Friday, 18 July 2014

Pen and watercolour sketch of Westwood Cross and a minor ramble about Manston.

Once again the fairer sex were in search of some elusive piece of shopping, don’t ask, so another sketch of Westwood Cross, not sure how far you can take the business with strange vanishing points and not quite optical illusions.
 My thanks here to the staff of Costa who didn't say a word although I was still sketching at their table long after they had closed.
The Save Manston Airport and the local Labour group were both campaigning in the middle of Ramsgate today, both times I passed SMA they were getting a hard time from people who didn’t want to pay, this may have been a fluke, but did interest me.

I think this one goes something like this.

To cpo the airport in a way that there is any control over its future use as an airport then the money would have to come out of the public purse.

Financing it by KCC and TDC would result in a council tax rise that would trigger a council tax rise referendum.

So this then produces the question, how much of a council tax rise would you be prepared to vote in, in order to save the airport?

The other main point of interest is the auction selling off the airport equipment, see http://www.ppauctions.com/auction.php?id=121 whatever your views on the airport issue this is the largest auction to occur locally for some time and well worth a look. 

69 comments:

  1. Michael,

    That's odd because I have often passed the time of day with the SMA group in town and my impression has always been that SMA was receiving overwhelming support. After all they have gathered 8000+ signatures. How does this number compare to the views of the visitors to your shop? Coming back to today in town: did you perhaps stop to explain to the SMA promoters how much they were misguided, in your view?

    I dunno, Michael, how much of a council tax rise would you be prepared to vote in order to save the airport; or in other circumstaces let's imagine your shop?

    You have frequently demonstrated a keen interest, a less charitable person might say delight, in the Gloag auction and I wonder why this is.



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  2. They do not have 8000 unique signatures and furthermore the majority of the ones they have are from outside of Thanet.

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    Replies
    1. CP. Where can I find the information to back up your claim?

      Delete
    2. It's easily available online with a little patience - take a look.
      Of a sample of >1100 signatures approx 43% are in Thanet, 27% in wider Kent, 30% elsewhere.
      There is also clear evidence of multiple signings.

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    3. CP,

      Please produce your evidence of alleged multiple signings.

      Delete
    4. CP,

      In addition to my question above, I should be grateful for clarification of the point you are seeking to make?

      Delete
    5. Sorry CP, your answer doesn't wash with me. If as you claim, you have taken a little time to get your figures, perhaps you wouldn't mind directing me to the site where the figures you quote are officially shown.

      Delete
    6. CP. There appear to be several petitions around. I have signed all those that I have found, therefore you might find my signature more than once
      Which petition do you refer to, since I am sure that the total of signatures across all the petitions must approach 8000, if not more. But I admit that is a guess, unlike yourself who throws wild statements into the debate and so far has been unable to back them up. i.e. Where is the information that Jenny of Birmingham has signed three times?

      http://www.thanetgazette.co.uk/Thousands-sign-Manston-Airport-petition/story-20838713-detail/story.html

      http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/62738

      https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-manston-airport

      http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/sir-roger-gale-place-a-compulsory-purchase-order-on-manston-airport-kent

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

      Delete
  3. I think you'll find for instance that Jenny of Birmingham has signed 3 times.
    Also, as the petition is in two parts it is clearly possible ( though I can't prove it ) that the petition and the paper one have duplicates . It would seemly likely don't you think ?

    First point - if you are going to throw figures around get them right.

    Second point - I believe it is seriously undemocratic to allow a petition that can be signed by anyone without address validation be used to put pressure on my council who spend my council taxes to embark on what I think could prove to be a very costly folly.

    Whilst I was looking into this I couldn't help but notice your comment John, that the airport would "guarantee" jobs ( by this I'm assuming you mean a reasonably large number of jobs ) .. please produce your evidence .

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    Replies
    1. CP,

      Maybe there are 3 Jennys in Birchington?

      You clearly state that you are unable prove malpractice. In which case all you have is suspicion and for me suspicion is never enough.

      I agree with your first point that if you are going to throw figures around get them right. Like you I have had a quick stroll around the internet in which I have discovered, among other things, that Elvis is still alive.

      I may be wrong and I apologise if I am, but you have the tone of someone who is tetchy when confronted by the idea of a Manston airport. In these circumstances I see no point in debating the subject with you. However, your question about the potential for airport jobs is discussed at lenghth elsewhere in many places on the internet.

