Friday, 23 May 2014

Ramsgate Tunnels a preview and bank holiday ramble, sewage, airport and so on.


I guess most of you know by now that the opening build up for the Ramsgate tunnels starts next week with Ramsgate Tunnels Opening 27 May His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent.


Then on the Sunday the 1st of June the grand reopening and not long after that the tunnels will be open to the public on a regular basis with tunnel tours and so on.


A lot of work has been done by the look of it, this is what the tunnels looked like in 2010 http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/Blogpicts1210/id14.htm   

Watching the election results come in with the gains by Labour and UKIP in various councils and vaguely wondering if there will be any benefits to be had out of all of this for us here in Thanet, I have to admit to putting the blog to one side after getting back home at the end of my day off yesterday.


There was no temptation to turn anonymous blog comments back on, which pretty much equates to turning the comment back on as no one much comments when they are turned off. Anyway I have turned them back on and am wondering where to start with this ramble.

I guess the sewage leak news from the council, this started with a fairly major rain storm a couple of days ago. Harbour Parade flooded and because of the environmental protection rules that mean there is no emergency overflow into the harbour, the water first runs into the business down there, so it does masses of damage and makes it difficult for them to trade and is then pumped out, you guessed, into the harbour.


Then the inevitable goes on happening the pumps at the sewage works near Walpole Bay can’t cope and breakdown so they open a great big tap and the sewage is discharged into the sea, contaminating a lot of our recently blue flagged beaches.     

I often post about our recurring sewage problems, see http://thanetonline.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=sewage I guess on the black side this is a bit an ominous start to the bank holiday weekend however “always look on the bright side” the weather forecast isn’t looking that good so perhaps not many visitors will want to go in the sea anyway.


Onto the compulsory purchase of Manston Airport by Thanet District Council, well I guess they already have a dysfunctional seaport so in a sense this sort of monopoly playing makes sense.

At the moment the media and the politicians seem very reluctant to say anything to the “Save Manston Airport Group” that would any way displease them and this seems to include the truth, which I think may be stacking up some problems for the future.


All down the line I have tried not to do this and I guess if you read my previous posts about the issue you will probably agree, see http://thanetonline.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Manston%20Airport every time you get to the bottom of a page of posts click on the “older posts” link and you will probably be reading all day.

Anyway if you are looking for the elusive and much sought after “Anti-Manston Group” it isn’t me, never has been, and my guess is they are hiding under bed somewhere. The funny thing is though that here in Thanet my customers are starting to notice that some of the “Save Manston Airport” protestors are actually nimbys from other parts of the southeast who have been long-term ant-airport protestors in their own backyards.

Sounding out the customers in the shop over the last week there don’t seem to be many locals who think that TDC buying the airport is that good an idea, in fact I am getting the feeling that it may not exactly be a vote winner.


I think it is reasonable to say that there is a group of locals, myself included, who would like a regional airport that they could catch a plane at from and would like a port they could catch a ferry at. As it is the council own a ferry port worth millions of pounds and all they seem to be able to do with this is lose millions of pounds, now there is talk they may try to buy airport for millions of pounds, and I am fairly convinced that if the do this they are almost bound to run it in a way that loses millions of pounds.

That said my heart goes out to those people who worked at Manston and lost their jobs when it closed, it isn’t easy to get a reasonably highly paid job here in Thanet, however I doubt a cpo that would take around three to four years and would pretty much freeze activity on the Manston site for that time would help them to get employment.

Much is also being said about not building houses on the site, I would guess for the most part this is being said by people who already have pleasant houses, thank you very much.

Loads of stuff going on this weekend in Thanet, a big music festival in Ramsgate, two new exhibitions at Turner Contemporary and the Margate Meltdown, here are the links 23-6 - Ramsgate Seafront Music Festival 24-21 Sep - Margate Mondrian Exhibition 26 - Margate Meltdown Motorbike Rally a few pictures of this http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/meltdown/index.htm


I guess with Manston and the night flights issue I did my best to get some workable arrangement I thought the best thing to do was to get the bloke running the airport to give us a trial week of night flights so we could make an informed decision see http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/charles/ well no dice and as far as I can see getting people to agree to a level of noise at night that they have never heard was  anon starter.

Of course when all is said and done the council were only making a response to the consultation that the airport was doing and at no point did anything anyone say make any difference to the 106 that regulated Manston right up to the time I closed. Which was no prevention of night flights just that the airport had to give the council 6 months notice of scheduled night flights.  

It is if you think about it pretty preposterous to blame the banning of night flights for the closure of the airport when night flights were never actually banned. 

Anyway I did try a bit of a debate about the closure of Manston of the Save Manston Airport facebook group and put a link to pictures of one of Manston’s open days there, here is the link http://michaelsbookshop.com/manston/ I thought it would interest the group members. Now if I put a link like that on this blog a few thousand people click on it and look at the pictures, I get the stats so I know this. After I did this on the facebook group 11 people looked at the pictures. 

I have just added a link to last night's ITV Meridian report http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2014-05-23/manston-airport-why-did-ann-gloag-refuse-to-sell/

I may ramble on here 

182 comments:

  1. "The funny thing is though that here in Thanet my customers are starting to notice that some of the “Save Manston Airport” protestors are actually nimbys from other parts of the southeast who have been long-term ant-airport protestors in their own backyards."

    You mean people who believe in saving Manston Airport with it's already built runway, major road links and 3 train stations within 10 minutes drive away... instead of expanding Lydd Airport, which has no major road link and where the nearest (minor) rail station is 10 miles away? Yes, you're probably right Michael.

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    1. Oh dear, someone's missing the point...

