Friday, March 09, 2012

WELL DONE CLIVE - Labour's Manston Policy pay's off

Unfortunately, it would seem for workers at Manston, Local Labour's anti Manston policy, is likely to result in redundancy payments in the not too distant future, so far we've yet to hear from Cllr Hart's Labour group.

Those of us with memories, will recall that just a few years ago, with the exception of Councillors Elizabeth  and David Green, Labour members of the council were in favour of allowing flexibility in operations to provide jobs .

In the run up to last years district election, Labour under the leadership of Cllr Clive Hart, adopted a nimby  approach, suddenly becoming anti airport, although this was in line with an earlier decision of Labour to fight the provision of social housing in Dalby Square it came as some surprise that Labour wished to condemn workers to the dole queue and kill off a potential future generator of jobs and business. 

What's the future? Bleak, the only payback will hopefully be Clive Hart's and his colleagues getting the P45 next time they present themselves to the electorate.



  1. The future is far from bleak if the airport closes but it will be more to do with loosing £5 millions every year rather than Labours policy that a closure happens.
    In many other towns airport sites have become properous business parks offering varied employment to many rather than just 100.

  2. No Worries

    Manston will become a wretched housing estate, populated by nimbys on social security complaining about traffic to Ramsgate port.

    what's it matter so long as Clive Harts taking 20k for his efforts, how much would we have to pay if he was any good

  3. Where do people get this Business Park idea? We already have acres of unused industrial site space in Thanet that nobody wants. Why, because we also have a bunch of pathetic, selfish Nimbys who oppose everything from China Gateway to Thanet Earth and beyond.

    Thanet will ultimately be renamed the Isle of Benefits with perpetual Labour councils and valueless properties.

  4. I wonder if your post has anything to do with the future of Manston Parkway station being more uncertain than ever (and less work for you and your cronies)?

  5. They should turn it back into farmland. Or is that a stupid idea?

  6. 10 46 No this has nothing to do with work for cronies ( I happen to be at the bottom of the food chain on that one)

    What this has to do with is Labour selling Thanet short, you've fought social housing, infrastructure improvements.

    Obviously Thanet Labour are all about getting enhanced allowances for the old boys, as for, we the people, we only count, if we have our noses in the public sector or are long term workshy welfare dependents.

  7. I don't think you can single out Labour in this instance Tony. They've only been in power for a few months, yet the airport has been under achieving for years.

  8. Tony you may recall that labour pledged to cut additional allowances for councillors so that it could be spent for the good of the community. But at a recent council meeting the independants and others voted down the motion for a cut.

  9. 11 21 Quite clearly you can blame Labour who have made it more than clear they are not interested in creating jobs, their against Manston and improvements to the rail.

    Labour have no interest in creating jobs, they can quite easily get votes from public sector workers and the work avoiding welfare dependent, square up a few "conservative" nimbys and bobs your uncle, and stuff anyone else.

    11 23 I don't think Clive or his colleagues are losing too much sleep on that one.

  10. Peter that might be the best outcome although unlikely, if Manston fails sell to an operator then most likely we will see new development of poorly designed hutches built.

  11. Just a thought, no evidence to back it up except the looming conflict with Iran and the mayhem that ensues, but might it be a deliberate ploy to shut down civilian operations at Manston in readiness for military use?

  12. Anon 12.31. Thats just pie in the sky. The coallition has been closing down air bases such as RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire, with the loss of 1780 service posts and 360 civilian.

  13. It will be turned into Film Studios (do a link back to this when it happens)

  14. Infratil quit Manston! That's Labour's fault of course! It must be, can't be any other reason for a truthful, honest company that cares a great deal for it's workforce to sadly retreat from an extremely worthwhile enterprise like an airport on the fringes of Kent.

    It could also be that Thanet is full of immigrants and the workshy, which is down to Labour as well. Who are the first to turn up on polling day? The immigrants and the workshy with their red flags, that's who!!

    Labour, OccupyThanet, the immigrants and the workshy are to blame for every ill that befalls Thanet!! They won't be happy until we have a commieislamicfascist state in this country!

  15. Seeing Clive has only been in power for 100 days blaming him is a bit rich, the true blue tories and the chief exec of tdc should be taking all the blame for this debacle.

  16. 5 02 of course you can blame Clive and his colleagues take this quote from Peter Campbell prior to the last district elections

    "we will implement a policy of no flights during the hours of 23:00 to 07:00, except emergency landings and humanitarian flights.

