Friday, 9 March 2012

A Long 24 Hours In Thanet

First up, Infratil inevitably put Manston up for sale. Its been talked about for a while so its not really much of a suprise. Who is to blame for this? To be fair, Infratil's not been having a good time and Flybe pulling out only made things worse. Politically, no one's come out well. The big boys comment at Thanet Life, Big News Margate and Thanet Online.

Labour gets first hit being at the wheel. They've made a big thing about their rigid adherence to the manifesto for some time and as we know, their "no night flights" policy was a key reason for their strong results in last year's elections. While it's honourable to stick by it, its very off-putting for those whose interests aren't best served by that manifesto, like Infratil. It also looked an unbalanced policy, centred on a small core of residents rather than a policy for Thanet as a whole. Labour had plenty of opportunities to ease off the heavy rhetoric a bit without losing the strength of their argument and to look more balanced, a Governing party rather than an Opposition.

The Conservatives haven't come out of this well either. Labour got good play out of the Manston issue at the doorstep and that proved particularly useful 6 months later, taking power. Labour's problem is of straight jacketing themselves while the Conservatives issue has been looking a bit weak and indecisive by arguing that the full process of evaluation needed to go through. Whether or not either case is true is irrelevant. What it might be matters so much more than what it actually is. 

Its possible there will be a shift in policy at some point. Incidentally I should point out, this blog is me just shooting the breeze. Don't place too much weighting on my views. 

Margate FC's flagship hotel on hold too. While I can understand the reluctance of the Council to grant a lease, I can't expect that they would have wanted to see this fall and chatting to the fans at the first game after the big Cabinet meeting, the view seemed to be that it was a matter of time. There seemed to be slow but steady progress on this looking at the club's website but this is rather strange. Brinksmanship gone wrong perhaps? Whatever's going on, this isn't good news and I really hope an alternative operator and a path through this stalemate is found.

CCTV to go back to 24 hours monitoring looking at a notice from Council Leader Clive Hart and announced at Overview last week. No costings or details other than the headline folks.


Anonymous said...

"It also looked an unbalanced policy, centred on a small core of residents rather than a policy for Thanet as a whole."

You seem to be assuming that permitting these night-flights was of economic benefit to Thanet. The independent consultants' report into this matter contradicts that view. It indicates that the noise disruption has been understated and the economic benefits overstated.

As for this only affecting a small number of residents, you obviously haven't looked at the flight paths. Literally, thousands of people are affected.

The one thing I think we can agree on is that the night-flights saga has exposed NIMBY Thanet in all its glory. The NIMBY's are all of those people who have been promoting night-flights whilst not living in the flight-path themselves.

Anonymous said...

Regarding MFC, some possibilities come to mind:
a) This is Travelodge simply threatening to take their ball home if they don't get the lease they need. Having waited all this time it seems strange for them to pull out at such a late stage.
b) The council has offered them an alternative site. Having put so much effort into the Hartsdown plans - and clearly they are interested in building a hotel in the town - would they pull out without an alternative in the offing?
c) We can take the MFC statement at face value and Travelodge are fed up with the delays.