Monday, 9 November 2009

Infratil Lubeck in Germany closes

Infratil have sold off their Lubeck airport in Germany.

Infratil Manston is little more than half a dozen cargo flights from Ostend cargo airport each week. Which are then unloaded and trucked to Heathrow or around the M25.

All of it on the water supply and at rooftop height with some of the highest levels of lung cancer in the UK.

Clearly Manston has been seen as a "quick-fix" and "one-0ff" regeneration for Thanet by ignoring and removing noise and air monitoring.

What must they be doing at Prestwick?

Here's an article I've written on the subject in Your Thanet (page 15).

Infratil have been pandered to by our councils to the point of deliberately endangering the public. While the RAF and MOD have done much the same with oil and chemical sprays over the runway and Fire base - all built upon the underground reservoir and water supply.

And still nothing on the clean up at Thor mercury or Richboro.

At least politically much of the nonsense of switching fixed budgets between the towns is coming to an end. Ramsgate Town Council has excellent councillors on it who I'm sure will ensure that for example the Tourist Offices are not closed depending on switching each town budget and whichever party is in power as at the moment.

I'm astonished that the Tourist offices have come 3rd in the UK - I've never seen a better tourism offices and skills. The plywood panel could do with replacing with glass though. And some better signage.

Few towns can have councillors such as Vic who have risen through the town tourism industry to lead the town. It's always the unsung people isn't it.

As MP I'll also be supporting the idea of the "Vincent Van Gogh Museum" in Ramsgate - one of the world's greatest painters and we have little more than a blue plaque in the town for his early life. Regeneration of the town centre and currently derelict Cavallino building would be ideal for this project. Where will Ramsgate's artists be able to display their works?

Most art galleries such as the National or Van Gogh Museum itself have over half of their exhibits never - that's never - available for display.

Mayor Green's excellent idea on celebrating Royal Ramsgate and the Coronation deserves flags, new altarcloths, tapestries, tablecloths and street parties - even a giant foldout 40,000 signature book of the Obelisk itself. I'm keen to support the Commonwealth with the UN Millennium Goals books for schoolchildren - remember those cloth books?

Another printer closed in Ramsgate and we have KCC print that produces all the exercise books for our schools and is unable to help us or provide innovative ideas such as District covers.

While any council that for Rememberance Day cannot fly flags from the 1945 Peace Memorial or open the memorial isn' t much of a council. Nor one that can't keep open the mental health unit at QEQM for its community.

Margate's Dreamland and Cliftonville is crying out for a Film Studio and Imax cinema. While the clearance of the old TDC building creates the opportunity for effective regeneration of Cecil Square and coordinates with the Dreamland site.

As MP I'll create the Phoenix Fund to regenerate every property in Cliftonville and return every property to use and call on every councillor and civil servant to contribute. My 2nd home will be in Cliftonville - along with the new TDC building and the East Kent Council for Thanet and Dover.

And the World Parliament Conference at Margate Winter Gardens to create the "House of Commons" for the UN.

In a globalised and wired world, nations are less important than ever - the key drivers of change are regions - such as Kent and Thanet.

There are few problems in Thanet that can't be improved with effective regeration and improvements eg solar panels and insulation for our housing stock. Empty houses means people have aged, died or moved away. We have the world's largest windfarm and the sunniest climate - and we can heat our homes and even generate a profit on contributing to the National Grid.

Regeneration is never the quick-fix "we're a thousand jobs down let's find an employer with a thousand jobs" (although the 2nd Pfizer at Richboro will help that in creating malaria vaccines and nets) it's the weft and weave that make a community - especially one as special as Thanet.

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