Town councillor’s resolution for authority to help fund legal challenge against airport decision to be debated

Manston airport Photo Frank Leppard

An Extraordinary meeting of Ramsgate Town Council will take place tomorrow to hear a resolution proposing a donation to a bid to bring a case against the development of Manston airport.

Councillors will meet at 10am -online – to hear a resolution from Cllr David Green to use council funds to help a bid to apply for a Judicial Review against the Secretary of State’s decision to approve the freight cargo hub and associated aviation plans for the site.

A crowdfunder launched last week has had 503 pledges amounting to £43,000 towards the JR costs.

Chair of Ramsgate Coastal Community Team Jenny Dawes – who says she is acting alone – initially had a £12,000 target but this was doubled within a couple of hours of launch.

Solicitors Kate Harrison and Susan Ring of Harrison Grant have agreed to act and to instruct barristers Richard Wald QC and Gethin Thomas in the action.

A Judicial Review would look at whether the Government followed correct procedure in reaching the decision to approve the DCO for RiverOak Strategic Partners.

The decision on a development consent order for the Manston airport site was announced on July 9 after delays in January and May.

The Department of Transport approved the application to create an air freight hub at the site. The Examining Authority panel of Martin Broderick, Jonathan Hockley, Kelvin MacDonald and Jonathan Manning  had recommended that development consent should not be granted.

Jenny Dawes says her action is being launched due to the decision being made against the examining panel’s advice.

One panel conclusion was that the development would have an adverse effect on tourism in Ramsgate. However, the letter on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport said: “The Secretary of State considers that the public benefits significantly outweigh the harm caused by the Development due to noise and vibration impacts, taking into account the restrictions to be imposed by him, and also acknowledging that the airport has operated lawfully without restrictions in the past.”

Cllr Green says: “RTC had previously submitted evidence to the enquiry concerning the likely detrimental impact of the planned freight hub on the lives of residents in Ramsgate. The ExA endorsed those concerns, listing amongst others, detrimental impacts through noise and pollution as well as impacts on heritage and archaeological assets, climate change and other environmental damage.”

He says RTC applauds the over 2000 residents and residents’ groups that provided evidence to the enquiry and it is a ‘great regret’ that the DCO has been granted despite the conclusions of the panel.

He proposes: “Ramsgate Town Council agrees to contribute £5,000.00 towards the cost of the Judicial Review and up to £10,000.00 if there is a shortfall in the funding.”

Craig Mackinlay

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay said he believes the spoils of a review will go to the lawyers. In a round up of national and local issues the MP said: “I have been elected three times locally with my support for Manston at the heart of my election campaigns. It is a fact as sure as night following day that wherever there is an airport there is low unemployment.

“Airports are a huge driver of growth, investment and new businesses which will benefit the whole of East Kent.

“I know this has displeased some with a rush towards a Judicial Review. That is everyone’s right to do so but in a two-sided legal argument it is usually another party that takes the spoils – the lawyers.

“Ramsgate Town Council should tread warily in committing up to £10,000 of local taxpayers’ money supporting a Judicial Review into the Manston DCO decision. Town and Parish Councils have clearly defined roles in the local government hierarchy and local residents should ask if this is one of them?

“I am hugely supportive of local democracy and for decision making and spending being directed by the level closest to the electorate so served but would recommend Town Councillors seek their own advice as I’m sure they will need to consider personal liability for spending decisions found to be beyond their powers.

“I additionally have to ask if this is the right decision to make without first obtaining reliable data as to the true position of support or opposition within Ramsgate on the airport issue? As a local Ramsgate taxpayer myself I note that the local precept for RTC 2020/21 showed an inflation-busting increase of 21.44% with all the sanction of law if unpaid. I will be more than annoyed at my precept into the Ramsgate pot being spent in such an egregious manner.”

The Judicial Review route has previously been taken by councils. In 2018 Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Richmond, Hammersmith and Fulham and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, alongside London mayor Sadiq Khan and campaigning group Greenpeace, launched a legal challenge against the Heathrow expansion plans.

