Friday, 6 February 2009


Well, my 'Mole' at TDC sent me some stuff to-day that I feel I must share. It was not in a Tesco bag but you will need to 'click' on each page to read it.
It would seem that Infratil has learned from CGP that the way to get TDC rushing things for you is to claim that 'hundred's of jobs' are on offer and in the balance. I have no idea how many Councillors will even be able to attend next week's extraordinary Full Council Meeting at 5.30pm but I suspect that many will not be able to.
I have shown below the case being put by Brian White to Councillors to approve an extension to hours for flying into and out of Manston under a revised S.106 Agreement. I hope that those with an interest will at least have something now to raise with their Ward Councillors in regard to the proposals.
My view is that as long as TDC exercises tight control in monitoring all environmental aspects concerning flights and is prepared to enforce all breaches ( it has a poor record so far), then would 4 extra early/late flights be such a problem.?

Is there really a 'commercial imperative' here to secure the contract or is it a ploy to get the matter 'done and dusted' before any opposition can be mounted? I'll leave you to decide.


mnottingham said...

I have spoken to hundreds of Northwood constituents since I was elected in 2007. I always ask what are poeple's concerns locally. I cannot recall any of them raising the airport and the noise of planes.

When the airport comes up in longer conversations the vast majority of Northwood residents are supportive of having an airport.

In the short period available I cannot do a similar exercise to consult constituents but hope this information may be useful.

I have published a poll on my blog

Cllr. Mark Nottingham
Labour - Northwood Ward

Anonymous said...

Keep trying Bertie. Your attempts to maintain your own selfish idyll in the face of great need by many long deprived residents is entertaining and revealing about you personally for the rest of us.

Having perused the councillor pages on the TDC website it is interesting though just how few seem to have what you might call "regular" jobs. There appear to be a disproportionate number of "retired" of otherwise economically inactive persons on our local gravy train, and worse, few who have experience of dynamic and progressive organisations that strive to deliver goods or services to customers in a competetive environment.

But in spite of your always negative commenting, the cabinet and officers do seem to be coming forward with the projects that will improve Thanet for the great majority in time. And you have to acknowledge that this has never been easy in this area.

Eastcliff Richard said...

Of course, what nobody has pointed out so far is the elephant in this particular room. Namely that Infratil and Thanet Council are being played for fools. (Not difficult in Thanet Council's case).

If you were the procurement department of a large international carrier, British Airways let's say, you would be rubbing your hands with glee by now.

You will soon have a piece of paper that you can wave at your current supplier, Stansted perhaps, which demonstrates you can get a much better deal from a desperate airport overseen by a supine local authority. Your current supplier, who is also undergoing difficult times, then rolls over and let's you tickle his tummy, bang him up the ar*e, or whatever else you want him to do.

Voila! You've saved shedloads on your current contract, you've also saved the horrendous cost of relocation. Job's a good 'un.

All your procurement Johnnie then has to do is sit back and watch the enormous bonus (typically 40% of the amount saved) roll into his bank account!

TDC showed the same business, er, acumen in dealing with the big boys when they were ripped off by M&S's procurement department for what is now the Turner Temporary Contemporary.

Bertie Biggles said...

Dickie, old chap, hadn't thought about that and I wonder if that nice Matt Clarke has?

11.01, stop being boring here. As I have stated, I am quite happy to see controlled expansion of KIA which hopefully will lead to generation of new employment opportunities and the securing of present jobs. What I find interesting, and it doesn't just happen here, is how the Airline Industry claims thousands of jobs generated 'indirectly'by Airport operations that has not been substantiated by research into the matter. Here is what Infratil are saying for 11 extra flights and 4 aircraft:
Details of Employment Generated

Air traffic Control Staff 3
Rescue Fire Fighters 12
Load Masters 6
Aircraft Handlers 14
Warehouse Operatives 10
Cargo Officers 12
Airport Jobs 57
Airline/Freight Forwarder Jobs* 55
Indirect/Induced Jobs** >300
Total Jobs Created >412

Infratil are clearly exaggerating the benefits here in terms of 'new' employment. What is critical is accepting that existing jobs will be preserved but NEW jobs will probably be less than 50 after staff are re-located etc.
I am as fed up with TDC as I am with Central Government claiming IT is responsible for attracting new jobs. The only jobs TDC generates are further public sector posts. Private business like Infratil, is responsisble through susccessfully running their business, for new employment.

