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Thread: Still hope for Manston?

  1. #31
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    I see that Angie Sutton had a 33 year career in the RAF and now runs an events company http://www.asenterprises.co.uk/ which organised the airshow at Manston in 2013. I note her RAF rank has been removed from the witness list since I looked at it earlier in the day.
    Now we have leaked emails, murkier and murkier.

    Not seen Borgen is it any good

  2. #32
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    Thanet Eye was "leant on" by the legal heavies.

    Angie Sutton never used her rank in relation to her events business so perhaps it was erroneously used yesterday.

    Borgen is EXCELLENT and I keenly await the new series this year.

    I am pleased the future of Manston is still being discussed but the Committee has no power and I still fear that the big bucks will still hold sway with local politicians. I hope I am proved wrong.

  3. #33
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    By all accounts, even as the hearing was underway, diggers started tearing at the taxiways.

    Currently unconfirmed, but we all remember Meigs Field I guess?

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  4. #34
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    In photos of an incident there today attended by the emergency services there appears to be dug up taxiway in the foreground.

  5. #35
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    I've now watched the first section of the Committee meeting. This is very essential viewing. Warning: you will need more than one sick bag. the Committee seem to be doing a good job in exposing the goings on. Watch Pauline Bradley squirm, and the room laugh when she was not sure if she was a director of Lothian Shelf (710), and she is "one of Scotland's most powerful women."

    Now just need to see how well the other side put their case!

    http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Pl...er=silverlight

  6. #36
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    You will not be disappointed. As if one actually needed convincing but the cloak and dagger duplicity of the interested parties is revealed in its machiavellian splendour.

    What a bunch of twisters!!

  7. #37
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    The Bradley woman has a deeply impressive CV (not)

    From Wikipedia,

    Pauline Bradley is a corporate lawyer and former bank director, described by the Scotland Herald as 'one of Scotland's most powerful women' .[1] She joined Bank of Scotland in 1991, and set up and directed the Joint Ventures unit in 1999. The unit pursued a strategy of taking equity stakes in asset backed businesses,[2] and built up a £10 billion portfolio under her management, including joint ventures with Ann Gloag and Brian Souter of Stagecoach Group.[3] Bradley left in 2005. Bank of Scotland received a government bail out to prevent collapse in 2008.[4]

    Between 2005 and 2006 Bradley was Chief Executive at the Kenmore property group,[5] one of Bank of Scotland's largest clients, which went into administration in 2009.[6]

    Pauline Bradley subsequently joined Derek Quinlan's Quinlan Private as Head of Transactions, and oversaw the £792 million acquisition of the Jury's Inn hotel chain, and the £1.1 billion acquisition of the Marriott Hotels group in 2007.[7] Derek Quinlan resigned from Quinlan Private in 2009 with personal debts estimated at 600 million euros. Marriott Hotels went into administration in 2011, Royal Bank of Scotland taking control of the chain when its holding company defaulted on a £700 million bank loan.[8]

    In November 2013 Pauline Bradley became co-director with Ann Gloag of Manston Airport in Kent, which was reportedly acquired from New Zealand company Infratil for £1. The airport was closed in May 2014.
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  8. #38
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    This comprehensive submission to the Committee makes for interesting reading:

    http://www.riveroakic.com/pdfs/THE%2...0-%20Oct14.pdf
    Charlie

    Keep smiling - it's never as bad as you think!!

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  10. #40
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    Thanks for posting.

    Looks promising. This is obviously going to take some time and my concern is that the runway will be grubbed up and other infrastructure buildings demolished. Is there anyway of putting a temporary restraining order on to prevent this?

  11. #41
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    No indeed! Thanks Tony, you beat me to it.

    Paul - I presume Thanet Council could easily apply for an injunction to stop any such work whilst the review took place and reported. It looked quiet when I was there the other day although I was unsighted for some areas of the airfield.

    Let's hope the machinations of Gloag and her cohorts are seen for what they are and the Council comes to its senses and allows the River Oak CPO to proceed.

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  13. #43
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    And I read yesterday it is due to report in May so we will not have long to wait.

    It is to be hoped that all the back street shenanigans will be laid bare and the right decisions made with the true information.

  14. #44
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    Second that. Just for once it would be nice to see the real goings on uncovered.

  15. #45
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    Paul - as you yourself observed earlier after reading the first part of the Committee Report - more than one sick bag will be required!!
    Charlie

    Keep smiling - it's never as bad as you think!!

