Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Age & Sons in Ramsgate close, Manston Airport and the Sacrificial Ram Tweet and any other rambles that come up.

First this sign has appeared on Age & Sons.

Next in as much as anything goes viral in, this screenshot is doing the local Facebook Twitter rounds in Thanet.

I am back to work in my bookshop after the bank holiday weekend and have some catching up to do so I will add to this post as and when I get the time. 


  1. All I can say about that screenshot is thank god the members of SMA are not the ones who will ultimately make the decision about the airport. To write off over 40K people to get what they want is crass.
    They are also knocking on doors in Nethercourt, I bet they don't talk about a 24/7 Cargo Hub and its potential affect on people's lives

  2. There will not need to be flights '24/7’! No one has said that there will need to be scheduled night flights – not TDC, not the would-be investor, not the cargo companies. In fact the cargo companies prefer the quicker turn around that daylight hours afford. Night flights are also unpopular with passengers. What’s more the S106 agreement prohibiting night flights is still enforceable.
    The vast majority of the 40,000 Ramsgate residents we have spoken to, out of total of approximately 140,000 in Thanet, are very much for the airport reopening and providing employment, training and apprenticeships for the present and future generations.
    The newer planes anyway are required to be so much quieter and cleaner and take a matter of seconds to fly over the narrow corridor of houses to the runway. The airport is almost 100 years old and was there before anyone concerned about the noise bought their properties.

    1. Charlie I am making the assumption here that your comment is meant to be humorous, I guess we all know that the total population of Ramsgate is around 40,000 so 4,000 of the people you spoke to would be under seven years of age.

      I guess also that everyone with even a passing interest on the airport knows the S106 didn’t prohibit night flights.

      My take on the Manston situation, which is well documented here and extends back several years, is.

      I am for a regional airport that I can actually fly from, preferably with a strong historic airport factor.

      I am against TDC getting involved in a cpo for an airfreight hub backed by RiverOak who are property building hedge fund managers with no aviation background. My reasons for this are, firstly the freight planes will not be the new quiet passenger planes but mostly 747s which burn a ton of fuel in a landing or takeoff and are very noisy, Manston doesn’t have either the geographical position or the refinery pipeline to succeed as freight hub. In short I think the environment agency would restrict freight movements there to a level well below viability, which would be very handy for property building hedge fund managers wanting build on the site.

  3. One or two comments on Facebook does not represent any group or collective thinking, so anyone suggesting that is either very naïve or being mischievous (at best). Furthermore, one of those commenting there is known to post comments seemingly often just to create arguments on both sides of the debate, so it is a bit sad that it has been thought of as a statement of fact. There have been enough comments on the other side which haven't been plastered everywhere. It seems a real shame that some are only trying to spread misconceptions of what all pro-airport supporters think, rather than deal with the discussion properly.

    There has also been only one or two people mentioning '24/7', who again are not prospective owners, nor have any connection with the airport, just like Charlie has mentioned.

    I would hope that everyone on both sides of the argument want the best for our area as a whole, regardless of their standpoint, but this sort of playground antics seems to show that some are in it for different reasons.

    1. My take on this is the committee that is supposed to watch over SMA should have removed the posts or at best countered it with commentary of their own. The fact they didn't shows a tacit approval of the posts. I also notice that neither Neil nor Charlie have condemned the posts. it strikes me that several of the SMA'ers would like to " win at any cost".

    2. Barry, I would have thought that from both of our comments you would have understood that we don't condone any talk like that, as we don't agree with what they are saying. It is a group with many members who say many things. If we commented on what we agreed on or disagreed, we would be here all day. I don't want to argue with you, but I find your assumptions on what we believe a little low, and come across as if you are trying to create an argument when there isn't one. I have lived in Ramsgate on and off for many years, and don't treat the comments as being the thoughts of others, nor as showing any sense, which I presume you do too, or do you really believe everyone thinks that? As I sure you are aware, you can never win when being an admin of over 8,400 members, in that you either leave things that will offend others, or you are accused of being too strict in deleting posts, which is a similar situation on the Pickle page you go on. Recently the admins have tried to be more lenient with views, but that doesn't mean the extremes aren't there, as they are on Pickle.

    3. Neil I think the key problem is the politicians particularly in directing SMA to petition TDC to engage in a cpo. Frankly the right council to do this is KCC whose electorate cover the catchment area of the airport and have the legal and financial resources to achieve something viable.

