‘Incredibly deprived’ areas need more help from UK government, say east Kent councillors

Cllr Binks

By Local Democracy Reporter Ciaran Duggan

The UK government should invest more money into east Kent, say councillors.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to invest billions of pounds of cash to ‘level up’ the UK during the 2020s, providing higher paid jobs and better living standards.

The aim is to reduce the social and economic inequalities faced across the UK, moving more cash from London and south east England to the north east and west.

National figures show that the south east of England, excluding London, generated GDP of around £327billion in 2019 compared to £64billion in the north east.

However, east Kent councillors say there are parts of the county which are “incredibly deprived” and require more financial support.

Broadstairs county councillor Rosalind Binks (Con) said she was “filled with dread” over the withdrawal of money from the south east to other parts of England.

She said: “It does nothing for the residents of my particular division, yet we are surrounded by deprived areas.

“We are sitting watching money be thrown around on some projects which are not likely to produce the required result.”

Her comments were made in front of a panel of councillors and senior officers at County Hall, Maidstone.

Levelling Up seeks to change government focus to forgotten communities, including increasing public investment by at least 40% in the south west, north, Midlands, Scotland and Northern Ireland by 2030.

Major projects include upgrading the UK’s local public transport systems to match London standards; ensure the large majority of country gains access to 5G broadband and remove illiteracy for primary school leavers.

In Kent, there will be “new targets” to reduce regional disparities, such as more affluent areas of Sevenoaks to the poorer locations in Thanet.

Folkestone county councillor Jackie Meade (Lab) warned her residents faced poverty by describing her ward as “incredibly deprived”.

She said: “What can we do to address the fact we are losing so much money from the south east.

“It seems to me that because we are living in the south east everyone thinks we live in Clover, when we are living in anything but that.”

She added: “How do we appeal that places which obviously have a need are completely overlooked?”

It was suggested more investment be put into the reinstatement of Manston Airport in Ramsgate, described as “economically productive” for east Kent.

Cllr Binks said: “Something that would be most productive economically for Thanet and possibly Dover would be to have an airport there.

“Surely, that is something they should throw all their support behind.”

Ministers and senior civil servants will come to visit Kent and examine local plans soon.


  1. When Thanet Earth was proposed and built it was touted as the way back into employment for around 300 of thanets low skilled unemployed, in a relatively short time it was and still is pretty much solely staffed by migrant labour, locals seemingly didn’t want the work, which rather suggests that for many deprivation isn’t so bad.

  2. Interesting that Cllr Binks is stating that Manston could be the catalyst to regenerate Thanet. I agree with that , however it’s not Public funding , it’s all private investors cash .
    What the government have to do is grant the long overdue DCO. It’s now years behind schedule, yet the investors are still sure it will be successful.
    Let’s hope that HMG and KCC will support the district more than they have in many years ..

    • Do you know the identity of any of the investors? Companies House still lists RSP as nearly 90% owned by an overseas entity based in Panama with anonymous investors. Companies House also shows that that they are nearly 40 million in debt with circular loans (according to last filed unaudited accounts). They perhaps seem to be in the business of producing shell companies.

      HMG has been supportive – Margate New Town deal and Ramsgate Future Levelling Up fund total nearly 50 million pounds.

    • Not a bloody airport! Don’t these people ever think about climate change? Or are they all like Craig Mackinlay?

    • I take it you don’t live in Ramsgate, or the CT11 post code area then Liam! No figures were put forward as to how many jobs would be created if Manston re-opened, so there was no “National Need” demonstrated which is one of the reasons a DCO was declined! It would wipe out Ramsgate especially the Harbour, devalue property, and hasten the end of people with respiratory diseases due to air pollution caused by very low flying cargo planes (no passenger airlines would be used!) The only thing likely to fly from Manston are pigs!

  3. Here we go again … another ill-informed Councillor promoting the dead duck of Manston Airport when literally every single credible aviation expert confirms it never has provided any economic benefit and it never will.

    This includes recent report commissioned by The Secretary of State for Transport – not to mention KCC and TDC’s own evidence base (commissioned at public expense). I would be interested to know what the article means when it says “It was suggested more investment be put into the reinstatement of Manston Airport”. Suggested by who?

    As for Levelling Up funds, has Cllr Binks forgotten that Thanet District Council was one of the first local authorities in the UK to receive more than £25m in Levelling Up Funds in the first round?