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  2. Like you, I have noticed the pro-Manston editorialising by certain sections of the media. Meridian has been especially culpable - "Let's hope there will be some good news soon," is the sort of remark made by its presenters when it is suggested a CPO might be made. Manston supporters are presented as heroes and there is scarcely a question about what it is they are trying to save. Jobs, of course, but this is equally true when other businesses fail, but we don't see people taking to the streets then. The dreadful economic history, the county council hand-outs, the Wiggins-Planestation debacle etc are ignored. Some think Manston should continue as an airfield, others don't. Yet Meridian presents a picture of an island united in its desire for the airport to return.

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    1. That's because you "anti" people don't contact TV and radio to make your opinion heard. Still, if you think commenting anonymously on blogs is more effective then please carry on! : )

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    2. Or perhaps because obsessive commenters like yourself always believe you represent the majority.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. What did Meridian say when you contacted them to complain?

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    5. I'm phoning them later!

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    6. Did you get through to them anonymouse?

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    7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    8. That's "Peter", "Mr Checksfield" or "Sir" to you.

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    9. ‘pologies Peter one of the anons has been reading The Magnet again. Anon please note comment guidelines below paying particular attention to playground stuff.

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  3. The coverage in this week's Gazette is so pro-airport it's laughable. Do they even know what balance is? They report on a demonstration asking TDC to purchase the airport. The headline is "Crowds demand that TDC buys the airport." But when you actually read the article you find that there were only 40 people at this demonstration and most of those seemed to be former employees. Given that there were supposed to have been 150 people working at the airport, I call it a pretty poor show. The second hopelessly biased article features two individuals who have a plan to use Manston as a giant aircraft scrapyard as if this would be a good thing. Laura Sandys needs to get her skates on and quash this one before it starts. Those of us with medium-term memories will remember the furore when a company scrapping aircraft at Manston left tail-weights containing depleted uranium by the side of the road. As I recall, it was discovered when someone who had nicked them tried to flog them to a scrap metal yeard in Erith and all the alarms went off.
    However, the bigger problem is easy to see when you think about it. Which kinds of aircraft are candidates for the scrapyard? That's right, old knackered ones which aren't safe any more. Before any clown jumps up saying that the CAA will keep us all safe, ask yourself how you get a plane which has lost it's licence to the knacker's yard. That's right, they give you special dispensation to fly it there. The last thing we want is knackered old Jumbos being flown in across the town to be smashed up by a bloke with a JCB. Apart from the bloke in the JCB, it isn't going to create employment and the mess will be horrendous. This is just another example of someone looking to make a fast buck by doing something at Manston because they aren't allowed to do it at proper airports.

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    1. How many anti-Manston protesters were there? NONE! Yet there were plenty of socialists at the UKIP rally.

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    2. Peter, you know who I am, and therefore you also know that I can't protest in person. I would if I could.

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    3. Peter, here's an idea... have a stab at responding to the point he's making.

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    4. Mr Anonymouse, I did. Now you explain why you and the other anti-Manston protesters (all 2 of them) never turn up in person to try to convert the pro-mob.

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    5. Firstly, I'm not an anti-Manston protester. Secondly, what is the point of confronting the angry brigade? They have spent 15 years telling us how Manston had great potential and telling us that it was Thanet's only hope. In all of that time the "great potential" has come to nothing and the handful of part-time jobs don't even begin to match the predictions that were being made when it was privatised. In other words. the pro-airport loonies have been wrong all along. If they can't see that, they're far too stupid to be involved in the actual debate, which is not about whether we should bring back Manston, but what else should be done with the land.

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    6. The airport is finished and housing unlikely so what should happen at the site?

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  4. The decisions about Manston will be taken on commercial grounds not snap shot blog opinions. There won't be a CPO. Chat amongst yourselves.

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    1. Yes there will be if neccesary. Chat to yourself.

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  5. Now I get it. Seventeen comments, nine of them from Peter Checksfield. So that's how he achieves his majority!

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    1. So tell us Peter with your great wisdom, how much will it cost TDC to check whether a CPO is possible, how much a CPO will cost TDC, how will TDC finance it, how long it will take to get the CPO, how much it will cost to get the airport back to an operational state, how much will it cost TDC to run the airport and how will you attract airlines to use Manston.

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    2. I'll leave that up to the experts to decide.

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    3. Clearly you don't have clue Peter and maybe should think a little more. Here's a clue for you. The owner of Manston believes they are sitting on a housing development gold mine and will go all the way with court appeals to get permission to build. Now just to get to that stage could cost TDC £250,000.

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    4. So you have a better clue than Sir Roger Gale and Laura Sandys? Ok............................

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    5. Have you tried telling this to Meridian or Radio Kent? Might make more of an impact.

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    6. I'm guessing that's a "No" then.

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    7. And I'm guessing you haven't seen today's article in The Times.
      Or got your fabled "majority support" to skew this poll:
      http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?p=114351688

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    8. Perhaps this will help you:

      http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/2012-03-04/contact-us/

      I managed to get through to them without problems, and had an interesting chat about local restaurants using out of date reviews to mislead their customers.

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    9. Wow! Bet that will be their lead story any day soon.
      Did you also suggest a feature on the man aiming for the Guinness Book of Records for posting the largest number of blog comments?

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    10. Unfortunately some bloke called Tim Garbutt, posting anonymously, already holds that record by a number impossible to overtake for any normal person who also has a life away from their computer.

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    11. How can Tim post anonymously when you know his name and his MP website www.votegarbutt.co.uk details his policies?

      You seem too stupid to have access to a computer during the day. And probably upset Manston cannot pollute you anymore.

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    12. 7:51, anyone can post anonymously as well as having websites, blogsites and google accounts. For some reason best known to himself, Tim only goes public on his own site, where he can delete any replies, but never on those where he has no control.

