The already deprived residents of one of the poorest local authorities in England may soon be deprived of sleep, too — thanks to the ineptitude of Thanet council.
Thanet’s Manston airport, owned by Kiwi conglomerate lnfratil, wants to operate flights throughout the night — mostly old, noisy freight 747s. The airport’s boss, Charles “Manston” Buchanan, says this will somehow help create more than 3,000 jobs, as well as, one presumes, raging insomnia for the thousands of council taxpayers who live under the flight path.
An independent study commissioned by Thanet’s previous Tory administration pooh-poohed Manston’s pie-in-the-sky job creation numbers, reporting that the figure was likely to be “significantly overstated”. Back in December the Tories lost control to Labour, who have subsequently dropped detailed legal investigation in favour of the much cheaper fudge of a public “consultation”.
As part of this brave new rubber-stamping approach, the council’s website even published a link to the airport’s own version of the night flight consultation, where Manston says “your comments may also be forwarded to Thanet district council”. “May”?
Other councils take note: unpopular scheme in the pipeline? Why not put the consultation in the hands of the applicants? Two birds with one stone. Brilliant!
Private Eye 9th Mar 2012
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