    Time to move on from the Manston myth and focus attention on projects that are actually viable, where there is a real and demonstrable need and that will not put at risk the £352m in revenues that tourism brings in to the local economy.

    As any informed observer knows, the UK Planning Inspectorate confirmed in its Recommendation Report after the most detailed examination they have ever conducted into a DCO that “the ExA (Examining Authority) concludes and recommends that the Proposed Development (Manston Airport) would have an adverse effect on the aims of the HAZ (Heritage Action Zone) 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”.

    Also in the report’s conclusions: “The ExA concludes and recommends that the Proposed Development would have an adverse effect on tourism in Ramsgate”.

    This is all a matter of public record. Can we please move on and stop flogging this dead horse?

  4. Hang your head in shame and resign Cllr Binks!

    I take it some stuffed brown envelopes have been offered to her by the corrupt bunch of low life’s that are RSP.

    An automatic cargo hub does not create lots of jobs, it will create a few minimum wage operative jobs.

    You obviously are out of your depth and too old to understand the modern world Cllr Binks or you are on the receiving end of some brown envelopes, either way you are not fit for purpose.

  5. “It was suggested more investment be put into the reinstatement of Manston Airport in Ramsgate, described as “economically productive” for east Kent.”
    So when Roger Gale says “No public money is needed nor wanted to reinstate Manston” he was either lying or failed to tell his Tory colleague.
    Maybe Binks needs to read KCC’s own improvement plan which has not a single mention of Manston airport within

  6. Bang bang bang. Bang bang bang.

    On the airport drum coz you have no other ideas.

    How many “local jobs” does this mythical airport create?

    Even at the height of manston it was what 100? It’s masses and masses of land for at a push let’s be generous and say 200. Many of those will not be locals but in fact airport workers from elsewhere.

    It’s a myth that it creates jobs. Stuff would land here and be taken elsewhere by lorry drivers not from Thanet. A a freight airport doesn’t attract tourism the opposite.

    Stop banging on about a failed and failed multiple times airport.

    Better people than you have tried and failed. It’s a money pit.

  7. Again if you do not like the fact Manston Airport will re-open and will produce jobs and good rates of pay.
    Time for you to sell up and find somewhere else, that has no airport.
    Property in Thanet has risen 105% in a decade, so before and after Manston Airport’s closure, so sell up and make a killing on your property.

  8. Manston as an airport is a dead duck and always has been . Use the land more productively that will benefit Thanet citizens . Same goes for the waste of resources on Ramsgate Parkway station , completely redundant whose only use is for local developers to get their hands on building land

  9. Was going to say this cllr hasn’t got a clue about Manston, but others have put it far more succinctly than I could. Let’s move on from the Manston myth, it’s actually become the thing strangling Thanet’s improvement!

  10. It amazes me that so many people are against Manston Airport and Rosalind Binks. Manston was an airport when I was born in Ramsgate in 1945 and I knew of no locals that were against it then. It takes guts to be a Councillor and I am sure Rosalind has Thanet’s best interests at heart . Certainly not an easy task and the lady deserves support for her brave efforts to create work and living standards in Thanet

  11. It amazes me that so many people are against Manston Airport and Rosalind Binks. Manston was an airport when I was born in Ramsgate in 1945 and I knew of no locals that were against it then. It takes guts to be a Councillor and I am sure Rosalind has Thanet’s best interests at heart . Certainly not an easy task and the lady deserves support for her brave efforts

    • Manston was an airfield in 1945 it only had commercial aviation in 1959 the year after the USAF left because of the noise over Ramsgate.
      When you quote history it pays to get your facts right before you hit enter

  12. Manston and it’s fossil like supporters are blighting Thanet with this obsession of reopening it as a freight hub. We need to get past this negative thinking and start rebuilding this once beautiful area. There have been so many chances to do this but all wasted because of those foolish people stuck in a one frame mind. They should retire and let people with fresh ideas in. Thanet deserves better than it’s two MP’s and Councillors who are happy with doing nothing to stop dirty sewage filled beaches and shoreline along with the lack of hospital services and GP’s. But also beckoning the polluting, noisy environmental damaging worst type of aviation into the area.
    Who are these investors with millions of pounds who can wait around decades to put their money in a proven multi-failed airport in the far South-East of England anyway? Why are they still unnamed? Dodgy Oligarchs by any chance? Not very transparent is it? None of it makes any sense in straight up honest business terms, normal investors would have moved on years ago and been getting some profit back for their shareholders. The only money Manston has seen in recent times is from the Tory Government splashing out tax payer money for a lorry park. Wake up Thanet!

