General Election 2024: Questions to candidates – Polly Billington Labour Party for East Thanet

Polly Billington (Labour)

On July 4 the country will go to the polls for the General Election.

Nationally, Electoral Calculus predict Labour will have a 272 seat majority of 272.

Predicted votes are 21.9% Conservative; 41.4% Labour; 10.8% Lib Dem; 14.8% Reform; 5.6% Green and the remaining 5.7% going to SNP, PlaidC and ‘other.’

In the 2019 General Election, before the boundary changes that have come into force this year, Conservative Craig Mackinlay took the South Thanet seat with more than 56% of the vote.

He polled 27,084 votes, some 10,587 ahead of nearest competitor, Labour’s Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt, who gained 16,497 votes.

Mr Mackinlay announced he would not stand in the forthcoming General Election due to the continued medical appointments and procedures that he continues to face.

On Wednesday, May 22 he returned to Parliament after eight months, having had his arms up to the elbows and legs up to the knees amputated due to an extreme case of septic shock.

However, that same day Conservative leader Rishi Sunak called the snap election and Mr Mackinlay made the decision not to fight for the seat.

Veteran Conservative Sir Roger Gale, who held the North Thanet seat since 1983, was  elected with 30,066 votes – equalling 62% of the poll. Labour’s Dr Coral Jones took 12,877 – 27%.

However, for this election in East Thanet the poll has Labour with a 91% chance of winning the seat and Conservatives on 9%.

In Sandwich and Herne Bay – which includes areas of Thanet – the prediction is currently 45% Conservatives and 55% Labour.

In East Thanet there are eight candidates vying to become the area’s next MP.

We have asked the candidates to answer some questions on issues that matter to Thanet.

Here  Polly Billington, standing for Labour in East Thanet, tells us her views on subjects ranging from housing development to the NHS:

MP Emily Thornberry and Polly Billington

Housing development- particularly on farmland – and the housing numbers dictated for the Local Plan are a concern for many residents.

What is your view on this, can government reduce housing need figures due to them being based on 2014 ONS stats which do not seem to reflect the 2024 situation and need?

Alongside this Thanet needs more social housing, how would you tackle this?

Thanet is a victim of Tory failure on planning. The Conservatives have allowed planning permissions to collapse to record lows because they are too weak to stand up to their backbenchers, members, and cronies whose interests are best served by limiting the supply of housing to buy and rent. Thanet’s Local Plan including the allocation of farmland for homes was put together under a previous Conservative council administration. Attempting to reverse existing housing allocations would only invite legal action from developers, costing local taxpayers millions and ultimately fail. Anyone suggesting otherwise is lying to you.

I speak to far too many people living in their childhood bedrooms well into adulthood because they can’t afford to rent or buy a home locally. Labour will reform planning law, prioritising building the homes we desperately need for the next generation on the “grey belt”, those parts of towns like car parks and waste ground that could be the site of new places for people to live.

Under Labour, first-time buyers will be given first refusal on new homes in their local area.

The building of new social homes is also at record lows. More and more people are stuck in the private rented sector when they should either own their own home or have a council house to rent. Labour is committed to council housing. Labour-run Thanet District Council promised to deliver over 400 council homes in their first term; in less than a year, they are already over halfway to that target, a huge increase on the previous delivery average of 18 homes per year. This will continue to be the direction of travel under a Labour government.

I have made a personal commitment to no new builds without infrastructure. Labour will ensure that new energy, water and transport infrastructure, schools, and doctors’ surgeries that local people need are hardwired into plans for homes. Local leaders will be invited to bid into government with proposals for sites which will benefit their area. If developers want my support, they’ll need to listen to and act on your concerns first. You’ll be the first to hear about building plans in your area and we will shape them together.

