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