of a council united in the interests of Thanet’s majority, which of course has been predominately silent in contrast to the minority plane crazy environmental lobby.
Maybe it's a symptom of this country's dire economic woes, but both Labour and Tory councillors were in the main unified in the soul purpose of assisting Infratil as much as is reasonably possible, to help them gain new business for Manston, and us the workforce of Thanet to get a chance of future prosperity.
It's possible we witnessed the birth of a new political party, namely the Greens that being Cllr. David Green and Cllr Elizabeth Green, who despite being reluctantly in favour of endorsing Infratil's request to adjust slightly the operational hours of the Airport, wished to make a few changes. Which fortunately for all, were overwhelmingly rejected.
The meeting itself, was full of the usual incomprehensible detail, jargon, codswallop and bull, we were treated to the following "late evening" meaning late night, "shoulders" I think being the last and first half hour of the day, aircraft being QC4 or better, god knows what that meant but for some reason nobody dared show their ignorance and ask, still maybe they knew.
The only evidence of labour having a pop at the conservatives, were a couple of comments berating the conservative administration for not coming up with a night-time policy, its just a pity the Tory Group didn't throw this back at the Labour group and ask them to come up with a blimin night-time policy.
On balance the conservative group put up the best performance (maybe I'm just get older) their team had all the skills, their councillors had gone to the trouble of asking their constituents what they thought, most on Nethercourt were in favour according to Councillor Jill Kirby who had taken the trouble to enquire, Bill Hayton mentioned aircraft noise lasted about 9 seconds a small inconvenience if it helps provide jobs and of course Simon Moores was able to talk with some confidence about prevailing winds, 4 minutes standard separation for 747'S, to be honest labour never stood a chance.
Labour had their moments, but with the Green's, having their own amendments, and Councillor Nottingham tapping away on some electronic device (probably writing his next blog) they weren't really a team tonight although cllr Mike Harrison made some good points as did Councillor Clive Hart who confined himself to just one speech .
I think this was a rare example of your elected representative doing the best for the local community even if it doesn't suit everyone particularly the bloggerati and activists who like to think that they speak for all, which they don't, the silent majority are just too damn polite to challenge them.
Thanet's councillors have done the right thing, shown how democracy should operate, a credit to the community showing why we have elected representatives and not a mob or a rabble or even smart *rse bloggers.