Dennis Franklin is a regular contributor to the IoT Gazette letters page, and sent us this letter to publish in full, just in case the Gazette doesn’t…
I know what follows is lengthy, but I am trying to make some important points about Manston, forthcoming elections, and the use of public money. Also, I feel there have been more pro Manston letters published than against, so I hope space can be found for the following:
Astute readers of the Thanet Gazette letters page will realise I am opposed to Manston airport for 2 reasons, one is I am against social injustice. There are 60,000 households in Thanet, and perhaps 10,000 including some who are not in Thanet, who are effected by low flying aircraft creating air and noise pollution, asthma, pulmonary disease, stress and lower life expectancy.
I do not understand why those in favour of the airport, most of whom are not affected this way, think they can bully those who are, into sacrificing their quality of life, and devaluation of their homes, for what? Most of any new jobs will go to outside experts, and its misguided to think it will increase tourism, it won’t, not if 50 to 100 aircraft a day fly low over Ramsgate Harbour, which an economist in the Thanet Gazette predicted it will be needed to make Manston viable!
My second objection is that I do not agree public funds i.e. Income and Council Tax money should be used to subsidise private enterprise! I have been in correspondence with UKIP KCC Councillor Roger Latchford on this, because KCC UKIP Councillor Trevor Shonk tried to conceal from me that there was a proposal to build another railway station 1 mile from one at Minster, and one and a half miles from Ramsgate station, purely for the use of Ann Gloag the owner of Manston Airport, at a cost to the public of £10.5 million! I suggested there are more worthy ways to spend £10.5 million of our money, like redeveloping the disused gas works site in Ramsgate for hundreds of social/affordable homes for a start!
Shamefully more or less every local politician from Laura Sandys to Green (sic) Party councillor Ian Driver, want to use public money to subsidise Manston, why? Because they are electioneering for the forthcoming elections, that’s why! Don’t be duped, they intend to cynically abandon and sell out the people who live under the flight paths, who will have their lives ruined by low flying aircraft. And would those people involved with Why Not Manston, please note, every attempt to make Manston profitable has failed, even when EU Jet tried bussing people in from Medway!
I agree with Mike Pearce in his article in last week’s Thanet Gazette, it will stick in the craw of those people who lost their jobs due to KCC cut backs, which also reduced funding for road repairs, schools, libraries, social services for young and old etc, only instead to see millions of pounds of public money being poured into private pockets to try and shore up this obsolete airport! If UKIP have their way and bully KCC into coming up with £200 millions of tax payers money to subsidise Manston airport, just to get elected, it will be a travesty!
Finally, will people stop banging on about Manston’s glorious military past? The Cold War ended 25 years ago, and I don’t remember seeing a single National Serviceman who didn’t loathe every wasted minute of it!
Dennis Franklin, Ramsgate