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My wish: let the planes fly again from Manston

Gale’s view
by your MP Sir Roger Gale

Politicians are expected to wish for world peace in the coming year. We do indeed live in the most dangerous of times and it would be good to think that by the end of 2015 the threat from ISIS will have been removed, Ebola will be a distant memory and Russia will have withdrawn from eastern Ukraine and Crimea and that the world will, once again, be on an even keel. Good, but unlikely. With a general and local government elections in May, you would expect me to hope for a Conservative majority capable of delivering a referendum on the European Union In the House of Commons. I would love to see the abolition of Kent County Council and the district councils in east Kent and the creation of a sensible unitary authority including Thanet, Canterbury and Dover.

I have, though, one overriding and completely achievable desire and that is quite simply to see, by the end of the year ahead, aircraft landing and taking off again from an operating and revitalised Manston Airport. In accordance with the agreement reached at our meeting bundles of confidential papers were released by RiverOak to the Department of Transport, to the Cabinet Office and to every Thanet councillor prior to Christmas. I believe those papers, which I have read, demonstrate conclusively that the guarantee of indemnity offered by RiverOak to Thanet District Council is legally sound, the business case stands a better than fair chance of success and that Thanet council therefore now needs to demonstrate the political will to initiate the compulsory purchase process. Failure to do so will lead rightly to electoral condemnation. Fortune favours the brave. Let the planes fly again from our local airport in 2015.

Herne Bay Gazette, January 1st 2015

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