Sunday, 1 February 2009

Laura Sandys on Manston Airport

Dear Michael,

Thank you Michael for asking for my views about the development of Manston.

I believe that Thanet in general and Ramsgate in particular have the opportunity to use many of its existing assets as the basis of its sustainable regeneration. I am promoting greater use of our historical legacy as part of the development of our tourism for the future. I am pushing for greater emphasis on attracting green jobs in agriculture, engineering and tourism. I am also working with the Environment Agency to ensure that we do all we can to restore the health of the Thanet aquifer albeit a long term job! I met with them this week and will issue a meeting report shortly that you are most welcome to publish.

However this is not to neglect or ignore the opportunities that the port, the airport and the train links should play in supporting the prosperity and economic security of many of our residents, who now find it even more difficult to find jobs of any sort, never mind long term secure and well paid roles. My Labour colleague and I are one on this.

We are uniquely placed to benefit from the sea, rail and air transport and for that reason I support the development of Manston Airport. My support is however not unconditional.

· The development of Manston must be undertaken with clear protections for the aquifer. I met with the Environment Agency last week to discuss this and will be working closely with them to ensure that no development will compromise the long term aim of restoring the aquifer to a healthy state.

· The people of Ramsgate are fully consulted on the impact of the development of the airport. Having met the Stop Manston Expansion Campaign I do understand their concerns and would urge Infratil to constantly engage with the community.

· I would only support the airport with measures in place to ensure that the planes flying over Ramsgate are controlled both in terms of numbers and night flights.

· I would also want to discuss with Infratil the flight paths that could be used to minimise the noise pollution over Ramsgate.

As I say I am supportive of the development of Thanet’s transport assets including the airport. However as with all developments this has to be done with conditions that take serious consideration of the environment and the residents.

I look forward to no doubt hearing from many of your readers.

Best wishes as always



  1. Jessica BillingtonFebruary 01, 2009 6:58 pm

    'The people of Ramsgate are fully consulted'. When and by whom? A public meeting given no publicity hardly constitues 'consultation'. There was so little coverage that TDC resorted to doing a press release on behalf of the airport to try to get folk to attend and the result? One person went.

    Ms. Sandys is 'in consultation with the Environment Agency'. Wow, I think that's more than TDC/CPRE/CGP or any other body involved has managed. And the outcome was.....?

    Hang about. Isn't this the candidate who claimed to be 'Green all my life'. Supporting a massive airport in this day and age is anything but 'Green'.

  2. Laura gets my vote.

    Has she also checked on the Environment Agency team looking at whether Pfizer dumbed down pipe and vessel standards on their development site ?

    According to today's news do not rule out a return of "King Coal"

    The lesson being that coal did not have to remain a non green technology. If we had kept the industry alive then today your power would be partly generated by coal based eco fuel.

    Who is to say that airport operations cannot become more eco friendly ?

    The credible position (that of Michael Child) is to press for safeguards at every stage of development including the proper application of precuationary principle.

    This country has got to earn its living somehow.

  3. She gets my vote too (though I must confess her sophisticated good looks at least partly swayed me!). Glad to see someone is trying to find the right balance between being "green" AND getting Thanet back on it's feet again.

  4. Peter,

    Ask when the photograph was taken before you decide whether or not to vote for her. Anyway, don't you live in N. Thanet?

  5. Maybe you should invite her on one of your shoots Peter!

  6. Anon 19:05, I've met Sandy (briefly) several times in recent months, & I can assure you she looks just as good in person...& a lovely thought ECR but rather unlikely!

  7. South Thanet VoterFebruary 02, 2009 2:43 pm

    Compromise - that's what is needed. Rather than falling over themselves with glee, TDC need to negotiate stringent restrictions on areas dear to the hearts' of Thanetians, such as their water supply and the noise over their houses and schools.

  8. South Thanet Voter - they are supposed doing that at the moment, but there are currently no restrictions on flights in and out of Manston, and no monitoring.

    How would you go about what you suggest?


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