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  6. So, Michael, your great spin on nights flights goes on. The Infratil requirement was to be able to accept flights at night out of schedule, being those delayed due to unforeseen reasons. How exactly does one give six months notice of an unforeseen delay? What Infratil got from our local authority was a total rejection which, with already facing losses, was probably the final straw for them.

    It is true to say Ann Gloag has not thrown in the towel because of the night flights issue, but she probably never really intended to run it as an airfield anyway.

    Thus one can blame the loss of the previous real airport operator on the attitude of the local council, at least in part, and their loss has seen the airport now full in the hands of the asset strippers. It could well be a better option for a CPO thus placing a major asset in local hands rather then further enriching an absentee millionaire with an eye on the bucks rather than the wants of Thanet people.

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    1. There's no spin there, just that you don't seem to grasp what Michael saying. They had to give notice of their intention to run regular night flights, that's all. And there was nothing the council could do to stop them thanks to an incompetently drawn up 106. All Infratil had to do was consult with TDC, and they were powerless to say no. And Infratil did regularly operate night flights when, as you say, cargo flights from Africa were delayed and would arrive during the night. Often a couple every week. But had a regular operator approached Infratil needing a regular night time slot, under the current 106, that could have been up and running in that 6 month period. So that was not the 'final straw'. That came when they couldn't find any operators, passenger or freight, who wanted the slots out of Manston. Everybody like to apportion blame, espicially when they can get political mileage from doing so but it's simply not the case here. Same old mantra - Manston's great for a strategic defense airfield but woefully located for any commercial value. End of. Gloag could see that, and I'm sure you're right in that she never really intended to run it as one long term. For you to keep refering to this majorly loss-making airport as a major asset is bizarre, and having a council with the track record of TDC in charge of it doesn't bear thinking about. Time to let go.

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    2. Oh dear, 9:41, you still don't get it do you. There was clear hostility towards the airport from the Labour group at the 2011 elections and when they took power. That does not encourage any company that is spending millions on running an airport.

      Think back, earlier when Mike Harrison was shadow cabinet and the 'No to Night Flights' campaign kicked off, he put a post on his blog about night flight hysteria which was critical of those objectors. Then, with the 2011 election approaching, Labour suddenly realised their were a couple of Conservative seats in Ramsgate that could be grabbed by supporting the 'No to Night Flights' group and it was all change. It is politics and any of the main parties are capable of such U turns, but it did not exactly send out encouraging tones to one of Thanet's major investors.

      You talk of political mileage, but, to be frank, I am more concerned about what is best for Thanet. Often I have said the saddest day for local government was when candidates starting adopting political labels and otherwise good men starting spouting the party line rather than what they really believe, as with the example of Mike Harrison above.

      On the CPO, I still maintain I would rather see the Manston site, whatever its future use, in local hands than being used to further enrich an absentee millionaire with no interest other than bucks in the wants of the local people. You may think letting Ann Gloag make millions out of a local asset is a good thing, but I don't.

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    3. I would rather Ann Gloag made millions than Thanet Council lost millions.

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    4. William, I appreciate that you don't really know what goes on at the airport because you don't live in the flight paths, but I'm afraid you are talking b*ll*cks in relation to Infratil's application for night flights. The Section 106 Agreement specifically allows for non-scheduled arrivals after 23:00. This facility has been used extensively by various operators over the years. What Infratil was after was the right to schedule night flights. TDC had no option but to refuse this request because they had assured the courts that any such change in the nature of usage would require a planning application. Needless to say, Infratil really didn't want to get into applying for planning permission for the airport because it might have been turned down. As for hostility towards the airport, grow up. Anybody in business doesn't deal in such emotive clap-trap. TDC is elected by the people who live in this area and is there to represent their interests. It isn't there to kow-tow to the demands of a developer. Your suggestion that a political party should not change its policies in order to win votes is a sure-fire recipe for electoral disaster. Presumably, this is why the Tories lost control of the council; they started telling local people what they should think instead of listening to them.

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    5. I thought the Tories lost control of the council because one former Tory decided to support Labour?

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  7. Scathing report on Meridian last night: http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2014-05-23/manston-airport-why-did-ann-gloag-refuse-to-sell/

    There will also be a feature in The Observer tomorrow, and seems like other TV programmes and newspapers are starting to pick up on this... and this is ALL thanks to the tireless campaign by the pro-Manston protesters, which I'm proud to be part of!

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    1. Doesn't take a genius to figure out why she didn't want to sell, surely? An airport with a disastrous financial track record that's not fit for purpose given it's location, but sitting on a good piece of land with prospects. You can be pro-Manston for many reasons, nostalgia, ignorance, political one-upmanship, nimby-ism, but the facts are no-one could make a go of it and was making huge losses for all its previous owners when run as an airport. Why would RiverOak be any different? Perhaps there might be a business in running it purely for cargo, accepting all the knackered operators that more scrupulous airports refused entry on safety grounds, or took all the night flights that more enlightened regions have clamped down on. Look at the fights that local MPs are putting up on their constituency's behalf around Heathrow on the night flight issue. Comforting to know that our MPs are doing exactly the opposite. I can understand why the ex-employees of Manston would be fighting hard to keep it alive, and feel deeply let down by Gloag, but what I've come to despise is people's attitude to the people of Ramsgate in all this - that they take pleasure in threatening them with the blight of night flights as if somehow they deserve it and that they have no rights because they chose to live there, and that the airport's needs should always come first whatever the cost. But the likes of Peter won't care, but simply take whats fed to them by people like Gale, who have their own agenda, without taking the time to do their own research and make up their own mind. So feel free to come back at me about being anonymous, or for not having attended a protest of 40 people the other night or some other distraction from any facts that support your cause and valid reasons why public money should be poured into this.

