Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Midweek Ramble featuring TDCTV, the airport and anything else I think of.

I have just recovered from man flue, for a while there I had aches all down my hypotenuse and frankly didn’t feel much like blogging or anything else. Anyway I now feel much better and am trying to catch up on the local news.

I will add to this posting through the day, depending on how busy my bookshop is and what comes up delving the internet for local interest and anything else that amuses me.

First, above, this rather unusual offering from Thanet District Council’s YouTube channel, I have to admit to thinking that it should have sound and so went off and tried another computer in vain. Anyway here is the silent epic of Fort Road boutique hotel.

Thanet Labour have removed their post “Councillor Will Scobie - *Statement by Cllr. Clive Hart - Labour Group Leader Thanet District Council * "Cllr Will Scobie is going to study in Paris from Saturday 3rd September………” from I wonder why.

There have been quite a lot of postings about the airport recently most of them on and as always with the airport I have considerable problems visualising the airport operators intent.

This is what the airport operator Infratil’s 2011 company report had to say.

“Infratil’s two remaining European airports continued to experience very
difficult trading conditions. Notwithstanding excellent cost control,
losses grew as traffic continued to weaken.
The airports in Glasgow and Kent represent 4% of Infratil’s assets and
contributed an EBITDAF loss of £5 million (NZ$10 million) for the year.
Management is very aware of this disproportionate value/contribution
aspect and the situation is receiving the urgent attention it warrants.
There are several solutions possible, but regrettably the preferred one,
an improving European aviation scene lifting activity and hence income,
seems the least likely.”

Like many local projects it is the absence of any sort of realistic dialogue with local people that worries me, I find that despite all of the various bits information I have read for and against the airport, nothing seems to show some sort realistic view of a future with a profitable airport operating within reasonable environmental parameters.

I am not particularly anti airport, although I do have concerns about the environmental impact, both in terms of noise and our water supply, my greatest concern however is the occasional very low flight over Ramsgate, something I suppose everone in the town is aware of.  

The Thanet Extra guide to what’s on in Thanet has just popped up on the sidebar and I have just looked through it, makes you wonder when anyone from the paper last visited the area. Apparently Ramsgate market is in Staffordshire Street car park on Saturday, how a local paper can be confused about the day and location of the market is truly mind boggling.

They have also completely missed the heritage open days, all very strange, makes you wonder where they source their information. 

All of the local papers have stories about the resignation of Ian Johnson, principal of The Marlowe Academy, although strangely none of them say why he resigned.

While on the subject of what’s on in Thanet, Isle One now has a reasonably good listing see although I notice it has missed the Jewish Heritage open day in Ramsgate.


  1. Is it right that you have been added to TDC's press release email list?
    I posted a comment on the Lab blog regarding cllr Will Scobbie going off to Paris for a while so I will never know if they had an answer to it. Namely they promised that the councillor will attend all council meetings, my question was will he also attend the meetings of the two committees of which he is a member? All in all that would be a trip to Margate every week.

    On the subject of local news, BBC newsnight had a story on tuesday (32 mins in on iplayer) regarding high streets. Margate is now in the bottom six for high vacancy rates, not long ago it was in the bottom ten. I just hope their survey taken from jan to june visited Margate before the Turner opened.

  2. 18.30 yes I have been added to the press release list again and have reinstated the press release blog.

    I am hoping that the Labour Group will reinstate me on their press release list too.

    One factor with Margate is the problem is visible, in most towns the problem is there, inasmuch as many of the shop premises, while occupied, do not contain viable retail businesses.

    To me having, say a dentist, occupying a prime retail site in Broadstairs High Street, is as much of a problem.

  3. Interesting that Easyjet has anounced a tranche of holiday routes...from Southend. Why is Southend better than Manston?:

    "Mr McIntyre said: “We looked at the major catchment areas and asked ourselves would people come to Southend and where would they come from, how long would it take them to get there?"

    Perhaps Infratil should be asking the same questions at Manston. It might make their deliberations about what to do with the airport a whole lot easier.

