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Manston Airport – A Way Forward?  11th December 2014

North Thanet`s MP, Sir Roger Gale, has this (Thursday) evening welcomed Thanet District Council`s ratification of a proposal to release papers relating to the Manston CPO process to the Department for Transport for consideration.

The measure was proposed earlier in the day at a meeting chaired by the Minister of State for Aviation and convened following discussions held a week ago at 10 Downing Street between Thanet`s two MPs (Laura Sandys and Roger Gale) and senior members of Government. The DfT meeting was attended by Cllr Mrs. Iris Johnson, Leader of TDC, Ms. Madeleine Homer, Acting Chief Executive, TDC, the Minister of State for Aviation and senior Civil Servants representing the Transport department and Downing Street. The Prime Minister`s personal representative and the Minister for General Aviation, Grant Shapps (who visited Manston recently) joined the discussions by conference call.

“We have created the sensible opportunity for the papers to be reviewed by senior Government officials “ says Sir Roger. “I have obtained the consent of RiverOak for their confidentiality agreement with TDC to be waived – an obvious condition of TDC`s support for this move – so that a fresh eye can be cast over the entire procedure. If it becomes apparent that there are outstanding issues that RiverOak can shed further light on then I hope and expect that they will do so. If, similarly, it transpires that TDC`s approach has, in part, been based upon a misunderstanding of the requirements then I would expect the local authority to revise their approach also.

There a number of matters, relating to funding and corporate structure, that I do not believe have been fully or properly understood and I would further hope that these are matters that Government may be able to broker answers to, We have set as a deadline the end of January for this work to be completed. That, of course, is dependent upon the paperwork being delivered in timely fashion but speed as well as thoroughness is of the essence if we are to move the restoration of Manston forward”.

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