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    2. Wow, great come back. Thanks for enlightening me - I'll need a little time to process all that information to determine whether that's swung me in favour of your CPO.

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    3. 10:23, the need for a serious clean up of that site, probably with few UXBs thrown in, together with the necessary roads and infrastructure could seriously eat into the profits of redevelopment, even assuming housing development for the whole were ever granted. That done, who would live there? Thanet house prices are still well down on most of the rest of the South East, but they are still not exactly snapped up when they come on the market. There are not the quality jobs to attract higher income buyers and the commuting times is still a bit much, not to mention the costs that are far higher than similar distanced places on the Sussex coast, for many people. Thus it could finish up mainly affordable and social housing still further deterring major investors from moving their businesses to Thanet.

      Before you go on about tourism, I grew up here when the British sea side holiday was still order of the day and places like Dreamland and Merrie England were packed in season. There were still no decent jobs, unless you fancied being brakeman on the big dipper or a deck chair attendant and even those were only seasonal. Most of my generation left Thanet to find work as the youngsters have to do today.

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    4. Hmm, margate naturist, photographer and doorman verses richest businesswoman in Scotland.

      I think Ann will win.

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    5. So Manston is too polluted for housing but OK for an airport you say William?

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  8. I have to admit that I am a little suspicious of the media and political motivation here, there seems to a sense in which things would be much more interesting if there were an Anti-Manston group, but of course one just doesn’t exist.

    I don’t think there would be much mileage in a common sense group, but some aspects of the handling of the issue do seem to defy common sense. RiverOak for instance a small American hedge fund set-up with no verifiable connection to aviation was one. An easy way to separate major companies from the small and fairly inactive ones is the Google their address in parenthesis, in this case “One Atlantic Street, Suite 703 Stamford, CT 06901” a major company’s address will generate thousands of google pages.

    The cpo thing is also strange, one would have expected the local Conservative MPs to have put this to the large local run Conservative council KCC, for them to start this by issuing a press release that the small and cash strapped Labour run district council would be engaging in a cpo seemed strange.

    Perhaps the politicians and media will eventually get met half way, by generating an anti cpo group, an anti aircraft scrapyard group or something they could really relate to.

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    1. There was always some confusion over how Wiggins got involved with the airport at Manston. They were property developers, not an aviation company, but they bought the lease on the civilian enclave and, when the whole airport came up for sale shortly afterwards, they were effectively the only party which could buy it. The rest of the airfield would have been of limited use to anybody who didn't have access to the terminal and hard-standing. Was the timing of their purchase purely fortuitous or did they have a local contact who knew that the MoD was planning to sell?

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  9. Glad you admit there's no "Anti-Manston group" and not going along with the lies about "20,000 people in Ramsgate" are supposedly against it as some unknown person(s) insist.

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    1. Peter is it me, or back when Ann Gloag bought the airport and I pointed out that she had a bit of a history of asset stripping you seemed to be all for her as an airport operator. There is a something of a fly on the wall curiosity here over the American real estate hedge fund guys saying to their investors , yep it is worth a billion dollars as real estate but hell lets try the loss making airport option. But still surfacing in the back of my mind, like “what is the square root of minus one” is why have all of the solutions presented so far, by media and politicians, looked completely unviable?

      I can tell you that opinion in Ramsgate hasn’t change that much, it still remains mixed about the issue, buying the airport on the council tax is raising a few eyebrows as did the night flights issue.

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    2. I would suggest there's no opposition group yet because there's no information put out there by the pro-Manston lot as to how and why they're going down the CPO route. When Infratil submitted it's Master Plan and corresponding request for night flights the No Night Flight Group took them to task on their claims about job creation and quotas - something the group was able to get their teeth into. At present, all we are getting from the pro-Manston group is personal attacks on Gloag, rhetoric about national interest from the MPs and demanding a CPO immediately. No-one knows anything about RiverOak and the people fronting that bid UK side are very suspect individuals. Our MPs and councillors are just chasing the perceived votes. Even Ian Driver is putting aside any 'green' credentials he may have to support a cargo hub less than 2 miles from a population of 40,000 people. And Laura Sandys is sitting on Gale's knee having looked many of her constituents in the eye saying just doesn't support the airport. Overall, it's very hard to take it seriously. Until something concrete is put out there I imagine most people are getting on with their lives.

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    3. Peter, you seem to be a bit confused. Nobody has ever claimed that 20,000 people are against the airport. I note that you put this claim in inverted commas to give it a bit more credence. Can you explain where you got it from? However, there are certainly thousands of people who believe that the airport (and all airports) should operate, as all other businesses do, within a regulatory framework which protects the local and global environment. I would go as far as to say that I believe the majority of people believe that there should be appropriate environmental controls. And this is all anybody has ever asked for. The No Night Flights group and the Manston Airport Group which preceded it, never opposed the existence of the airport. The only thing that anybody wanted was to ensure that the airport was developed properly and that the environmental costs were proportionate to the economic benefits. Even Roger Gale has admitted that the airport wasn't closed because of the no night flights campaign.

      The small minority of people, including yourself, who believed that the airport should be given free rein to do as it pleased lost that battle when TDC was persuaded to oppose night flights. This is called democracy. We lobby our councillors giving our views and opinions. They listen and make a decision. If the arguments in favour of night flights had been persuasive and compelling they might have voted the other way.

      The substantial numbers of people, including yourself, who believed that Manston could, one day, make a positive economic contribution to the area have now lost the war. The airport is shut and the licence has been revoked. In the end it was doomed because of the massive losses it had made over a long period of time. In other words, nobody was able to translate the supposed great potential into a business which made any money.