  16. #46
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    Is it really possible for an international airport to thrive at Manston when Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted are so close? I would have thought not.

    It is too big to be a GA field and in the wrong place to be an international airport. Let it go!

    Regards
    David Mylchreest
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  17. #47
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    The runway size make it important infrastructure and a national asset, as the local MP agrees. River Oak thinks it can make a go of it as a freight terminal and they should be allowed to try. There are good rail and road links and I think that the whole way we handle freight in this country is going to dramatically change in the coming decades and, as has already started, move to rail. HS2 is not about travel times as the popular press would lead you to believe but about capacity including freight capacity. Diesels are the new enemy and radical changes are needed to get long distance trucks off the road and freight back on to the railways where it always belonged. But, of course, when the powers that be decide that we no longer need transport infrastructure what do they do, fill it up, rip it up and sell it off cheap to the sort of shady characters we see involved at Manston. As I have sprouted before we have now decided we like canals and are busy digging them out and restoring them all be it for a different use. Rail reinstatement projects that would have been thought impossible 20 years ago are happening in many places. Porthmadog has even allowed trains to cross and run down a main road.
    My point is that transport infrastructure such as airfields and rail goods yards are difficult if not impossible to reinstate. They are all national assets and should be ring fenced against any development that would not allow the reinstatement of its transport use. So even if an operator cannot be found for Manston the infrastructure and planning use should be kept and the land leased back to its original use, agriculture.

    If you are in any doubt about the motivations and shenanigans of the present owners then please watch the Select Committee meeting on Manston mentioned below, if for no other reason than to deprive these "characters" of Manston then River Oak should be given a chance.

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul1867 View Post
    The runway size make it important infrastructure and a national asset, as the local MP agrees. River Oak thinks it can make a go of it as a freight terminal and they should be allowed to try. There are good rail and road links and I think that the whole way we handle freight in this country is going to dramatically change in the coming decades and, as has already started, move to rail. HS2 is not about travel times as the popular press would lead you to believe but about capacity including freight capacity. Diesels are the new enemy and radical changes are needed to get long distance trucks off the road and freight back on to the railways where it always belonged. But, of course, when the powers that be decide that we no longer need transport infrastructure what do they do, fill it up, rip it up and sell it off cheap to the sort of shady characters we see involved at Manston. As I have sprouted before we have now decided we like canals and are busy digging them out and restoring them all be it for a different use. Rail reinstatement projects that would have been thought impossible 20 years ago are happening in many places. Porthmadog has even allowed trains to cross and run down a main road.
    My point is that transport infrastructure such as airfields and rail goods yards are difficult if not impossible to reinstate. They are all national assets and should be ring fenced against any development that would not allow the reinstatement of its transport use. So even if an operator cannot be found for Manston the infrastructure and planning use should be kept and the land leased back to its original use, agriculture.

    If you are in any doubt about the motivations and shenanigans of the present owners then please watch the Select Committee meeting on Manston mentioned below, if for no other reason than to deprive these "characters" of Manston then River Oak should be given a chance.
    Best to soften the criticisms of people I think!

    I would agree (to a degree) concerning preservation of national assets. But, and it's a big but, you have to have an understanding before you start the preservation process just what you're preserving for and why.

    Quite honestly we should be looking very hard indeed at air transport, for, although it isn't at all the biggest polluter yet, it will be by the time Manston becomes viable as an international airport. Although it isn't going to be a popular view here air transport and carbon go together massively and the exhaust of airliners is directly injected directly into the stratosphere were it does the most harm. Right now air transport is not on the priority list for carbon unlike, say, the private motor car and motor lorries, but it will be in 30 years time. So what would you intend Manston to be preserved for?

    Sorry to be a naysayer, but Manston is not viable now as an airport. So far so uncontroversial, but by the time it is the air transport industry will be under the cosh as the main atmospheric polluter and there will be no future for it then either. Let it go!

    Regards
    David Mylchreest
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  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    Best to soften the criticisms of people I think!
    Shady shenanigans is my idea of soft compared with actually what went on, trying to hide that financial interest was still held in Manston, exposed in Select Committee. Read the track record and financial affairs of others involved. I can think of far more appropriate words but kept it moderate.
    Remember what Mrs G promised for Manston?
    Look into the history of the people involved, did you see the fully documented website "thaneteye", sadly now gone, that gave the full background to these people. Watch the Select Committee meeting, it is laughable and sick making and they certainly were not fooling the MPs. If the cap fits.....

