Sunday, 8 March 2009

Sunday ramble

Training flights over Ramsgate today, or at least I think they are, and I know a lot of people will be a lot more bothered by the noise than I am.

Thinking of the American air force officers in the 50s who chose to live in Margate to avoid the noise of their own aircraft, leaving Ramsgate for those they considered to be second-class citizens, it is the rub of being considered a second-class citizen that is much more galling than the noise.

What does worry me still a lot, is that this is being done at an airport where there isn’t proper compliance to environmental safety standards, any airport where safety standards don’t come first is not something to generate happy thoughts.

Personally I believe that Manston Airport has no future because the environment agency say that if we put a lot more hard standing on the aquifer we are going to run out of water. I also have my doubts that British Airways will want to run the risk of operating from an airport with no interceptor on the main runway, on top of peoples drinking water supply as the new polluter pays legislation could leave them with a bill for billions, a risk that they wouldn’t have to take at other airports.

I am told that the airport operator have now conceded that having a digger standing by to dump the contaminated soil on the runway in the event of a large fuel spillage, caused by an air accident on the grass part of the airport, isn’t a viable solution. I have also been told that now there is no contingency plan and as 50% of air accidents happen on or near airports we have a problem.

Something I find quite strange is the party political wrangling at a local level that is going on, on the blogs at the moment. With the various safety issues that I have raised locally I have considerable help from local politicians of both parties and all I have dealt with have been utterly charming on a personal level. At a local level as far as I can see their aims are very similar so there is little to argue about and considerable need for getting on with the job of trying to make Thanet a better place.

Pleasurama is something I have been doing a fair amount of work on in the last week and I am beginning to think that everyone involved, council officers, local politicians and even now the developer are coming round to my way of thinking on this one.

I really don’t see that anyone benefits from a design that is built contrary to the environment agency’s advice so that it is dangerous, somehow or another after 5 years a way has to be found to drop the bad plans and find a new architect who has experience of the very demanding task of building a large development between the cliff face and the sea.

TDC planning have written to Steve Ladyman who asked them some questions on my behalf about Pleasurama, they say there has been no material change to the approved plans. This statement is plainly ridiculous as the amount they have chopped off altogether since the first plans were passed is the size of a substantial house.

It was sad to see another large shop close in Ramsgate last week, Superdrug appears to have upped and gone, while these large shops are empty we need government help at both a local and national level to find a way they can be used for leisure purposes.

Art and sport come to mind here Woolworth’s is big enough for a roller skating rink and I believe IOTA would like to return to Ramsgate. Pretty much everyone who I know seems to be of the opinion that things are going to get a lot worse before they get better, the only silver lining for Thanet in the looming cloud is that UK tourism seems to be going to increase. When one considers how Ramsgate was got up and running as a resort so quickly after WW2 it should be possible to do something similar again.

The problem with the empty shops is that the rents and business rates reflect what could be made from the sites in terms of profit, before Westwood Cross and the recession, how one gets both the landlords and rates assessors to act quickly on this one I just don’t know. But it’s the only way to halt the knock on effect of the more shops that close, making it harder for the ones that are open to survive we need action in weeks not years.

I have had problems with the printers I use to print the books with over the last couple of weeks, I print the equivalent of half a million A4s in a year and have just put new reconditioning kits in both laser printers. These kits are very expensive indeed and both kits from two different suppliers for two different makes of printer are faulty.

One has the most bizarre fault I have come across so far, it puts stripes on A3 but not A4.

I have just noticed a new blog run by our intrepid local journalist, however I notice that he hasn’t posted on either for a while, I hope he isn’t in trouble.

I have just been on a trawl of local comment using the old blogging scene just isn’t the same without ECR, I hoped that when the councils mistake last week caused the trees to be felled in Ciftonville there would be much talk of choppers and lumberjacks, but alas no. See if you don’t know what I am on about.

I tried twitter last week but just don’t seem to get on with it bit of a long post here mainly because of trying to mend the printer that only develops its fault after a few hundred pages, so a lot of waiting about for it after I have cleaned the fuser unit roller and tried some other cure.


  1. Maxima and Minima Michael old Man ?

    I think you have just written the definitive word re Manston's future as an airport.

    Can an airport operate whilst the proper environmental measures are constructed to support expanded use ?

    If the answer is No then the answer is also that Manston has no significant jobs creating expansion prospects.

  2. "proper environmental measures are constructed to support expanded use ?"

    If we slightly ignore these requirements the airport becomes viable, jobs are created (mainly for outside Thanet but shhh, no-one can prove it) and the whole of the South East of England benefits.

    Except Thanet.

  3. so a lot of waiting about for it after I have cleaned the fuser unit roller and tried some other cure.
    a) wots a fuser unit roller ? b)some other cure? are things about to get violent in Kings Street will this invole large hammers and bad F******G language ?????????

  4. Anons as the water supply becomes critical so the goalposts have to move, at the moment we are just about at the point where we dare not concrete any more over the SPZs. We are also somewhere near the point where Manston’s environmental standards will have to be raised. So it is perhaps more a case of is it possible to make it safe enough to use from an environmental point of view?

    Don laser printers work very near to edge of science and magic, put simply, the paper goes through 2 things like old fashioned washing mangles, the first one is electrically charged and picks up partials of ink electrostaticly and deposits them on the paper, the second one the fuser unit is heated and irons the ink on.

    The printing and publishing of local history books is only really possible if we do all of it here, printing them as I go. To get a similar pricing structure using a printing firm I would need to get about 1,000 copies of each done, the average production cost is about £3 and I don’t have £300,000 to invest in the project.

    But no it’s really down to patience and when I feel the urge to use the, fine-tuning sledgehammer, I go off and write a bit of blog.

  5. What were you on, yesterday, Michael? There were no training flights whatsoever: not even a PA28. Lots of people hear aircraft noise from so-called Manston movements, but they're aircraft flying over Thanet on airways.

  6. Jeremy I have to admit that I am not a great noticer of aircraft I heard a few yesterday that sounded big and low, then when I was in the garden one came over much lower than usual, something we came to associate with training flights. I wouldn’t be able to identify it but it was a big jet with 4 engines.

  7. "Lots of people hear aircraft noise from so-called Manston movements, but they're aircraft flying over Thanet on airways."

    C'm off it Jeremy, that's as disingenuous as saying wind is noisier than an aircraft.

    There was a giant metal bird with lights flying very low over the roofs of the Planes of Waterloo last evening, at about 9:30pm, I think. It was like Close Encounters. If that was on it's way to Heathrow, my name is Paul Maxim-Carter.

  8. It flew over at 7:15 p.m., not 9:30. 3 747s landed and 1 took off during the whole day.


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