      The tiny minority of people, including yourself and Roger Gale, who believe that we should use public money to underwrite the airport are living in cuckoo land. It isn't going to happen not least because Ann Gloag isn't obliged to sell and she isn't going to sell. She bought the land and she can propose to do whatever she wants with it. She is right to believe there is potential for housing. The South East is in dire need of more housing and there is a shortage of land to build on. TDC itself has made the case for more housing by building on farmland around Westwood Cross. The Council will hardly be able to argue in court that there is no need for more housing. Furthermore, by ignoring the need to include contingency plans in case the airport failed, TDC has left a loophole which will leave them defenceless to prevent it. To put it in simple terms for you, the planning system requires the local authority to set out, in advance, what is and is not permissible in a given zone. If they don't do this, a developer is free to propose anything. The Council would then be required to demonstrate that this development was not suitable for the zone or was not needed in the local area. I just don't see what grounds TDC could use to oppose some housing at Manston, when they have themselves been justifying the building of houses on farmland.

      As a critical friend, I think it would be good for your mental state if you were able to move on. You need to accept that Manston is finished as an airport and the discussion going forwards need to be about what takes its place. From your comments, I fear that you are allowing the failure of the airport, and the fact that you have been consistently wrong, to consume you. Your pithy retorts to people's postings are becoming tiresome and increasingly ridiculous. You may not care what anybody thinks of you but nobody will listen to you if you become the pro-airport version of Tim Garbutt; and you are well on the way.

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    4. Thanks for your concern, but I don't think I'll take medical advice on my mental state from someone who clearly believes that he's making more of an impact by commenting anoynmously on local blogs than he is calling TV and radio stations or facing up to pro-Manston campaigners outside in the real world.

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    5. Why do you want me to "face up to pro-Manston campaigners"? Is this some kind of threat?

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    6. No my love, we want all want to hug you! X

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    7. So it IS a threat?

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    8. I am anti-airport and anti- a huge housing development. However, I am not against a mixed-use development- housing, light industry, school/s, doctors... a small new town, I suppose. Of course I'm sorry for the people have lost their jobs- but pouring public money into Manston is certainly not going to be popular with most local council-tax payers, considering a) the council's obligations to local residents and b) the council's track record apropos Pleasurama and the ferry port (for example).

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    9. Are you still with The Vandellas?

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  10. Does anybody know if there is any documentation available on the viability of the airport. It looks to me it has been loosing money for numerous years and so far I haven't been able to find any research results validating keeping the airport open.
    I would assume using it for housing would generate many more jobs than the 150 to run the airport.

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    1. What's "loosing" in this context?

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    2. 11:16, any jobs on a redevelopment project would be short term and, once completed, the imported labour force of the contractors would disappear with no change in Thanet in the long term worthwhile job prospect. You are right about the airport 'loosing' money for years, assuming that is the same as losing, but what has not been considered is a change in the overall site use. A smaller regional airport, an enhanced aviation museum attraction and some housing on the north unused side could offer a much more viable option.

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    3. First to admit, it was a real old surf around, but I found it, the Save Manston folk seem to have found it, Roger Gale mentioned it and now Meridian are talking of the aviation link. Sorry to hear you and all you journalist friends have had no luck. That said, it is probably all pointless as clearly Ann Gloag is hanging in there for the big pay day and, unless the SFA can be stirred by the allegations of improper practices, now being advocated by 'Save Manston,' or TDC ever get their act together long enough to actually make a CPO, it really does not look too promising for the airfield. Heyho, back to deck chair stacking.

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    4. What have you found William?

      Delete
    5. I have told you now several times, Michael, but I am really not going to start all over again, not having kept a log of all the sources I read. As stated, I think it is of academic interest only now, but I really do believe the demise of the airport is something we are all going to come to regret in due course of time.

      Delete
    6. William my take is that a verifiable connection between RiverOak and aviation would greatly enhance their case and the Save manston Airport case, so if you have found it, you only have to look at the history on your browser and tell us what it is.

      You certainly haven’t told me in a comment here or by email, so perhaps this was wishful thinking on your part.

      Delete
    7. It's interesting how airport supports make up huge numbers of jobs associated with an airport, but a huge brownfield development is seemingly going to be put up in a week by a man with a hammer and a shovel.

      Delete
    8. Michael, if you are suggesting I am a liar or guilty of turning wishes into reality I am unimpressed. Unlike you, I am not some computer fundi and my browsing around is very much a chance thing, but, as I have told you before, some of my information came from comments posted by others. There are though plenty of links for those who wish to take the trouble to find them through Hillswood, Alliance Aviation and some of the names of the American consortium that have appeared in statements from time to time. After all, the detractors were not slow to name one of them who had a bit of court previous or is that fair game.
      10;29, no one is suggesting a new development will be completed in weeks, but simply that some big contractor will come in with a largely i8mported work force and, however long it takes, it will create no long term worthwhile jobs in Thanet. Ultimately just more people chasing the same handful of primarily low paid work.

      Delete
    9. "Unlike you, I am not some computer fundi"

      Really? Your copious outporings would suggest that you spend several hours every day systematically surveying the blogs and responding to just about everything that is said.

      Delete
    10. And I suppose you don't, 1:30. Seems we have had to suffer your anti-Manston nonsense since time began.

      Delete
    11. William as I said wishful thinking probably occasioned by others wishful thinking, RiverOak publish an archive of their business activates from 2012 here http://www.riveroakic.com/news.html and their website say they are real estate fund managers. I see no reason as it clucks and lays eggs to assume it’s a cat.

