Charles Buchanan doesn’t think that the independent report into the effect of development at Manston “challenged” his claims over economic benefit and noise pollution. No, it rubbished them.
Charles Buchanan says “we employ a lot of people in Margate”. According to the proposal, 17.1% of the “about 110” staff… 19 people.
Bob Bayford says “the people most motivated to respond are those who have a negative view”. Oh dear, Bob, what’s happened to your faith in human nature? Surely you don’t believe that people with a positive view (i.e. have fallen for the sales pitch) are all going to be apathetic?
Cllr Bayford continues: “there will be activists going around encouraging people to respond negatively”… Hmmm, I expect there will be airport executives (and maybe councillors?) going round encouraging people to respond positively, too… but that doesn’t seem to bother Bob.
I wonder if Bob has tripped into the pre-determination trap.
Gloves are off in row over night flights
The gloves are off in the row between Thanet District Council and airport management over night flights at Thanet’s Manston Kent International Airport. The chief executive of Manston’s Kent International Airport has hit out at Thanet District Council’s assessment of night flying.
Charles Buchanan told a meeting of business leaders that plans to weight assessment of a consultation in favour of those living under the flight path was unfair to the rest of Thanet.
He also criticised a statement by the authority that said an independent report into the effect of development at the airport “challenged” claims by Infratil, which owns the airport, over economic benefit and noise pollution.
Last week, Thanet council announced it will carry out a 28-day in-house consultation on Manston night-flying policy. The council says the consultation would preserve “the key principle” of giving more weight to the views of people living under the flight paths. Mr Buchanan said the views of all Thanet residents should be treated equally, adding:
“It is quite clear that there are people from across Thanet who will benefit from the job opportunities created by the night flights and we employ a lot of people in Margate. To weigh it in favour of those who just live under the flight path is not fair. All people should have their equal say.”
But Labour council leader Clive Hart said that those who are affected by the environmental impact, as well as the economic impact, should have more of a say. He said:
“It was always going to be that way. Other people are affected, but the argument goes both ways. Both people under the flight path and elsewhere in the isle are affected by employment issues. But only people under the flight path are affected by environmental issues as well, so their comments should be given more weight.”
Conservative former council leader Bob Bayford accepted that people living under the flight path should be given more say but that only a consultation carried out by a private company could give an accurate picture of people’s views. He said
“If you ask people to respond in an in-house consultation, the people most motivated to respond are those who have a negative view. The people who are not against the airport basically won’t bother. If you use a proper market-research company, that is skilled in gauging opinion, they will get the views of the whole population. That is what they are skilled at doing. The other problem is that there will be activists going around encouraging people to respond negatively. Everyone is affected, so they should all have a say.”
The consultation is due to begin on Friday (February 3) for a period of 28 days and will be open to all residents in Thanet. Responses to the proposals can be submitted in writing to Consultation, Thanet District Council, PO Box 9, Margate CT9 1XZ or by e-mailing email@example.com Full names and addresses must be provided with each response.
thisiskent 31st Jan 2012