The astonishment at the Thanet District Labour Council’s lack of awareness and business acumen regarding Manston Airport is palpable. This airport has been a fixture of the area long before the development of new housing nearby. It stands to reason that purchasing a home in close proximity to an airport comes with the expectation of noise. The potential reopening of Manston Airport holds transformative promise for the youth of the area, heralding job opportunities and promising careers within an exciting sector. As someone who has supported the Labour Party for a lifetime and resides near the airport, I find the local Labour Council’s resistance to the airport profoundly disappointing. The critique extends to the questionable deployment of taxpayer funds to back Jenny Dawes; if this is true, it is unacceptable. Reflecting on my own experiences, the aircraft I grew up witnessing, from RAF and USAF jets flying low and low and also later on cargo and passenger planes, the latter were significantly quieter by comparison. It’s evident to me that reopening Manston Airport would generate substantial revenue for both the local council and businesses.
This stance betrays a lack of foresight, vision, and economic understanding of the benefits an airport can bring to a community. It would be more advantageous for the council to focus on enhancing local health services and facilities for residents rather than obstructing economic growth. The emphasis should be on ousting the Conservatives and actively pursuing opportunities for the working-class community, particularly those interested in working in airports, aviation, tourism, and related sectors.
Thanet once boasted both an airport and a port, fostering excellent working skills, yet these advantages have been eroded by poor Conservative policies. There’s a pressing need to support initiatives that can make a tangible difference and lift people out of reliance on food banks. Decision-makers should consider spending time with individuals like myself who can demonstrate the economic benefits of reopening an airport, drawing on firsthand experiences from around the globe. It raises the question of how many councillors from the Thanet District Council have actually visited locations where the introduction of an airport has positively transformed the community.
The ongoing delay only postpones what seems inevitable: the airport’s eventual reopening, a vital piece of infrastructure for the UK, particularly in the current unstable global climate. Denying our youth career opportunities is a disservice, especially in a region of Kent plagued by poor employment prospects. It’s time for local governance to emulate global examples and endorse the application for Manston Airport, a move desired by school children, college youth, and the many unemployed working-class individuals in Thanet. The focus should not be on those who have retired to the area from affluent parts of London but on those who have spent their lives in the region.
Furthermore, Thanet College (now EKC) previously offered an outstanding array of tourism courses, including cabin crew training. However, it now provides second-rate tourism education at best. This decline from a nationally leading college for tourism to its current state is stark and disappointing.