      Delete
    12. Obviously you have never heard of the greater feather breasted, egg laying turkey cat of Eastern Samoa, famous for its bird like qualities but clearly a member of the feline club.

      Delete
    13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
  11. Further to earlier Meridian comment, I see they now refer to RiverOak as an "aviation company". Is this just poor research, or more editorialising? On this issue, South-east seem to be beating them hands-down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you mentioned this in your phone call to them... or haven't you got through yet?

      Delete
    2. Nice one, Peter. There is a link, of course, but Michael will refute it. One of the major players in the RiverOak consortium was previously with the Hillswood Development Corporation subsidiary, Alliance Aviation, who developed and successfully run Fort Worth Alliance airfield in Texas.

      Delete
    3. Well done Peter - based on your last two posting you've once-and-for-all proved yourself incapable of grown-up debate.

      Delete
    4. William I can’t refute the link unless you can find it, I’ve tried, various journalists have tried, but so far there seems to be no verifiable link between Fort Worth Alliance Airport and it’s related companies that are owned by the multimillionaire Ross Perot, Jr and RiverOak or the other real estate hedge fund business that operate out of their office.

      Delete
    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    6. I leave those kind of things to our local MPs 12:49. That's why we voted for them and that's what we pay them for.

      Delete
  12. To say that one of the players in the consortium was previously with an airfield developer, is hardly justification for describing RiverOak as an aviation company. You might just as well describe a bank as a chemist because one of its board used to be with Boots.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why has no one though of that, 1:16, after all, grocers now sell insurance, W H Smith do coffees, Asda do paint and clothes and the Post Office do just about everything. It would be very handy if I could pick up my prescriptions from HSBC when I am doing my banking.

      Maybe you should patent that suggestion as one of the best ideas you have had in a very long time.

      Delete
    2. The difference is that these companies do not claim an historic track record in anything other than their core businesses and for most that you mention its retailing regardless of what they sell. Why cant you post without resorting to being sarcastic or insulting to other posters? Maybe you blkieve that being a local councillor gives you a right to be toxic.

      Delete
    3. > Why cant you post without resorting to being sarcastic or insulting to other posters?
      Im afraid it's just what he does.. too many posts on here without brain in gear..

      I'd actually love to know what the "save mansion" brigade are actually trying to save... and sorry I'm an anonymouse, PC.. there are lots of us, and we really don't want a brick through the front window given all the hysteria that's been whipped up...

      Delete
    4. So, 20:14, posting without brain in gear is not toxic then? Also, I would suggest that campaigning to save something is no more hysteria than the persistent campaign you have waged to close it.

      Delete
    5. Errrm posting without a brain in gear is not toxic William. The pollution at Broadstairs is what are you doing about that or even providing the airport weblink Michael requested in your fanatical pro Manston excuses. Reopen the airport and run it with public funds ?

      Delete
  13. From Twitter:

    @SimonMoores Tomorrow's #savemanston story in The Observer will need to be read sitting down. Prepare for a shock and great investigative journalism

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simon Moores @SimonMoores · May 20
      Yet more public money being thrown away in Thanet

      Delete
    2. I'm sure that Simon bought a copy of The Observer out of his own pocket rather than via public money.

      Delete
  14. This very afternoon Drew Pritchard from salvage hunters is on his way South to put a bid in for the runway lights one of his favourite selling items so peter you better look lively and tell your fellow chums of the lost cause.
    Stargazer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll let you tell them... oops, you prefering hiding.

      Delete
    2. Anyway, far more than lights were taken from Dreamland, yet that's reopening. So no big deal.

      Delete
  15. I wouldn't gloat too much stonedgeezer. You'll be helping to pay for new ones.

    ReplyDelete
  16. is it true that they are bringin the concrete crushers in next week to start ripping up the runways??

    ReplyDelete
  17. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/may/24/stagecoach-boss-under-attack-kent-airport

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear Peter I guess The Guardian should have used an accountant to explain this one, I don’t think that Infratil passed on this liability to Ann Gloag, what they seem to have done is taken their losses relating to Manston and used carried them forward within their own business to offset future tax on profits.

      Delete
  18. http://www.scotsman.com/news/scotland/top-stories/ann-gloag-loses-planning-battle-over-new-homes-1-3262541

    ReplyDelete
  19. I would expect a Sunday newspaper (post Leveson) to take professional advice prior to publishing a story like this one and so let's reserve judgment until the rest comes out in the wash. I'm in fact aware of rather more detail but which I cannot share in the public domain for obvious reasons these days. Don't want any more policemen at my front door!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Utter horse manure. Wikipedia journalism at its worst. The same nonsense about manston being one of the longest runways in Europe (the uk's 14th longest), and a diversion airport for the space shuttle.
      Add in a tax deductible loss for the previous owners and we have some sort of conspiracy theory.
      Perhaps conservative councillors would be better aligned with their party calling for investigations into tax avoidance schemes and supporting capitalist ideals.

      Delete
    2. Look at it like this you have Infratil who publish all of the information related to an embarrassing loss in their accounts and company reports over several years and put the airport on the market for an ever decreasing amount unto they finally sell it for what amounts to £350,000 to Ann Gloag.

      I guess if in this deal they had managed to pass on all their losses as well they would have mentioned this to their shareholders, as it is the show it as a deferred tax loss to be offset in future years against tax on profit.

      Delete
  20. The issue that gets glossed over with Manston is both the pollution levels and therefore the fines reported. These real costs seem to have been falsified by TDC rather than simply misreporting or errors.

    ReplyDelete
  21. In the interests of clarity anon 4:06, can you give more details about the pollution levels at Manston and where they differ from TDCs own figures, and where can we find these figures so that we may do our own comparisons?