RSP previously said restrictions were in place as part of the DCO agreement on areas including air movements, night flights and noise quota counts as well as stipulations for local employment and training.

The proposal will be debated by councillors.

Watch the meeting here


  1. As a Ramsgate tax payer I am all for this. The detrimental effect of a cargo hub over Ramsgate should be avoided at all costs especially as Ramsgate is doing so well in growing cafe culture and tourism. Constant flights over the seafront will kill that tourism and all the businesses that have invested in the area.

    • Has your cafe culture brought the number of jobs the airport would, I doubt it.
      As for tourism pull the other one, Ramsgate is hardly at the forefront of British seaside holidays which are dead anyway.

      • Wetherspoons employ more people that Manston did when it was going ‘well’ !!

        Don’t be taken in by all the fingers in the air numbers RSP come up with, they believe they will create more jobs at the point of opening the airport than somewhere like very well established Southampton does….. Southampton has 1200 jobs directly employed and associated with the airport, RPS are spouting 6000 jobs !!!!

      • The Examining Authority (professionals) recognised that the cargo hub would damage tourism in Ramsgate. This fact was agreed by the Minister who over ruled the recommendation. So yes, the cargo hub will destroy jobs.

      • Ramsgate tourism has grown and is flourishing thanks to the closure of the airport. The amount of realistic jobs that would be created by any airport at Manston will extinguish those in our tourist industry.

    • It could well generate it’s own tourism. Aviation enthusiasts are quite happy to wait (thus needing refreshment and accommodation ) for a “rare bird”.Tourism is not just B & B and visiting the Turner!

      • Gerry, what a great idea. Instead of people coming to Ramsgate to visit the beaches, look at the sea or the shops they could sit at Manston for hours to tick off another number in the Spotters Book of Noisy Freighters.
        we could base whole industry on it.

    • It Has never affected tourism it will create more it can only help Thanet with lots of jobs for young people as well as older people with a really modern setup and friendly aircraft less noise less pollution stop talking rubbish. Grab this opportunity with both hands.

  2. CraigMackinlay was NOT voted in because of his support of the airport, most people who voted for him did so because they were voting against the far left Jeremy Corbyn movement.

  3. I’m not sure if a TC can put up funding for a J.R.
    This would be taken from Tax payers money. They would then have to pay an equal amount for a J.R. for those who are in favour of Manston, in order to keep things equal!

    • People who support the idea of a dirty noisy airport at Manston don’t need a judicial review because apparently the result is what they wanted.

      • And none of them will have their quality of lives destroyed, their property devalued, with at least 2 dirty old cargo planes an hour flying in low over Ramsgate Harbour, up the High Street, at about 200 meters high just behind the ASDA store, 150 meters at St Lawrence, and just 100 meters at Nethercourt! This will mainly affect people in the Postal Code area CT11.

      • It was far ” dirtier and the noise was far worst when it was a military air base the moderner aircraft and a lot more environmentally friendly than the older airplanes

  4. This is a Misappropriation of funds, the use of the funds of another person for one’s own use or other unauthorised purpose. if anything it needs to be the general public who make this decision, therefore put yourselves up for election, every member of Ramsgate Town Council, and those who wish to stand on these proposal do so, and who do not can also.
    Got to get rid of these councillors and the idiot Town Clerk, they obviously do not want job creation in Ramsgate, this is not in the public’s interest.

    • Absolutely correct. A disgrace using our funds for personal gratification.
      How dare they, and I don’t remember them fighting to keep our A&E at QEQM!
      They are there to represent ALL of the electorate, not just the few objectors who live under the flight path.
      Every airport in the country has a vibrant economy in its area, Manston can do the same.

  5. Crazy
    David you are asking us if we can all chip in
    Yet David when you agreed with TP to build apartments get your priorities right.
    You sold land at the seafront David you had a renaissance group of labourites that said sfp were going to build.
    You held onto that land for years. I call that land banking.
    Sfp search at companies House never existed until 4 years later 2006.
    The name on the yellow notice was not though the sfp… Don’t you think that we all need a public enquiry into labour’s handling in 2002 when planning permission was agreed.
    The search went on and I discovered and many more others sfp fir 4 years had no company records in the UK.