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    2. John,

      No, three Jennys in Birmingham and I imagine it's as simple as she has three email addresses - though again I can't prove that is the way she appears to have signed three times.

      I've done rather more than have a quick stroll round the internet - the figures I mention are derived from a sample of 1162 names that are in the public domain and now in a database here.
      Whilst it might be possible to interpret them differently what is undeniable is that a large number of people outside of Thanet have signed the petition.

      And I repeat, I think this is profoundly undemocratic.

      As for being tetchy - yes, I am currently rather tetchy about the way this appears to be going and I'm as entitled to my opinion as you are.

      For the record I'm not anti airport - though I am deeply anti night flight and again I'm entitled to my view.

      If you can prove anything I've stated here is not the case I will happily stand corrected.

      Delete
    3. CP. Just one link to a site which backs up your statement is all I ask.

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    4. CP, I have just found an old petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/nonightflights with 2051 signatures, including some from the Russian Federation. So that's ok then?

      Delete
  4. EMBOB,

    The petition I'm referring to is the CPO petition - if you google "manston airport cpo petition" you'll find it easy enough.

    And no, I don't think no night flight petition containing signees from the Russian Federation (Ill take your word on it ..) is particularly valid either..

    To be honest all I'm trying to do here is point out a few facts as I'm seeing this 8000 figure spread around like it's gospel.

    And I'm also trying to avoid the usual bun fight that goes on here when anyone has a view that doesn't quite fit the current mantra.

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  5. The Isle of Thanet Gazette report refers to 8000 signatures, see my link at 5:01pm above. While agreeing that the press can get it wrong, this is the figure generally accepted as correct. http://www.thanetgazette.co.uk/Manston-airport-CPO-petition-handed-council/story-21295487-detail/story.html quotes 7749. http://thanet.gov.uk/the-thanet-magazine/press-releases/2014/july/manston-discussion-full-council/ mentions nearly 8000 signatures. So the figure of 8000 is about right. To avoid a bun fight in future, make sure you can back up your facts first, and I mean that in a friendly way.

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  6. I think the facts I've stated here are pretty sound .

    To quote the councils own document :

    In addition to the 3,361 persons who have signed the Epetition, 4,330 persons have
    validly signed a paper petition containing the same petition prayer as the Epetition.
    Officers cannot check whether these two sets of signatures “duplicate” any signatories, as
    those who have signed the paper petition have not always given a full first name and
    surname, so therefore it is not possible to add them together to determine a “total”
    number persons signing the petition.

    I can absolutely back up my assertion that a large number of the signees are from outside Thanet - you might find that acceptable, I'm afraid I don't.

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  7. I don't know where the paper petition came from but it's a fair bet that it would only have been circulated in the local area, so 4330 signatures probably came from Thanet. And I'm sorry to say CP, like all the others who try to argue their case you have ended up putting words into my mouth. At no point did I say that I found it acceptable for a large number of signees to be from outside Thanet. And again you claim you can absolutely back up your assertion that a large number of signees are from outside Thanet, please then do so. What proportion are not Thanet council tax payers? And of course only 1000 signatures are required for a debate to take place.

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  8. I merely pointed out that of the sample of signees I have looked at, a large number are from outside Thanet..
    The data is there.. take a look. and if you read back through my comments you will see my breakdown.

    Amongst the obviously genuine signees from Thanet you will also find for instance;
    *** of Sheerness who's comment is "and Boris can poke his island"

    I complete accept that there is local support for a CPO (and also that 1000 signature is enough to provoke the debate ) but it is not by any means as overwhelming as you think.

    I happen to believe that the cargo hub option being proposed is the absolute worst of all worlds and a death knell for Ramsgate.

    and there I shall rest my case.. if you don't like the facts.. too bad.

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    Replies
    1. CP,

      Finally you raise your colours. You do not want a cargo hub airport at Manston. In which case why did you not present your argument as such, instead of attempting to undermine the petition? Which was also rather my point with Michael. Do you two know each other I wonder.

