Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Overview & Scrutiny

Thanet council's Overview and Scrutiny Panel will discuss the decision taken not to pursue a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for the Manston airport site with RiverOak as the indemnity partner.

Thanet council's cabinet made the decision on October 29. Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel David Saunders has called in the decision for the reason that "A presumption in favour of openness - Although the report is well presented, in the opinion of a significant number of members, the report may be read as being loaded to achieve the outcome."

Tonight's meeting at 7pm, Council Chamber, Cecil Street, Margate, is expected to be the first of a series of meeting on the cabinet decision. (Why?)

Campaigners for the airport have arranged a rally in front of the council offices in the build up to the meeting. (will more than 40 attend?)
What the Leader of the Council stated in the Gazette. Has anything changed?

Cllr Bayford seems to think that its ok to ignore officer's advice but then the Tories have a track record of doing just that when they were in charge in 2009 under Ezekiel.

What action can the panel take?

The Overview & Scrutiny Panel can make a call-in of the Cabinet decision (this has already happened). They can refer the decision back to cabinet with recommendations for reconsideration. Cabinet would then have to meet to consider the recommendations.

Or, if the Panel decides not to take any further action, the Cabinet decision becomes implementable from the date of the extraordinary OSP meeting.

Curiously O&S are allowing a Manston supporter 3 minutes to address the committee, something unheard of from past experience over Pleasurama.

In another development "Supporters of Manston Airport (SuMA)" have issued this rather provocative statement.

"We are not 'turning our back on RiverOak'. We wish them every success and acknowledge their commitment, however we do have to be pragmatic. They have spent a large amount of time and money and yet still have not succeeded at any attempt, even though some progress has been made this year. We are naturally very saddened and upset by this as we have had such a long relationship with them going back to when we released their first letter of intent in July of last year.
However, we were formed to save the airport not just to back one individual investor. It seems that although they are still determined, the chances of RiverOak now being successful are reducing, although they still might have ways to succeed including through the Overview and Scrutiny Panel.
We speak and listen to all sides and form objective conclusions from what we hear. We do not abuse, speculate or apportion blame where it does not belong purely to accommodate our wishes. We do not indulge in creating pointless memes and bullying councillors and officers. (Oh really!! Ruth then open up SuMA and unblock people)

Our sole purpose is to see the airport reopened and there is nothing we have not done to further this aim.
We deal in facts and we are surprised that after our long history of supporting Manston and running this campaign that certain people have forgotten this. We knew that it would be controversial to express our knowledge of other investors without having the express permission to elaborate but the reasons for doing so were as follows. Firstly, to counteract the scepticism that many supporters have, seemingly just because Chris Wells said this was so. Secondly, to give hope to supporters that despite RiverOak's rejection there are still other irons in the fire. Thirdly, to open up the arena for healthy competition with multiple investors feeling able to come forward and be heard.
We're sure that the more sensible, rational supporters out there will be able to appreciate how another investor might feel when all they hear about is support for one company. Even the local MPs are backing the one company - where do they go? Who do they approach?
We know that it is frustrating not to know all the details at this time which is why we have been sitting on information for a while. All we can share with you is that we know that at least one of the companies Cllr Wells alluded to are in serious preliminary negotiations. Another very substantial investor has come directly to us at SuMA just because they did not know where else to go. We, of course, have passed these contacts on to people who we felt would listen and act accordingly.
We hope that very shortly a new round of soft market testing will be announced when these companies, still confidentially as last time, will be able to submit their plans in the knowledge that there is public support.
These are our sincerely held, objective views formed and agreed as a committee and none of our work is solely down to any individual, regardless of false accusations you may hear. If you don't want to read or believe our information and comments, then there is no obligation to look at any that we publish. We will also take very seriously any instances of innuendo or slander published about us, our comments or our actions, especially by those who appear more interested in causing trouble or attacking individuals than for this campaign to succeed." ( Not happening Ruth seeing as you block people who disagree with your point of view)

 So Ruth are you not needing a Freight Hub which is all Riveroak are promising. You will be there tonight supporting TDC in getting rid of RO so your "new" investors can have a clear run?
I will post the result of tonight's meeting as soon as I hear

O&S have made the decision NOT to refer to Cabinet and that is that. Next a vote of No Confidence in UKIP if they are brave enough


  1. So Suma desert RO now. And 2 new mystery investors waitings in the wings with gold? Rubbish.

    Not even the overspill lorry park.

  2. Of course its ok to ignore officers advice. We pay councillors to hire civil servants to deliver council policies. Not make up unelected policies of their own. Before we know it we'll be funding the civil servants to recommend increasing their own salaries and pensions with public money...

    1. Er no its not. Councillors have no experience to make these decisions. would you ask your dentist for legal advice? No thought not

    2. Nonsesnse Barry. Local government officials have no professional qualifications. Nor do they have any more experience or ability than an experienced councillor.. The whole basis of government is councillors making policy.

    3. Interesting response from someone not brave enough to put their name to a post. What experience have you to know would be a better question

    4. A better question would be your experience of local government Baz...

    5. Typical avoidance tactic. Keyboard warriors are so brave when they are scared to put their name to a post. No wonder Michael avoids publishing anon comments

  3. How many suma were at tdc

  4. Many civil servants have no experience to make such decisions: in the bins dept one week and planning dept the next. Nor do many of them live here so its not there tax or area.

    1. But then many have more experience than your average Councillor. Look at Cllr Poole for instance costing TDC over £2M by closing the port illegally

    2. So now its down to he two local MP's to get the airport opened with the support that Cameron and his government gave it before the election. But then it was a coalition government, prime minister and transport ministers that were pro Manston. I guess the election changed all of that.

    3. Sorry anon the electioneering finished back in May. You will not get anyone commenting other than the "MP for Riveroak"

    4. Gale and Wells should do the decent thing and resign as their election promises of cpo etc were false

    5. Gale has failed so he must go. Even he would agree with that apart from his paycheck

  5. Why haven't the tdc civil servants delivered the cpo given its a manifesto point for over a year?

  6. Because if you've followed any of the past 5 years events, you'd know it's not in the best interest of TDC, or more importantly, the residents of Thanet - an already stretched (and facing the legal bill for the now backfired CPO on Dreamland[compensation to owners], and the fine for illegally halting animal exports from Ramsgate) and impoverished area which does not need a Cargo Hub! Why can nobody in the pro-manst group read the RivOak site that clearly states: Returning Manston to a "Sky Port" cargo hub, (read: clapped-out noisy 747's prevented from landing near any well governed city) and then, and only if it's profitable by a notable margin, PERHAPS consider some passenger flights (they say "charter" which means "not regularly scheduled") and at the end, a gnat's crotchet of a thought about regularly scheduled passender flights. It's a proper crock of s__t. Gale is in there somewhere, you know it. According to his ministerial web page he's nearing the mandatory retirement age for some bodies of 72 if I;m not too nutty. Hmnn. Good blog Barry.