      TDC have no real legal department, very limited funds but worse of all are Manston’s planning authority, so if the current owner puts in plans for housing with a profit of £500m then it would be TDC turning the plans down, so any adjudication over cpo compensation would see TDC as having a major vested interest.

      I would say that it is only where the council mounting the cpo has a significant investment that the council would have any control over future use of the site and this can’t be TDC as they just don’t have the funds.

      So you want to save the airport, then fine, taking it from a UK owner with a long history of transport related, high employment activity and handing it a new foreign owner with a long history of building houses doesn’t make much sense.

      Petitioning KCC to hold a public consultation on KCC mounting a cpo where KCC were a large enough stakeholder to ensure Manston remained an airport on the other hand would make sense, providing there was really enough support for the airport in Kent.

    4. Michael, I am aware that you have discussed that many times on here. I am not going to argue who should be the right organisation for the CPO as I don't have the expertise to know what is the real situation, nor would I presume the majority of commenters here. Perhaps we would someone with expertise in CPOs for that, one of which we actually had sitting with us at the last TDC meeting. There isn't much point in my opinion arguing or discussing something that is already in progress, but I haven't heard anyone in KCC saying it should have been them, quite the contrary in fact.

      The current owner also seems to have a long history in closing other sites, and corporate methods that are also cause for much debate.

      In reference to one of the possible partners, I have seen as many links to non-housing related business, and surely part of the CPO terms are the requirements of what the land can be designated for in the future (although I have never seen the details of for how long this stands, or what happens if something is tried). No mention of housing was made in their recent releases, and I am sure that would be discussed as part of the commercially sensitive discussions that will now take place between all interested parties and TDC.

      Finally, I have said as much as I want to on the matter, as some of this seems to be getting argumentative again, rather than trying to have a balanced discussion as it could be. I don't comment on here very much as it often seems to stray into complete guesswork by some, which is a real shame.

    5. No more comments, except this one... ;) - sorry I missed words out again "Perhaps we would need someone..."

    6. Neil on many occasions it has been mentioned (those antis in Ramsgate or selfish people of Ramsgate) and many other slights, now its clear that Ramsgate has the most to lose in this and not very much to gain. Even if there are no night flights and all the planes that fly into Manston were made this year and are quiet and efficient it will have devastating effects on Ramsgates regeneration but we all know that the planes coming in will be far form quiet and efficient. If your going to debate the pros and cons of Manston then you will have to be truthful and accurate if not then you don't differ from all the other lies and misinformation that has come from SMA campaign.

    7. Neil the problem is simple really and fundamental to it is what Ann Gloag has done. Government at any level has a limited amount of control over what a landowner can do with a site they own and absolutely no power to make anyone continue to run any business that they don’t wish to.

      So if you want the airport to remain an airport you need at some level to get government to invest in it, the UK government can’t be forced to this, TDC just don’t have the funds and don’t represent the airports catchment area, which leaves KCC, which theoretically can be forced to invest in the airport.

      And yes I agree with you KCC wouldn’t want to do this nor would any of the local Conservative politicians, given that KCC is a safe Conservative council; it’s backdoor privatisation.

      With reference to RiverOak, they have no history of having invested in anything other than housing (which seems likely at Manston) private medical centres (which work in America but I doubt would work at Manston) and shopping centres (which I doubt would work at Manston given the proximity of Westwood Cross). Granted there is the possibility that they have managed to be a major player in American industry, transport or aviation without the American media finding out and without RiverOak mentioning this, but it seems a bit far-fetched given the circumstances.

      As for your not wishing to discuss the issue further because you feel that you would be unable to have a balanced discussion, well that’s your problem and not mine, I can assure you that comments that fall outside the comment guidelines below get dealt with promptly.

    8. Neil my point still remains. and I am admin on several FB pages, whoever is on the SMA committee should come out with a strongly worded statement to the effect that what those 3 posts reflect isn't the viewpoint of the committee because until they do they give tacit approval to those elements that have voiced that opinion. Anyone who reads those posts would be concerned about the future of this holiday destination. You may not hold those views but others in SMA most certainly do.

  4. Whatever the opinions of Michael, Barry etc are, there's no doubt that the large majority of people in South Thanet DO support the airport. Nigel Farage knows this, and there are signs already that this is going to be a big part of his campaign. I do not want a UKIP MP, but it now seems likely thanks to the anti-airport comments of certain Labour (and Green) cllrs.

