Tuesday, 29 July 2014
North Thanet`s MP, Sir Roger Gale, has this (Tuesday) morning described as “a recipe for delay and inaction” the report commissioned by Thanet Council`s officers and relating to the future viability of Manston Airport.
“It is not clear to me who the consultants spoke to or on what basis they have reached, in a matter of days, conclusions that seem to have been plucked out of the air.” says Sir Roger.
“Had they spoken to those of us who have studied Manston over a period of time and in some detail they might have reached rather different conclusions. As it is observations have been made that are in some cases factually flawed and appear designed to give comfort to those who want to kick Manston Airport into the long grass and deliver the housing and industrial estates that the present owner and some local politicians appear to want to achieve.
Manston already has very considerable and powerful political support on a cross-party basis at national and local levels, has a commitment to improved rail links funded by the taxpayer, already has motorway links that appear to have been ignored, has massive local backing and has an operator ready, willing and able to buy and operate Manston as a freight hub and subsequent passenger airport.
References to the need for “hundreds of millions of pounds of investment” and “a fifty-year business plan” smack of the views of those at County and local level who wish to deter a Compulsory Purchase Order and suggestions of discussion and negotiation with the present owner are, in the light of experience, I think both naïve and risible.
The Planning Minister indicated to me in terms that “back-to-back” Compulsory Purchase agreements are both commonplace and legal and I hope and expect that elected Thanet District Councillors, on both sides of the chamber, will continue to show the robust courage that they have demonstrated to date and, on Thursday, approve the pursuit of a Compulsory Purchase Order so that we can take Manston forward into a future as the viable airport that it ought and needs to be.”
The preliminary findings of an independent report (Stage 1) which consider the viability of Manston Airport will be discussed by Cabinet members this week (Thursday 31 July).
The report, commissioned by Thanet District Council and undertaken by aviation industry experts Falcon Consultancy Limited, looks at the past operation of the airport and explores the potential activity needed for it to successfully operate in the future.
At the meeting, Cabinet members will be asked to decide whether they accept the recommendations contained within the report and to share this with the airport’s current owners.
If agreed, Cabinet will then instruct officers to proceed to Stage 2 of the viability assessment to develop a high level Business Plan – which would be necessary to support the Local Plan process and any potential future procurement for an appropriate investor/partner.
The Council would then carry out a market testing exercise to establish the level of interest, in line with the conclusions in the independent report – before starting a full procurement process.
A decision regarding compulsory purchase of the airport will not be made until an Indemnity Partner is identified following the procurement process.
This week’s meeting follows receipt of a petition presented to Full Council on Thursday 10 July calling for the council to CPO the airport.
View Cabinet report
View Cabinet report
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
As summer approaches, local people are invited to get out and about to explore their coastline through a number of exciting Seashore Safaris around the Thanet Coast.
These Seashore Safaris provide the chance to explore what lurks beneath the high tide in a number of bays around our chalk coastline. They are particularly suitable for young children (4-11s) accompanied by parents or grandparents – although provides an ideal activity for the whole family to see our coastal wildlife in close up! Participants are urged to book their places online, and will be equipped to explore our chalk rocky shore and rockpools to discover our elusive seashore and marine life.
The Seashore Safaris start at Minnis Bay, Birchington at 9am on Wednesday 30 July, and St Mildred’s Bay, Westgate at 9am on Thursday 31 July. They continue at the Nayland Rock, Margate Main Sands at 9:30am on Friday 1 August, and then start at Botany Bay, Kingsgate at 10:00am on Saturday 2 August; then Louisa Bay, Broadstairs at 10:30am on Sunday 3 August and end at Dumpton Gap at 11am on Monday 4 August. All events last for 2 hours.
Thanet District Council’s Cabinet Member for Operational Services Cllr Mike Harrison said: “Thanet has a huge resource of 250 hectares of coastal chalk reef, indented by our beautiful sandy bays, and is both nationally and internationally important for its marine and bird life. These Seashore Safaris provide an ideal opportunity for families to enjoy our superb coastline and explore amongst the rockpools, looking out for marine wildlife that we share our coastline with, right on our very doorstep.’
The Thanet Coast events are part of the ‘North East Kent Marine Protected Area’ (NEKMPA) interpretation events and are run with help of volunteer Coastal Wardens, with support from Natural England and Thanet District Council. All these events are free to attend. Further information is available online and people are advised to book early on these events at www.thanetcoast.org.uk or call the Thanet Visitor Information Centre on (01843) 577577 if you do not have access to the internet.
Monday, 21 July 2014
Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage
presents Klezmer in King George VI Park
at the Italianate Greenhouse, King George VI Park, Ramsgate
featuring Shir, the complete Jewish music group
on BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY, 25th AUGUST, from 3.00pm.
