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Lib Dem Ten-Point Plan Outscores Tory's Five

April 2, 2015 9:46 AM

Statement by Liberal Democrats PPCs

George Cunningham for North Thanet and Russ Timpson for South Thanet:

George and RussThe announcement of the five-point plan by the Conservativeparty today (1 April 2015) brings nothing new to the table. Rather than Sir Roger Gale MP for North Thanet (Con.) taking the responsibility for having got us into these complex difficulties in the first place by having been asleep at the wheel when the future of London's airports was being decided, the burden has been shifted now by the Conservatives on to the almost bankrupt Labour-led Thanet District Council to come up with the goods.

There needs to be a definitive date given for the PwC report to be published, well before the election, rather than vague promises, most probably after the election, when all the bets are off and the airport running the clear danger of being turned into a housing development.

Last December, George Cunningham and Russ Timpson issued a ten-point plan which laid out a wider vision for getting the airport operational again.

Thanks to soundings made amongst the international business community and our cooperation with Thanet Chamber of Commerce, we are convinced the airport can be a profitable enterprise.

In that ten-point plan we called for a referendum to coincide with the 7th May election which would give a popular moral mandate to the TDC to refuse housing development on Manston, dashing the hopes of the developers to make a tidy profit on the backs of the local community.

As in all business ventures, there is an element of risk that needs to be taken to make things work. That self-confidence, and indeed experience in business decision-taking, seems to be lacking locally by both Tories and Labour parliamentary candidates in Thanet, which is why Liberal Democrats - with that very business and hands-on experience - should be given a chance to serve the community better.


1. Hold a district-wide referendum on the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) of Manston, at the same time as General Election and Local Council Elections

2. Attend and promote Manston Airport at the Aviation Expo in London 2-4 February 2015 http://www.futuretravelexperience.com/fte-europe/

3. Get an open letter of support for Manston Airport, signed by leading opinion formers in local area

4. Hold an aviation roundtable meeting with potential stakeholders in 2015

5. Offer to host the next Aircraft Recycling Conference in Thanet in 2015

6. Make public details of possible Aviation Apprenticeships which are available

7. Highlight need for standby airport in times of crisis (e.g. recent failure of air traffic control)

8. Propose twin track approach of CPO and standby development scheme as a plan B

9. Promote value of Manston if Heathrow and Gatwick expansions are blocked

10. Compare costs with Boris Island and promote new high speed link to London