    This is how we thought about the canals and railways, do we never learn from our previous mistakes. I am not saying we necessarily have a use now but that we should not destroy the infrastructure and make sure it is available if future generations need it. Because of relatively short term financial difficulties we see the family silver being sold off for relatively small amounts and these are then lost for ever.

    We have seen the French proposals for banning diesels in Paris, how far away are they from banning trucks passing through their country. How far away are we from banning trucks passing through England and Wales to get to and from Ireland? Maybe that illusive battery will be created that makes long distance electric transport possible, still needs charging though. I do not know about the ins and outs of comparing the pollution produced by an aeroplane compared with the equivalent number of trucks but I would just like to keep all options open into the future.

    Just letting it go is what we have done in the past and history is showing that to be wrong.

    Regards

    Paul

  20. #50
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    If what I read somewhere a couple of years back is correct. All the aviation in the world produces less pollution in a year than one day's output from an erupting volcano.
    The mind once expanded by a new idea never returns to its original size.

  21. #51
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    Precisely! And I would like to hope that the entire carbon emission farrago will be seen for the misguided, destructive, self-interested white elephant it clearly is. But I am not holding my breath as too many people have too much to lose.

    Let River Oak prove whether or not their plans are viable. That's a damn sight better than what we've had for the past year!
    Charlie

    Keep smiling - it's never as bad as you think!!

  22. #52
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    Perhaps there also needs to be some form of assessment of River Oak's "Plan B" if their business model looks sound, but fails to be matched by the real world events if they do take over...

    Even if they genuinely set out with good intentions (i.e. to keep Manston open and active), with a business plan that they, and any independant assessors, feel is viable, if things don't work out as planned are we likely to face a very similar situation again a little further down the road.... Or will the "keep Manston open" lobby then accept that financially it is not a viable entity?

    I'd like to see it stay open, but probably more as a result of some vague romantic notion that it somehow "deserves" to be kept open due to its rich aviation history rather than out of any belief it is finacially viable, but ultimately, if any new owners cannot make a profit (or at least break even), then surely all we are doing is putting off the inevitable.... romance is fine, but cold hard economics will probably be the final arbiter as to whether any venture continues.



    I really cannot see anyone following the route possibly implied by paul1897, of funding a mothballed (and very large) airfield "just in case" it may ever prove useful/viable in the possibly dim, and/or very distant, future.

    At some stage the potential return on a sale for redevelopment would surely win out over the costs of keeping it largely intact but unused - even a disused airfield would cost money to be kept dormant, otherwise it will crumble and decay due to advancing age. I cannot see many commercial opertaions happy to pay out for something which gives no return in the short term. Even some form of charitable status would need to bring in income to cover care and maintenance cost, how woudl they generate sufficient income from a dormant airfield... lease the grassed areas to tenant farmers... lease runway time to motor manufacturers for testing purposes... lease builings to small/local industry? All possible sources of income I guess but maybe not too viable given ease of access to similar facilities that already exist and that may be better placed geopraphically.

    I can only see two viable options, the airfield continues to operate (though possibly on a smaller footprint than current), or it is sold for redevelopment (in part, or more probably in full). The idea of soemone bankrolling care and maintenance of a dormant airfield of that size "just in case" - sorry, I don't see it happening.

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul F View Post
    Perhaps there also needs to be some form of assessment of River Oak's "Plan B" if their business model looks sound, but fails to be matched by the real world events if they do take over...

    Even if they genuinely set out with good intentions (i.e. to keep Manston open and active), with a business plan that they, and any independant assessors, feel is viable, if things don't work out as planned are we likely to face a very similar situation again a little further down the road.... Or will the "keep Manston open" lobby then accept that financially it is not a viable entity?

    I'd like to see it stay open, but probably more as a result of some vague romantic notion that it somehow "deserves" to be kept open due to its rich aviation history rather than out of any belief it is finacially viable, but ultimately, if any new owners cannot make a profit (or at least break even), then surely all we are doing is putting off the inevitable.... romance is fine, but cold hard economics will probably be the final arbiter as to whether any venture continues.

    I can only see two viable options, the airfield continues to operate (though possibly on a smaller footprint than current), or it is sold for redevelopment (in part, or more probably in full). The idea of soemone bankrolling care and maintenance of a dormant airfield of that size "just in case" - sorry, I don't see it happening.
    I agree with most of that. My gripe is that that having taken the Council for a ride Mrs Gloag cannot be allowed to get away with what was clearly her aim from the word go. A CPO totally funded by River Oak will cost the taxpayer nothing and only River Oak will be the losers if their plans do not succeed. But they have to be given a chance to prove themselves.
    Charlie

    Keep smiling - it's never as bad as you think!!

