Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Secret Consultations in Uncharted Space

There I was, happily trapped in a traffic jam along the Margate road this afternoon and listening to KMFM's local news, when I hear a report, that according to Labour Councillor, David Green, Thanet District Council has reached a "Secret agreement" with Manston's owners, Infratil, to turn a blind eye to the number of training flight staking place at the airport.

The report, which you may have heard, included comments from outraged local residents and once again, the truth wasn't allowed to stand in the way of a good story, as KMFM broadcast the David Green press release without waiting for any response or indeed clarification from TDC.

Reaching for the phone - hands free of course - I made a quick call to the top at the offices of conspiracy central at Cecil square. What's all this about I asked? "Absolute rubbish" was the reply - "we're just sorting out a proper response for KMFM."

So there you have it. April 1st is still eight months away but April Fool's stories are arriving earlier, rather like the seasons. There is no secret deal and the "secret consultations" reported on Cllr Green's website exist only in his imagination.

Whatever next I wonder? The CIA using Manston for rendition flights? I can't wait!


Anonymous said...

Funny you should mention the CIA as I was told that a company called Southern Air Transport was a front company for the CIA. The would show up from time to time at Manston. Though this was pre 9/11 so I doubt there was any rendition taking place!

Anonymous said...

Despite the Eastcliff's bloggers decrying your news that the the big red & white jumbo would be flying training slots during the week and not weekends, they might have noticed that it was out this morning doing circuits.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Reminds me of the "fake sheikh" story some years back

Cllr David Green said...

Which part of "I would also like the review to clear up rumours that regulations governing Training Flights at the Airport were relaxed in February of this year after secret consultations with the Council.” do you not understand?
I attempted to clear up the allegation at last week's Cabinet meeting, but your macho chairman refused to hear what I had to say!
Do you accept the District Auditor's criticisms of the way the Council is monitoring (or not) flights from KIA?

DrMoores said...

The part which states "Secret consultations with the council David".

So secret in fact that in reality they never existed.

I'm writing slowly for your benefit!

DrMoores said...

A letter from the Auditors has said: “Council and officers have agreed to strengthen the arrangements for noise monitoring and fines through the use of an independent review of Infratil’s source data. This work will be completed by the East Kent Internal Audit Consortium and publicly reported through the Council’s Governance and Audit Committee."

There are, as you know, a number of different processes that have been identified as worthy of improvement. For Thanet to achieve the steady improvement it seeks, this kind of criticism is welcomed and reflects an important function of the auditors. This is true of all local councils but you know this anyway because we're both on the same committee!

Anonymous said...

I understand Cllr Roger Latchford has issued a complete rebuttal of this silly story which KMFM are carrying all day today. They were told by the Council's Press Office that it was untrue, and simply should not have carried it.

I believe it's also the case that the Labour Group have disassociated themselves from it.

Votes please, as to whether we file it under "Fantasy" or "Mischief-making".

Surely you have better things to do for your constituents, Cllr Green?

Cllr Ewen Cameron

Eastcliff Richard said...

The council's press office have denied it and everyone believes them! What simple, trusting souls you lot must be!

DrMoores said...

In contrast with simple in its purest sense, as in your case ECR?

Eastcliff Richard said...

Gosh! Is 'simple' your word of the week from the Reader's Digest? It's pretty apt as it's a common prefix to 'Simon'.

You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes, or even Eamonn Holmes, to deduce that if the talks were 'secret' they'd hardly involve the press office. Unless you're BA and Virgin cooking up your fuel surcharges, that is.

DrMoores said...

I know it's hard for you to grasp, living, as you, do a vicarious existence through your fictional character but this is not BA or indeed Virgin. There is no commercial confidentiality involved or indeed implied and living as we do in a democracy with publicly accountable representatives, any such meeting would have to be a matter of public record.

If your'e going to be a waste of time with this go and waste someone else's time, somewhere else!

Eastcliff Richard said...

Are you really saying that commercial confidentiality doesn't apply to TDC, and that everything it does is above board, out in the open, subject to public scrutiny? What about the numerous occasions TDC has refused FOI requests quoting 'commercial confidentiality'? You're either charmingly naive, or being slightly economical with the verité, old sport.

As for wasting your time, as you've frequently pointed out I'm just a thumb-twiddling benefits scrounger sitting here in front of my computer all day, with nothing better to do than get on your wick!

DrMoores said...

Ironically, as I have written here before, TDC has more FOI requests than anywhere else in southern Britain. These come from a handful of people and cost the local taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds.

The statement of fact has been made and so I'm not prepared to continue this conversation and if you are indeed a self-confessed "a thumb-twiddling benefits scrounger sitting here in front of my computer all day, with nothing better to do than get on your wick!" then I suggest you take the matter up with your own ward councillor!