The committee, which includes airport bosses and representatives of the surrounding towns and villages, had rearranged its meeting especially to have Cllr Carter attend. Committee chairman Paul Twyman said:
“We were very keen to have him talk to us and deliberately rescheduled the meeting to accommodate him. I am not at all pleased at this development. What I suggest we do is that we raise the matter with the Standards Committee at Kent County Council as I find it inappropriate and actually quite offensive as we have gone to all this trouble to arrange this meeting then we suddenly have the man pull out.”
The group voted to report the matter to the standards committee, which looks into complaints against councillors and assesses whether they have breached the code of conduct. Mr Carter, who has previously expressed his support for the airport’s expansion, claimed he had an unavoidable family engagement which had been rearranged for Friday.
There was heated debate at the meeting, with Ramsgate and Herne Bay residents quizzing airport chief executive Matt Clarke about the flight paths of incoming planes and the airport’s long-term viability. There were also a number of comments made from the public in support of the airport’s expansion. Mr Clarke said he would look into alternative approach routes for planes coming into the airport, which could reduce the noise experienced by those living nearby. At the end of the meeting, a resident handed Mr Clarke a banner bearing the words No Night Flights, which he said he wanted the chief executive to put up in his bedroom.