A balance needs to be struck, resisting unfettered rural development regardless of purpose, and restoring pride in our rural and coastal communities. Whilst we recognise the need to address the Conservatives’ housing crisis, we will also introduce a land-use framework in England allowing us to promote sustainable, regenerative farming, help us meet our climate goals, and strengthen ecosystems as we restore nature.

Minster Marshes – There is a campaign against the National Grid plans for a converter station as part of the Sea Link project. What are your views on this?

Nature is crucial to help us fight climate change, so the importance of a land use framework that balances the competing needs of clean energy infrastructure, biodiversity, farming and homes for people cannot be overstated.

Currently there is no national assessment of where such large pieces of energy infrastructure should go, and it is left to National Grid as a private company to propose sites. I am absolutely committed to achieving our climate goals through clean energy and decarbonising the grid and lowering energy bills while protecting nature.

The UK under the Tories has become one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. I am a life-long environmentalist and am proud that Labour created our national parks, opened the coastal footpath, and passed the world’s first laws to tackle climate change. We will continue this legacy and restore pride to our countryside and seas.

Southern Water sewage releases in our sea – how would you tackle this?

As an environmental campaigner, this is an issue very close to my heart. The current Southern Water situation is a genuine scandal. The Tory sewage crisis is polluting our seas and rivers, damaging tourism and putting our health at risk. I will make sure that water company bosses face criminal charges if they fail to clean up their toxic mess. Under Labour’s plans, Ofwat would be able to block six out of nine water bosses’ bonuses last year due to high levels of pollution into our rivers, lakes and seas.

Labour will give Ofwat the powers to ban the payment of bonuses to water industry bosses who are found to pump significant levels of raw sewage into our precious rivers, lakes and seas.

Expanding the regulatory powers of Ofwat is part of Labour’s wider plan to put the water industry under “special measures” to end the Tory sewage scandal by 2030.

We will:

  • Ensure that the CEO’s of water companies will face personal criminal liability for extreme and persistent lawbreaking
  • Introduce severe and automatic fines for illegal discharges that water CEO’s cannot ignore
  • Force all companies to monitor every single water outlet

Water companies are largely owned by foreign companies and investors: not an ideal situation but it is the reality. I oppose paying them billions of pounds to take the industry into public ownership which would not fix one metre of pipe. Stronger regulation and sanctions is a faster and fairer way to secure the outcomes we need.

Cost of living – Thanet families are struggling to make ends meet, businesses also struggle as a result and there are a large number of empty shops in our towns. How will you help the economy to recover and how will you help our families and businesses?

Labour will not play fast and loose with the economy like the Conservative have, which has driven up mortgages and the cost of food, energy and housing. We will enforce strict fiscal rules to create stability in the economy and will not raise income tax, VAT or national insurance.

Furthermore we will help people with their energy bills, funded by a windfall tax on the oil and gas giants. This will help us keep energy bills down for good, with a Warm Homes programme and setting up GB Energy which will help shift our economy to cleaner, cheaper, homegrown power.

We will also regulate short term holiday lets, to ease the rise in rents locally. They are hollowing out our communities and putting pressure on services like waste management and policing. Of course, as a seaside community we want to support and develop our tourism industry and that includes holiday accommodation. Hotels and BnBs are licensed and regulated: so too must short term holiday lets, so that they don’t crowd out long term private renting for local people and drive up the cost of rents in the area. Regulation can enable our tourism industry to thrive without depriving local people of homes and the amenities they need.

I have been working with a number of businesses and residents to support the campaign in Ramsgate to tackle the issue of empty shops and will continue to fight for change that will help revive our town centres. Labour will create a strong “community right to buy” to help address this issue, and reform business rates, reducing the pressure on small firms and shifting the burden onto the online giants. But we also need to feel safe in our town centres and that requires more police too. Labour will hire 13,000 more police and PCSOs, to help keep our streets safe.

I am committed to being an MP for everyone, fighting for a year round economy in Thanet. That will require a modern regionally based industrial strategy, building on our strengths here: our environment, our heritage and our people. I will support small businesses, establish a New Deal for Working People that sees the end of exploitative zero hours contracts and reform apprenticeships.

