Once again a major event in Ramsgate and scant publicity on the Thanet District Council website, I was tied up this week with the bookshop and half term and just didn’t get the time to deal with it.
Here is the link to the event details http://www.visitthanet.co.uk/thedms.asp?dms=13&p1=db&p2=ev&feature=1001&GroupId=1&venue=3202947&easi=true hidden in plain view on the councils websites. You can of course have a go at getting to it from the councils homage, something that the cynical would say would have been splashed all over their homepage had the event been in Margate.
The night flights and Kent International airport is in the forefront of the blogs, local media and politics at the moment, a difficult one for me as the town centre where I live is so noisy at night anyway.
There is also the problem that there is a lot of statistical and technical information, mostly emanating from the airport operator and much of which doesn’t really make sense, the problem here is that if I come down heavily on one side or the other it is very difficult to make a dispassionate assessment of the information.
Anyway at the moment I will continue to publicise all the information that I can find.
It is still difficult to work out what the airport operators want, they seem to be saying on one hand that they want to get out of operating European airports and on the other that they want to increase their activities at Manston.
Much of the airport argument seems to be centred around local jobs ant claims that Infratil are making in this respect look very strange indeed, their graph relating to this seems to be, well just plain potty.
It looks like a big slab of red and blue cheese fairly near the bottom of this page http://www.thanetonline.com/nightflights/ at the moment they employ just over 60 people who live in Thanet and going by what Don says on his blog see http://promotethanet.blogspot.com/2010/10/flying-from-manston-to-manchester-as.html there is a fair amount of slack to be taken up before they are going to need any more.
The strangest part of this though is what they call, indirect, induced and catalytic jobs, it would seem that the current 60ish Thanet jobs are supposed to be generating about 100 of these at the moment, it doesn’t say how many of these indirect, induced and catalytic jobs are in Thanet. The graph goes on to say that the same airport producing about 600 jobs for people in Thanet will produce about 5,000 indirect, induced and catalytic jobs.
The noise business is just as difficult to work out at the bottom of the same page, they describe the really noisy area around the airport as 57dBLAeq,8hr, they then go on to say that there are no dwellings in this area.
Now my understanding is that 57dbl is about the level where noise starts to get annoying, the sort of thing that would wake you up or make you raise your voice to be heard.
The trouble here is that when a large aeroplane taking off or landing flies over Ramsgate it is so load that you have to raise you voice to be heard and indeed it would wake you up, so something here doesn’t make sense.
This business with decibels also doesn’t make much sense 57db using the scale I learnt many years ago is about the noise level of ordinary conversation, you could say that the whole thing is much more complex that I expected.
At a rough guess I would say that a large plane taking off and being noisy over Ramsgate, as happens regularly makes a noise in about the 100db range.
On the other hand there are the flybe planes like the one Don went on, these fly over Ramsgate regularly and don’t seem to be louder than normal road traffic, in fact the flybe operation seems to be beneficial to Thanet, improving our connections with the rest of the UK.
To me the argument seems to be much more along the lines of it’s fine to drive past my house in the middle of the night but please don’t use a chainsaw outside my house at 2am.
Back to TDCIT you may be interested to know that Thanet District Council have joined Facebook, see http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Margate-United-Kingdom/Thanet-District-Council/83700846372?v=wall they seem to have one friend and 16 people who like this.
They also have a youtube account, see http://www.youtube.com/user/ThanetCouncil and a twitter account see http://twitter.com/ThanetCouncil they don’t seem to have embraced blogger yet.
Some thoughts on Halloween and the way faith schools approach this, my youngest children go to a faith school, so they had an all saints party, this involved dressing up as a saint.
This was obviously a costume party and from the point of view of the youf the costume, well as it was obviously Halloween this needed to fairly gruesome, fortunately the church’s history of martyrdom managed to come up with the goods.
I thought though that the slash across the neck, St Agnes, just wasn’t in the same league as St Lucy resplendent and carrying her eyeballs on a plate in the usual fashion.
A bit of a glance at the other local blogs now.
Simon Moores has more concerns about how the government cuts are going to cause problems for the council, I would like to be able to find something flippant to say that would make this all sound like a storm in a teacup, the trouble is that it just isn’t like that. I will instead just jest that I couldn’t understand his quick mental calculation, which I can’t, 21m divided by 167k sees to suggest Thanet has a population of about 126 people, enough teasing, fortunately Simon takes this sortof thing in good spirit.
The council officers I talk to have very genuine concerns, not only that they will lose their jobs but that some of the departments just won’t have enough staff to operate effectively.
Planning is a part of the council where I know more officers than most, and it is genuinely looking as though the mixture of unworkable legislation and shortage of staff may well mean that the whole thing pretty much grinds to a halt.
Simon is also getting on to the business of voting for faster broadband in Thanet see http://birchington.blogspot.com/2010/10/so-you-want-fast-broadband.html worth voting for this and for once it seems to be something that all the parties agree with.
Dave Green on http://eastclifframsgate.blogspot.com/ has an article that is very similar to Stella Creasy’s http://labour-uncut.co.uk/2010/10/30/the-loan-sharks-are-circling-and-the-government-doesn%E2%80%99t-care/ and one like http://www.kentonline.co.uk/thanet_extra/news/2010/october/20/ramsgates_architectural_gem_w.aspx this must be great minds thinking alike.
But the news there is that the Thanet Labour Group are to oppose night flights from Manston, jumping on a band wagon or listening to local people at last, I am not so sure.
Six months to the local elections and the feelings against night flights seems to very strong talking to the customers in the bookshop, but then there is the question of what is the Conservative Group’s position on this one?
I had a chat with Don recently, his latest post reminds me of the literary quotation “Il Porcupino Nil Sodomy Est” which roughly translated means don’t muddle your balls with hedgehogs, see http://promotethanet.blogspot.com/2010/10/hedgehog-rescue-mission.html
Don seems to have come out in favour of night flights, I think http://promotethanet.blogspot.com/2010/10/manston-airport.html the problem here may be to do with confusing the relatively quiet passenger planes with the very noisy cargo planes.
Tony Bignews has an interesting article on the ongoing saga of the demolition site in Northdown Road, see http://bignewsmargate.blogspot.com/2010/10/dangerous-demolition-site-sorted-and.html this sort of public safety issue is something needs drawing public attention to.
Tony is another one who seems to be coming out for night flights and I get the feeling that the airport issue could be turning into both a political football and a sort on south Thanet v north Thanet issue.
I will add to this ramble as the day progresses.