Letter from Cllr. Mike Harrison 26th April 2014
Many thanks for the invitation to attend your meeting at the Winter Gardens. Due to a family wedding and my wish to retain my reproductive organs I am unable to attend!
There are however a few points that need to be made to clear up some misunderstandings.
Firstly despite what people say TDC have NEVER blocked night flights, there is nothing in the current 106 Agreement that prevents night flights, the only restriction is on the noise level, currently QC 4. That is a 747 at maximum take off thrust.
Secondly as TDC do not own either the freehold or leasehold on the property there is nothing we could do to prevent the sale as indeed we could not prevent the sale of , for example, your house if you decided to sell it.
There are figures produced to show that the figure of £10 k losses being bandied about by certain management individuals is to say the least disingenuous.
I will also confess to a certain level of frustration and sorrow that when the airport is under real threat many people have suddenly appeared to vocally support Manston, I am driven to ask where were all these people when I was attending public meetings of the DFL inspired and incidentally led by someone from Herne Bay, No Night Flights group. I was Chairman of the Councils Airport Working Party at the time. At these meetings I was subjected to a volley of abuse in addition to the letters and emails I received, I was shouted down on several occasions due to my obvious and ongoing support for the Airport. I felt a bit like Daniel in the lions den!
I know that successive Administrations at TDC have supported, and continue to support Manston in many ways, indeed such is the cross Party support that it was a Conservative Administration that put me, a Labour Member in charge of the Airport Working Party presumably because they thought I was the best person for that job.
There have been suggestions of compulsory purchase jointly by TDC and KCC, this of course would mean the ratepayers of Thanet footing the bill !
UKIP have also come up with a rather bizarre idea of a second runway and another terminal at a cost of £200 million.
I hope that you will discount all the political rhetoric from certain individuals and concentrate on finding a way to salvage something from the wreckage not least for the 150 or so individuals who will lose their jobs and the many small businesses who rely on the airport.
I wish you well with the meeting and look forward to reading what I hope will be an unbiased account in the local paper.
Cllr. Mike Harrison.