    Which if I was thinking of investing in Manston might interprit as, we will indulge in a power trip and be closed to any normal pragmatic business discussions

    Or another thought

    "Labour is always mindful of the need for jobs within our community. However we have simply not been convinced that the economic argument has been made for night flights, particularly when the airport is so underused during the day.

    Mindful implies some ability to think, convinced or not about the economic need of being flexible it seems to me that the thought of dealing with Thanet Labour bods, was probably the final straw.

  17. Night flights will not be the saviour of Manston, it may attract a few bucket cargo airlines looking for cheap landing slots, which bring in additonal revenue for the shareholders but very few additional jobs.

    Passenger flights create jobs, freight create very little, people simply prefer to depart and arrive during the day if possible, Gatwick does not have night flights for passengers. Manston can only sell around 10% of its daytime slots and Flybee pulled out because of lack of passengers, not lack of night flights. There are simply to many airports nearby and a tiny catchment area and in many cases it is easier to go through the tunnel or jump on a ferry than to fly to many European destinations if you live in Kent,which I am sure also reduces the prospects for passenger airlines trying at Manston.

    I would love a vibrant airport with low-cost scheduled airlines flying out of it but I am afraid Manston will continue to be a victim of its geography and it is just stupid to think that night flghts may somehow change its fortunes and blaming politicians for its lack of success maybe they have actually done some research.

  18. Labour only got on the bandwagon of no night flights to temp the Ramsgate electorate last year - and it paid off, so we had a hung council. It was an underhand trick and now we're stuck with them.
    But I like the idea of a film set at Manston!

  19. Passenger charter airlines like using night slots to save money, and if flying with narrow-bodies are quite labour intensive to handle, but the austere economic climate means less foreign excursions for the bucket and spade brigade.

    Other than that I agree with 10:15 that Manston is geographically challenged.

  20. Why are so many people convinced that having an airport on Thanet is a good idea? I was born and brought up about 2 miles from Heathrow and i saw the town i was born in go from a semi rural happy community to a traffic choked, concrete ghetto in 10 years.
    Now the place is somewhere you just want to leave as soon as you arrive.
    No one in their right mind is going to want to fly to or from anywhere into or out of Manston. It is miles from anywhere. That is why it was an RAF base. Notions of a high speed rail link are fantasies. It's not going to happen. When it was touted as "London's International airport" it was laughable and it still is. It must be turned into something else. An all weather leisure complex, a Centre Parc, a water park, a woodland and wildlife centre like Fowlmead. Anything other than an airport.

  21. Anything? Just wait for the protests what ever else is proposed. This is Thanet after all and everything has to be objected to or used as a vote catcher by a certain party. Nothing can ever be done for the good of the majority.

    As for Yogi Bear, is Manston anymore geographically challenged than Lydd? Oh, and just how remote is an hour and a half from London or thirty minutes to the Channel tunnel and ports. There are plenty of successful regional airports equally, if not more, remote than Manston.

  22. Only if you name one that isn't.

  23. Exeter serving a population of 117,600. Thanet's population 129,200 so what was that about no catchment area.

    Of the many regional airports run successfully in the UK several were former RAF bases. What was once remote is not necessarily so anymore.

    Next question, Yogi?

  24. Exeter airport serves the population of Cornwall and Devon which has a total population of 1.3million not just the people of Exeter for Gods sake, nor does it have Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted within a two-hour drive. Nor does it have speedy access to the channel tunnel trains or ferries which compete with air travel.
    Flybee use Exeter very successfully something they were unable to do at Manston.

  25. My next question is.... if it is a viable site for an airport, how come no operator has been able to make a go of it?
    Don't give me the needs-night- flights-to-make-it-viable mularky either.

  26. Exeter is not the only airport serving the west country for there are further regional airports at Plymouth, Southampton, Bournemouth and Bristol all within about two hours radius. Yogi and friends seem to make it up as they go along and ignore anything that does not fit their case.

    I don't have a problem with you not wanting an airport but please be honest about it. You just don't want one near to where you live. Viability and all this malarkey about catchment areas is just that, malarkey.

  27. I actually do want a viable regional airport at Manston and I do not live anywhere near the flightpath but I just look at the facts and see it will not work here. It ain't those nasty anti-airport people who are stopping it being a success but the markets. The airports you quote are regional with a limited selection of destinations therefore they can share destinations, they are not near to two hub airports flying everywhere and the biggest charter airport in the world.

