Monday, 13 October 2014

Something Horrible Happens in the Children’s section of our Bookshop, the Author Author sketches, Manston cpo Decision Delayed.


This was the situation on the table in the children’s section at close of play today, what can you say?



More of my very small sketches from the photos on http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/ it’s often difficult with this sort of thing to tell if they are getting better or worse.

And yes the wretched airport, some frustrated people who want to say something and mostly don’t know what to say so the comment is leaking into yesterdays post about the new exhibition at Turner Contemporary.  

What can I say about this? Well first chatting to locals in my bookshop there doesn’t seem to be much local interest in the airport issue, it certainly isn’t something that a lot of people are talking about, in the way that some local issues have been in the past.

Nationally, that is those people who are UK residents that appear to support the airport to the extent of signing an online petition seem to number around 2,500 see http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/62738 to put this into some proportion the minimum number of signatures needed for one of these UK gov petitions to be considered is 100,000

In terms of all of the airport petitions that there have been it is only the UK gov ones that I have a fair amount of faith that it is difficult to sign more than once.

Within reasonable driving distance support for the airport would seem to number around 400 people judging form the numbers who turned up for their three day event this weekend, to put tis in some sort of proportion the population of Kent is around 1,500,000

Anyway this coming Thursday’s cabinet meeting the council were supposed to be discussing furthering the cpo, normally the documents relating to this would have appeared on the council’s website by last Thursday, well at the time of writing they still haven’t appeared.

I did phone the council up and they said they expected them to appear soon, but as the delay went on I have talked to the councillors and council officers that I have bumped into.

Various schools of thought, the main one being that virtually none of them can see just what grounds a cpo could be based on, this is made more difficult because some of councillors have promised that the council will do everything in their power to start cpo proceedings.

The problem and it’s a big one, is that if the council wanted to cpo my bookshop to widen the road, then they wouldn’t have much of a problem, however if someone came along wanting to use my shop to sell cds based on the public interest that people listen to music, well they wouldn’t have a cat in hells chance.

At the moment most of the councillors I have spoken to seem to keeping their heads down and waiting to if anything spectacularly entertaining happens to the councillors who have been very publicly supporting the cpo.

Anyway now the leader of the council seems to have issued a statement via the SMA facebook page saying: “from Iris Johnston, Council Leader. Thursday's cabinet "report will be purely on progress so far on market testing as we give interested parties an opportunity to provide outstanding information" and they are also awaiting advice from the government to advise on "national asset" status in light of the recent vision from Grant Shapps government minister.”



Obviously the first stage of any cpo would be getting a site valuation and as the council haven’t commissioned one yet, although they have discovered that one would cost around £75,000, money which the council can’t really afford.

I will try and think of something more to say about the issue, but generally when things at the council go a bit pear shaped and one group of councillors start looking speculatively at the other, one can expect a sort of slow fizzling out of an issue.

The real indicator here being not so much what the councillors who regularly contribute to the internet are saying, or even what they are not saying but that for the most part they are not saying anything at all unless confronted with a direct questions that they can’t really avoid.  

48 comments:

  1. How many people have turned up to any of the Pleasurama site demonstrations / events, or signed the petitions? If you only judge support by those, then only a very small percentage of Ramsgate residents care... or does this only apply to Manston?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon I don’t think there have been any Pleasurama petitions and with Pleasurama, events like the linking of hands around the site a few hundred people do turn up, so you do get some crowd shots on the FORS site.

      My own take is that numbers relate to the area effected and with Pleasurama this is a Ramsgate issue, so numbers would relate to the population of Ramsgate.

      With Manston my take is that the numbers should relate to the airport’s catchment area i.e. Kent and any local government solution should be a Kent council solution, so I would assume the first step would be to use KCC’s online petition system, something that doesn’t seem to have happened.

      Really though the measure of public feeling could only be discovered by having a consultation, like the one TDC had for night flights, but as I say in this case it should be Kent and therefore KCC, both because of the scale of the funding and future liabilities being more than TDC would be likely to be able to fund and because this would be the main Kent airport and therefore it is a Kent issue.

      To force a council to do more than just discuss something, as we forced Ramsgate council onto TDC you need a verified petition of more than 5% of the population, and as we succeeded here in Ramsgate it can be done. SMA could petition KCC and force them to do something as we did in Ramsgate, at the very least I would guess they could force KCC to hold some sort of public consultation.

