Manston’s win­ning ways re­main se­cret

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Nuts & Bolts -

There is a lot of in­ter­est in the back­ground to the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to lo­cate an emer­gency lorry park at Manston air­field.

But it seems that we may not find out what went on be­hind the scenes in the run-up to the an­nounce­ment.

Or the rea­sons why they ditched other lo­ca­tions, like the Detling Hill show­ground and Folke­stone race­course.

A Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quest we made to see var­i­ous pa­pers and doc­u­ments is in limbo af­ter the Depart­ment for Trans­port said it was weigh­ing up whether it would be in the public in­ter­est to re­lease them.

Its re­sponse cites seven grounds on which it could rely on any de­ci­sion to with­hold the in­for­ma­tion, roughly a third of the public ex­emp­tions it is per­mit­ted to use.

Will the in­ter­ests of trans­parency and open­ness win the day? We will have to

A back­bench re­bel­lion means that there will not be a soft­en­ing of the ‘pur­dah’ rules in the run-up to the ref­er­en­dum, which could have al­lowed the gov­ern­ment to use public money to pro­mote its views on the ref­er­en­dum.

Among those who helped in­flict the de­feat on the gov­ern­ment were Kent back­benchers Craig Mackin­lay, South Thanet and Adam Hol­loway, the Grave­sham MP. WE like the latest way a coun­cil has cho­sen to de­scribe a bud­get over­spend and how to ad­dress it.

The fash­ion­able way ap­pears to be to re­fer to a “re-align­ment of fi­nances”.

And if a pro­ject has over­spent, it is of­ten be­cause of the “elon­ga­tion of the pro­ject timeline”.

Thank you, Thanet coun­cil.

FOL­LOW Paul on Twit­ter @PaulOnPol­i­tics

Vic­tim Daniel Wells

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