    ReplyDelete
  22. One of the problems Bemused is the removal of the monitors from 2006 by Infratil and TDC. Both TDC Kiacc and the Environment Agency will hold info you can compare.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, smartie pants, how about giving us the links to these pollution information items then. I checked all the three sites you recommend and no where are there listed pollution levels relating to Manston.

      Delete
    2. Wow you checked all the sites in less than 4 minutes? The info isn't on the websites that's the point rude one. You also need to ask for FOI copies of cleanup reports etc

      Delete
    3. Anons EMB)B as far as I can see a couple of old fuel tanks as detailed here http://michaelsbookshop.com/drink/id52.htm and here http://michaelsbookshop.com/drink/id53.htm and the rest no longer applicable as aircraft operations have ceased. Aircraft activity there never reached a level where it would have had a significant effect on air pollution, being near the coast any fuel dumping was done over the sea. I know one of the noise monitors was removed because it was near a school playground so it went off the scale at playtime the others are portable and not very reliable, but not much noise to monitor without flights

      Delete
    4. A Manston monitor was removed from a school because the playground was noisier than jets? Where was this? Are you sure?

      Delete
    5. Michael's views on Manston air pollution are reassuring but completely wrong. Even with few flights and fake monitoring the pollution was widespread. Cancer is a real concern in Thanet too. It would be interesting to know how Gloag at Manston was monitored/fined? None at all?

      Delete
    6. Obesity is a real concern too. You really should get out exercising more.

      Delete
  23. Manston dumped aviation fuel in the sea?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No anon because Manston doesn’t fly like many 700 acre sites it’s too heavy

      Delete
    2. But you said aviation fuel was dumped by the airport Michael?

      Delete
    3. Was there any details of the pollution at Manston yet?

      Delete
  24. Oh Tim please give it a rest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amuse us 6:36 and why is everyone Tim and what should be given a rest from discussion in your view? Manston closed? Thanet pollution? A toxic council? Corrupt council? Use of taxpayer funds?

      Delete
    2. Tim, please go to bed now. You're making my head spin!

      Delete
    3. Dodging the questions by another Tim obsessive doesn't solve the real pollution problem at Manston.

      Delete
    4. There is no such thing as a Tim obsessive, however much it pleases you to think otherwise, fat one.

      Delete
  25. Yet more national coverage: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2638774/Anger-Scotlands-richest-businesswoman-closes-Kent-airport-key-Battle-Britain-airfield-buying-just-1-promising-open.html

    Looks like our campaigning is working, keep it up everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  26. But Charabanc Annie is quick off the mark, the Boilers and IT were out with the lark,

    Charabanc Annie will deal with pollution
    As part of the development solution

    Reality comes to Thanet in the form of Charabanc Annie and it is good.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Just seen a bunch of bulldozers on the back of low loaders trundling down the M2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should try planespotting. Far more fun than bulldozerspotting.

      Delete
    2. Anonymouse 11:28,

      Really!? I'm surprised that you're still sober at this time of day.

      Delete
    3. Good to see him taking my advice and getting out more though. Next step is to cycle or walk instead of driving.

      Delete
  28. Or trying to have the last comment on every posting, eh Peter?

    ReplyDelete
  29. After a quick exchange with the Observer newspaper this morning, presenting Michael's arguments, given here and suggestion they employ an accountant, the polite reply is that they really don't know what he's on about. They have examined in detail the accounts of all the companies involved and stick by their story and more besides and perhaps its best to leave them to write national newspaper exposes and Michael to his own theories.

    ReplyDelete
  30. An article in today's Times about Mrs Gloag's plan for a Manston Garden City would appear to be more pertinent.
    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/life/property/article4101083.ece
    It describes RiverOak as an "investment group", as opposed to the questionable "aviation group" tag used by certain media and pro-airport campaigners.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Michael [@ anon 10:09am]

    Stop wriggling. Walter Mitty cannot outwit the Observer newspaper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simon difficult to explain this one, perhaps if a newspaper said that the air accident was avoided by the aircraft flying at minus a thousand feet i.e. under the ground you would have some reason to doubt the story.

      What Infratil told their shareholders was “As indicated on 15 October, the sale was for cash consideration of £1 plus an adjustment for working capital variances and cash injected by Infratil between 14 October 2013 and transaction completion.” [Around £350k.]

      What they didn’t tell their shareholders that was that they had recovered £23,000,000 so perhaps someone left it in an envelope somewhere.

      This does of course also take TDC’s CPO from being around Ann Gloag’s RiverOak asking price of being in the £7m ballpark to the council having to shell out £23m.

      So my guess is if you really think that Infratil have defrauded their shareholders or that Ann Gloag really paid £23m for an airport losing Infratil £10,000 per day and now intends to engage in illegal asset stripping prior to bankruptcy then flying underground becomes an option.

      Delete
    2. Where does it say infratil recovered £23m from the sale to Gloag?

      Delete
  32. Michael.. who effectively owns Infratil? Discover that, as The Observer may have done and you may have your answers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simon it’s a public company, so basically the shareholders, this really means mostly pension and insurance funds although there will quite a few small private investors. You for instance could buy some Infratil shares today and become one of the owners.

      You have to appreciate that in terms of Infratil’s overall business the few million that they gambled and lost over their brush with Manston was very small fry and they have now converted into a debt, the repayment of which they will offset against profits for tax purposes.

      Rather in the way that if you had bought a duff aeroplane for £50k you could turn the money into debt and pay off £10k per year which would reduce the profit of your company and hence your taxable income by £10k per year.

      The suggestion that either Infratil or Ann Gloag would engage in some type of illegal activity related to the sale of Manston just seems bonkers to me, they just don’t have the history.

