It would seem that this is what we are likely to see in the early morning or late night at Manston in the very near future. I personally think that careful controlled growth at Manston is a good idea. It is TDC's job to monitor and control this growth and to ensure that all environmental considerations are covered.
What alarms me and why I smell a rat, is this sudden rush by TDC to whisk through changes to night flying hours at Manston. If we are to believe what we are told, TDC received a request on 29 Jan, a week ago, issued a Press Release yesterday (4 Feb) , that is not on its web-site; did not inform all Councillors and now is to hold a rushed Extraordinary Council Meeting next week on Thu 12 February at 7.00pm.
Why is there this undue and precipitate haste? Those with informed views are already concerned by TDC's lack of enforcement of noise monitoring; lack of pollution monitoring and flights outside the agreed times and lack of 'fines' collection. In fact TDC's record in this area is regarded by some as lax and even wilfully incompetent.
There are unpleasant parallels with the attempt to rush an 'Extraordinary Council Meeting for 'Gateway' last year. Are we really to believe that this matter could not be considered on Thu 26th February?
There is hardly any time for our Councillors to read themselves up on the issues; no time for the electorate to lobby or discuss matters with their Councillors and no possibility for anyone to address the Council as a Public Speaker next week.
If BA World Cargo wants to move 11 flights to Manston to free up 'slots' at Heathrow or Gatwick, I am delighted that some business will thus come to Manston. However, do I really believe it needs to be rushed within a 2 week time-table? I am often accused of being cynical but this smacks of achieving a 'fait accomplis' before any views can be expressed by any residents of Thanet, MAG or SMEG and a typical loose, sloppy monitoring by TDC will result.
This mumbo jumbo from 'Woger' in TDC's Press Release is Orwellian 'NewSpeak' at its best!:
'Cllr Roger Latchford, Deputy Leader of Thanet Council said: "The application has only just come in and the Council is moving quickly TO ENSURE EVERYONE IS ABLE TO HAVE THEIR SAY ON IT (my Capitals). This is an important issue for Thanet and one that residents would expect us carefully to debate."
So from application to extraordinary Full Council in 14 days meets this description?
Does 'Woger' take the electorate for fools?
I urge Councillors to give themselves more time and hold an 'Extraordinary Session' prior to Full Council on the 26 Feb. I would also urge them to allow opinions to be heard from the public with interests in the issues involved by suspending normal regs etc. If not, we are about to see a 'railroaded' decision and as we have 18 out of 34 Tory Councillors 'beholden' to 'Mauwice' with the new 'Jobs for The Boys & Girls' will this just be an ill thought-out rubber stamp exercise?
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