Monday, 2 February 2015

Manston Transport Committee meeting video

I will try to put this up in way that it will work for people, no guarantees. 

if you hover your mouse over the video and right click and then left click on run this plugin it may work, if you are prompted to install Silverlight you will need to do this to watch the video. 

Ok some thoughts on the video and it’s content.
As far as I can see parliament has decided to go with a Microsoft video player that is difficult to use on non windows devices.

News coverage of the event.

The whole transcript will be available on the parliament website in a few days time.

And boringly enough my own views.

I think the most important thing to remember here is that the select committee can’t do anything much to change the situation over Manston airport.

They can’t for instance make TDC reengage in the cpo, so
anything you hear in the video doesn’t change the situation and there really is
very little chance of anything in the way of a change of direction on UK
airports until well after the May elections.

I guess what leaves me a bit unconvinced is that the Manston Airport site has considerable environmental constraints, particularly relating to water and air pollution, which restrict commercial and industrial development there.
These constraints would probably make it difficult to have a significant airfreight hub there and would also probably make it difficult to have a significant industrial park there.


  1. Michael, thanks for putting the video on your website - very useful for those of us who weren't able to watch it live.

  2. Yes thanks Michael - and interesting so many TDC and KCCers were there. Yet again more costs for an airport that's bust and trying to spend more tax on it. And even TDC's own report saying it's not viable.

    Gale and Iris and Carter have shot themselves in the foot over the CPO and should resign.

  3. I just watched the whole thing. I was expecting to see and hear Gale and his gang produce the smoking gun. But they produced nothing. Pauline Bradley didn't deny any of the 'facts' but the 'facts' reveal that neither she or Gloag have done anything wrong. Sure, it looks as though they took the decision to close it quickly, but they can produce evidence that it was losing money hand over fist and they can produce evidence that they tried to get both Ryanair and BA Cargo to relocate. There isn't a judge in the land who will rule against them when it goes to court.

  4. We need an inquiry into the farce and contamination at Manston.

  5. In my experience in working with and for businesses the ones that have been successful are those where quick decisions are made to keep loses to a minimum. The ones that wait around trying to 'make a good fist of it' generally fail/do not do as well. You cannot blame Gloag etc. for making a sensible decision to shut the airport in light of Ryanairs troubles (and in light of the previous owners track record)

  6. Michael, Thank you for the video.

    Neither Bradley nor Carter stood up well to the strong forensic questioning, especially Bradley, both of them wriggled and fidgeted; and Pauline Bradley looked shifty. Sir Roger Gale was superb. The anti airport argument has clearly stumbled. But it is still early days.

  7. Gale has not shown any deviation from the line that the answer is Manston. Even this won't stop him.

    Probably easier to vote someone else in so the only people that have to listen to him are his carers.

  8. ITS a mess and not getting any better the Government could have helped save Manston at the airports review last year. Had they usedd Manston while deciding on extra runways at Gatwick and Heathrow.

    The words financial slight of hand make me smile

  9. I found it unusual people would laugh when Paul Carter says the Pfizer site is a success. I think everything going on out there shows it is a success and many people are employed where if the had not taken the site on it would be zero employed. Hardly a laughing matter

  10. Busy day today, which I wouldn’t have expected give the sleet and in the middle of it there was a power failure in King Street which played havoc with the computers and printers, so I have only just got around to the comments here.

    The effects of Sandwich Discovery Park are certainly being noticed here, I have quite a few customers who work there.

    My take on the Manston issue is that the airport over the nearly thirty years I have been trading in Thanet didn’t seem to make much difference to business either way, perhaps with the exception of a few extra customers for aviation books. I guess we have the main aviation book section in southeast England and sales are not so much regulated by how many buying customers I get as how many quality aviation books I can source at the right price. Where I think the economic airport related damage did occur was over the uncertainty related to what the airport could become. It was always a bit of a sleeping giant that could have woken up to produce major issues over noise pollution, if there is one thing the that damages the local economy, well for that matter all economies it’s uncertainty.

    John it doesn’t seem to very long ago I was commenting and posting that Ann Gloag had a bit of a history of asset stripping and you were commenting that she offered a brave new future for the airport. Well I have had considerable reservations about RiverOak from when the first got involved and all down the line seen any aviation future for Manston would need a considerable element of public funding to ensure this.

    I think the bottom line here is nothing came out of the hat and without an unlikely major change in government policy it’s going to be the discovery park future at Manston.

  11. Michael, You claim that I once said that "Ann Gloag offered a brand new future for the airport". This does not sound like me. Presumably you have evidence that I said it?

  12. Sorry about that John, I will dig out an exact quote that fits the bill.

    John Holyer said...
    This is good news. I wish Manston well. Ann Gloag has a proven track record as an entrepreneur.
    November 30, 2013 11:58 am.

  13. Whilst RiverOak were not questioned to the same degree, they did not come out well at the Committee, as they were not able to avoid the fact that they make their profits for their share-holders, by property development on those sites.