So lets be realistic about what new employment opportunity is being dangled before Councillor's noses here.

Anonymous said...

But they will never know until they give it a go Bertie.

Faint heart never won fair maiden.

Bertie Biggles said...

Couldn't agree more 19.36 but the problem seems to be that in inflating the jobs scenario, the blushing maiden ends up being a 'pr**k teaser'.

Anonymous said...

And even they have their place.

Anonymous said...

Bertie Biggles as a supposed aviator thought you of all people would support the growth of the Airport and creation of jobs that would follow.Common sense should tell you that growth brings jobs, and jobs are what are needed here in Thanet, just for once accept that the Council are doing their best , which i know for you will never be enough, but for many it is hope for a better life.

Michael Child said...

Bertie I do detect a certain playing in the naivety and er flexibility of TDC by big companies. After all the only big Manston project to get off the ground at Manston recently got through without an environmental impact assessment. The airport haven’t bothered to comply with their 106 so far, so why should the bother to amend it now?

Bertie Biggles said...

Sorry to be so late in putting comments up; family priorities today.

12.01, I have stated on a number of occasions that I am happy to see controlled, careful expansion of KIA Manston. My concern over the present issue is the unseemly rush by TDC to approve an extension of night flying hours, when those who are more clued up on the issues involved, are arguing that this is actually a more complex issue than would at first seem to be the case. If the EU is concerned about closer regulation of night-flying and its effect on people's lives, why is this business being hastily rushed through by TDC? Is our Council known to be so desperate for job offers that it can be 'rail-roaded' and 'bamboozled' into a quick decision? (14 days from request to decision by Full Council?). I just urge more caution, more consideration and a decision taken by a well attended FULL COUNCIL on 26th Feb.

Is this too much to ask for?

Anonymous said...

Bertie it is time to put up or shut up canwe have a one word answer from our "aviator"
Do you support the decision taken at Council, that to bring in a blue chip company on the terms discussed and agreed at Council.

Bertie ...yes or no (one word answer please)

Bertie Biggles said...

No, I do not, but I accept that is the decision of my elected Councillors. I fail to see why those Thanet residents who live under the flight paths should be subjected to an extension of night flying disturbance that is not acceptable at other major airports in the UK andthat the 'decision' should be 'railroaded' in 14 days. TDc has environmental and health obligations to its electorate that seem to be ignored whenever 'jobs' are dangled before Cllrs noses. I am perfectly happy to see carefully controlled expansion of Manston to the benefit of Infratil and Thanet's citizens but those most affected by a night time flying extension have not been properly consulted and have had no time to voice their concerns. It is very easy for a 'majority' who are not affected to ignore the issues and implications that will impinge on the 'minority' of residents who will now pay the price for this rushed and desperate decision by TDC.

Megan Smith said...

Perhaps those who bothered to keep a check on these things could roll out the number of occasions when loads of jobs were being promised by this company and that company. I have heard all this before and still await the jobs bonanza that was being dangled before the council. Call me cynical but any company coming to this area of high unemployment promising jobs is going to get the welcome mat put out. It's delivering the jobs that is the true test and apart from Pfizer back in the 1950s and the out-of- London relocation that brought factories along Ramsgate Road, Margate in the 1960s has anyone seen a real change locally? Westwood Cross seems to employ plenty of non-Thanet residents so is there any evidence that a significant number of jobs for locals have been created? Thanet Earth/ China Gateway/Westwood Cross/airport over decades? I'd love to know the true figures of jobs brought here by the private sector in the last twenty years.