  13. REOPEN Manston Airport it’s been an airport in east kent longer longer than the moaners who moved here from where they used to live spending their days moaning there. They moan about day visitors they moan about the parking they moan about the beaches they moan about dog walkers they everything outside of their own selfish world they do give a dam about employment opportunity’s most are retired living off good pensions whilst the younger generation Struggle to survive day to day.

    • “REOPEN Manston Airport” you say.
      Two questions:
      1) Why?
      If you can satisfactorily answer that, then move on to
      2) How?

      If you can answer those questions, then get in touch with the SoS asap.

    • People are not “moaning” but making criticisms which in many – but not all- cases are well-grounded in fact.

    • Bill –
      Moaners? Nothing could be further from the truth.
      If you took the time to talk to anyone who opposes RSPs plans for the cargo hub – or read the 2000+ original representations to the Planning Inspectorate from locals (the majority of which were against the airport), you would know that it’s not people against the airport who moan about the beach or the town.

      Overwhelmingly, we love the beach, love the town, love the parks, the weekend market, the terrace at Spoons, the prom, the pedestrianised town centre and – yes – the people.in this community. We care very deeply about the health, wellbeing, education and future employment prospects of our children, grandchildren and the local community. And we know that cargo planes flying directly over our towns and over the beaches of Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Margate at altitudes of less than 600ft, will destroy all of this and ruin the lives and life chances of the locals and young people. This has been proven categorically in the DCO examination and the Secretary of State did. It dispute that it would adversely impact on our towns – particularly Ramsgate.

      Fact is, the local economy, local jobs market and local area has improved beyond measure since the closure of the airport in 2014. Thanet is on an upward trajectory and investment – real investment with actual real funds from serious investors, including the UK government – is already coming in.

      There are those who don’t see this, who moan about our towns, who keep telling us we live in a depressing slum with no prospects …and these are the moaners who keep telling us our only hope of salvation is a cargo hub promoted by a man with 28 failed businesses to his name in as many years and a shifty offshore company that’s currently sitting on £37m debt and no evidence whatsoever of the money it claims it will invest.

      RSP have been touting this crap for 8 years now and – according to them – have spent £50m. How many locals have they employed in those 8 years and with that £50m? Answer… Precisely zero. And they never will.

      Wake up.

  14. Manston

    It is a non starter for many reasons theres no point going over them again and again because the pro manston ignore those points raised. They keep their heads in the sand and blindly follow a struck off solicitor.

    Any with so much of our taxes going to the arty community they will save thanet lolol 20 million and counting on the shed and its created about 10 jobs

  15. Perhaps if Cllr Binks safe in her leafy haven of Broarstairs and her crony Tory councillors had listened to SHP instead of blanking them at every hands turn we would have employment and investment in our area but no airport at all costs no matter the damage to the area or the health of our children and residents! So here is my suggestion to you. Get rid of Brodastars beach shove the sea back a few hundred miles and wallah RSP can move the thing right on your doorstep and you can have what you so obviously desire! No? thought not, you’re not silly are you?

  16. Well done councillor. Say what you think don’t hide away and don’t be pressured to be silent like some others. The idiots on here don’t like anyone who has an opinion opposite to theirs

  17. By the way an airport will be healthier than a huge influx of DFL’s and their cars etc and the fact that many of them will reproduce and want to build more houses for their horrible grubby kids who will one day grow up unemployed in an overpopulated run down area lacking services including health and police. I could go on but will save that for another time hope you are looking forward to that.

    • As a matter of fact, an airport won’t be healthier than people living round about (irrespective of where they come from.
      And what you, along with so many airport supporters, fail to grasp, is that with it without an airport, Thanet gets the houses.
      Surely even you can work out that airport+houses is more polluting than just houses?

    • Fred

      I am not a DFL ( I wasnt born in thanet ) but your tone towards people not born and bred in thanet is disgraceful.

      When i hear people like fred i dont understand why anyone would want to live among thanet people

      The airport is a no go’er end off

      • Fred

        You sound like a little englander lol

        With views like yours it’s no wonder it takes people from outside the area to try and improve the area.

        Why do you think an airport without the fuel grind, without and decent real road or rail infrastructure, located in a poor geographic position. No investors, no haulage, no large importers.

