Kent Labour Group calls for more support for Manston

The Labour Group on Kent County Council is calling on Kent County Council to give more active support to Thanet District Council in its attempts to secure a better future for the Manston Airport. Thanet District Council is pursuing the possibility of a Compulsory Purchase Order but without any open support from the County Council.

Labour has put down a motion to a meeting of the full Kent County Council, next Thursday, 17th July.

The motion will be proposed by Group Leader, Gordon Cowan (Dover Town) and seconded by Deputy Leader, Roger Truelove (Swale Central). It has the support from Labour members across Kent.

The motion says:

“Kent County Council supports the actions taken so far by Thanet District Council to retain Manston as a regional airport. We recognise the value that a regional airport brings to East Kent and are disappointed at its closure. Kent County Council further recognises that Thanet District Council is unlikely to have the resources to go through with a Compulsory Purchase Order, with all of the linked legal cost, by itself. Therefore as the Upper Tier Authority we agree to support Thanet District Council’s investigations into the viability of a Compulsory Purchase Order with financial contributions and support from our legal team. Should Thanet District Council proceed with a Compulsory Purchase Order, we agree to support them further with financial and legal support.”

Gordon Cowan says,

“We have introduced this motion as a matter of urgency. We have listened carefully to the views of many Thanet people and there is a feeling that Kent County Council is not sufficiently engaged in the fight for Manston. The people we have spoken to in Thanet don’t want to be told how much KCC has done in recent years. They want to know what they are going to do about Manston now.”

Roger Truelove says,

“Our impression is that KCC are leaving Thanet to go it alone and there is some suspicion that KCC is waiting for the CPO process to fail. Only this week, we learn that Local Growth Funding is going into the Parkway Station, so why would Kent want to see Manston become no more than a vast housing estate?”

Labour Leader on Dover District Council and County Councillor for Deal, Mike Eddy, says “Labour is not prepared to throw away our ambitions for East Kent, of which Manston Airport is a key part.”

Will Scobie is Labour County Councillor for Margate and Cliftonville and Parliamentary candidate for South Thanet. He adds,

“I spoke about Manston at a recent meeting of Kent Labour in Aylesham. The group were determined to give more support to Thanet than the current Tory administration. I am delighted that my colleagues from right across Kent care about this issue.”

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