    Do me and Ramsgate justice and tell the truth

    Whilst I remind you of a Labour secret ferry in debt agreement… That too needs a public enquiry

    Sod Manston

  6. Tell me why you sold to Colin Hill who s company is registered offshore the sea front. Why did you promise 199 years leases… Labour’s handling of the seafront is and should be public knowledge but all of you sit behind desks of lies and secrecy over it. There is more… The folk who took over David are offshore leaks and linked to offshore leaks BARBARA KAHAN





  7. What a joke RTC are. How dare they use our money to fight this all because a minority of people want the cafe culture. Well I am sorry that is not going to bring jobs or prosperity to our town. Instead of pursuing this they should be pursuing doing up the High Street & Town.

  8. I suppose some people think hundreds of houses with 2 cars each will be better. Airport will bring more than anything else and that is very obvious

    • Two cars each? Have you checked out homes lately? Two adults, two younger adults+ their girl/boyfriends. At least one company car or van. 4 – 5 cars at least outside most houses these days. Check out your local housing areas after 6pm.

      I also am horrified you are even considering using our public money for some minority movement. If you do so, I will be insisting on equal monies when we bring our challenge against any change in the SOS decision and I assure you we will expect you to provide it.

    • Your argument might have made sense if it had been the case that it was an airport OR houses. In fact, Thanet will get the full allocation of houses no matter what.

  9. I am a Ramsgate tax payer and I do not give permission for taxpayers money to be spent to fight the government decision on Manston Airport, I find it absolutely extraordinary that Ramsgate Council are even thinking of bailing out the judicial review that was started by a Jenny Dawes crowdfunding appeal. The judicial review if granted, are confined strictly to matters of law. The due process of the inspection by the experts was undertaken the minister of transport does not have to in law abide by the the inspectors recommendations. When one considers the number of people who live in the area and the small number who have donated to the crowdfunding appeal that should make it obvious that the majority of residents want Manston Airport, the fact that Ramsgate Council is even thinking of using taxpayers money try and prop up the JR is plainly an act of desperation in the Jenny Dawes camp.

    • I don’t think the council needs your permission, William! And Mr Mackinlay, if you had stood up for your constituents’ well-being as MPs in other parts of the country have when fighting environmental catastrophes, there might have been no need for lawyers to be involved in this struggle. Has no-one told you, although this might hurt your considerable pride, that many voted for you only because the thought of a Corbyn government was even worse?

    • I have emailed all councilors only 3 had the B**** to reply the 2 labour councillors assured me that the vast majority of Ramsgate residence did not want the airport this is unfounded as there has only been 1 public meeting on the 22nd May 2019 at a hall that can hold a maximum of 250 people which on my maths is not the number of Ramsgate residence, and only one councillor voted against using public funds but used her own money none of the other labour councilors would put there hands in there pockets rather than use the taxpayers money

  10. William, why don’t you start a crowdfunder to fight the crowdfunder and see how many donations you get. Talk is easy, action gets results. And C. Mackinley, why is unemployment in Thanet lower after the airport closed than when it was operational?

    • The RSP fan club have to pool their loose change together just to buy ribbon (whatever the point of that is!)


  12. Ramsgate lover. I would not waste a penny on any fund. Instead of ping pong messages from those who are opposed to Manston Airport they should look at the law regarding JR. The courts only questions are has due process been carried out,? Yes it has. Does the minister of transport of HM government have the legal right to make the final decision on the DCO Yes he does.

  13. Message to Ramsgate Taxpayers. If Ramsgate town council spend your any of your money on jumping on the bandwagon of trying and stop Manston airport reopening. I will personally cover the legal cost of any challenge that any residents / resident wish to make of the lawful right of the town council or named councillor to waste your money. I live i’m not a Ramsgate resident so I cannot challenge Ramsgate council . Councillor Green is acting like a child that has just dropped his ice cream. If he is so sure of his argument let him use his own money NOT YOURS.

