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Tag Archives: Committee

Laura Sandys gets political

Politics is the worst thing that ever happened to democracy, and I only realised this since getting involved in local community campaigns like this one.

The downsides of night flights - noise and other pollution, environmental destruction, reduced quality of life, worse health, more stress, harder-to-teach kids, etc. etc. - are all straightforward facts, and as such are strictly non-political.

The advertised upside of night flights - that they will allow the airport to achieve its master plan and the forecast jobs - is more a matter of belief, trust or interpretation, and as such is likely to coloured by the political colour of your mind/heart.

It's disheartening when political spin and point-scoring produce more heat than light, warming the hearts of political supporters without showing a way forward. (This criticism is emphatically not levelled at Laura alone, not by any means - they're all at it, most of the time, usually when there are better things to be doing.)

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Support from CPRE Protect Kent

Thanet District Committee

Matters have not been all quiet on the eastern front. A number of issues have surfaced — or re-surfaced — within the District. The most significant is the proposal for night-flights from Kent International Airport, Manston.

This is a subject which has featured for some time as a dark storm cloud over Thanet, ominous and threatening but never quite ready to release its anger. It now appears that the storm is about to break.

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Labour denies night flight U-turn

For myself, I think the idea of a "whipped" vote (when members are formally ordered to toe the party line) is an affront to democracy. Each councillor's first duty is to the residents of their ward, and if that conflicts with party policy, then the residents' interests should win every time.

That said, there is no practical way of telling whether a vote has been informally whipped, with the usual mix of sticks and carrots. And there's always (thankfully) some bloody-minded/ruggedly independent individuals who simply won't do what they're told.

Finally, I do wish politicians wouldn't say things like "People will have to trust us" - it's guaranteed to raise both chuckles and hackles.

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Clown makes a serious point

An irate clown was in no mood for jokes when he arrived at Manston airport on Friday to highlight the "circus" over night-time flying. Sporting a wig, tartan suit and painted clown face, protester Malcolm Kirkaldie attended a meeting of the Kent International Airport Consultative Committee.

Mr Kirkaldie, a former committee member before he resigned in disgust this year, said Thanet council's failure to properly monitor night flights had made a mockery of the 106 agreement with New Zealand-based operators Infratil. He said:

"Given the recent events at the Airport Working Party and the admission of certain failures in the 106 agreement and monitoring, it has turned into a bit of a circus – so I thought how appropriate to dress up as a clown."

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Woken in the small hours, 5th October

Yup, another night of misery for Ramsgate, as you'll see from the comments below. Here's a number of things for you all to think about:

  • There will be a public meeting of KIACC (the Consultative Committee for the airport) on Tuesday 11th October. This is usually held in the passenger lounge at Manston. Time to be confirmed. [Correction: the KIACC meeting is Friday 21st October, time TBA. I was cruelly misled!]
  • PLEASE could you check through the piss-poor replies you've had to earlier complaints for late Tuesday nights/early Wednesday mornings - I think we may have an unofficial timetable operating. Use the comments on this post to enter the date, time, and operator/aircraft details.
  • A new contact within TDC for you is Madeline Homer, on madeline.homer@thanet.gov.uk - Ms Homer has taken on Brian White's role in Regeneration, and reported to the recent Airport Working Party that:
    • the S106 is voluntary (wrong)
    • the current monitoring gives no cause for concern (judge for yourselves)

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Cllr David Green writes:

On Tuesday (30th August) I proposed, and Peter Campbell seconded, that a report, from the Council’s Airport Working Party, on the monitoring of activities at Manston Airport including Night Flights policy be adopted by the Thanet District Council (TDC) Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and forwarded to Cabinet. The committee voted 8 to 7 with all Labour Councillors and Cllr King in favour.

“1(a) The Council adopts a policy of not allowing scheduled, pre-planned or otherwise timetabled flights between the hours of 23:00 and 07:00

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Advisory group recommend no night flights at airport

“No flights to be scheduled between 11pm and 7am at Manston” was the recommendation to the council at a meeting of the Airport Working Party this week.  The suggestion was one of ten agreed during the group’s final meeting before yesterday’s elections.  The advisory group also recommended that: There is a period of one hour at either end of the …

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