NHS – Thanet has a severe shortage of dentists and there are not enough GPs, getting an appointment is problematic.

There is also desperate need for improved mental health services, both adult and child. What are your views on this?

Thanet is effectively a dentistry desert. Our survey indicated only one surgery in the whole of Thanet takes children as NHS patients.

The problem with GP access here is long standing and has definitely got worse in the last ten years or so according to residents, and nationally we have lost 4,500 GPs over the last decade. This is a chronic problem in many coastal communities and I will work with other MPs from similar areas to tackle the issues we face with healthcare and health outcomes.

We’ll reduce pressure on GPs and emergency care by recruiting thousands of mental health staff to give more people access to treatment before they reach crisis, and we will end the shortage of health visitors so parents can get advice on their child’s health without having to use these routes into the NHS when they don’t need to. And we’ll free up beds, avoid unnecessary hospital admissions and tackle delayed discharges by doubling the number of district nurses and improving pay, terms and conditions for care workers to give vulnerable patients more support and rehabilitation at home.

Labour will create an open-access mental health hub for children and young people in every community. We will also introduce professional support in every secondary school and bring in the first ever long-term, whole-Government plan to improve outcomes for people with mental health needs.

Labour will double the number of medical school places, so we are training the doctors and nurses we need, ensure that people can see a doctor when they need to, and reform the dentists’ contract which deters many from taking on NHS patients.

If we really want an improved NHS it will mean change, including shifting to a preventative approach, tackling health problems at source especially those caused by poor housing and poor employment and job prospects. All of these affect our health in Thanet.

We will establish a National Care Service, take on a decade long commitment to reform social care and support unpaid carers.

Youth services: There has been a loss of funding for some youth services (such as Pie Factory and The Pavilion in Thanet). What are your views on provision of youth services and how this should be done?

The importance of Pie Factory and the Pavilion in young people’s lives here in Thanet is huge, and they are not the only ones so loved by their users. Many young people have told me how their lives have been turned round and enhanced by having safe places for them to try new things, meet their friends and share experiences in a supportive environment outside of school. They are invaluable for the young people, their families and the wider community, broadening horizons, offering new opportunities and keeping people safe and out of trouble. The cuts inflicted on these services by Kent County Council are short sighted and will cause long term damage to the prospects of young people and to our community.

 That is why Labour is committed to a partnership with local government to establish a fair funding formula for them to invest in front line services like Pie Factory and the Pavilion. We will develop a national network of Young Futures hubs to bring local services together, deliver support for teenagers at risk of being drawn into crime or facing mental health challenges and, where appropriate, deliver universal youth provision.

Manston airport – the DCO is now confirmed and it appears there will be no further legal appeals. What is your view of the airport/cargo hub scheme and what involvement , if any, will you have with the scheme going forward?

I am aware that the issue of Manston Airport is a divisive one locally and I have heard both sides on doorsteps. The pros and antis have developed a dialogue of the deaf and want a champion for their campaign – I don’t think that is the role of an MP, especially since now the consent has been granted and it is up to the developers to make their scheme work.

I will press all decision-makers to enforce the highest environmental standards on development at Manston, in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our East Kent communities. I will also be considering the development of Manston within the context of broader economic regeneration in our community.

My focus is on how we create well-paid, long-term jobs, support existing local businesses, revive our East Kent economy and offer good future prospects for our young people. Sadly, that is not where the current debate on Manston ends up. I look forward to being able to shape the overall economic regeneration of Thanet if I am elected.

Asylum – what are your policies on asylum and small boat crossings?

