Wednesday, January 27, 2010

KCC Chief In Secret Airport Talks

Hats off to today's yourfannitinnit for breaking the story of clandestine collusion between Kent County Council leader Paul Carter, our very own Sandy Beach and Manston boss Matt Clarke!

If you recall, the Tories' ruddy-faced man failed to tip up to a 150 strong meeting of the Kent International Airport Consultative Commitee (KIACC) in June last year (the day after he'd voted himself an 8% expenses increase) to discuss flight blights, citing other commitments. But now, thanks to a FOI application by regular ECR contributor Malcolm Kirkaldie, it transpires he did have time to chinwag on the phone with chief Tory duffer Beach, and the outgoing airport manager. At which point he presumably learnt that the mood of the meeting would be more 'Get Carter' than 'Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine'.

The snub led to a vote to report geographically challenged Carter, who thinks planes from Manston fly 'straight out to sea' and that it has 'one of the longest runways in Europe' (it's the 14th longest in the UK), to the Standards Committee.

Here's the full text of the FOI:

Thank you for your request for information.

Kent County Council's Leader, Mr Paul Carter, spoke with Sandy Ezekiel, Leader of Thanet District Council and Matt Clarke, Chief Executive of Kent International Airport prior to withdrawing from the KIACC meeting on Friday 26th June 2009. These were telephone conversations which took place in Mr Carter's car whilst travelling between meetings, and therefore there are no notes recorded from these conversations.

Mr Carter was also due to have a pre-meeting with a KCC officer from the Regeneration and Economy department prior to his attendance at KIACC. However, this pre-meeting did not take place in light of the fact that Mr Carter was no longer able to attend the meeting that this pre-meeting was intended to brief him for.

I have also attached a copy of the email sent to you by Paul Carter's PA on 30th September which included a statement issued by the Leader regarding his non-attendance.

I can confirm that Mr Geoff Wild, KCC's Director of Law and Governance and Monitoring Officer has seen your request and has approved this response.

Carter's happy to plug Chas 'n' Dave Margate International as an alternative to Boris Island, but when the proverbial looks like hitting the fan, and he's faced with the prospect of meeting the real people whose lives he wants to blight, he runs like a chicken with its bum on fire. Yet more proof, if you ask me, that he doesn't care much about Kent beyond his Maidstone manor!

Click here to read this week's yourfannitinnit
Get Carter! in ECR last June


Anonymous said...

Clarke - going.

Beach - widely tipped to be off.

Lets hope Carter gets the flick for pi$$ing £50,000,000 of our money up the wall and we can have a clean sweep of the Ramsgate haters.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Ruddy Faced Man had to go to a more urgent meeting and so he rang the key players to let them know and gave his apologies. He then cancelled a briefing meeting so as not to waste valuable staff time. I wish this post could be funnier but I think the guy was just doing his job.

Goalie said...

I was at that meeting and it was just plain shoddy how MC never even mentioned he had spoken to Carter.
A lot of people went along top hear him speak only for him to cancel, so to hear that MC and SE had spoken to him, only to remain tight-lipped about it is ridiculous.
I bet the subject of the phone calls was "shall I go"? "is it worth the hassle"? blah blah blah...

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the coverage of your Tory leadership poll in the same paper? Chris Wells says:

"Only in Thanet could an anonymous spouter of spiteful drivel propose a futile poll for a position that is not vacant and get Press coverage."

I take it he's not a fan?

Anonymous said...

"I think the guy was just doing his job"

And he has rearranged the visit for when?

You must be living in cloud-cuckoo land if you seriously believe he didn't duck this meeting. Carter is all mouth. He's happy to ride roughshod over the people of Ramsgate from the safety of his Maidstone HQ, but he won't come down her and justify his inaccurate comments.

Anonymous said...

"I think the guy was just doing his job".

Er, this meeting was specifically arranged around Carter's availability, given that he had refused all previous invitations to come and meet the people affected by his decisions. Then, magically, either on that day or the day before, he found himself a family celebration that he needed to go to. Funny, isn't it, that he didn't know about this family event before then? So, everyone but him turned up on that Friday night that he had specified...only to find him not there. That's not what I call doing your job.

And, if he were that dedicated to doing his job, he would have offered profuse apologies and a replacement date. Well, it's 6 months later, and I haven't heard that he has offered either yet.

Westgate Old Lady said...

I too was at the meeting and I'm jolly well glad Paul didn't turn up - some of the people were being plane rude about him, and in public too. Lucky for him I was on hand to defend him, winning the argument quite easily as I'm sure anyone who attended will testify to.

Anonymous said...

The only person defending Carter was Latchford. I assume you are he.

Anonymous said...

Oh and mini-me was with him as well!!!

Anonymous said...

How many other comments on this site are from Latchford?