Saturday, December 20, 2014

Liberal Democrats call for a referendum on Manston

I was asked on my previous post for info on the current  Liberal Democrat stance, I'm sure this will help. (I've not added my own to comment for one I'm struck down with some stomach bug and two it looks like Lib Dem candidates for the up coming general election are doing their best, unlike some)

PRESS RELEASE: 19th December

Liberal Democrats publish 10-Point Plan, calling for a referendum on Manston Airport's future.
In response to the chaos at Thanet District Council reported by local media this week, the two Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidates for North and South Thanet – George Cunningham and Russ Timpson - launched a ten point plan today to put the future of Manston Airport on much more solid footing.
The core of this fresh Liberal Democrat initiative in Thanet calls for a referendum on the Manston Airport Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), to be held at the same time as the 7 May 2015 General Election and District Council Elections.
Such a move would ensure that the people of Thanet could give a clear mandate to TDC to go ahead or not with the CPO, finishing the debate about its future once and for all. 
The ten-point plan also lays out a very practical programme to bring more investor interest to Manston Airport and to engage the aviation industry directly in assessing its potential.
The Liberal Democrats are the only political party in Kent that unanimously supports Manston Airport becoming operational again.
Prospective MP for North Thanet, George Cunningham, said: "The compulsory purchase process must not die and should be separated from doubts concerning the RiverOak company. Manston airport can become an international success given proper visionary management based on the will to realise its potential".
Prospective MP for South Thanet, Russ Timpson, said: "We need to rise above the petty politics that is miring the future of the airport. We support a positive agenda with practical solutions. All political parties should work together in a transparent way to find a way forward".
Liberal Democrats believe it was a mistake that Riveroak was declared by Roger Gale MP as the "only show in town" to run the airport. Valuable time has been wasted in not finding a more suitable airport operator.  Manston is a viable business as was witnessed earlier this year by Liberal Democrat efforts in getting Gulf investor interest in using Manston as the base of its European aircraft recycling operations. The Taiwanese also undertook a high profile visit to Manston at the invitation of George Cunningham and Russ Timpson to assess its potential as a freight hub for its goods.
Given developments at the Thanet District Council, the Liberal Democrat team will also be making fresh efforts to find a suitable airport operator.
 For further information and comment, please contact:

• George Cunningham, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for North Thanet. E-mail address:

• Russ Timpson, Prospective parliamentary Candidate for South Thanet. E-mail address: 



1.            Propose a referendum on the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) of Manston, to be held at the same time as General Election and Local                         Council Elections.
2.            Attend and promote Manston Airport at the Aviation Expo in London 2-4 February 2015
3.            Get an open letter of support for Manston Airport, signed by leading opinion formers in the local area.
4.            Hold an aviation round table meeting with potential stakeholders in 2015.
5.            Offer to host the next Aircraft Recycling Conference in Thanet in 2015.
6.            Make public details of possible Aviation Apprenticeships which are available.
7.            Highlight need for standby airport in times of crisis (e.g. recent failure of air traffic control).
8.            Propose twin-track approach of CPO and standby development scheme as a plan B.
9.            Promote value of Manston if Heathrow and Gatwick expansions are blocked.
10.          Compare costs with Boris Island and promote new high speed link to London.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Manston - Labours double whammy (Iris wont talk about CPO and Scobie "Storms" out of meeting)

Labour have surpassed themselves, at last night's extraordinary council meeting, subject Manston Airport, those expecting to have honest debate and facts, were disappointed, Cllr Iris Johnson, has once again allowed the council she leads to dodge any tough questions.

Cllr Iris Johnson, appears recently to have babbled on about River Oak not providing enough information as part of its offer to finance a compulsory purchase of the airport, despite the fact that the company in question refute this, as do others, who like you and I, suspect that labour are only looking to buy votes in Ramsgate.

Still more interesting is Cllr Scobie's intervention, who in my estimation has offered faint support for Manston so far ( a bit like former Labour leader Clive Hart refusing help promote Manston ) anyway you can take Scobie,s storming out of the meeting as an act of principle or if you're a tad cynical, see it as an election stunt, with the general election only a few months away, and Labour apparently doing it's damndest to wreck the Airports chances, what better than to distance yourself from out of touch ancient colleagues, and take the moral highground as a tough independent, honest wonder kid.

Although many of us learn our politics, while working hard, bringing up families, paying tax and being rewarded by broken promises from the political charlatans who govern us, you may just think I'm being a bit mean, and you could be right, however as I understand, Mr Scobie has spent most of his young life working in politics or studying politics of which campaigning and presentation is the key to getting elected and just like sales and marketing you don't hold back when your trying to make a sale or in his case get your vote, so sidestepping his own party briefly is a mere part of his election campaign in my honest opinion.

If Scobie is principled perhaps he could resign from Thanet local Labour party, few believe that Labour have done anything whatsoever to help the Airport, the deputy Labour leader made it quite clear that they would't apparently referring to River Oak "We are not going to do business with people like this.

Iris Johnson could answer this question, why should we trust anything she says on Manston Airport when her deputy leader made it so clear his hostility to a CPO yet remained in post during the process so far and finally how can we trust any so called independent advice paid for by the council when her colleagues and officers appear to have been so hostile.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

MANSTON Thanet Council going through the motions and covering their backside

I imagine Thanet council will be going through the motions and doing it's level best to bury Manston at tonight's Cabinet meeting.

I rarely comment these days since Thanets council reputation for poor practice and slippery way of doing things behind closed doors, since I'm sure you like I are heartly sick.

The latest banality despite the well publicised and genuine offer to under right a Compulsory purchase order by River Oak, have been kicked into the long grass by the same "competent" officers who were no doubt a responsible for multi million pound f*** ups such as TransEuropa ferries.

I note that recently a property deal was cut for a prime Ramsgate seafront site, and we the public are not entitled to know how much it was sold for or what the market value was even worse the council spent thousands to silence Cllr Ian Driver.

Briefly I wouldn't expect much from Labour take this helpful input from deputy Labour leader of Thanet Richard Nicholson had this to say of River Oak offer back in July,"We had no idea it was coming and personally I am not happy about it.           We are not going to do business with people like this. We are looking at a CPO and getting legal advice and will make a decision in time."

Or you might like this from the principled Cllr Alan Poole, some of you might remember was the councillor in charge of  Thanet's dustbins debacle later sacked from the  Cabinet by Leader Iris Johnson “The difference this time is the CPO will lose us the election as opposed to opposing night flights last time winning the election.

If you're thinking its all about the Council and not the people I reckon you could be right.

Take a look at this petition and please sign