Dear Members and Supports of Why Not Manston?
An appeal for a new Chairperson for the Why Not Manston?
The group’s AGM was held on Tuesday 26th May and Nicholas Reed, the founder of WNM? (in 2012), announced he will be standing down as Chairman. Nicholas said he has many other commitments and does not now have the time to dedicate to WNM?
Therefore in order to continue as a group, WNM? needs another Chairman. No other member of the Committee wishes to take on this role and so we are sending this email out to see if you or anyone you know would be interested and willing to take on the Chairmanship.
Your first question will of course be – what is required of me? It is very difficult to define precisely as it is subject to the circumstances at the time and also how much or little input the Chairman wishes to have, but some of the responsibilities would be:
1. To attend Committee meetings which are not likely to be more than one evening every two months.
2. To be the spokesperson for WNM? for any radio / TV interviews that may be requested. We realise with work commitments etc. this may not always possible so there is one other Committee member who can assist with this from time to time.
3. To actively follow and keep abreast of all the latest happenings with Manston and to suggest / promote action where necessary: for example, WNM? presented written evidence to the Transport Select Committee in October 2014 and WNM? was invited to give oral evidence to the Transport Committee in London on 15th February 2015.
4. To possibly speak at any public meeting on Manston as we see where the future takes us.
5. To suggest what other activities could be undertaken by WNM? and the direction it will take in the future.
6. To write a regular newsletter to be sent out to members and supporters (although other Committee members are willing to do this).
Why it is necessary to continue the group.
WNM? was originally set up to promote the use of Manston as a local airport. Of course all that changed in March 2014 when it was announced the airport would be closing. Someone not connected with WNM? immediately set up an online petition and through social media quickly gathered several thousand signatures and in turn the Save Manston group was born. They were very successful in organising rallies etc at which WNM? also participated. But there was then an internal dispute within Save Manston and the group divided into two – those now being Supporters of Manston Airport and Save Manston Airport. But the aim of those two groups as well as Why Not Manston? is to have the airport reopened.
At the AGM on Tuesday, the question was asked “Why is it necessary to have three separate groups and why don’t you unite”. Mr Chris Wells, the new TDC Leader, Mr Craig McKinley and a few others all said that in fact three pro-Manston groups are very important when it comes to being heard – three voices are better than one. And each group has it’s own strengths – and weaknesses! The strength of WNM is that we email all our Members and Supporters – there are still quite a lot of people who do not use social media which is the main means of communication of the other two groups.
Fortunately we now have a very pro-Manston council at Thanet and if it is at all possible for a CPO to have any chance of success, we are in the best possible position now. So why does WNM? or the other groups need to continue?
As and when a CPO process does begin, it is expected there will be quite a bit of opposition – from those who have always opposed the airport as well as from the current owners. At that time we may well have to call on all those who do want to see the airport reopened, to lend their support to more rallies, writing letters in objection to the housing / development plans of the new owners etc.
We have all come so far, we are not going to stop until we see aircraft flying again from Manston.
Returning to the main message of this email – WNM? NEEDS A NEW CHAIRMAN. If you are willing to take on the Chairmanship or would like to talk to us more about it, then please do contact us. It was decided at the AGM that Nicholas Reed would remain as Chairman until 1st July but if we do not have someone to take over from him by that date, then WNM? will have to cease operating.
If two or more candidates come forward to stand for Chairperson, then the paid up Members of WNM? will be asked to vote on who to select.
Finally – a Diary Date:
“Supporters of Manston”, are holding a quiz to raise funds for their Manston campaign, (advertising etc). It will take place at the Wrotham Arms in Broadstairs on Thursday 9th July from 7.30 for an 8pm start: a maximum of 6 people per team at £4 per head, plus nibbles. Gary Easton will be the Quiz Master. Please do come along.
We would be interested to hear your opinion on the future of WNM? or any other matter connected with Manston.
We look forward to hearing from you.
From the Why Not Manston? Committee