There are two questions that need answering when it comes to migration: do we need them or do they need us? Some people are fleeing terrible situations and there are no safe routes for them. Others may be able to fill gaps in our workforce but that needs to happen in a planned and sensible manner, not via who can afford to pay for and survive a dangerous passage. We need to speed up the process of their claims and crack down on those who profit from this illegal trade. Labour’s fully costed five-point plan to reform the asylum system includes;

  1. A serious crackdown on criminal smuggler gangs, through a new Cross-Border Police Unit and deeper security cooperation with Europe
  2. Ending hotel use, clear the Tory asylum backlog, and speed up returns to safe countries 3.Reforming resettlement routes to stop people being exploited by gangs
  3. A new agreement with France and other countries on returns and family reunion
  4. Tackling the humanitarian crises at source helping refugees in their region Labour will set up a 1,000 strong. Returns and Enforcement Unit to ensure failed asylum seekers and others with no right to be here are removed.

We will publish responses from the East Thanet and the Herne Bay and Sandwich candidates as we receive them.

68 Comments

    • She said: “I oppose paying them billions of pounds to take the industry into public ownership which would not fix one metre of pipe.”

      • On this Polly and Labour are really poor. To do what she says, fines and prison, will need changes in legislation and revitalised regulatory bodies like the Environment Agency.
        It’s 7 years since Grenfell and no one has been held to account despite Labour’s “corporate killing” laws.
        Independent business consultants assessed nationalising water and concluded the costs would be a good purchase for government – shareholder dividends and bonus payments not required, direct works employing more people on decent and stable pay and conditions, centralised and coordinated plans and their execution based on population need (investing in local and domestic water reduction
        tech, making new developments dependent on infrastructure, etc) rather than hedge-fund profits.
        Also lacking is the link this requires to changed building regulations and planning rules and the need to restore lical goverment budgets so they can deliver all this.
        Polly’s approach is not a costed or considered policy but a popularists pipi-dream. For someone who claims to be a committed environmental campaigner her answers are naive and ignorant in the extreme.

        • In respect of grenfell do a search for Dr. Barbara Lane’s report on the fire , how it started, progressed and the buildings failures. Makes very interesting reading. The building had never complied with building regs from the day it was built, the fire service were the inspecting body for years and never flagged the issues up and so on the day had no way of fighting the fire effectively, the inspection and maintenace regimesby the council almo over the years were poor its endless. The media spotlight on the cladding is largely a diversion from the wider failings and those in the public sector who were responsible but will very likely not be held as such.
          Lots of local authorities played the same games and had/have many buildings that don’t meet the standards.
          The knock on effect of these public sector failings are the huge costs being passed onto home owners as buildings become deemed unsafe.

  1. I’ve heard it all before.Such big plans.You, nor the Tories can even sweep the streets,control all the overfilled bins and get on top of graffiti.
    Thanet looks dreadful compared to anywhere I have ever visited.

    • I totally agree. I have lived in Thanet since the 1970s and watched it get scruffier and scruffier away from the main beaches, harbours and promenades. I love living here, but feel ashamed of it whenever I come back from holidays or visiting family in beautiful, well maintained Torquay and Torbay generally. 🙁

  2. The blue wall sure is crumbling-who would have thought that Labour will likely take both seats & the immovable object Roger Gale could even possibly lose?

      • For workers we no longer fight. Rebranded now, we’re Tory-lite. Keir Hardie, well, he’s real old hat. Keir Starmer now is where it’s at. Concern for you has mostly gone. Unless you live in Islington. We care not for the working class.
        So stick the red flag up your arse.

        • Is it? Last time Labour were in power, the working and middle class saw the biggest uplift to fiscal and social prosperity for all since the creation of the nhs. Starmer is also a Blairite. I’m confident he’d build on Blairs social policy legacy and give everyone, a better chance.

          Better to be confident, than an apathetic boomer who imagines scenarios to hurt their own feelings.