      The main real problem though is accepting on the parts of all those involve that there are good aviation solutions for the Manston site (an airport you can fly from) and bad aviation solutions for the Manston site (an airport you can’t fly from) I would think it would be very difficult to get the figures base on a freight hub run by a company with no verifiable track record in aviation. Where I think everything falls down is when an opinion like that is seen as anti airport.

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

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. http://democracy.thanet.gov.uk/documents/s39179/Manston%20Airport%20-%20Progress%20Report.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  5. I wonder if an announcement on a campaigning website is the proper manner for the leader of a council to communicate decisions? This is go the second time Iris has chosen to do this, leaving cllrs out of the loop until new paper arrived by email today. There seems to be huge political will to want both Pleasurama and Manston airport to continue, and both continue to be pursued in a manner which ignores many of the facts. Labour look like giving the people of Ramsgate a building they do not want; and are preparing to bury the airport many do want. Hardly a voice of the people moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris, good to know that your principals remain the same despite your change of parties, something that can't be said for some other local ship jumpers! Labour are indeed out of touch with local opinion, and Tories are getting more and more desperate. So looks like you (& many other locals) are backing a winner with UKIP.

      Delete
    2. Hi Chris, I would guess that the real issue with Manston is that councillors are assuming there is a public mandate without holding even he most basic of public consultations to find out if there really is. When you have a reasonably regulated petition open to all UK residents with SMA facebook group with 8,500 members urging people sign it for several weeks and not have most of them sign it, then you know something is wrong. I would say TDC basing any action on a public mandate without any evidence to support that they have this mandate among their council taxpayers is bound to end in tears.

      With Pleasurama I guess the real problem all along the line is not first working out what can realistically and safely be done with what is from a civil engineering point of view a very demanding site.

      I would say taking the council cabinet on a site visit and getting them to stand near the bottom of the 70 foot cliff, with foundations exposed and cracks an bulges in the façade, that they expect people to live under would do the trick.

      Delete
    3. I agree Michael. TDC hasn't bothered to ask local people what they want. If you asked people whether they want a little airport with cheap holiday flights departing and returning at convenient times of the day and night, I think many, possibly even a majority, might be in favour. However, if you ask whether they would like a massive mechanised freight depot operating 24/7 but employing relatively few people, I suspect you would get a different answer. A proper and valid consultation requires that the plans for the site are published and that people are consulted about those plans. At the moment, you can't hold a consultation because the plans which have been put forward are little more than jottings on the back of a cigarette packet.

      Delete
    4. 6:35, I support both options, as do most people I know. The reason? Because a cargo airport could easily be converted to passenger use at a later date, if and when the need arises. Build houses and it's gone forever.

      Delete
    5. Anon at 6.35 I have considerable reservations about a cargo hub being environmentally or economically viable, to be blunt it looks like a ruse to acquire the site for an alternative use.

      I take the stance that the nice people who say they want to build could have just a tiny outside chance of doing what they have always done with the sites they have acquired in the past.

      You know if a company with a long history of property development came along and said they wanted to buy Port Ramsgate to develop a massive ferry service to Calais I would think, hang on a sec, the Goodwin sands are in the way so the distance is twice as far as it from Dover by sea, what are they up to?

      Delete
    6. Now that the government are intervening it HAS to stay as an airport. The owner(s) won't have any choice.

      Delete
    7. I still don't see where the evidence is that the government are intervening..... someone in the government made a passing comment to please the masses and TDC are trying to talk to someone in the government

      Getting people excited with comments like "MANSTON IS DECLARED A NATIONAL ASSET BY GRANT SHAPPS !" simply aren't true !!

      They certainly can't force someone to run a loss making business...

      Delete
    8. Tell us how the government is intervening 10:04. I think you are just msking it up

      Delete
    9. Ask Iris 11:36, she's the one who said it. Of course, it could just be Labour trying sneaky delaying tactics. #voteukip

      Delete
    10. Ah 8:41 so it's not true at all merely you overblowing some vague comments form weeks ago by Grant Shapps etc.

      UKIP were all for Government intervention though too weren't they? Farage to fund a CPO?

      Delete
    11. It doesn't really matter after today's revelations about the new owners. A cpo seems more likely than ever now.