      Delete
    2. I find this quote on a Save Manston page on FB would anyone care to comment on whether it is legal to use Council Tax funds in this way as so far no one seems willing to post a legal opinion "The further concept of somehow using a CPO acquisition to advantage a private buyer, like RiverOaks would be fraudulent and actionable in the courts for misappropriation of Council Tax funds."

      Delete
    3. Barry it is legal for TDC to use a CPO to acquire Manston airport from Ann Gloag and for RiverOak to pay TDC the costs. But weather it's legal for TDC to use a CPO in the first place is unsure. The biggest hurdle will be getting RiverOak to write a blank cheque as no court will give TDC the land and its potential profit away for a penny less than its worth. In my est £600,000,000 then they will have to put the airport back together. Another thing nobody has mentioned is that Ann Gloag is the sister of a very powerful man with very powerful friends if I were gloags brother I would not have my sister bullied by MPs or Cllr's when in their view she has done nothing wrong.

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    4. Om who said it is legal from a Council to act as middle man in what is essentially a capitalist buyout of one company by another

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    5. Do you whinging lefties support anything, or are you just anti-everything?

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    6. Its even possible for a private company to CPO another, but not in this case. Its not weather TDC can act as a middle man its weather the court will allow TDC to CPO the airport at all for the reasons they want it for (to stay as an airport)

      Delete
    7. I support the ban on trolls insulting people without cause
      I support all far right part's moving to 1938 Germany
      I support governments changing the way they pay debts and collect taxes from bank notes to government notes
      I support where I live very much It's a place worth fighting for and would hate to see it spoiled by outsiders who don't care a s**t if Ramsgate ever has any prosperity or tourism
      I will mention that SMA new idea is to have a new referendum on night flights you may well see more anti-mansoners soon

      Delete
    8. Perhaps you could go into a little more detail Om. I too want to see THANET prosper, and as far as I can see it will only prosper when large companies move into the area from outside. This must include engineering, and airlines. This will provide employment for those who need jobs. Perhaps the Met office could employ you to forecast the whether (sic).

      Delete
    9. What has the weather got to do with things??

      Delete
    10. Peter. I had you down as a man of higher intellect. But for your benefit I will explain. It depends on how you spell it. Om says weather when he means whether. It all depends on whether my wether can survive this hot weather.

      And yes Peter, I am pleased to see a petition of 20,000 signatures is going to number 10 today. This is definitely more than most other petitions and is certainly mor than the nominal 8000 presented to TDC.

      And while we are talking about petitions then please sign this one on http://www.afpg.info/

      Delete
    11. Peter, in reply to your question what do whingeing lefties support? In my experience many of them are serial protesters that see themselves as class warriors. The cause itself takes second place to their act of protest. The protest makes them feel important. It fills a void in their otherwise barren existence. Their persistent negativity is caused by their self consuming dream of bringing down our flawed society, as they see it, to be replaced by a socialist paradise in which they will strut around telling us how to lead our lives, or else. All we see on here are the keyboard warriors who are harmless.

      Delete
    12. Is that all you 3 do, sit on your computers all day pointing out spelling mistakes what a sad bunch old gits
      A few months ago all 3 of your were saying Manston would never close how wrong do you lot have to be before you shut up, have you no pride.

      Delete
    13. well that was enlightening does no one have an answer as to whether it is a misuse of our Council Tax to use it as a middleman between two capitalist enterprises in the takeover business. All I see is keyboard "worriers" whinging about spelling issues.
      There is a fable concerning a king and wearing no clothes that seems to apply. If no one has any definitive answer then I presume we are in uncharted territory over this CPO surely the Save Manston Group have looked into the legality of what they propose!!

      Delete
    14. Barry,

      your 10:27 am 21 July:

      My understanding is that the answer to your question is that this practice is not against the Law. Which is good enough for me. I have no appetite to engage in some socialist dialect about the rights and wrongs of it all. Better by far to play with whether & weather. Whither we go with this will be much more fun.

      Delete
    15. I tend to give more credence to those who have bothered to get their spelling right than to those who don't. Especially when homophones are involved.

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    17. Om, Ann Gloag's brother was awarded a knighthood for services to transport. I wonder what he makes of an airfield being closed down?

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    18. Barry tax payers money is given to private company's all the time in one way or another. Gloag is a very good example.

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    19. still no answer and an accusation of being a socialist whatever next?