All welcome – free entrance
Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage is delighted to be participating in the Ramsgate Summer Squall for the first time. Further details of the entire Ramsgate Summer Squall programme can be found on the its website: http://ramsgatearts.org/a-summer-squall
The five musicians, comprising the Shir group, come from different musical backgrounds (classical, jazz and gypsy folk) and perform Klezmer, Yiddish, Sephardi and Ladino music. Formed by Maurice Chernick in 1997, the group has become a major force on the UK Jewish music scene performing concerts and fulfilling the original function of the Klezmorim – entertaining at Simchas - Jewish parties. Further details of the Shir musicians can be found in the attachment. The group will be performing outside Sir Moses’ Italianate Greenhouse which can be best approached from Montefiore Avenue, Ramsgate (CT11 8BD).
Wednesday, 16 July 2014
The Aviation Minister, Robert Goodwill, has told the House of Commons that the department of Transport is “more than happy to help with any Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) licensing issues” relating to the future of Manston Airport.
Commenting on remarks made by North Thanet`s MP, Sir Roger Gale, during a debate on Regional Airports the Minister said that “the tale of Manston is, I am afraid, rather an unhappy one so far although I am heartened by the fact that the local authority (TDC) is looking into what it can do and I spoke to the Leader of the Council last week”.
During the debate Sir Roger had reminded the House of Manston`s history saying that:
“It (Manston) was acquired by Ann Gloag of Stagecoach on 30th November last year. Mrs. Gloag told me on that date that she intended to invest heavily and give the airport two years. On budget Day, less than four months after the acquisition, she announced that it would close. That was in my view an act of vandalism. Manston shut in May in spite of the fact that RiverOak had put on the table an offer of the asking price of £7 million. Since that time the airport has been asset-stripped.”
Sir Roger continued:
“My Hon. Friend the Member for Thanet South (Laura Sandys) and I met with Sir Howard Davies (who is conducting a review of runway capacity in the South East) recently. He rightly said that while Manston was not under consideration as a hub airport he thought that the south-east would need all the runway capacity on offer and then some. In that context, again, we cannot afford to lose Manston.
Thanet`s controlling Labour Group proposed to give to the Cabinet powers to seek a compulsory purchase order last week. That proposition was seconded by the leader of the Conservative Opposition and it has the full support of Laura Sandys and me. I hope that it will, if necessary, have the support of Government. We expect that a CPO decision will be taken by Thanet`s cabinet by the end of the month. We think, with Thanet and, I believe, the nation that airfield has the potential to serve the Country as a freight hub and we want it to be re-opened for that purpose”
And the MP added:
“ The Select Committee on Transport has, I understand, agreed to undertake an inquiry into the whole business of regional airports and I hope that as part of that process evidence will be taken from Manston and also, perhaps, from Mrs. Gloag in person who would, I am sure, be delighted to appear before the Select Committee and to explain her actions”.
Roger Gale MP for the North Thanet constituency has pledged to champion our coasts and tackle the economic decline of coastal regions by making sure that local fishing communities are prioritised not penalised, when it comes to the allocation of fishing quota and access to fish for small-scale fishermen in our area of Kent.
At an event at the House of Commons on Monday organised by Greenpeace and NUTFA, the representative body for small-scale fishermen, X was joined by tem MPs. and fishermen from across the coast. They promised to raise the issues facing small scale fishermen and coastal communities onto the agenda and into election manifestos across the political parties. They signed up to a five-step plan aimed at regenerating the UK’s inshore waters, fisheries and communities.
Small scale fishermen , our most sustainable fleet, make up over three quarters of the entire UK fleet, but currently they only have access to four per cent of the UK’s quota. The remaining quota is handed to larger scale industry, including huge foreign owned fishing vessels. This has meant the number of UK coastal fishermen who can afford to make a living from fishing has declined and coastal communities, such as X, have suffered social, environmental and economic knock on effects.
Last year the European legislation, the Common Fisheries Policy was reformed after sustained lobbying from fishermen, MPs, MEPs and green groups. This legislation now says that governments should give more quota to, coastal fishermen who fish sustainably and bring economic and social benefits to local communities. The campaigners say that this needs to be implemented in order to rebuild sustainable fishing businesses and protect our marine environment. This should also put a halt to the current system that allows large chunks of British quota to fall into the hands of a few foreign fishing businesses, at the expense of local fishermen and the fish stocks that they depend on.
“I know that the fishing community in North Thanet and in Kent has really suffered over the years and it’s time to turn the tide so that our local fishermen who bring most benefit to our community and the health of our seas are prioritised not penalised. That’s why I have pledged today to become a coastal champion to do all I can in parliament to ensure that the fishermen and the fish that they depend on are supported.”
