Seven of Thanet's beaches get blue flags.
· Minnis Bay
· West Bay
· St Mildred’s Bay
· Ramsgate Main Sands
· Botany Bay
· Joss Bay
· Stone Bay
The changes from last year are Westbrook Bay didn’t get one this year and Ramsgate Main Sands did.
I got the press release about this at about 6pm yesterday, strictly embargoed until today, however by about 8pm yesterday the news hade leaked out onto FaceBook, showing that it is pretty much impossible to keep a secret with the internet and giving a pretty good reason why I have given up with the local press release blog.
The picture is an old one dating from three years ago, see http://thanetonline.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/tracey-emin-exhibition-at-turner.html old enough I think for me to be realistically critical of it and I still think that it has something that is unique because of having been drawn and painted on the beach and not in a studio from a photo.
On to Manston and the airport site.
Public opinion on this one seems to have been roughly steady on this one since the airport closed about a year ago roughly in order with the most popular at the top.
Reopen as a regional passenger airport, with equine facility and a small amount of freight. Essentially what we had before.
Anything that employs a lot of people.
I think around here you get into the area of what the majority of people seem to be saying they don’t want.
The Discovery Park proposals.
Airfreight hub and aircraft dismantling facility without passenger flights.
So we now have Ray Mallon appointed as spokesperson for the Discovery Parks scheme.
Old BBC coverage about Ray Mallon http://www.bbc.co.uk/search?q=Ray%20Mallon
On the local government front we have tomorrows TDC meeting which I guess counts as the first stages of restarting the cpo process and on the same day UKIP KCC councillor Roger Latchford trying to get KCC to support the cpo.
I guess a problem with the cpo is mandate and this is mainly down to TDC failing to respond reasonably to the various Save Manston airport petitions. Apart from the problems with the petitions which meant that none of them seemed to be properly verified, so they could have been signed several times by the same person, a petition doesn’t give any sort of mandate unless it is signed by a large proportion of the community. The population of Thanet being in the 140,000 ball park with I guess around 100,000 voters, then a petition doesn’t really cut the mustard unless it's getting to around the half the voters and this is never going to happen. What the council should have done is hold a public consultation.
That said UKIP obviously have to be seen to be doing something and I guess they will. I have great reservations about the council making large financial commitments while the new councillors lack experience, I am particularly minded that the Pleasurama planning consent went through during the change of administration and that experienced councillors would probably have turned it down and told the developer to produce new plans that fitted in the space height wise.
I think the cpo situation at the moment is something like this.
Election wise I think quite a few of the sma group stood as UKIP councillors, whether this was because they supported UKIP, thought UKIP would win and they could get the cpo through or they just wanted political change I don’t know. I guess when trying to gauge the group as a whole a bit of everything may be the answer.
Part of the UKIP election campaign was to save the airport but as I didn’t see any political bumph saying vote UKIP for an airfreight hub and aircraft scrap yard and I don’t think they have a strong mandate for a cpo with that purpose.
I think there may be a sense in which they are calling RiverOak's bluff, put X million pounds into a UK bank account, to finance starting the cpo. I guess the snag here would be what the council's liability would be to RiverOak if the council decided to pull out of the cpo process after they had spent X million pounds on getting the process started.
I will ramble on about this today as and when I get the time.