  14. I also do not give the council permission to use a penny of my tax money to fight this. The council has no right to use our money fo items like this. They probably just want to build houses as they get money from the government for that.
    It is clear and obvious that an airport will bring thousands of jobs and money more than anything else.

  15. It is absolutely disgraceful that Cllr David Green is going to propose using council tax payers money to help fund a Judicial Review into the decision to re-open Manston Airport. If he wants to jump on that particular bandwagon let him use his own money, Labour’s record of local management has been of very poor quality plus short-sightedness. Manston Airport won’t be just about being a viable cargo hub but training in conjunction with local colleges too. I was born in Ramsgate 72 years ago and have lived for 51 of those years in Broadstairs and have seen Ramsgate’s decline from the hey day of the 60’s to the loss of various industries since then. We need Manston Airport to provide employment and training for our young people. Modern cargo planes are less polluting and far quieter than the American B52 Bombers that used to fly overhead, when they came into land our windows would rattle!

  16. How dare the Council take my money from the Council Tax which I paid for years 2020 2021. I suggest that people against the spanking new airport which is planned should be responsible for any payments towards the forthcoming court bills.

  17. Well done RTC and well done David Green.

    Just like Craig bangs on about having a mandate for Manston by way of being voted in well the same applies to RTC who were voted in on an anti Manston ticket. What’s good for the goose……

    Craig, thanks for the patronising advice. I think you’ll find the residents have been waiting years for the opportunity to donate to a proper campaign, given we knew the final decision would stink. The evidence doesn’t support the case, but you own an airline, so unsurprisingly, you want to dust off yours plane, along with Grant Shapps, he who also owns his own plane. What a stitch up you think you’ve carved out for us all.

    Finally, Ramsgate silent majority speaks out.

    Go David Green.

    Go Ramsgate Town Council.

    Go Jenny.

    Democracy is finally alive in Ramsgate and we won’t be silenced anymore.

    • Which democracy is this there has only ever been one public meeting about Manston in a hall that holds 250 people which on my maths is not the population of Ramsgate

  18. I doubt the JR crowdfunder need the donation from RTC, there are plenty of residents and businesses in Ramsgate who believe the decision to allow a cargo hub to open at Manston is flawed and will provide further funds to proceed. Craig Mackinlay is a disgrace and has shown he cares nothing for Ramsgate or the environment by backing this pipe dream. Manston will fail if it ever reopens, there are far better alternatives for air cargo that are already operational and are better connected to transport networks and they out compete Manston because of this. In the meantime all Ramsgate will get is more uncertainty and lack of sustainable investment creating real jobs without trashing the environment. Ramsgate should make its voice heard, the third runway at Heathrow was ruled unlawful and Manston should be no different. When the inevitable happens then Craig Mackinlay will be thrown out. He only got elected because of his support for Brexit, he could not care less about Manston or Ramsgate and why should he as he does not live here. I strongly suspect if there was a proposal to build an airport with Chatham at the end of the runway he would oppose it.

    • It’s unsurprising that Manston is being outcompeted by other freight hubs,as it doesn’t actually operate as a freight hub at the moment…Thanetbusinessman,as a businessman you can surely see this clearly…?

  19. How have RTC found £5K – £10K when residents recently asked for funds they were told there was no money for any projects to benefit residents, How now they have all of this Council Tax Payers money to fritter on something the majority of the towns want. Your out of touch with residents and this is another middle finger to residents your supposed to be representing, it’s okay for Cllr Constantine to waste her own money but not that of us residents.

    • lol desperate did you not get the memo from beau?
      Christine Redmond just posted on SMAA

      ” message from Beau Webber.

