Thursday, February 02, 2012

MANSTON -Bob Bayford Leader Thanet Conservatives refutes Labour Claims

It seems that Bob Bayford is a tad, upset, (see press release below) as well he might be, on claims made be the Leader of Thanet Council,Cllr Clive Hart, that he created " monster of a process " referring to consultation over Manston night time flying policy, for myself despite, an apparent cross party agreement on helping Manston expand at the time it was suggest BA world Cargo might use the airport, it has become a political football, sadly with Labour milking the nimby vote for all its worth, with little consideration for those of us, who work for a living.

Still below is the Conservative Press release

Manston Airport - Open Letter from Bob Bayford, TDC Conservative Group
31 January 2012

Leader Clive Hart's latest press release concerning consultation on Infratil's night-time flying policy is simply breathtaking in its distance from the truth.

He claims that I had created 'a monster of a process', clearly ignoring the fact that the approach to consultation was determined by an in-house group of officers together with myself and (Labour) Councillor Mike Harrison, the then chair of the Airport Working Party. A draft process was then taken to that working party, where members made their contribution before final agreement. Hardly my process!

During the formative stages, a number of principles were established, with Cllr Harrison's full agreement. Amongst these were:-

1)  That the substantive consultation had to be carried out by an independent, well-respected organisation. This was to remove any suggestion of TDC bias in the results.

2)  That any reports produced by the airport in support of their proposals would be subjected to a rigorous 'peer review' to establish their veracity.

3)  That the consultation should be 'zoned' to ensure that weighting was afforded to those most affected by night-time flying but that opinion had to be sought from not only the rest of Thanet but also those other residents and businesses in Kent who had an interest in Manston's expansion. To facilitate this wider consultation, KCC were contributing £40,000 towards the cost and Canterbury City Council £5000.
  1. That getting the consultation right was more important than rushing to a conclusion.

As far as I am aware, these principles were all endorsed by the working party.

The timing of the consultation was always going to be determined by when the airport submitted its policy proposal and the subsequent submission of noise impact and economic impact reports. The peer review of the latter was published on 23rd of January, which clears the way for public consultation.

The only money spent by TDC to date is the cost of the peer reviews. In my opinion, whatever the future may hold with regard to Manston, it was vital that any reports produced for the airport should have been subjected to expert, independent scrutiny, to inform the Council's stance on the airport's activities.

I am frankly surprised by the present leader's stance on this issue. On the one hand, he suggests that there is no need for the Council to consult but then proposes a half-baked consultation, guaranteed to produce a biased outcome.

Whether the Council can, at this stage, make any binding decisions on the airport is irrelevant. TDC has a civic leadership responsibility to have a view on the airport's expansion and operational ambitions. It is a topic that elicits strong opinions on both sides of the argument. The eventual fate of the airport will have economic and environmental consequences for many. TDC must give a lead, having considered the public's views and Infratil's proposals.

Bob Bayford
Leader, TDC Conservative Group


  1. Half baked is about right, the longer they hold the reigns of power in Thanet the more hopeless they look.

    When's the next election?

    Lord help us!

  2. So the people in Ramsgate who also work for a living and would like to continue to do so to the best of their ability by having a good nights sleep don't matter?

    The last paragraph of Bayford's statement is bizarre. Why is there no shared responsibility taken as to why TDC are in the embarrassing position of not being able to make any binding decisions on the airport. Where was TDC's civic leadership responsibility at the time the Section 106 was created?

  3. The S106 agreement was set up under the last Labour administration in Thanet which probably explains why 5.04 feels that leadership was lacking even then.

  4. Tom, I'm aware of Labour's ineptitude over the S106 and Conservative's unwillingness to get a grip by renegotiating it over the years. Neither party comes out of this looking anything other than incompetent at best, unscrupulous at worst. To lose control over an airport which is at such close proximity to a large residential population is shocking. Combined with the fact that there's no noise or pollution monitoring going on is scandalous and shows how little regard there is for residents by our councillors, of any party.

  5. 5:54 The airport is hardly close to a large centre of population compared with the likes of Heathrow, or even Gatwick, but I do agree with you about years of procrastination by politicians. Nonetheless, the last administration had put in place a consultation process on the issue which seems to have been scrapped by the new one.

  6. Its a pity Thanet Tories did not issue press releases when they were in power. But then why should the public be put in the picture?

  7. It the job of all politicians to keep the public in the dark. No MP is worthy of their allowances they are all gatekeepers and councillors are their lackeys yet more overpaid public servants.

    Cap MPs Salaries at £26,000

    With the government insisting that there should be a benefit cap of £26,000, in line with the 'average' UK wage, we believe that they should demonstrate how 'we're all in this together' by way of capping MPs salaries to match.

    New MP's should have 6 months unpaid 'work' experience

    OH YES COMPULSORY induction courses at half the rate

    Make them work for 6.50 an hour see how they get by, place the airport directly above their homes and see if they like it.