    Roger Gale outed himself as a Communist, with his view that all such sites should be on a national register, and can only be released for other purposes once a government bureaucrat has been to the site and inspected it! I often wonder on which planet he lives!!

  14. Manston as an airport is finished. All thats left is the contamination and dumped aircraft issues and sight of the building plans from Gloag.

    Why has she not cleaned the site already? Has the Environment Agency given up?

  15. What I find quite astonishing is that the SMA supporters seem aggrieved someone would be looking to make a profit out of the site.

    If they want someone to run an airport at a loss just to keep a few local employed, they should move to China.

  16. Thank you Michael for the actual quote. It is significantlty different from what you claim I said. For some reason you were attempting to put words in my mouth that you hoped would condemn me for something or other. However, I will concede that Ann Gloag took me and others for a mug. At the time I was unaware that Gloag intended to turn Manston into a housing estate. I still wish Manston Airport well. Per Ardua Ad Astra.

    Good luck with the books.

  17. oh Touche' Michael. A winning "Re-post" ?

  18. John my comment 5.02 wasn’t a quote but just based on remembering you being supportive of Ann Gloag I assumed if you replied at all it would be along the lines of that you had backed a horse that fell. When you commented that you wanted evidence of your support for her I Googled – Holyer Gloag – which brings up “John Holyer I wish Manston and Ann Gloag well” on facebook so I Googled - John Holyer Manston Ann Gloag wish well – and there you go.

    I think the point you are missing is that looking at hard-nosed business people like Ann Gloag or RiverOak or long term politicians that showed up as having considerable expenses, that if I claimed on my tax return would get me into a great deal of trouble, through rose coloured glasses and hoping for some altruistic motive, isn’t and never will be a route to saving the airport.

  19. John when in a hole stop digging. Michael got you fair and square. There is no Strawman here.

    An excellent blog exchange. Michael 1 Holyer 0

    I see the questions man is back. "Has the Environment Agency given up ?" "Has Ann Gloag cleaned up the site ?"

    "Have you written to the HSE though?"

    I imagine if he wrote his own letter it would be something like this "Dear Environment Agency, Are you still there ? Have you heard of Thanet ? Have you given up ? Has Ann Gloag cleaned up Manston ? What about Thor and Sericol then ? Has Michael not written to you ? What's this all about then ? "

  20. Spot on, Michael. J. Holyer's suggestion that the anti-airport argument is stumbling because he thought someone "looked shifty" at the select committee hearing at least brought some humour to a grey day.

  21. Much has been made of Ms Bradley appearing evasive or the deal between Mrs Gloag and Carter & Musgrave being opaque. It really doesn't mean anything - they are the legitimate owners and they can decide how best to utilise the asset they have acquired legally.

  22. Spot on target there Marksman.

  23. I have to agree with Marksman. Roger Gale failed to produce the smoking gun at the Select Committee. I think the key point in proceedings was when the Chair asked Roger Gale what he would like them to do. He came up with some waffly, flim-flam about designating the airfield as a national asset and reserving it for aviation use until such time as the military decided it was no longer needed. He seems to have forgotten that the military made this decision 15 years ago. That's why they sold it with no covenants to prevent the owners from closing it down. When the Select Committee members sit down to discuss their report they are not going to be able to apply any such designation to the airport. This would require primary legislation, would take years and the legal owners would be entitled to massive compensation. The only thing they are likely to do is to make recommendations about the length of consultation periods for small airport closures.

  24. I thought Dr Beau Diddley presented the greatest argument for closing manston, although I don't think this was his intention.

    When EU Jet started to fold, the airport owners at the time should have closed it then and pocketed the profits from turning it to alternative use. Perhaps some people involved at that time are kicking themselves and have spent the past 10 years trying to right that mistake. Unfortunately, someone has beaten them to it.

    Time to move on I think.

  25. The pro Manston groups also put forward that the private search and rescue company Bristows also wanted to use Manston as a base. I am sure that if this is so Bristows can find another suitable site such as Lydd or Headcorn.

  26. @anonymous 11:05: This would require primary legislation, would take years and the legal owners would be entitled to massive compensation.
    Gale is a Tory. So all his decisions are driven to make businesses and the wealthy better off. So you don't need much imagination to see that all he is doing is paving the way for the government to give a huge sum of money to his Scottish friend Ann. And they both live long and happily ever after on our tax money.
    Don't be fooled to think a Tory will ever do anything for you.

  27. I wish people would stop referring to it as Manston airport. At best is the "old manston airport site", "strip of Tarmac near manston village", or "brown field site near ramsgate".

  28. good point. "Future Manston" may fit the bill.

  29. Airports already have specified consultation periods which Gloag followed. So Gale has merely waffled for months.

    The smoking gun issues are the missing monitoring and contamination at the site.

  30. The Manston monitoring was perfect and supervised by TDC and the Environment Agency. The missing fines could not have been used at the cancer hospital. There are no missing monitors and there is no pollution. Hahaha


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