          • It’s also true that, under Blair, the wealth gap between rich and poor got wider that under Thatcher. It’s also true that Blair’s leadership saw a consolidation of anti-EU tropes and “immigrant” scare tactics. Even the Good Friday peace deal was little to do with Blair who was dragged, kicking and screaming, into the reality of Sinn Fein, SDLP, Mo Mowlem, paramilitaries, USA and EU laying out the process we have witnessed.
            And, even if we put illegal wars aside, Blair’s massive majority failed to restore the UK’s regulatory systems for health, welfare, safety and finance.
            Of course we must remove the Tory’s but leave your rose tinted specs in the draw.

          • Me, or Jenny? Things always get better under Labour after the Conservatives ruin everything & I will be voting for them, just to get rid of the Tories & help reduce their seats. I am Generation X, not a Boomer.

            But Starmer is no Blair-I doubt he will be the PM come the next election. Rayner showed the passion he lacked when he let Sunak’s lie go without responding & she responded to Penny ‘Stand Up & fight against something vague’ Mordor’s repeating the same lie & made PM look like the lying imbecile she is.

    • Gale may well have sown the seeds of his own demise having been part of the campaigns to get the leaders he preferred into the top seat, previously i’d have said he’d keep his seat but the general gist of conversation when out and about would suggest a much larger number of former tory supporters are more than happy to express their dismay with what the party has become and vote reform or just not turn out. They know it’ll be a labour government by a large majority and voting tory won’t change that, so despite such poor opposition he could well be gone.

  3. Still nothing about how Social Care will be funded, even after Boris the liar said he would fix it!

    • That’s necause they’ve no intention of changing things , they’ll just take from those daft enough to have saved and have a little wealth until there’s nothing left and tax the rest of us to fund those that either have no money or have used it. A system that will collapse as people get wise to the scam and the system is overburdened by a nation that needs more care earlier as the excess weight and obesity issues start to impact on the care system.

      • “everything I don’t understand is a scam and I’m so smart to be so wise to it, despite not understanding it fully”

        • Well let me put it another way, the system notionally works on the principle that society supports those that can’t look after themselves, but this results in it becoming a disincentive for many to save. But the costs of care in later life are so great and the nations health falling apart at such a rate that the levels of taxation that would be required to provide care for all in their later years would be seen by many as needing levels of taxation that are way beyond the electorates wish to pay, so we rely on robbing those that have saved and bought their own homes and whilst still taxing them to provide for those that didn’t bother working hard enough or if they did chose to spend rather than save.
          That we have legions of people choosing to bring their care needs forward many years and make them much expensive as a result of not eating sensibly or taking exercise will only collapse the system ever sooner.
          The system would work if more people saved and led healthier lives and state funded care was a safety net for the minority.
          By all means give your opinion on the situation.

    • Yep. And absolutely no mention of the biggest driver of the need for so many houses, the numbers coming here legally, so will those numbers continue and more homes be required across the nation and if so where will they go? There just isn’t enough “grey” or brownfield land for that sort of demand.
      As for locals getting first refusal of newbuilds, that’s just daft in an area with so few decent job opportunities, so when its determined those locals can’t afford a home, they go the same way as they would have before.

  4. Why do all politicians include such criticism of the opposition in all their speeches? That doesn’t achieve anything. All we want are answers on how they intend to tackle current problems. But nothing said here on how Labour would fund all their proposals.

    It’s just going to be more of the same, whoever gets in as there is no easy solution to any of the problems. So anyone thinking Labour winning is going to solve all this country’s problems, is delusional.

    I don’t even think I am going to vote this time. And that decision is not being taken lightly as I have been voting since the October 1974 election, but like so many, I just don’t believe any party or politician any more.

    • No one thinks that Labour winning will fix all the problems, but just getting rid of the Tories is a massive step in the right direction.

    • The Tories play gutter politics, they lie, bad mouth other parties as they have no coherent argument for placing this country on its knees. They cannot deflect from there actions as they have found out to be a disastrous self serving incompetent administration, so they scare monger. There is no magic bullet or quick fix for the mess the Tories have created, but the answer is definitely not another term of Tory government, get them out and let new eyes, vision and plan begin, so we can get out country back from these oxbridge chinless entitled idiots.

