Overview and Scrutiny Panel
Minutes of the meeting held on 24 April 2012 at 7.00 pm in Council Chamber, Council Offices, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent.
Councillor Thomas King (Chairman); Councillors Wiltshire, Campbell, Driver, Gideon, I Gregory, Gibson, Harrison, Hornus, Marson, Lodge-Pritchard, D Saunders, W Scobie and Watkins
247. Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from the following Members:
Councillor D. Green substituted by Councillor Gibson;
248. Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
249. Consultation Response to the proposed Night Time Flying Policy submitted by Manston Airport
Madeline Homer, Community Services Manager introduced the agenda item. She said that in October 2011, Manston Airport forwarded to Council the night time flying policy proposal. Thanet District Council then carried out a public consultation between 3 February 2012 and 2 March 2012.
The findings of the public consultation were then considered by the Airport Working Party on 4 April 2012. The Group made some recommendations which were incorporated in the updated draft response report which the Panel was being asked to consider. Madeline Homer said that the Airport Working Party asked that the following issues be included in the draft response report:
1. Impact of the proposed night time flying proposal on tourism;
2. Loss of sleep for the affected residents;
3. Provisions of the Human Rights Act.
Members of the Panel said that the public consultation had been a credible and valid exercise. The draft response report showed that there were a significant number of people who were against the proposed night time flying policy.
Some Members were concerned that the airport operators were lobbying on an issue they were consulting Council on. Mr Harvey Patterson, Corporate and Regulatory Services Manager said that this was unusual and advised Members to focus on the draft response to the proposal.
Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel agreed the following recommendation:
1. That the draft Council response to Manston Airport's proposed Night Time Flying Policy, set out in Annex 1 of the report, be forwarded to Cabinet.
250. Consultation Response to the proposed Night Time Flying Policy submitted by Manston Airport - Richard Buxton Legal Letter and Response by Pinsent & Masons
Mr Patterson introduced the item and recommended that the Panel notes the letter from Mr Richard Buxton and the proposed response letter from Thanet District Council drafted by the Council’s lawyers. He said that Members were entitled to make comments and recommendations on the draft response letter. However officers were obliged to produce an appropriate legal response taking note of any legal guidance.
Members were concerned that the Council response had taken too long. Madeline Homer said that the letter had been referred to the Council lawyers and had only been included in the agenda at the request of Members of the Panel. Members requested that officers investigate the meeting alleged to have taken place with officers and share that information with Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel.
Councillor Campbell proposed, Councillor Hornus seconded and Members agreed the following:
1. That the Overview and Scrutiny Panel notes the contents of the letter from Mr Buxton and the draft response is to be issued to Mr Buxton shortly after the Panel meeting.
Meeting concluded: 7.45 pm