      Delete
    20. If you're not a socialist then how would you describe yourself... Right Wing? Pro-capitalist?

      Delete
    21. Barry,

      What answer are you looking for? All you need to know can easily be found on the internet. What is it that you want from this blog?

      Delete
    22. If the answer is that easy to obtain how is it no one has has answered it?

      Peter people aren't that easy to pigeonhole which is why I do not bother. If you believe I am a Socialist I wonder just how you came to that conclusion especially as my original statement just asked why others want to spent our Council Tax and whether it is even legal to do so.
      Michael's latest blog makes it very clear that there is "something rotten in the state of Manston" what on earth does a non-UK person have to do with Manston (Oscar Maynard seems not to even live in the UK and another lives in Switzerland)

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    23. Why don't you start a protest group then? You, Michael and a few anonymouses can then make your views heard (doubt if you'll get 26, 500 supporters though, even if you include people from overseas!).

      Delete
    24. Barry, your 4:37,

      Please clarify your question. Do you mean that no one has explained it to you on this blog? As I have already suggested, you can find the answer for yourself on the internet. Or maybe you are just scratching around seeking an argument, possibly for your own amusement. In which case I am personally not interested.



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    25. John clever non-answer

      Peter so lets see how clever you are from all my posts. Am I for Manston or against? careful how you answer

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    26. Barry, Thank you for the compliment. I was trained in the technique, at public expense. Though in this case I was too blunt. But it was a fair enough effort, as far as this blog is concerned.

      Delete
    27. didn't for one moment believe you cared about my opinion Peter, interesting that you confirm it though. Did wonder why you thought I was a leftie socialist though. My friends thought your opinion quite funny but they they know me you on the other hand do not.

      Delete
  9. Please CP, show me the link that categorically gives the breakdown by name and place of residence. I have only found a list of about 500 pages which gives name only on the TDC site. It is no use saying the data is there without providing a proper link to the information..

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  10. http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/sir-roger-gale-place-a-compulsory-purchase-order-on-manston-airport-kent

    show more comments....it's boring and takes some patience but keep going.


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    Replies
    1. So why did it take so long to drag that information out of you CP? My research of 1163 people from a list of over 5000 names on the site you provided show that 512 have given a Thanet place name, which shows that just over 44% were from Thanet. And yes Jenny from Birmingham does appear three times. My methodology did not allow me to count those who only put Kent as their town so perhaps there are a few more to be included from Thanet. To be fair, any town in the Thanet North constituency should have a say, but I have not included Herne Bay, 64, in my figures

      But of course this was a petition to Sir Roger Gale, and can still be signed now. The petition presented to TDC is a totally different petition and closed on 26th June 2014, and had approximately 8000 signatures. So I am afraid you have confused two petitions and attempted to apply figures from one petition to another.

      Delete
    2. EMBOB

      You're correct and I withdraw my comments about being able to prove signees outside of Thanet.. I genuinely thought this was the petition referred to.. however it is a parallel petition proposed by the same person ( who, it would appear has never lived in Thanet ) .
      It would seem likely therefore that it has been signed by a similar demographic.
      The point remains that the SMA group has made no bones about seeking support from wherever they can get and if this means dragging in people opposed to Boris Island they will and have..

      Delete
    3. Thank you CP. But if we are talking about the same two petitions then http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/sir-roger-gale-place-a-compulsory-purchase-order-on-manston-airport-kent is organised by a Richard Barber of Herne Bay and the petition to TDC is organised by Oscar Maynard of Save Manston Group. See http://democracy.thanet.gov.uk/documents/s37473/Petition%20-%20Kent%20International%20Airport.pdf, an extract from which is shown below.

      "2.0 Current Situation
      2.1 AnEpetition organised by Oscar Maynard (Save Manston Airport Group) has been signed
      by 3361 persons. The petition prayer reads:
      “We the undersigned petition the council to make a compulsory purchase of
      Manston, Kent’s International Airport. We would also like Thanet District Council to
      look into the possibility of members of the public to buy bonds into this purchase.
      2.2 In addition to the 3,361 persons who have signed the Epetition, 4,330 persons have
      validly signed a paper petition containing the same petition prayer as the Epetition.
      Officers cannot check whether these two sets of signatures “duplicate” any signatories, as
      those who have signed the paper petition have not always given a full first name and
      surname, so therefore it is not possible to add them together to determine a “total”
      number persons signing the petition.
      2.3 This petition ran from 15 May 2014 to 26 June 2014."