        • Deluded pink, a gentleman that’s stands by the party that lies, cheats, scams, cons its own people they were elected to serve, and brought the nation to it’s knees. What a gentleman, the more you comment the less I take you seriously or with any credibility, just like a tory.

          • “gutter poliics”, says someone who dismisses anyone who doesn’t agree with it as deluded idiots.

  5. All governments betray the hopes of their supporters. But Labour is getting its betrayal in early. By ruling out a wealth tax and other measures that could fund our collapsing public services and our increasingly desperate care and welfare needs; by remaining silent about the curtailment of our rights to protest; by breaking its promises on everything from a national care service to the abolition of the House of Lords and a right to roam, Keir Starmer’s party wears betrayal as a badge of honour.
    This country is desperate for change, but while Starmer mumbles the word in every sentence, he offers as little as he can get away with.
    Why? Labour’s betrayal is motivated by avoiding conflict with billionaire-owned media, the financial, property and fossil fuel sectors, by giving them what they want before they ask. This may be “political realism” ,but the “realistic” result is a politics dominated by the sinister rich with dysfunction and misrule baked in.

    • Yet in the manifesto, there’s a bit about funding youth crime prevention measures by charging those with firearm certificates the full cost of the service.
      Which might sound resonablle, but
      1) why would you link the costs of youth to the licensing of a legal activity
      1a) effectively penalises some of the most law abiding in the country, to deal with some of the least.
      2) firearm licensing is a very effective public safety activity and as such should be funded as a service by the state, or will the likes of free fire safety advice and smoke alarms from the fire service be paid for by another section of society, or should the costs of treating injuries from dog bites be funded by an unconnected group etc etc.
      3) would it not be better to fine the perpetrators of youth crime to fund new services.
      4) it incentivises police forces to bump up the cost of their firearm departments.

      Just one example of where additional costs ( fake taxes) will be added to various parts of society, it’ll be one of a long list as they scrabble about for ever more cash.

  6. Let’s face it. No one is being won over by the vision Labour are setting out for the company. No one is being swayed by their creative policies and manifesto.

    The fact is though, they aren’t the Tories.

    That will be enough to get them voted in with a huge majority but it won’t be enough to carry them through a term of government.

    At some point they need to convince people to believe in them rather than just wanting to get rid of the Tories. That will be the challenge.

    • “No one is being won over by the vision Labour are setting out for the company. No one is being swayed by their creative policies and manifesto.”

      Except polling shows them winning a landslide that will make 1997 look like a cakewalk…

      • How much of that is people being swayed by their vision and how much of that is people are just fed up of the Tories ? I suspect the latter.

      • But it’s not because they want what labour offer, but because they don’t want what the tories have descended into. Bring Maggie back and the Tories would win no problem at all ( and yes i can hear the gnashing teeth and steam poiring out of ears already) she gave peolle the confidence to graft and improve their lot pretty much where ever they stood in society, that was popular. Stamers utterances about wealth creation have nothing to back them up, so is likely to be only where he and his ilk deem its fit to be created.

  7. Another question for Polly (ditto Helen Whitehead): Do you wholeheartedly support your Labour colleague Rosie Duffield for re-election?

    • you mean the alleged terf who has rejected doing hustings because she knows she’ll face immense pushback from the lgbtqia+ friendly folk of Canterbury?

      • Or alternatively, the person who has a more biological approach to determining how a person is percieved and would be well received by many of the voters in her area , but falls foul of the ideology of the more militant in the labour party and so the voter is denied the chance to express their support for her opinion.