Nina Schrank, Oceans Campaigner at Greenpeace said:
“The new European legislation is designed to reward sustainable fishermen; it’s a golden opportunity that the government must not miss. If implemented properly, it will boost fish stocks, bolster home-grown sustainable fishing and breathe new life into our coastal communities up and down the country. It’s time stop destructive, foreign owned vessels hoovering up fish stocks while lining their pockets with subsidies and the sale of fish caught from our shores. The reform of this legislation was not won easily, now it’s up to the government to turn it into a reality here along the UK’s coasts.”
Jerry Percy, Chief Executive of NUTFA said:
“Once busy and thriving, many coastal fishing communities have crumbled, fishing harbours turned into yacht parks and fishing beaches that are no longer home to fishing boats. This is the reality for much of modern coastal England. But there is hope. Hope in new legislation sensibly implemented, hope in the realisation that smaller scale fishermen are not the problem but a solution to many of the challenges facing us and hope that politicians will recognise the wealth that has been lost, but is there to be regained in terms of jobs, fish stocks and reinvigorated communities.”
As part of A Summer Squall multi-arts festival, which takes place in Ramsgate on the Kent
coast from Saturday 23 – Monday 25 August, we would like to invite an artist to be in
residence in Ramsgate beginning Friday 8 August and continuing until Monday 25
August. The commitment may extend beyond 25 August to complete the project.
A Summer Squall is a lynchpin project produced by Ramsgate Arts which was established
in 2009 as a collaboration of artistic endeavours, aiming to introduce new artists,
showcase national professional artists and encourage the exploration of creative art with
Funding has been awarded by Arts Council England for the 4th successive year and for
this project specifically. This support, and that of other trusts, foundations and local
businesses is testament to the continued growth and creative development inspired by the
festival, which last year attracted over 20,000 people and hopes to encourage even more
As part of the festival, we are introducing a new opportunity to transform a public space,
namely, a public lavatory block, constructed of concrete, which sits by the royal harbour,
juxtaposed alongside the marvellous Victorian Royal Pavilion (currently closed) and the
newly re-opened Ramsgate Maritime Museum, in the Grade II – listed Georgian clock
house. A few feet from the block is the obelisk which commemorates the visit of King
George IV in 1821, when he gave the harbour his royal seal of approval.
We are looking for an artist who is able to transform the chosen structure into something
worthy of admiration. The artist will be chosen for their ability to interact and engage with
the public as well as their artistic ideas. The residency will be based in the beautiful and
historical town of Ramsgate. Applications are invited from artists who either live or work in
To use the building as a canvas and design an image or series of images to transform it
from a dull block into something of beauty. We are interested in the concept of trompe
d’oeil, using the heritage of the area for inspiration, but we are inviting the chosen artist to
© Ramsgate Arts, December 2009 2
suggest and carry out a design that the town will feel proud to have featuring in this very
prime busy location.
Please send a minimum of three and no more than six images of your work and a brief
proposal, approximately 500 words, explaining how you would intend to produce the
artwork and how you will engage the community in the project.
Proposals need to be submitted by 5pm Monday 21 July
Interviews will be held on Friday 25 July
Submissions should be emailed to email@example.com
The commission for this residency is £1700. Material costs and any supporting artists for delivery
are considered in the budget of the project and will be discussed at the interviews.
For further information please visit www.ramsgatearts.org or contact me if you would like to
discuss it further.
The first ever Thanet Freedom Festival is going to be held on Saturday 19 July at the historic Cliftonville Lido in Margate
In the spirit of the previous years festivals, Love Music, Hate Racism, the aim of the festival, is to bridge cultural differences and build a more cohesive community in Thanet.
This will be a free day festival with a live music open air stage near the seafront and a DJ stage in the bar together with stalls from the areas diverse ethnic communities and people involved in community-building in the area.
There will be food, dance, a retro market and a glittering array of local performers. The festival will, the organisers hope, send a powerful anti-racist message to the world.
The festival will be an implicitly anti-racism festival in an area where we have witnessed increased racism and where racists are gaining ground, says Cris Johnson, one of the organisers.
We want to strengthen links and build a more cohesive community. We seek to bridge cultural differences and show that we can all co-exist peacefully and constructively together.
By putting on a cultural exchange which showcases the talents of members of our community, we can then better illustrate the divisive nature of the mainstream political debate and the right wing policies that portray our immigrant communities in a negative light.
By working with trade unions in the creation of this event we will strengthen the sense of working class solidarity.
Added Cris: We decided to turn a good cause into a family-fun day to promote and support multiculturalism and anti-racism.
More details of the bands and performers taking part will be released nearer the time. More info: Cris Johnson 07741493687