      CP, I am sure you are well meaning but the facts speak for themselves.

      Manston Airport is much larger than just Thanet. Aircraft noise, approach and take off routes, cross into a neighbouring authority (Canterbury) so more than just Thanet is affected. Boris Island for me is a definite NO. The whole idea is half baked and there are too many factors in my view which are against it, not least the flood risk to East Kent, and the wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery, which will have to be dealt with if Boris Island goes ahead.

      Manston must continue to operate as an airport/airfield and as such will create jobs in the area. While houses are needed they should not be built on Manston. Houses will bring in people, but where will they work? Hospitals and schools will need to be built and how will these be paid for? So it is either a possible CPO, or massive support infrastructure, paid for either way by guess who, us the tax payer.

      Delete
    4. Thats ok EMBOB.. Quite prepared to hold my hands up..

      but to quote you back :
      "so therefore it is not possible to add them together to determine a “total”
      number persons signing the petition."
      So presumably you agree the figure of 8000 is rather dubious at best.

      I have some sympathy with your views and indeed would be happy to see Manston continue as a "good neighbour".. i.e. operate flights within reasonable hours, but as someone who has lived in Ramsgate with the constant threat of night flights for the past 7 years and seen the damage that uncertainty has done, I hope you might appreciate the idea of a cargo hub that one would imagine could only profit if it was run round the clock fills me with absolute dread.
      I also doubt it would bring a significant number of jobs to the area.. Unlike I admit, a successful passenger hub might. However we all know that will never happen because it is simply in the wrong place.

      And yes, you can call me a NIMBY if you like... when I moved here I did my homework and was of course, well aware I was moving not only close to an airport but also under the flight path... Sadly and naively I believed the incompetent 106 agreement in place would protect me from night flights..

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    5. > An Epetition organised by Oscar Maynard (Save Manston Airport Group) has been signed
      oh yes, and you might think it's being picky but I think you'll find that Oscar Maynard is not from Thanet.. and in fact currently resides outside the UK.

      Delete
    6. Will the real Oscar Maynard please stand up.

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    7. http://oscarmaynard.com
      I think you'll find this is the very person.

      Delete
  11. And at the end of all this talk what happens to Ann Gloag's possession only she will be able to decide. I for one do not want one penny of my council tax used to CPO a private Company. Why do the Government not get involved? answers on a postage stamp in capital letters

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    1. Sorry Barry It's already started TDC has spent £4,000 on legal advice and £12,000 on a viability study.

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    2. Then night flights battle as that is a vital part of their cargo plan.

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  14. It's about time someone came out with some sense
    http://www.kentnews.co.uk/blogs/manston_airport_is_now_the_time_to_just_let_it_go_1_3689165

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    1. It's a very good article Om. However, if Ann Gloag had said she was going to close the airport instead of saying she was going to make it work within two years/keep the airport open, would she now own a valuable brownfield site? That's not to deny that Manston had problems but what I find particularly annoying is her promise to do one thing, then do the opposite.

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    2. If we can comment on each others posts without insults then I'm happy to debate the real facts of Manston.
      As for Gloag there is no sentiment when your losing £10,000 a day. But you might be right when you say she had no intention of running it as an airport and just wanted to build houses. But if it was more profitable to run it as an airport then I'm sure she would have done so.

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  17. I have flash backs of 15 years ago when Tony Freudmann who is now at the helm of River Oak in the self same place that SMA held their meeting Saturday promised 1,000 residents 300,000 passengers 40,000 tons of freight and 1,000 jobs he was head of development but it seems he had a wrinkle in the plans because he failed miserably and locals lost their money now Sir Roger is pinning all his hopes on him so I will keep my cash in the Swiss bank as its another financial disaster looming up.

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  18. #savemanston airport petition with over 26,500 signatures being presented to @Number10gov tomorrow!

    ... Meanwhile, how many have signed Purple Om's anti-Iris petition?

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  19. TG Aviation owners meet with the Prime Minister today. http://www.thanetgazette.co.uk/TG-Aviation-owners-set-meet-Prime-Minster-today/story-21667067-detail/story.html

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