        ( the whole gender debate is nonsense, be whatever you feel you should be, but don’t expect the rest of society to accept such choices, from the day we are born we develop a strong sense of who’s male/female , so to be accepted without question you just need to be perceived as such and not expect people to change the way they see people)

      • In my experience, the words “lgbtqia+” and “friendly” rarely go together. They tend to be very intolerant people.

      • Anon what a piece of trash you are! Rosie Duffield has to my knowledge been a very good MP. She is the only Labour MP worth voting for. You re lower than vermin! Publish your real name but as usual you hide! Coward!

          • Yet she escaped any criticism with her secret assignations with her lover during covid, which given her lover had a family put that family at a degree of risk of which they’d have no idea. In stark contrast to the furore over No.10’s parties where all involved knew exactly what they were doing.
            Plus of course its suggested she won her seat in canterbury on the back of students voting in canterbury which whilst perfectly legal ( so long as they didn’t vote in their home constituency as well) is not really in the spirit of the process.

  8. Can’t please all the people all the time, but you can please most people from time to time, the Tories do not please anyone ever, never, with exception to the top 1% in the country of which there are none in thanet.

  9. Polly Billington writes :
    “I will press all decision-makers to enforce the highest environmental standards on development at Manston, in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our East Kent communities.”

    1) RSP commissioned the largest Environmental Assessment ever carried out in Thanet, with input from all the relevant bodies, who all approved the Manston Airport environmental plans.
    You can read the plans here :
    APP-032 RiverOak Strategic Partners Ltd 5.1 Environmental Statement – Non-Technical Summary

    APP-033 RiverOak Strategic Partners Ltd 5.2-1 Environmental Statement – Volume 1 – Main Report Chapters 1-10
    To
    APP-074 RiverOak Strategic Partners Ltd 5.2-26 Environmental Statement – Volume 26 – Utilities Infrastructure Report

    https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/wp-content/ipc/uploads/projects/TR020002/TR020002-002558-Manston%20Examination%20Library%20Template.pdf
    2) Manston Airport is planning on being the first really Green Airport, using Solar and Wind power, Electric or Hydrogen vehicles on site, using Green Hydrogen from the Thanet Wind Farm.
    3) In the 10 years since the last commercial flight at Manston Airport, planes have become much cleaner and quieter. And incidentally, typical cargo companies are increasingly using the newer smaller and more efficient twin-engined cargo planes.
    4) Thanet and East Kent receive / send much cargo that is transported in cargo planes – currently this is typically flown into East Midlands Airport, and then trucked to Thanet. Or flown via airports on the Continent, and trucked across the Channel, often with chillers running in the ports. Flying this cargo directly via Manston Airport will significantly reduce the pollution in East Kent.

    Dr. Beau Webber, Chairman Save Manston Airport association,
    and Committee, on behalf of 4.1k Members.

    • How ludicrous, from your home miles away from Manston, to suggest that dozens of cargo planes a day would be anything other than an environmental disaster for Thanet.

    • What you say about trucking and chillers might be true.
      But that’s only relevant to Manston within the context of Thanet.
      In order for the airport to be viable, it would have to handle much more freight, destined for other parts of the UK. So your argument about stuff being flown into EMA and trucked to Thanet can be applied in reverse: why would anyone fly plane loads of perishables, destined for the wider UK, into Manston, then truck it to the distribution centres (not a stone’s throw from EMA)?
      Expert after expert, including OveArup, commissioned by the SoS, concluded that there was no significant need for Manston.

      • Such an intelligent and well argued rebuffal to Dr. Webbers post , i can only applaud your intellectual and researched response as being one which would hardly trouble a cretin.

        • Pleased you liked it.i put so much time and effort into it not to mention thought, I based my response on evidence, shame the same cannot be said regarding webbers posting. Which if I could be bothered would have written an in depth response as to why his post is garbage, however following deliberation I felt not worth my time as he clearly doesn’t process the business acumen to follow. As such, I felt Boxxoks covered it.

