Manston Airport – Parliamentary Oral Question Today (Thursday, 26th March, 2015)
North Thanet`s MP, Sir Roger Gale, has seized the opportunity afforded by questions to the Secretary of State for Industry (Vince Cable) to raise, on the final day of the sitting of this Parliament, the issue of the future of Manston Airport.
Questioning the Secretary of State on the floor of the House the MP said:
“Business will welcome the possible extension of and Enterprise Zone to embrace Manston airport for aviation-related industries only. Will the Secretary of State help to expedite the re-opening of Manston as an airport to facilitate that possibility”?
Responding, Vince Cable (who represents the Heathrow constituency of Twickenham) said:
“My Honourable Friend must be one of the few MPs who actually wants to expand an airport in his constituency! Nevertheless we do appreciate the importance of Manston Airport to Kent”.
Earlier in the week, and commenting upon the Enterprise Zone announcement, Communities Minister Penny Mordaunt has said:
“The Government is committed to supporting the people of Thanet to create more jobs and boost the local economy…..
I know that there is a strong desire locally for Manston to remain as an airport. It`s why we`ve appointed and Independent Consultant to strengthen Thanet Council`s ability to find the right solution for its future. Ultimately it is a decision for local partners, but our planning guidance is clear that aviation is a key driver for economic growth and that local authorities should always consider the role airports play in boosting connections for local people and businesses”.
Commenting, Sir Roger has added:
“It has been a positive week for the future of Manston as an airport. We have a way to go yet but I hope and expect that an interim assessment of the indemnity offer made by RiverOak will be made in short order and that will enable Thanet District Council, in the light of new information, to proceed with confidence to instigate the Compulsory Purchase process. I am hugely grateful for the Government support that we continue to receive from the Prime Minister and all other senior Ministers responsible. The fact that this parliament dissolves in the immediate future will not interrupt the process or, I believe the progress, towards achieving our aim which is to see planes flying from Manston once again as soon as possible.”