Craig’s latest blog post once again displays his ignorance, dogmatic resistance to the facts, and a partisan attitude that, contrary to his duty to represent all his constituents, favours a vocal minority.
I have up until now avoided the subject of Manston Airport as it is a divisive subject in Thanet and entrenched attitudes are unlikely to be swayed by anything I write. Nonetheless, facing a climate emergency, one thing we should not be doing is building a new airport. The owners claim that it will be ‘Net Zero’ by 2035. This is blatant greenwashing. Not only will many thousands of tons of CO2 be released in the construction of the airport, but operationally flying cargo jets, especially with fuel trucked in by tanker to refuel them, is an environmental disaster no matter how many electric vehicles potter around the airfield.
In his blog Craig attacked Ramsgate Town Council and its democratically elected councillors for doing exactly what they are supposed to do in taking steps to support the town and its environment.
For the record, Mr Mackinlay, your “doubts about the constitutional basis [of the council supporting the Judicial Review of the DCO decision]” are baseless, and you are either ignorant of the relevant law or choose to ignore it. Section 137 of the Local Authorities Act 1972 states “A local authority may, subject to the provisions of this section, incur expenditure which in their opinion is in the interests of, and will bring direct benefit to, their area or any part of it or all or some of its inhabitants”.
£10,000 was considered an appropriate donation to assist the process of ensuring that the DCO decision was made correctly according to law. The judge ruled that the correct procedure had not been followed, and the Secretary of State agreed and withdrew the decision.
RTC’s action was not made “for one side” but in order to ensure that the law was followed. The money spent by RTC pales into insignificance compared to the phenomenal waste incurred by the government paying for a major planning investigation, and a further consultation exercise, both of which recommended that the DCO should not be granted.
Also of considerable interest, but ignored by Mr Mackinlay, is the £8.5 million pounds of taxpayers money paid by the Department for Transport to RSP for “delays to implementing their scheme” notwithstanding the fact that a scheme without permission can hardly be delayed.
In addition RSP have yet to pay their share of the JR costs. Perhaps Mr Mackinlay can persuade his good friend Mr Tony Freudmann to cough up, rather than continue his history of fraudulently taking other people's money.
So Mr Mackinlay, rather than telling the council to “keep away from divisive politics” perhaps you should take your own words to heart and not throw your Ramsgate constituents under a bus to further both your own business interests, in MAMA airlines, and that of your good friend Mr Freudmann.
Mr Mackinlay, perhaps you can explain your lack of concern at the millions of pounds written off by Kent County Council and Thanet District Council as a result of your friend Tony Freudmann’s last venture at Manston Airport, namely a £4.3 million loan from Manston Business Park (owned by KCC and TDC) to Manston Airport, that was written off as unrecoverable. Or the thousands of pounds of unpaid invoices from local businesses. £10,000 wouldn’t even buy the cheapest new car, but the £4.3 million of taxpayers’ money ‘spaffed up the wall’ by Manston Airport when it went bust the last time would buy nearly 20 new Rolls Royce cars. Or is your silence on this shocking waste of public funds related to the donation to the Conservative Party of over £651,000 in the second quarter of 2022 alone from the aviation industry?