Friday, July 18, 2008

Turnip Slip Slips Out

According to that ruddy-faced man who runs Kent County Council, Margate's putative Turnip Centre will now be opening in spring 2011. Up to now, the opening date had always been given as 2010. Apart from a few years ago, when the opening date was 2004.

Speaking on his blog, Maidstone's top Tory details KCC's day trip to Margate this week, which must have been a bit of a shock given that most of the poor lambs have never ventured further east than Tunbridge Wells. R-FM witters:

First stop was Droit House, Margate, for an update on Turner Contemporary. KCC is already working with schools and local groups to bring art to the public and has recently turned the empty Marks and Spencers in Margate into an exhibition space.

But from Spring 2011 it will be a totally different story when the Turner Centre, designed by Stirling prize winner David Chipperfield, opens to an expected 130,000 visitors a year in completely transformed surroundings.

Only last week in an official press release announcing the appointment of John Kampfner as head of the trust that will run the Turnip, KCC stated the gallery would open in 2010.

In the same blog entry, R-FM also reveals plans to increase the number of passengers flying from RAF London Kent Ramsgate Manston International Airport to 10 million a year, about half the capacity of Stansted. Well that should get the DFLs running back to their North London hills. All in all, his visit seems to have done a power of good for property prices in, er, West Kent. Well worth slumming it for a day in Margate, I'd say!

Click here to read Ruddy-Faced Man's blog


steve said...

mmm. So, Paul Carter and Matt Clarke think on the downhill slope of an economic crisis they can lobby for and get built and airport and its transport infrastructure (can't all drive there can we - thats not green), at a point in the ar$e end of kent with a very small captive audience. Then, entice airlines who are reducing operations elsewhere (see ryanair dropping 8 flights from stansted and halting flights to 7 destinations in europe yesterday) to up sticks and start up in Manston. which has a large town and the end of its runway. and get past the resistance from local residents (excluding tony).

If it happens in my lifetime (I'm 7 years old), I'll help Tony throw petals at the feet of the first pilots to land at the "new" airport.

should Matt Clarke and Paul Carter be concentrating on hitting the capacity kia already has? about 50 passenger flights this year I worked it out to. some way to get to 1mm, quite some way to get to 10mm.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I love the fact that 'Lord' Carter says in his blog:

"I wanted to dispel the myth that because of the location of County Hall, KCC is somehow Maidstone-centric..."

and thereby perpetuating the er, truth? that KCC is indeed Maidstone centric.

I mean come on, you can't expect members from Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells to come to Thanet more than, say, once in a lifetime, can you? More than that would be cruel to the poor dears. Imagine the scene in the members lounge in Invicta House with its worn Chesterfield sofas and roaring open fire:

(Snore) "Hmm? What? Margate you say? Oh yes, well I did go to Broadstairs once as boy, back in '48. Ghastly place, never went back. Matron, another whiskey if you please!"

Peter Checksfield said...

What annoys me is that after all this time they still haven't started ANY construction work on the site. Wasn't The Ship knocked down to make room for this? A waste of a popular pub & live music venue.

Anonymous said...

We should have a split county like West and East Sussex and base the capital for east Kent not in Canterbury but in Thanet.

Anonymous said...

Now you're talking! And of course the new offices should be in Ramsgate

Anonymous said...

Independence for Thanet!
Republic of Thanet.

Anonymous said...

It's difficult to believe that anyone can take this kind of cr*p seriously. I can understand Matt Clarke talking b*ll*cks. It's his job and, if he admitted that the airport was a colossal failure he'd sort of be talking his way out of a job.

But, what's Paul Carter's excuse? He knows that Manston is totally unsuitable to be expanded to 10 million passengers a year and that the compensation bill for local homeowners would be massive.

He knows that there is no business case for such a proposal. If there were, someone else would have put in a bid for Manston and Infratil wouldn't have been able to pick it up for pocket-money.

He knows that Manston's commercial history has been one of failure and that the reason for this is that it is in the wrong place (i.e. surrounded by water on three sides with a small population living closer to Manston than to Gatwick).

He knows that Manston's failure has been key to the failure to regenerate Thanet; that the airport has prevented better roads from being built; that the airport site would have created far more jobs if it had been used for something else; that constant uncertaintly about the airport has damaged confidence in the housing market.

Given all of this, and the fact that he is is elected to represent the interests of the people of Kent, not the commercial interests of Infratil, it is hard to see how he can allow himself to be dragged into Infratil's death-throes.

Can anyone rationally explain Paul Carter's conduct?

steve said...

10:15pm. Agree with you entirely. Worryingly, it seems he must be lobbying government to add Manston to the London Quartet of Luton, Stansted, Gatwick and Heathrow.

The goverment white paper on South East airports mentions Manston as a regional airport, but does not suggest it can grow to anything like 10mm passengers per year. However, it does leave the planning to local authorities. fcuk.

More here if you'd like to read about it.

Imagine the use it could have been put to - China Gateway, Westwood Cross, Thanet Earth - it could probably have housed all 3.

Continued uncertainty on what these idiots will do will indeed drive house prices down further when they should be growing because of the improved train times to London, blue flag beaches. It will also halt future developments, leaving us with holes in the ground and unfinished building for many years to come. Who in their right minds would buy a development, however nice, on a flightpath of a 10mm passenger airport? Royal Sands anyone? Terry Painter knows this, so he should start by piping up against any airport expansion.

I'll give you a snippet of an email Paul Carter sent to me after I mailed him when he made equally stupid comments in the written press in March;

"I understand that not everyone is going to be happy with more flights coming into Manston but there is no question of creating an airport in East Kent of a size to rival Stansted".

If that is the case, what has changed Paul Carters mind, and why is Matt Clarke stating in writing to governement agencies that he IS in competition with Stansted;

sorry about the long post. This interests me very much

Sherlock Holmes For Locals said...

More invisible arts regeneration, imagine how many public sector homes could have been built in that time, for that cash and actually improving the lot of the average resident.

Shame on you KCC.