Friday, 28 August 2009

Silly night flights.

Clearly night flights at Manston is a very silly policy by one or two of our councillors and civil servants. Especially given their repeated 106 breaches.

Equally silly are weekend overflights and the “loop” training flights for untrained pilots.

With the highest lung cancer rate in Kent and the runway built on the drinking water, and air pollution drifting over the population of over 130,000 it’s very silly and very dangerous.

Thank goodness the proposals are being double-checked.

But what if there’s a crash? Scooping up the wet bits with a shovel and binbag? An apology?

The new TDC cleaner, greener and safer strategy makes far more sense. Certainly in improving the inward-facing council itself.

Reports, Policies, Payroll, Presentations, Meetings open and available.

Maybe the old-style Party Machine has failed and a mix of Independents and Progressive Labour, Tory etc Parties are required.

And more should be done.

Regeneration has collapsed following ManstonGate, ChinaGate, SFP Pleasurama, Westwood Cross out-of-town-but-near-the-towns-shopping-centre decimating the town centres, increasing traffic pollution and the decline of industries such as Grupo Antolin, Pearce Signs and even Pfizer.

1. Still no foot ferry.

2. Certainly Dreamland needs revitalising as a heritage fun park and IMAX to complement the Turner Centre. Extra housing makes little sense with so many empty properties in Margate as people die or leave.

3. But there is the potential for jobs created via a “2nd Pfizer” such as Astra Zeneca and DFID centred on the UNMDG for malaria research and vaccine and nets manufacturing at Pfizer and Richboro as a brownfield site.

4. As Manston closes and Infratil leaves, the access road to Ramsgate can be improved, petrol prevented form leaking into the water supply and the water supply cleaned.

Building on the site would be foolish given the need for the aquifer to refill and clean. Concrete and tarmac – even from paving front gardens reduces the water levels.

Any farmland would need strictly monitoring though for pesticides by new councillors and civil servants.

5. Town centre regeneration through New Pleasurama and New Lido/Spa and a wider tourism programme would round out the mix.

All these jobs would be both sustainable and provide short-term opportunities in clean-up and construction for the brownfield sites.

6. Combined with the available “One Laptop” education and adult literacy programmes and smoking cessation programmes and suspensions at the large supermarkets, the health inequalities or “early death rate” would begin to rapidly improve.

7. The only problem might be overdevelopment: more out of town shopping centres, skyscrapers, car-parks, motorways, cargo airports, dual carriageways.

Lung cancer. Third world death rate.

Impossible though. Impossible. Never happen in Kent.

Not with so many of our councillors and civil servants to safeguard us.

Time for Change.

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