      “Thank you for your notifications about a possible Judical Review of the DCO decision. Committee are aware and will not be posting about it. As this is now a legal process we would ask that members refrain from posting or commenting on the JR application and instead let the High Court decide on matters”

  20. People talk of a cafe culture in Ramsgate, I find this a joke. Some people really have no idea of a cafe cultural. Most of Ramsgate need road sweeping and cleaned up the tiny bit down near the harbour is the only place in Ramsgate that is it closing down yet. An airport will give max jobs and other opportunities more than anything else.
    No airport I’m sure will mean hundreds of houses with 2 cars each as that is really what the council want. The council can’t clean up the dirty streets of Ramsgate so certainly should not use my tax money for anything they have no right to.
    They even given themselves a pay rise the same week they say they are short of money. They all need to go because they haven’t a clue of making Ramsgate a nicer place .

  21. I’ve said it before and I say again Town Councils / Parish Councils are no more than little cliques full of those who have delusions of self importance, there are 11 such cliques in this area alone wasting your money daily. The sooner they are all abolished the better. The only things they make is hot air and red tape.

    • Yeah, democratically elected bodies are such a bad idea. What we need is one person in charge of everything – even better if he has a little mustache.

      • A such a big fan of democracy,why are you not willing to accept a decision made by a democratically elected government that won with a big majority as recently as last December…?

  22. After a 12 month examination, looking at all the evidence, here’s what the Examining Authority (ExA) panel said RSP’s plans would do to Ramsgate …

    “…the ExA concludes and recommends that the Proposed Development would have an adverse effect on the aims of the HAZ for Ramsgate to grow into a prosperous maritime town where outstanding heritage and architecture coupled with new investment and development strengthens the economy for the benefit of the local community.” ; and

    “… the ExA has concluded that the proximity of the airport and the orientation of its runway to Ramsgate means that there would be a negative effect on the tourism industry of Ramsgate resulting from the Proposed Development”.

    In his own Decision Letter, the Secretary of State did not deny this. He said …

    “… the Secretary of State notes the ExA’s view that the Development may well adversely affect the tourism industry in Ramsgate. Whilst he is sympathetic to any residents and business holders that may be affected, he also notes the ExA’s overall view that it would increase the attraction of tourists to other parts of Thanet and the wider East Kent area”

    So there you have it. 100% confirmed that Ramsgate is thrown under the bus for the highly questionable “benefit” of East Kent.

    Honestly don’t know how anyone in Ramsgate can possibly be OK with that – to say nothing of the health and climate impacts – and RTC has a sworn duty to defend and protect the town and it’s residents because it’s pretty obvious that no-one else will. As for McKinlay, he should be ashamed of himself and his disgraceful disregard of his own constituents.

  23. Macca said
    ““I additionally have to ask if this is the right decision to make without first obtaining reliable data as to the true position of support or opposition within Ramsgate on the airport issue? As a local Ramsgate taxpayer myself I note that the local precept for RTC 2020/21 showed an inflation-busting increase of 21.44% with all the sanction of law if unpaid. I will be more than annoyed at my precept into the Ramsgate pot being spent in such an egregious manner.”
    Hi Macca when did you conduct a poll in Ramsgate population 41 thousand and ask them whether they wanted a Cargo Hub?
    What’s that?
    oh you didn’t wasn’t that rather egregious of you?
    Oh right you want a place to position Mama Airlines, I suppose you have been waiting a while.
    What’s that Tony promised you OK

  24. Yet another brain wave from Emmaline. Roll Up Roll UP “waste you money on us we can’t stop the DCO but at least if you waste your money you can do it anonymously so others wont see your stupidity” !!!!!

    • Christine Redmond just posted on SMAA

      ” message from Beau Webber.

      “Thank you for your notifications about a possible Judical Review of the DCO decision. Committee are aware and will not be posting about it. As this is now a legal process we would ask that members refrain from posting or commenting on the JR application and instead let the High Court decide on matters”

    • How did that go Macca
      I’ll wait for your answer
      How is the 3rd runway going?
      just thought I’d ask

  25. Could an MP show less respect for his community than Craig? There is no respect nor dignity for our townfolk in what he says and writes.

    He condescends, he patronises, he belittles.

    He simply fails to understand that his job is to represent his constituents, not his flying hobby.

