I’ve been pottering around over nuclear reactors today, busy getting irradiated and carrying a piece of paper from Magnox and the CAA authorizing me to enter these strictly prohibited zones. What did make me a little nervous though is how I might possibly display such a permission document to any passing armed Eurofighter, should anyone hit the big red panic button at Sizewell A?
I discovered, just in time, earlier this morning that one reactor security officer at least was on holiday and hadn’t passed on the information to his relief.
Anyway, now glowing as if I’ve eaten several bowls of ‘Ready-Brek’, I’m back safely in time to read on some of the other ‘Blogs’ some information on the on-going Kent International draft airport consultation, which isn’t strictly accurate and so I’ll try and put it right here.
First off, this report is a ‘draft’ for members of the Airport Working Party to consider before they endorse any part of it. This includes having the opportunity to disagree with anything that is stated or add in anything they feel is missing. The council stands accused of being rather ‘fluffy’ about the detail which is quite complex in parts, so you may be pleased to hear that a ‘plain English’ document will shortly be released, which I hope will answer most people’s questions or concerns on the subject.
This is not a referendum but a consultation in several parts, which will involve councillors, businesses and local groups as well as residents. Council officers will take a mini exhibition to target the harder to reach areas (not accessible to the Gateway vehicle) and most importantly, this will be carried out during evening/weekend hours which is in contrast with what you might have read on other Blog sites.
If you look at the different audiences the Council is trying to reach on this very important subject then it’s true to say that officers are doing everything in their power to ensure that the views of a wide cross-section of the population are being sought and the reason for going to busy places like Westwood Cross and the supermarkets, is to engage with those who wouldn't normally take part in a council consultation. Pollsters MORI, will also be commissioned to compile a postal questionnaire and a telephone survey.
It might comfort some readers to know that the consultation officer lives directly under the flight path and so is working vigorously to ensure that everyone has a chance to express a view. The results will be required for a final report to go to the Cabinet in January 2010 and then a report will then be needed with Cabinet recommendation to go to meeting of the Full Council in February 2010.
The results of the consultation will be quite transparent and will be published online, through local news and media, direct to members and direct to any respondents who have left contact details as part of the consultation.
I hope that clears up any confusion or exaggerated reporting of the facts that you may have read elsewhere!