      Delete
    12. 4:09
      It seems like the revelations are a load of **** seeing as the local SMA rag, a paper that would support any SMA dodo normally have already reported this and the new owners will be taking action soon that's if they can find, the very brave sole who forgot to put their name on this load of garbage
      http://www.thanetgazette.co.uk/Manston-airport-owners-aware-online-allegations/story-23182563-detail/story.html

      Delete
    13. No, there is a difference between "responding" as they have actually been quoted as saying and "taking action". You must have very jaundiced view of the world if you think the Gazette is an SMA rag.

      Delete
    14. 12:08
      Tom Barns the person who wrote that article was being vilified yesterday on the SMA fb group for not saying it was the truth and only saying allegations he was trying to defend him self by saying at least his paper was the only paper to run with the story. In other words his paper was the only paper to give it publicity, as I said an SMA RAG!!!!!

      Delete
    15. Anon 12:37,

      You point escapes me. There is no logic to your argument. You are angry - well so what.

      Delete
    16. I wasn't even aware that there are any other Thanet newspapers than the Gazette, but if this was really a (shouts) SMA RAG then surely they would've done the research themselves?

      Delete
  6. Michael, both MPs and cllrs listen to public opinion on Manston throughout the whole Thanet electoral areas, and not just the dozens who enter your shop. Believe me, they're not just (nearly) all showing support because of a few petitions. If there was votes in opposing it then someone would be standing up against them as a South Thanet election candidate though perhaps you or Barry or Purple will surprise us by making an announcement in the near future.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Chris Wells, how about joining Twitter to engage with the electorate more? I think it would be in your favour! Even Simon Moores announced yesterday that he's concentrating on twitter and giving up blogging.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Some good sensible points on the Save Manston page Michael - be careful else the witch-hunt will start and you start getting called a troll. I avoid posting anything there for this reason !

    ReplyDelete
  9. Its interesting to note that now the need for seasonal jobs is over that unemployment in Thanet still fell by 260 in September, Continuing a downward trend and the highest fall in Kent. I cant l help but think that those that live in Thanet and worked at the airport have been able to find jobs.
    On the jobs front when are TDC going to employ some permanent officers? The CPO meeting report shows an acting chief exec, an interim Director of Corporate Resources & s151 officer and an interim Legal Services Manager & Monitoring Officer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course unemployment has been falling nationwide so the Thanet figures just confirm the national trend, nothing else anon @ 11:43 am. If there are any ex Manston Employees reading this blog then please tell us of your experience.

      Delete
    2. Oh dear anon, are you making silly assumptions about unemployment figures again without any detail? Perhaps go ahead and discuss with some ex-employees to see, rather than making what appear to be fairly ridiculous assumptions.

      Delete
  10. http://www.supportmanstonairport.org/the-strange-but-true-story-of-musgrave-trevor-cartner-business-parks-an-airport-and-the-bank-that-liked-to-say-yes/?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just removed the links to Thanet Eye as I believe the website may have libellous content, apologies if it hasn’t. The law is still fairly vague but I understand that it could cost a few thousand pounds just to tell if you were right or wrong.

      Delete
  12. .. and so the character assassination continues on the Save Manston Facebook page.... I certainly wouldn't be accusing people of fraud and corruption when I don't understand the 'evidence' and I am sure most of them don't either

    What I do know is that discrediting the owner doesn't make Riveroak (for which they don't seem to be interested in investigating at all) any more suitable to hand the site over to....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon 3:08,

      What causes you to assume that the writer does not undestand the evidence? It may be the case that you do not uderstand the evidence, which I can accept. But I do not accept that you can speak for others, especially when you do not know them.

      Delete
    2. I didn't say that the writer of the article doesn't or does understand the 'evidence' but most of the people posting it all over the place accusing people of fraud and corruption probably don't as it looks highly complex and would need specialist knowledge

      Delete
    3. TDC's lawyers are examining the evidence at this very moment. That's what matters.

      Delete
    4. I have read the Thanet Eye report, and if true makes damning reading. But I am not any expert by any means and hope that a lawyer will comment on these pages.

      If the evidence is manufactured then it is a very slick piece of work.

      Delete
    5. SEMBOB
      You should read the "damming report" a little more carefully. If you look a little more and misunderstand a little less then you may see that its not as damming as you first think. So they got into a little financial bother (in the worst recession the world has ever seen) and had to sell 2/3rds of their company, Now their are showing a profit and employing many though opening up business parks for company's to come and employ 1000s
      Oh 1 more thing I do hope the police find the person who wrote this report and he is bought to justice and sued for all hes worth :)

      Delete
    6. Anon 1:19,

      Why do you want the author prosecuted? What is his crime? He has made you angry but so what.

