Thursday, 22 September 2011

Spoiling tactics continue to hinder cross party working at Thanet District Council


With regard to night-flying at Manston, Thanet District Council's (TDC) own Airport Working Party considered the Kent International Airport policy proposal and the peer review report from Bureau Veritus and made the following recommendations.
1 (a) The Council adopts a policy of not allowing scheduled, pre-planned or otherwise timetabled flights between the hours of 23:00 and 07:00
(b)  That a period of 1 hour at either end of the flying day be allowed for late/early arriving flights only.
(c)  That a penalty be applied to any flights arriving during the 1 hour periods
(d)  No take-offs will be allowed between 23:00 and 07:00 hours
(e)  A schedule of exceptions to the above will be prepared to include ‘mercy flights’, and flights, medical emergencies, coastguard movements etc.
2.    In respect of aspirations to be carried into a successor to the current Section.106 agreement;
(a)   Consideration be given to requesting the Airport owners whoever they may be at any given time to contribute to the cost of a TDC Airport Officer and that requirement is included in a new section 106 Agreement;
(b)   A new Section 106 Agreement is negotiated within 12 months.
3.    A further Term of Reference be added to the Airport Working Party; purpose that investigation is undertaken to the relationship between a possible Parkway Station and the Airport and the current need for it.
4.    Quarterly or half yearly reports are received by Thanet District Council on the performance of the Manston International Airport as measured against the section 106 Agreement.
5.    Thanet District Council be recommended to ask the Manston International Airport operator to review the Kent International Airport Consultative Committee (KIACC).

These recommendations were further considered and accepted in full by the TDC Overview and Scrutiny Panel at its meeting on 30th August.
However, following two pages of legal jargon, Thursday's agenda report finally recommended that Cabinet declines to agree to any of the recommendations of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel and further declines to refer any of them to full council. 

Comment from Cllr Clive Hart - Shadow Member for Economic Development and Regeneration at TDC:
"Reading the one-sided report to Cabinet it's hard to see how any future consultation on this issue could ever be seen as being open and transparent.  Once again it appears that every conceivable legal loophole is being used to squash the hard work of a cross party committee who were simply doing their job and doing it very well indeed".

Comment from Cllr Alan Poole - Shadow Member for Environment at TDC:
“The Overview & Scrutiny Report, by a cross-party group of councillors, is an essential part of the democratic process and by totally rubbishing this report the Council’s Administration has shown that they will go to any lengths to force through a night flying policy – this appears to be a blatant predetermination of the outcome of the public consultation and planning process.
The Cabinet Report also conveniently overlooks the fact that the Council’s Administration has completely failed to enforce many parts of the current section 106 Agreement.
Night Flights are a significant intensification of use and hence a material planning concern that will need to be taken into account when determining any future planning applications. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is also an essential part of the planning process.”