  5. Is there not a certain irony in showing something that has "gone viral" in so far as it is now doing the blog round too?

    To paraphrase,"I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

    I neither condone nor condemn the comments on the screenshot, but if they are in an open forum then so long as the comments are not libellous then there is nothing wrong. The expletive however is not excusable, but it's school holiday time and the image of the poster appears to be that of a teenager. And aren't most of us able to decide if a comment is worth considering or not, including this one?

  6. We it wont be long before we know whether the CPO and the airport will be a non issue. The prospective partners list closed a week ago and by next Monday they have to make their returns to TDC on whether they have the funds, a long term plan and whether they are suitable to run an airport. Failing that it all down to the plans that the Manston owner has.

  7. anon 7:24 "there's no doubt that the large majority of people in South Thanet " I take issue with this statement anon in as much as there has been no referendum of the people of South Thanet so no one knows. We know there has been various discredited petitions signed (if that's the word) by various people who may or may not live in the area. there has been added together paper petitions and e-petitions which very likely has duplicate signatures. There has been no validation of any of the petitions. And there has been skulduggery in canvassing people's opinions certainly in Ramsgate.
    As a pollster once said if you phrase the question appropriately you will get the answer you crave. It may not be the truth but when you want to win anything goes.

  8. My take on this one is that we started out with a majority in Thanet for the airport, we also started out with the majority in Thanet against night flights.

    Now being for the airport, which I still am, is one thing, but being for a freight hub is another thing altogether, and when it looks like the freight hub wouldn’t actually be allowed to happen, not because of a supposed anti airport group, but because the economic and environmental constraints just don’t add up, then I smell a rat.

    As I pointed out back in November, see http://thanetonline.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/manston-airport-changes-hands-first.html#comment-form “In this insistence I can’t see how it would be possible to lose money on the deal, in the first instance the southeastern UK is entering a period of major hub airport expansion, either this will involve expanding one of the existing airports or building a new hub airport. This is likely to lead to periods when the existing airports can’t cope with the traffic, so there is a fair chance that in the short to medium term of if not making a profit then at least minimising losses.

    And in the second instance if she can’t make it succeed, either selling it on or splitting the assets and selling must result in a profit.”

    Now this time around we have a different situation, much of the any sort of airport at any cost, or support the airport in any way for a step up the political ladder is beginning to produce a group, which are just against the airport, full stop.

    I would say the key issue here is whether the majority of those who say they want to save the airport, do in reality want to do just that and if the do then they need to look at what could actually work.

    The main points being:

    Would a freight hub busy enough to make a profit actually be allowed under current environmental legislation?

    If tdc were to pull off a cpo totally financed by a third party, is there any way that they could ensure that third party ran the airport as an airport?

    Of course if what they really want to do is make a great deal of noise enjoying the spirit of a good protest without any defined and viable goal which leads to saving the airport, well that is something else altogether.

  9. I posted this on Ian Driver's bolg the other day on a post headed "Visit to Ramsgate Project MotorHouse". I would ask anybody who lives in Ramsgate to point out why this would not work?

    Great project just one of the beautiful buildings of Ramsgate cant wait to see it done. Just need to get a group to do the 1930s lift, The gardens opposite the waterfall. the old police station, sort out the pleasurerama site, the pavilion, Change the port into a marina, put attractions on the port car park, reinstate the chalets on the artificial beach (council rents 20 year lease), put beach huts (council rents plots 20 year lease) along from the main sands car park to the end of the beach prom, A quick paint of the town centre, kill a few of the weeds, sort out the west cliff chine,
    The lift £200,000
    Gardens £10,000
    Police station- private
    The Pavilion-private
    Port into marina £2,000,000
    Port car park-private peppercorn rent for the first 10 years
    Beach huts-£0
    Paint town-£30,000 in grants
    West cliff chine-£10,000
    £6.250.000 it sounds a lot, but take off what you would get in 20 year leases on the Chalets and the beach huts. I think the council would be up on the deal and we may get better services. We would definitely get a better Ramsgate.
    My numbers may well be off but still, it don't take a lot for Ramsgate to thrive just needs a little help, and tourists will come, generating more renovation.

    1. These problems are hardly unique to Ramsgate (check out The Lido in Cliftonville or try using the lift at Walpole Bay!). You obviously need to get out of Ramsgate more.


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.