        I know you wont reply by the way 😉

        • Wrong I will reply first what’s wrong with being a little englander. my family have been born and bred in Thanet since 1500s and I have travelled the world for 30 years. I have my opinions on Manston and what’s good for the area and it doesn’t include importing migrants from anywhere including other part of uk.

    • Fred.. I find your opinion of people who weren’t born here disgusting. Saying their grubby little kids.. Get off you golden throne and stop acting better than others

    • Fred: “The idiots on here don’t like anyone who has an opinion opposite to theirs”

      Also Fred: “DFL’s and their cars etc and the fact that many of them will reproduce and want to build more houses for their horrible grubby kids”

      This thread has gone the way it always does. Reasoned argument and facts posted by anyone opposing Freudmann’s latest scheme met with open hostility, insult and “you weren’t born here, so if you don’t like it, move”. Not sure quite how this tallies with welcoming inward investment.

  18. As Cllr Binks is so keen to see the airport open perhaps she should ask RSP why they have not commenced operations themselves. They (RSP) have already acquired all the land necessary to operate the airport which lots of commentators on here tell me was successful. The local council have indicated their support for the project – so why this continued delay to develop something you already own?

  19. Oh God 😴😴😴😴. Same old same old 😖. Someone mentions Manston AIRPORT and it’s like one of those tropical fish tanks …you bang the side and all these weird fish squirm out from under the rocks and attack the side of the tank lol😂😂. They do it every time …and just show you how they are all bravado and bluster but no brain. Hilarious. Thanet is has its share of selfish entitled miserable bores, who just want the place to stay an impoverished backwater for their hallowed ‘quiet’ (…have you seen the traffic!!???) and to feel big fish in a little pond. Puffed up London commuting leftie professionals in the education sector (God help our kids!) or arty farty types who just want Thanet’s population of grubby ‘herberts’ to feel better than. You like the characterful old English seaside resort gone-to-seed decline …as long as it’s not your hardship and deprivation eh!?😉 I’m OK Jack thank you very much. And then of course those with housing interests who just want to smother Thanet in these diabolical depressing body brick-clad sheds. Go away! RSP are a private interest who are creating an airport on a scale never seen before at Manston. So you can shove your old failed-3-times/unviable old babble where the sun doesn’t shine. And on a wider note …we have a councillor at last with some common sense. More power to her elbow!!

    • On the contrary,the councillor who wants an airport at Manston seems to have very little commonsense and to be unaware of all the facts, despite their having been publicized often during the past several years.

  20. I think there should be more leisure development at Ramsgate harbour and the old hoverport it can be done without harming wildlife a nice park at Pegwell and a olďe world village in Ramsgate. Use some imagination TDC

    • Wouldnt disagree with fred on the above post. Thanet is a seaside area and leisure and tourism should be the number one aim.

      Not a dirty cargo hub.

  21. I live under the flight path and I support Manston opening again as an airport.
    How much employment does those arty farty shops bring?

    Don’t buy/rent a house near an airport if you don’t support it you snowflakes.

  22. Maybe if TDC hadn’t spent the best part of £1m to pay for their “corporate management team backstabbing fund” there would be plenty of cash to spend on local services.

    Although Thanet is crying out for extra investment, if I were the Government I would be telling TDC to sort itself out first before any extra cash is sent down.

  23. Why are the boomer pensioners such a PIA? Many of you come down here to live a perpetual holiday for your autumn years. You treat us to your tasteless and unflattering silly shorts and other inappropriate summer attire more suited to Spain or Greece etc. That is in itself more of a blot on Thanet’s environment than any airport lol😖😂 Ok …you retire …but please don’t oppose other people working in sectors with more prospects than just waiting on you lot. You have got to be just about the most entitled generation (and you dare criticise kids today?) with your elevator property values, lifelong jobs and fat pension pots. You were lucky to slip in between postwar austerity and monetarist economic plunder. Good for you! But don’t go trying to stand in the way of progress that might make life for current and future generations almost as prosperous and comfortable as yours

    • Wow

      As someone who isnt born and bred thanet person, I am so glad to have born elsewhere, and when the time is right I will move back to my birth place. Perhaps it’s something all non thanet people should consider and leave thanet to its rude and backward thinking thanet people !

      It seems thanet people like to be rude and abusive if they dont agree with your view poin.
      Thankfully alot of thanet people are nice and friendly sadly some arnt and want non local to go


      “Insular” definitely is the word for them both. (If there are two of them, and the style resemblance is just a coincidence.)

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