      Delete
  33. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoops sorry deleted Simon's comment during a senior phone moment, here it is

      Simon Moores
      3:47 PM (27 minutes ago)

      to me
      Simon Moores has left a new comment on your post "Ramsgate Tunnels a preview and bank holiday ramble...":

      Michael, I'm afraid I'm giving up trying to point you in the right direction with your questions. There is a much bigger picture here that you seem reluctant to to even contemplate and one that a national newspaper is treating with great circumspection. It's all very much out of our local league here in Thanet.

      Delete
  34. Simon, you'll find that neither HMRC or the City have an issue with Infratil.
    I rather think you've sent your tame reporter down a blind alley when you spoke to him.

    Sound about right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In which case then, 7:01, we can expect legal action against the Guardian by Infratil and Cloag to start fairly swiftly. Also against the Save Manston group for suggestions of asset stripping.

      Delete
  35. That will be down to those concerned. Asset Stripping is a matter for the SFO as you're probably aware and is as serious an allegation as it is a libel.

    All I'd suggest is that it's not a good idea to poke a tiger with a stick.

    You may be lucky.
    You may not.

    ReplyDelete
  36. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  37. 7.36

    Do you really think 'worried'?

    Brownfield sites get cleared every day of the week without issue.

    Rest assured, Ann has carried out due diligence before acquiring the site.
    It's just another item on the balance sheet.


    ReplyDelete
  38. Cleanup sites don't happen in Thanet 7:41 look at the Hoverport and Pleasurama and Dreamland. Your other points are your empty guess.

    ReplyDelete
  39. 7.46

    So Ann woke up one morning and blindly bought a failed airfield???

    Do keep up with the programme. She's in a different league to these muppets.

    ReplyDelete
  40. 8:04 my point is that I don't think you know anything about the airport or the pollution cleanup

    ReplyDelete
  41. The problem is that in the past, the usual coterie on the executive jealously guarded everything that happened in Thanet.
    Those days are gone and with it, the control that they once exerted. Understandably, they don't like it when a dynamic outsider with a vision
    thinks nothing of brushing these old structures aside. The market, for that is what crushed Manston, is in this instance, now running Thanet, not the old duffers with their service medals and Freemason nods and winks.

    Thanet is just 70 miles from the greatest city on earth. Too many people down here don't like that or any outsiders running rings around them on what they've laughingly referred to as 'Their Island'. The future's arrived. That'll be too much for many to bear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's clear the pensioners can't improve thanet. The corruption and pollution is simply ignored to protect their jobs. We need a clearout

      Delete
    2. Why has Iris not sacked Macgonigal with no pension and no payoff

      Delete
    3. Because it would be illegal to do so, 9:23.

      Delete
    4. Why is it illegal to sack the ceo of a corruption council?

      Delete
    5. Because there are laws about employment and employees rights which make it virtually impossible to sack with no pension or payoff as proposed by you. The CEO could be dismissed, but only after following a correct disciplinary hearing and appeal process and, even then, it would be highly unlikely they could be stripped of all their accrued or contractual benefits. Meantime, 9:27, you simply spout the utter rubbish of the ill informed.

      Delete
  42. 8.04

    I think you'll find that it was me who told everyone, to the exact day and minute when the site was going to lose its CAA licence.
    I wouldn't assume to know what you know but do feel free to share anything pertinent with the rest of us.

    ReplyDelete
  43. S/be 8.08 then...oops.

    ReplyDelete
  44. 8:17 everybody knew the CAA license expired at midnight the previous Friday. You seem to take it as a measure of your genius that you knew. You're a twit especially as you claim it anonymously...

    ReplyDelete
  45. 8.52

    Why was it a surprise to the SaveManston gang then??.

    When did I first say it?

    You're getting lost in the margins of an argument.

    Bit Twittish of an Anon to accuse another Anon of Twittishness for posting anon, Anon?



    ReplyDelete
  46. 8:56 don't know is the answer to both your questions nor do I care as manston is finished

    ReplyDelete
  47. Perhaps just for once the barrack room experts might consider that for once I might know something they don't as indeed might the Guardian and those politically closer to the problem than they are? National newspapers do not write stories simply because I ask them to and this one has rather more hidden twists than readers here might possibly imagine

    ReplyDelete
  48. We need 1,000+ signatures in a month for a full council debate. Shouldn't be too hard, should it!? #SaveManston

    http://democracy.thanet.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?id=67

    (768 so far!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well that was quick! Thanks to all those who voted. This will now HAVE to be debated by TDC.

      Delete
  49. Goes to show what can be achieved when people really campaign (as opposed to just anonymously spamming blogs).

    ReplyDelete
  50. How much public funds should be spent on Manston?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not know, 11:25, do you? By the way, since we are into fool questions, how many Smarties are there in a half pound bag?

      Delete
    2. Those kind of things should be left to the experts rather than to bookshop owners, restauranteurs and photographers.

      Delete
    3. And definitely not wrinkly bicyclists. ..

      Delete
    4. Or very fat computers jockeys, what 3:23!

      Delete
    5. Leave Chris Wells out of it before he pops up here with a rambling tour through Tory national policy.

      Delete
  51. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon read the comment guidelines below

      Delete
    2. The manston grunters can't read - except the sign on the gates that says closed!

      Delete
  52. TDC debating a closed airport. Superb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are debating whether to purchase it or not rather than if it is open or closed. That is irrelevant.

      Delete
    2. So how much tax should be spent on the purchase and running of it? While the closure is relevant in that thr tax spent so far and aviation experts like Infratil thought it worthless.

      Delete
  53. Good to see Boy George joining the very long list of celebrities campaigning to save Manston! How many celebrities so far have come out in favour of a housing estate?

    ReplyDelete
  54. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete

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