Writing in The Times yesterday the former Country Life editor Clive Aslet is right to raise the issue of the appalling incompetence of council planners, with only planner one sacked out of c.12,000 in decades.
Yet bizarrely Clive, as a Ramsgate resident like myself, then cites Manston airport as benchmark potential for yet another bog-standard housing estate, or mini-New Town.
Clive knows full well the background of rampant corruption by Thanet District Council and Kent County Council with Infratil and Ann Gloag’s $1 purchase of the Manston site after the pollution monitors were removed and data and fines faked for corporate manslaughter. Infratil even allowing IranAir sanction–busting flights via Europe’s main gunrunning airport at Ostend.
And the Manston site (whether as airport or new town) on the East Kent drinking water aquifer for East Kent’s 250,000 people is a Flint, Michigan concern. I know you couldn’t make it up.
Clive even forgets the so-abysmal-it’s-laughable-if-it-wasn’t-horrific Thor mercury contamination, a Parkway airport-railway of £20M of DofT funds for Manston even when the airport is bust, and just this week both Pleasurama and Dreamland sites going bust amidst BVI and Panama tax haven council corruption.
Even Thanet MP candidate as was, and current MEP, Nigel Farage refuses to speak up on Thor Mercury Margate and Cato Ridge horror – the former, Kent’s Bhopal.
Clive knows all the above because I met him several years ago at the start of my MP campaign to “Stop the Pollution, Stop the Corruption, Stop the Construction”: @timg33 and http://lovekentloveramsgate.blogspot.co.uk/ to discuss these very problems.
For Clive now to squeak up in The Thunderer on the Manston mess suggests he’s part of the planning problem not the solution.
Rather, why doesn’t Clive support both a Belgian Police investigation, if Kent Police feel incapable of doing so, and a Magnitsky List of corrupt or incompetent planning staff.
That would ensure the likes of Howes, Raymond and Fibbens at TDC, as well as the Gang of Four and KCC Toxic Three councillors couldn’t damage other publics and public planning projects with whitewash on the rates, while picking up their paychecks and pensions and payoffs for as long as possible.
Clive knows Manston is a council abomination and not something to emulate.
Tim Garbutt, Ramsgate
* Only in Kent: the £1M Kent Fire station in Ramsgate has ballooned to £8M - about half of Ramsgate's annual tax budget and 10% of Kent Fire's annual budget(!). And demolition of the swimming pool begun - without a builder even appointed. The land gifted in perpetuity for leisure and sports not a vanity project - all the more bizarre to destroy a swimming pool and football pitches during the Rio Games and heightened interest in the 2012 Legacy. And of course, only voted for by the 6 firemen themselves in a consultation c.4 years ago with 200 public votes against.
All for a garage and office. That already exists rate-free with the existing fire station right in the centre of Ramsgate.
* Doctor Mengele will see you now: horrifying that almost all Kent and SE England's hospitals are in Special Measures - 2M people without adequate medical care. Increasingly I think almost any public sector budget could be cut by a third without affecting the service, if not actually improving it, and Special Measures processes just aren't sacking even people for such shoddy services. And ensuring they don't pop up somewhere else in the public sector after a payoff for failure. More later.
* Silence so far on the £500k OLAF/GIAA Port fraud crime and refunds.
* Silence on long-delayed misc ASBO and Local Plan issues such as 100SE Rd gardengrabbing, Tonis noisy newsagent, pedzone parking and so on.
* Silence on Green and Grabiner and Glick QC etc with Oxford St flagship store closing after 88 years and a failed Sports Direct sale and £1M payback from minimum wage problems - astonishing that zero hours contracts aren't banned as yet. A minimum contract of one day/8 hours per week for companies over £1M?
* Silence on Discovery Park building bungalows(!) at the site rather than the STEM jobs of the future. Only in Kent again.