  26. When I last looked, Ramsgate Town Council had been democratically elected. So now they are required to make decisions about the future of the town. All the people who say that they do not give permission for their local taxes to be used to oppose the airport idea are a bit late. The election was last year.
    For that matter, I object to my taxpayers money being used by the government to give contracts to buddies of Dominic Cummings or to bail out big companies that do not pay tax in the UK, but my objection won’t make any difference as the government was elected by 45% of the voters only 6 months ago. So they can now do what they like and keep their friends rolling in money for the next 5 years.
    So why complain when Ramsgate Town Council also makes financial decisions, albeit on a smaller scale?

  27. As the majority of RTC councillors were voted in an an anti airport mandate I would expect nothing less. Mr MacKinlay is only here on a part time basis and isn’t even registered to vote here. As he had a previous business relationship with Freudmann I think he should keep quiet especially when you consider his airline company MaMa airlines is still active according to companies House

  28. Excellent. A cargo hub airport would clearly destroy Ramsgate. The airport; an idea fueled by lies, and a fear of new houses like the black death from the rest of Thanet. We, Ramsgate, have to stick up for ourselves.

  29. Personally I think it’s egregious when an MP supports someone he’s “known longer than he cares to remember” to the detriment of his constituents

  30. You people make me laugh when you talk about ‘Noisy Dirty Cargo Planes’. They are based on the same models as passenger planes, just without windows. Go to Gatwick/Heathrow and listen. Just the same. You like to give the impression that they are old, dirty and in poor condition. Again, go and have a look. They are finished in the pristine livery of the operating company and also have to meet all standards.

  31. Another like Brexit. Years of arguing. Decision made. Oh it didn’t go my way. Let’s challenge it until someone gets bored.
    Let it become the ‘doomed’ airport. If predictions are right it won’t last long.
    Then turn it into a holiday home park for Londoners. Problem solved.
    Good job nobody in Ramsgate uses Gatwick Heathrow or Stansted to go on holiday.
    By the way. Jets are less polluting now.
    In fact they can be made a lot less polluting. Unfortunately the drawback is they get more noisy. Open jets, look it up.
    Waste of more council money. But then Thanet seems to be good at that.

  32. Why do so many people on these threads seem to hate Londoners? Londoners are just a mixed bunch of people just as in other towns and cities.

  33. So if you don’t want an airport you think hundreds of houses or even a lorry park for over a thounsa lorries as this is now one area mark possibly for it.
    If you do you really have no idea what’s best for the area or believe in fairytales

  34. You get the houses anyway, doh. And you get the trucks delivering aviation fuel and moving cargo. Instead of building for the past, let’s build for the future. We have windfarms to sea and solar all around. Why aren’t these built in Thanet. Turn the disused, failed airport into production facilities for clean energy. That’s what Thanet needs.

    • Nothing to do with lorry delivery it is now one of the options the government is looking at for the lorry PARK.
      Really can’t believe it will be green as the council only think of getting money in and have lost their last view brain cells.
      Of course green would be good but it will not be.
      Can you imagine hundreds of lorries parking up, now that is pollution at the highest level.

  35. Barry mac I agree. Jobs for the future in green clean technology. Not failing airport rubbish. Read the recommendations from the Chamber of commerce, imf and the Bank of England jobs for the future. Aviation is a dying industry. Let it go.

  36. Barrymac have you read anything about transport pollution? Aircraft are the most polluting by far, over 100 times more polluting than cargo ships for equivalent weight and distance. Do learn some facts.

  37. Dream on for those who think this will be green. Going around a lot of Ramsgate all I see is dog shit and rubbish and that is a fact here and now. If the council has £10.000 to spend clean up Ramsgate shitting streets so we can get some pride back instead of being Thanet shit hole. Not nice but the truth never is.

  38. This was taxpayers money when these councillors have been put into special measures. Inappropriate use of public money, very close to theft. Councillors using their position to further their own ends. It seems councillors at TDC think the money taken from tax payers is their personal property.

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