Friday, 26 June 2015

Minor Manston update


On 10th June I phoned the council to ask what the situation with the Manston cpo was.

Eventually I was put through to democratic services and the officer I spoke to asked me to put my questions in an email, here it is.

From: michaelchild@aol.com [mailto:michaelchild@aol.com]
Sent: 10 June 2015 10:31
To: ********
Subject: Manston

Hi *****, could you kindly let me know what the situation is with the Manston cpo issue, i.e. as much as you can tell me about the issue given the constraints on releasing information about it?

Also a couple of direct questions which hopefully you can answer.
1 When will the issue go to Cabinet?
2 Is there any reasonable chance of a way forward on this one, has the situation re an indemnity partner changes, if not could councillors move forward in any way without officers producing and acceptable indemnity partner? 


Best regards Michael

I got the following reply

From: *****
To: 'michaelchild@aol.com'
Sent: Wed, 10 Jun 2015 12:00
Subject: RE: Manston

Hi Michael

I have forwarded your query to the Chief Exec’s Office for a response. You should get a response directly from her office.

Thank You
Regards
 *****

From: michaelchild@aol.com [mailto:michaelchild@aol.com]
Sent: 10 June 2015 13:03
To: *****
Subject: Re: Manston

***** I do hope that they understand that this relates to considerable comment and concerns on the local internet about the cabinet meeting next week and don’t see it as something they need to answer in 20 working days time. 

Best regards Michael


From: ******
To: 'michaelchild@aol.com'
Sent: Wed, 10 Jun 2015 13:19
Subject: RE: Manston

Hi Michael

I have again forwarded this email to the CEx’s Office for her to take into consideration when she responds to your initial query and do hope that she will respond timeously.

Regards
******

Dear Mr Child

MANSTON CPO

Thank you for your email received on the 10th June 2015, addressed to ****, Democratic Services Officer.

Please be assured that the matters you have raised have been referred to the Chief Executive who will send a full response to you in due course.

In order for us to respond as efficiently as possible, please ensure that you quote the above reference number in all communications relating to this matter.

In the meantime, if you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely




********
PA to Director of Community Services
EXECUTIVE SUPPORT UNIT
Thanet District Council
Cecil Street, Margate  Kent CT9 1XZ
Direct dial: (01843) 577071


From: michaelchild
To: *********
Sent: Mon, 22 Jun 2015 13:43
Subject: Re: Thanet District Council - Correspondence Acknowledgement

Hi *****

I don’t seem to have had a response to this one yet, as it is/was just intended to so I could put an update on the Manston situation on my blog, which as I guess you know a lot of locals read, about 30k page reads in the last month, according to the page counter which I don’t trust and probably exaggerates, I thought I had better chase it up.

There is a fair amount of public interest in the Manston cpo issue, although it is a bit hard to tell how much as the council haven't held any public consultation on this issue although I guess they will in fullness of time.

I have put my original 10th June email below, just in case it has gone astray somehow:

"Hi *****, could you kindly let me know what the situation is with the Manston cpo issue, i.e. as much as you can tell me about the issue given the constraints on releasing information about it?

Also a couple of direct questions which hopefully you can answer.
1 When will the issue go to Cabinet?
2 Is there any reasonable chance of a way forward on this one, has the situation re an indemnity partner changes, if not could councillors move forward in any way without officers producing and acceptable indemnity partner?" 


Best regards Michael

-----Original Message-----
From: ***** <********>
To: 'MichaelChild@aol.com'
Sent: Mon, 22 Jun 2015 15:09
Subject: Manston CPO - Executive Correspondence ref. 77775

Our ref:        77775/3003061
Your ref:     



Dear Mr Child,

MANSTON CPO

Thank you for your email of today's date and apologise that Madeline has not been in a position to respond to your communication dated the 10th June, 2015.  I have forwarded your email onto Madeline and can assure you that Madeline will reply to you as soon as she is able.




Yours sincerely





********
E xecutive Support Unit

From: ******
To: michaelchild
CC: Madeline Homer Sent: Fri, 26 Jun 2015 10:39
Subject: Manston Airport CPO


Hi **** I guess that the aspect of this one that the coucnil are treating as a customer feedback request, which I guess has to be all or most of it, has now timed out because the ten working days has passed.

Normally at this point I would either be happy with the council's response or I would ask for the council to have a further review of my customer feedback request.

Obviously the council could treat part of my enquiry as an foi request and if this is the case could the council tell me which part and I will be happy to wait the twenty working days for that part, but as much of my enquiry seeks an opinion my guess is that the council will have to treat is as customer feedback.

My problem now is I don’t know what action to take, or what my options are with no response, could the council kindly explain them to me?