  10. Irrespective of whether its a blue, red or yellow flag its sadly the same meat just different gravy.
    Until the voting public wakes up and demands an end to the 1st past the post system , parties with the best long term policies, such as the Greens, will be sidelined and the country will be the worst for it.
    Time to vote with ones conscience rather than the least worse option we’re endlessly being spoon feed.

    • So true Mark. I’ve been told so many times a Green vote is a protest vote. But, it seems, Lab are saying vote for them to get rid of the Tory’s which is actually a protest vote!
      I know the Green Pty won’t be elected in Thanet unless something spectacular occurs. But they get my vote because it’s about what I beleive will be best for the UK and Thanet. It’s about the longer game, Lab won’t do much of significance so a Green vote shows what I want and it might just sway Lab into adopting some Green Pty policies that, unlike Lab (or the others) are properly thought out, costed and realistic.

  11. The multiple times failed airfield is doomed for disaster, it is and will not be the first or greenest airfield, others use EV vehicles and renewable energy, it is dead already as its an environmental disaster and no one in the industry has interest in it, land fresh produce here for distribution 4 hours away by lorry when other airports are 15 minutes to 45 minutes from distribution hubs does not make business or environmental or logistical senses. Only the gormless no nothings believe any different.

  12. Ideal place for a mega prison! I’m sure parachute Polly can have a word in Shabhana Mahmood’s ear! HM Prison Thanet ideal!

  13. Perfect idea, genuine skilled sustainable employment, excellent revenue tax streem visitors to the area, and little to no pollution, they can keep a helipad to please the nearly dead prawn sandwich brigade with no business sense inclusive of Gale and high court judges.

      • Love prawn sandwiches, can’t stand delusional incompetent no common sense people which do not learn from history, facts and evidence.

        • Yet you’re voting Labour?

          I guess you’re too young to remember the winter of discontent in 1978.

  14. The trouble with Starmer is that he’s got rent a gob Raynor , Lammy and the likes waiting to stab him in the back, and between them and their colleagues we would be on a very quick path down the proverbial pan

  15. Where are we now under Gale and co, flushed, the Tories have spent 6 years back stabbing each other with factions throughout the Conservative Party with extremist, deluded incompetence.

  16. Is Polly B too self important to turn up to hustings? If, as her voter surveys and leaflets say that she listens and cares about all residents is true, why is she not attending in person?
    Clearly her “parachute polly” label is wrong. She’s dropping Rick Everett out the plane! While some may like that image it’s a disgrace for a candidate to contract-out public appearances.

  17. Can you imagine , Rayner or Lammy on the international stage, she can’t even pronounce the the “t” in British,Britain and Lammy is as thick as a short plank.

  18. A few names which surpass them, Sunak, Truss, Shapps, the ones that spring to mind immediately, there are more. Liars, no credibility, have brought the nation to its knees, they have made the UK a laughing stock on the international stage, the Tories have no idea on economics, as they want to scrap NI, lower other taxes, invest more on services, which would beg the question with less tax revenue how do they think they are going to pay for improved services. The Tories have regressed so far, they are a scare mongering party, they cannot speak of what they want to do with any substance or credibility so they attack Labour and reform as they are the Tories threat, in fact it is spouted so much like parrot fashion by all MPs, people have even stopped listening to them, they are being laughed at by voters at Hustings. Well done, for the claim attempt at discrediting a few, but no cigar, if you live in a glass house don’t throw stones, at least the Lib demo, Labour and Reform haven’t lowered themselves or resorted to the gutter politics of the Tories.

  19. As usual a long winded load of waffle from the left hand to a simple question, not a comment about the idiots who are standing behind Starmer waiting for him to turn around. By the way if austerity was so bad how come 52 million British people managed to go abroad this year.

  20. Can you make any less sense, calm down. Prove your numbers, don’t forget in many cases for every 2 people that go away another 2 that go at least are dependants. You’ll give yourself a heart attack tory boy, calm down.

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