    Argue all you like in your blinkered, ill-informed way, afterall it was you who came up with the ludicrous argument regarding Exeter Airports catchment area being that of the citys population itself but please answer this multiple-choice question:

    Why did FLYBEE withdraw all its operations from Manston:

    a/ No Night-flight slots
    b/ Moaning local residents
    c/ Horrid, nasty Local Politicians
    d/ Not enough passengers due to small catchment area(quote from FLYBEE)

  28. Why am I blinkered when simply offering the alternative view to you. People are happy to confine Manston's catchment area to Thanet, but suggest the same limitation to another regional airport and it suddenly becomes ludicrous. Yes, I only used Exeters population but did likewise for Thanet. How about Dover, Deal, Canterbury, Faversham and the whole of East Kent. If the flights were there would people not use them.

    Add the fact that Gatwick and Heathrow are at capacity, without additional runways, and there is potential for overspill going elsewhere.

    As for Flybe, who knows, but how many times has one seen a business suceed in the same location that an earlier, seemingly identical one, failed.

    You may be right, but I still think it is too soon to call it game over, especially when the area so desperately needs all it can get to give it a boost.

  29. Quoting Flybe proves nothing. Since when did the General Manager, CEO or proprietor of a failed business venture ever say I stuffed up or I had a crap business plan. No, human nature and job preservation demands an excuse for failure.

  30. Boo boo, kindly refrain from accusing me of being dishonest.Just because you're finding it hard to win an argument is no reason to start being personal. It just shows what a weak case you have.
    Why on earth would anyone want to fly into Manston to go back across the channel by ferry? Wouldn't it be easier to fly to France or Belgium in the first place?
    You haven't answered my question anyway. If its such a great idea how come it hasn't blossomed into a thriving hub by now?

  31. Eujet failed at Manston in 2005 even though economic conditions were perfect, Flybe also failed this year when things were a lot tougher, Infratil have pulled the plug because they can't sell day time slots but could only make a profit with noisy old freight aircraft flying throughout the night.

    I think the Labour Group got this call absolutely right.

  32. Yogi, my bear type friend, I am not accusing you of dishonesty nor am I losing the argument for, frankly, their are no winners in this situation, least of all the good people of Thanet. I am simply trying to offer the alternative case.

    As for Shinguard, it is not just cargo planes that fly at night and most airlines like the option to use night slots under certain circumstances. As for Labour, the only thing they got right was that by jumping on the 'no to night flights' bandwagon they could pull some extra votes in parts of Ramsgate. When actually handed the responsibility of leading TDC, they were no more capable of taking a positive stand on the issue, either way, than the previous lot.

    Anon 11:50, nail on the head, old chap. Personally I would have been much more interested in flying to Paris or Barcelona than Edinburgh.

  33. Shinguard, not very well informed are we. Eujet ceased trading, because their owners went into liquidation, totally from both Shannon and Manston. Perhaps Shannon was in the wrong place as well?

  34. Who said anything about 'in the wrong place'?

  35. Shinguard you clearly stated that Eujet failed at Manston and that Infratil can only make it work by accepting night freight flights. By implication then it is Manston and not the owners or airlines that have failed.

    Perhaps then you could explain why Eujet also ceased operations from Shannon.

  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. Boo boo. We can certainly agree there are no winners.

    After all, we are smarter than the average bear n'est ce pas?

  38. Touché, Yogi, and now we better make like invisible because I can hear the ranger coming (or is it a Jumbo)!

  39. Before the MoD moved out TDC had in their possession a consultants' report which stated quite clearly, that Manston had little potential as a passenger airport.

    Having paid a large chunk of our money to get this report, TDC then proceeded to ignore the advice and has spent the last thirteen or fourteen years trying to persuade us that Manston should be the central plank of regeneration.

    I think this has gone on long enough. We now have years of evidence to confirm that, whilst Manston may have massive imaginary potential, it has no realistic prospect of making a profit.

    The Council needs to make up its mind about plan B (i.e. what else would be an acceptable form of development on the airfield?) and needs to communicate this to potential investors.

    We have to remember that the last time it went bust, there were other bids for non-airport uses and that at least one of these was a bigger bid than Infratil's. It was the Council that insisted it had to remain as an airport. It's time the Council stopped standing in the way of progress and allowed other users to put forward their schemes for the airfield.

  40. The key phrase could be 'as a passenenger airport' which does not necessarily mean it has no prospect as an airfield completely.

    There are many small airports in the UK operating on private aircraft, flying schools and light freight without large passenger airlines.

    Maybe so far the business plan has been slanted in the wrong direction.