      Delete
    7. I bow to your superior knowledge anon. As I said, I am no expert and therefore accept your criticism in the same spirit in which it was given. I will close the flood gates on the DAMMING report, and read the allegedly DAMNING report.

      I take it that you think the report is libellous? But if what you say is correct, that it is a statement of fact, then perhaps it's not.

      Delete
    8. Perhaps you should read the report anon 1:19 if you think that there is something libellous in there. It looks pretty much like a timeline of facts that can anyone can obtain to me, plus some questions at the end. I think the person/people publishing it have been very careful in the way it has been published for that very reason.

      Oh, one more thing; I like your definition of "a little financial bother" - perhaps that is all the recent recession was to you as well?

      Delete
  13. Riveroak/CPO is as flimsy as Manston Discovery Park anyway. Interesting to prevent another EUJet or SFP or Chinagate farce

    ReplyDelete
  14. Paul Carter has confirmed that he's seen this. He is currently in meetings in London, but his PA will be requesting a statement immediately upon his return.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ian Driver what a buffoon steeling secret documents from the TDC building and being chased down the street. Does he think this sort of behavior will make him look like a Cllrs or a circus clown. It has been said that his actions may cost the tax payer £100,000s I do hope that when he is held to account personally and financially the people that egged him are there to help him with the £100,000s debt and a lift to the job center. When your in a position of power you should act accordingly with all or your constituents in mind not just a few friends

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ian is hardly at fault if TDC are creating supposedly secret documents and then chasing him. Quite the opposite he's standing up against this outrageous secrecy over Pleasurama. The TDC staff should be sacked and/prosecuted for harrassment of Ian. How will new councillors be found if they can expect this sort of behaviour and why should we pay tax to fund it? A councillor being chased down the street then followed by a van over council "secret" documents they were discussing? TDC is completely dysfunctional.

    ReplyDelete
  17. 5:37
    You clearly no nothing of business or how a confidential documents work. Lets say you have a car but you don't know its value, so you ask a car expert to give you a confidential valuation of your car and he tells you £5000 then you meet a person who wants to buy your car and you say, how much are you offering? they say £7000, just before you except, the car expert leaps from behind a bush and tell the person its only worth £5000 he would then be liable for the other £2000. If you sign an agreement saying you wont tell anybody then you do and it ends up costing the tax payer £100s of thousands YOU should be liable for the losses. If your going to act like a clown when you have a job as he does then you should face the consequences.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The reason not many people who go in your book shop discuss Manston is quite simple Michael. I'll let you work it out.

    ReplyDelete
  19. You twit 5:37 you've forgotten that selling a car etc involves only the private sector. While FOI applies to the public sector - which we fund. You're saying the public have no right to know the valuation of Pleasurama as in this issue? And even with cars you can get a pubci valuation...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 9:08
      If you have any brain cells in your head wake them up please :)
      THE RIGHTS TO THE LAND IS NOT TDCs THEY HAVE SOLD THE LEASE IN 2009, DUMMY
      They are just trying to broker a deal as TDC still hold the rights to the freehold until the build is completed.

      We, as Ramsgate residents don't want to see years more blight, any other outcome would take years and be very expensive
      Your last comment just shows your level of understanding of the matter

      Delete

Please note comments that may be libellous, comments that may be construed as offensive, anonymous derogatory comments about real people, comments baiting internet trolls, comments saying that an anonymous comment was made by a named real person, boring comments and spam comments, comments in CAPs will be deleted. Playground stuff like calling real people by their time stamp or surname alone, referring to groups as gangs, old duffers and so on will result in deletion. Comment that may be construed as offensive to minority groups is not allowed here either, so think before you write it, remember that the internet is a public place, that it is very difficult to be truly anonymous and that everyone who uses it leaves a trail of some sort. Also note the facility to leave anonymous comment will be turned of during periods when I am unable to monitor comment, this will not affect people commenting who are signed on to their blogger accounts. When things are particularly difficult on the commercial spam front I may turn comment moderation on for periods.

If you feel that someone has left a comment that is offensive and directed at you personally please email me (link on the sidebar) asking to have it removed, you will need to tell which post and the date and timestamp of the offending comment. Please do not reply to the offending comment as I will assume you continuing the dialogue as meaning that you want the comments left there.