I should point out here that the indecision over the Manston is having an adverse effect on Ramsgate, which could find itself at the end of the runway of an airfreight hub with no passenger flights resulting in property and business blight, reduction in life expectancy caused particulate air pollution.       

Best regards Michael
Dear Mr Child,

Thank you for your email of the 10th June sent to the Chief Executive which she has passed to me. Can I first take the opportunity to apologise for the delay in providing a response.

The Council’s position on Manston airport is that set out in the report to the Extraordinary Council on the 21st May 2015 which is available on the Council’s website. In short, Cabinet in December 2014 agreed to take no further action on a CPO and the Extraordinary Council in May 2015 agreed to recommend to Cabinet that it review its position. A report will be put to a future Cabinet meeting on the matter and in the meantime the Department of Transport has just published its review into the indemnity partner process for Manston airport.


Best Regards

******

**** ****, Solicitor
Head of Legal and Democratic Support and Monitoring Officer
Thanet District Council


Hi ****

My request was a direct result of having read cabinet papers and then having also read the papers for the extraordinary council meeting 21st May 2015.

As I guess you know I write a local blog http://thanetonline.blogspot.co.uk/ which according to page counter has a substantial readership, so I can publish your response which in view of question 2, the lack of any answer from you would I guess be seen by some readers as an answer in itself. To me it seems to be saying that you don’t really know, others may be less charitable.

I read the PwC report yesterday, which in short seemed to be saying the council should have spent more money by using PwC for specialist advice and as the report cost £70k I doubt the council could have afforded to.

I don’t see how the PwC report contributes to the council's position in any meaningful way as it doesn’t say anything which changes the indemnity partner situation.

My own take is that saving the airport has become a cover for building a freight hub and that the council should hold a public consultation to see if council taxpayers actually want the council to engage in a cpo to build a freight hub rather than a regional airport that passengers can travel from which does seem to have local support. 

As far as I can see the existing and prior use which would protect the council from compensation under planning law don’t seem to apply under cpo legislation, which looks like compensating anyone who suffers any loss and some future losses as a result of the cpo taking place compared to it not taking place.

My guess the two main areas of interest would be the reduction in property values and the reduction of life expectancy due to particulate air pollution.

There is also now after a year of the council failing to draw a line under this one, a sense in which the ongoing uncertainty is causing blight in itself.

Anyway if there is any chance you could have a go at my Question 2 I would be extremely grateful.       


"Hi ******, could you kindly let me know what the situation is with the Manston cpo issue, i.e. as much as you can tell me about the issue given the constraints on releasing information about it?

Also a couple of direct questions which hopefully you can answer.
1 When will the issue go to Cabinet?
2 Is there any reasonable chance of a way forward on this one, has the situation re an indemnity partner changes, if not could councillors move forward in any way without officers producing and acceptable indemnity partner?" 

Best regards Michael

After sending this I phoned him up, he did confirm that the Manston cpo issue will be discussed at the extraordinary cabinet meeting 14th July http://democracy.thanet.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=151&MId=4157



Basically they are pondering the situation at the moment to see where we are going on this one. It seems anything they come with won’t appear until the last possible moment i.e. 5 working days before the cabinet meeting.   

2 comments:

  1. Michael

    I think the truth is that any attempt at a CPO will fail at some stage.

    The only question is whether TDC will have the political courage to admit this at an early stage and move on with the Stone Hill Park proposals, or spend untold amounts of time and money chasing a pipe dream.

    Chris Wells has been declared bankrupt himself once before, will his pursuit of a CPO
    put TDC in the same position?

    ReplyDelete
  2. A due-diligence process is intended not only to establish the financial status of a trading partner but also as an assessment of that party's integrity. This is of course of particular importance in the current circumstances where their is a potential for risk to the public, let alone the removal of lawfully held land from one party to that other party. We know enough about RiverOak Aviation Associates to have no need for any other consideration to take place. The alarm bells should have rung loudly enough when it became apparent that the old 'Integeral' team were clearly associated with the company. We now know that one of the principals was deemed by the High Court QBD not to be fit and proper to practice law. We know that for a period of 5 years Anthony Freudmann misused his clients funds for his own purposes (admitted). This at a time when Mr Freudmann was the managing partner of the firm and leader of Shropshire County Council. He was also a Deputy District Judge. These are facts available to all from the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. At the time of the 'striking off' (23/10/93) Freudmann was a 45 year old man in whom a great deal of trust had been placed. How on earth can anyone seriously entertain any further consideration of RiverOak as a suitable indemnity partner. Can you imagine the look on the judges face when he reads the trial bundle.

    ReplyDelete

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