Labour groups at odds over air­port

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - LYDD AIRPORT EXPANSION PLAN - by Paul Francis

SUP­PORT for the ex­pan­sion of Lydd Air­port from Labour county coun­cil­lors has put them at odds with their coun­ter­parts in Shep­way. County Hall’s op­po­si­tion Labour group is­sued a state­ment this week say­ing it fully sup­ported the ex­pan­sion of the air­port and ar­gu­ing it was vi­tal for jobs and to boost the lo­cal econ­omy. The state­ment also in­cluded an at­tack on those call­ing for a pub­lic in­quiry into the ex­pan­sion. Among those back­ing such an in­quiry is the Shep­way Labour Party, who say “it is the only way for­ward.” The tar­get of Labour county coun­cil­lors’ crit­i­cism was Folkestone MP Michael Howard, who ap­peared un­aware that Shep­way Labour party had also pub­licly de­clared its sup­port for one. Cllr Mike Eddy, KCC Labour group leader, said: “An in­quiry will take too long and cost far too much. The truth is that any­one who wants to see Shep­way grow must show real lead­er­ship and state their po­si­tion clearly. This part of Kent des­per­ately needs re­gen­er­a­tion and jobs.” How­ever, the case for an in­quiry was made by for­mer Folkestone Mayor John Stock­ham. He said: “There are dif­fer­ences of opin­ion over the pro­posal through­out the dis­trict. In the in­ter­est of democ­racy and the wider is­sues in­volved, the only way for­ward is for the is­sue to be con­sid­ered at a pub­lic in­quiry, when the full facts for and against can be prop­erly an­a­lysed.”

Mike Eddy, KCC’s Labour Leader: “This part of Kent des­per­ately needs jobs”

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