  24. #54
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    Paul F
    Yes indeed I agree with all you have said. I take your point about mothballing but that wasn't quite what I had in mind. With the canals and disused railway lines we built across them, sold them off and filled canals and cuttings up. Now we are busy trying to restore many of these canals and railway lines for various reasons. My suggestion is that these and airfields are national assets and that they should be ring fenced against development and that they should retain their planning rights. If there is no immediate use for them allow none destructive leased use so that they are always recoverable at any later date. Specifically with regard to Manston if no aviation solution can be found allow leased usage of existing builders and suitably located industrial buildings and return the rest of the land to agriculture. However, retain the national asset of being able to fly planes in and out of the plot even if a new runway has to be built say in 50 years time. It seems to me that developers are keen to obtain these airfields because they are available and presumably now classed as brown field, however, if no airfield had been there it would still be agricultural land and probably no development allowed.

    Haven't there been aircraft related business at Manston right up until it was closed and could this not be encouraged, I thought this was all part of the original and River Oak plans.

    We have a similar recent case with the Military Railway at Long Marston this was a complete full size rail system for training military personnel. This should have been gifted to the National Rail Museum who could have operated it as a working system using stock that is otherwise basically captive at York and Shildon. But what are we getting houses, holiday homes and Underground stock storage.. There appears to be some provision for keeping some of the track but there does not appear to be any clear plans.

    Charlie

    I agree over pollution but it is the hot topic, along with global warming (or is it climate change or isit....) that are band wagons that can be used to advantage and justify almost anything. I am keen to get these trucks off the roads and back onto the rail system where they belong. Oh and bring back the Scarab, battery powered of course, for delivery from the station to the local supermarkets etc. Win win all round, less congestion, less pollution and increased revenue for the rail infrastructure with a positive knock on effect for passengers.

    It's a pity that Manston is a bit too far away for the runway to operate for Operation Stack, otherwise it would be ideal and presumable save a lot of money over any alternative solution.

    Regards Paul

  25. #55
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    At Manston now. Minister for Transport is here announcing that the government has given the go ahead t for council to proceed with CPO. TV news crew here.
    Last edited by paul1867; 9th April 2015 at 18:55.

  26. #56
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    Minister has said that they have had Riveroak assessed by independent company as satisfactory. He has in writing got an agreement from RiverOak to fund all CPO costs and to place the money in a UK bank in advance. It is now up to the council to proceed with the CPO.

  27. #57
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    A lucky turn of events. Had come to look at Reculver and the museums at Manston and take a look at airfield to see if there was any activity.
    At Manston ribbons tied to fences trees and posts and at the airport entrance flag polls erected and a group of people who turned out to be members of the keep Manston open supporter groups. The Minister of State for Transport, John Hayes, was there to give the supporters advanced news of an announcement being made tomorrow that the Government, following an independent enquiry, found that RiverOak had a viable plan for the development as an airfield for Manston. He had also obtained a written agreement from RiverOak that they would cover all the costs of a CPO and would lodge the necessary funds in a UK bank in advance. The Government supports a CPO and that the council should now proceed with that.

    He also stated the the SAR contract at Lydd was only for 12 months and that he hoped that it would return to Manston.

    Members of the supporters group who attended the Select Committee meeting on Manston were told by the police at the meeting that this was the largest turn out of supporters they had seen.
    Last edited by paul1867; 10th April 2015 at 01:06.

  28. #58
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    The Minister making his announcement to the news crew.


  29. #59
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    Just found this alleged comment made by deputy leader of TDC "...... and deputy leader of the council, Richard Nicholson was hardly an effusive supporter of potential Airport champion RiverOak saying, “we are not going to do business with people like this”." And Messrs Musgrave and Cartner and Goag are!!!!!?

    Source is political opponent http://thanetgreencouncillor.blogspo...deceitful.html

  30. #60
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    I was not able to see any untoward activity going on on the site. The aircraft on the northern boundary have gone so presumably dismantled.


    IMG_0573 by , on Flickr

    Was on the way round the southern side when I came across the meeting so did not get down to where the 707 was. Could not see any aeroplanes from the terminal building.

    The two helicopter companies appeared to still be operating.

    The compound at the western end with fire engines and bowsers was MOD and I assume forms part of Defence Fire Training located up the road.

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