Thanet MPs Welcome Manston Commons Inquiry

A joint statement from the offices of MP Sir Roger Gale and MP Laura Sandys

Following lobbying by Thanet MPs Sir Roger Gale and Laura Sandys, the Transport Select Committee have announced an inquiry into Smaller Airports with a particular focus on Manston.

The inquiry will explore the role of Manston Airport and its place in the UK aviation market.

The Committee may collect evidence from a number of sources, including Thanet District Council, Kent County Council and the current owners of the site. Ms Gloag herself may be asked to give evidence.

The timetable for the inquiry has not yet been set but is now likely to commence after the Summer recess.
Sir Roger and Laura have said:

“We are very pleased that our colleagues on the Transport Select Committee have listened to our concerns and will be holding this very necessary inquiry.

“We both remain convinced that Manston airport has an important contribution to make to the future of the UK freight and passenger market and our expectation is that this inquiry will justify that belief.

“Though the fight for compulsory purchase continues locally, the more we can do to get Westminster and Whitehall thinking about Manston the better, and this powerful Select Committee inquiry is an important part of our efforts to boost it up the national agenda.

To that end also we met, at the start of the week, with Sir Howard Davies whose commission is conducting a separate inquiry into runway capacity in the South East. That meeting was constructive and productive and we believe that Sir Howard`s observations will provide important input into both the Select Committee inquiry and any public inquiry that may follow the imposition of a Compulsory Purchase Order by Thanet District Council.

We are also saddened, but not surprised, that TDC`s meeting with Ms. Gloag has once again demonstrated that Ms. Gloag has an agenda that does not coincide with the wishes of the people and their elected representatives of Thanet. A Compulsory Purchase Order is the correct response to that contempt for public opinion and we stand behind all those District Councillors, of all parties, who are prepared to take the necessary course of action that Ms Gloag has herself precipitated.