  4. UK logistics company the Stobart Group who own Southend airport have put their own money into the airport improvements including building a new railway station. Rather a different approach from that of the owners of Manston who want taxpayers to cough up for a railway station.
    Easyjet expect 800,000 passengers to fly in the first year on 70 flights to provide 150 Easyjets jobs, many of which will be transfers from Stansted. The airpot itself is adding 150 new staff. A bit differnt from the 3000 promised new jobs in the latest report paid for by Manston airport.

  5. Another interesting fact about Southend - it has a ban on scheduled passenger nights flights. Here's what Charles Buchanan says on Manston's website.

    You've got the same conditions Charles, what's your excuse for not having this business already?

  6. Charles Buchanan Said: “An excellent example of what can be achieved with the correct conditions is the recent announcement by easyJet of their new base at Southend Airport. The airline is to operate three based aircraft at Southend and is able to offer low cost services to Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast, Faro, Ibiza, Mallorca and Malaga. Unless Manston can receive a level of night flights consistent with our proposal, this kind of development will be denied to us; it seems to me that such services would prove extremely popular with the local community."

  7. Easyjet chose Southend after surveying the catchment and how many people would use it. After ten years it may be time to face facts, concede that Manston is in the wrong place and that other uses of the site would (and still might) generate a lot more employment than an airport.

    A recent episode of the Apprentice coined the phrase "smell what sells." The idea is that you do what's working and you stop doing what isn't. The answer to Thanet's problems could be that simple. If you get behind the businesses that are doing well and ditch the ones which are struggling you're bound to succeed. If this means that the airport has to go, c'est la vie.

  8. Day off yesterday and having read all of the comments, I find my thoughts come back to what would be viable for Manston.

    I suppose the most likely thing to work there would be a combination of an aircraft heritage site and some sort of fairly small scale local passenger airport. I suppose Southend’s main advantage is that it is much closer to London and the M25.

    Having just Googled “UK Airport Map” to check the distances and found that neither Manston nor Southend appear on most maps of UK airports I realised just how much small fry all of this is in the world of aviation.

    I can see it would be very easy with the night flights thing to wind up with the worst of both worlds, by this I mean not much in the way of usable services that would be attractive to businesses, combined with noisy and disruptive freight flights that other airports don’t really want.

    It is certainly difficult to visualise what local industry could operate as a large quality employer based around local airport freight flights. Something along the lines of Thanet Earth exporting cucumbers or Hornby Hobbies exporting toy trains I think shows how ridiculous these notions are.

  9. I don't think it is the intention to promote local business. Night-flights aren't permitted at most UK airports for very good reasons.

    There are freight companies which want to operate at night and so, the airport can make money from these operators if they are able to offer night slots. These companies don't want to create jobs in Thanet. They want to roll up with a lorry, load the pallets onto a waiting plane and drive back to London.

    Ever since the airport was privatized the word 'jobs' has been used to justify a lack of environmental controls.

    In today's paper Councillor Bob blathers on about the Council creating jobs by removing the night-flying restrictions on the airport. Pre-determined or what? I have news for Councillor Bob. Councils don't create jobs. Employers do that. Councils are there to ensure that the needs of employers are properly balanced with the needs of the community. If Councillor Bob (or the Leader, as he is known in Cecil Towers) wants to create jobs he should go and do some real work.

  10. Night flights over Herne Bay are very noisey and unwarranted. Herne Bay just gets a lot of old Jumbos flying low enough to see all the details on the fuselage, causing a cacophony over the centre of the town. The flight routes need completely revamping to take the planes over Reculver in a curving trajectory to the landing field.

  11. Curving trajectory to the runway just isn't going to happen. There's only one airport in the world where they do this and you need planes with some advanced stuff on board to follow a curved approach on instrumental.. Manston isn't going to invest in the instrumentation that would be needed and the types of planes that use Manston aren't going to have the expensive stuff on board. Just get used to lots of noise in Herne Bay.

  12. Aircraft noise over Herne Bay is intolerable and appears to have happened because it is in a different council juristiction. More people in Herne Bay are becoming aware of the problem and who could get accoustomed to the screaming frenzy of large, low flying cargo jets! Where is the noise monitering for the town?


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.