Statement from TDC Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Bob Bayford:

At Thursday night's meeting of Thanet District Council, Conservative leader, Bob Bayford used the time allotted to him to respond to Iris Johnston's leader's report to ask her the questions being asked by members of the public, following the publication of the report going to Cabinet next week, regarding the CPO of Manston Airport.

He put the following to the Leader:

In what way had River Oak failed TDC's due diligence test?

Why were they asked to produce a detailed, 20 year business plan?

Why did she seem to be following the officers rather than leading?

Why only 6 councillors would be involved in making the CPO decision rather than 56?

Many people understood her to promise that the decision would go to full Council; was that true?

Many had noted that, in an interview with Meridien on 23rd September, she had stated she “wouldn't CPO against the new owners of Manston if they promise 4000 jobs”. Was the die cast at that moment? 

Why had Dover District Council debated the matter (giving unanimous support to TDC to pursue a CPO) yet Thanet had not?

People are baffled that River Oak have consistently offered to indemnify TDC against any cost and can't understand why they are being snubbed. Would you, even at this late stage, pull the report and reconsider your position?

Despite Cllr Bayford's best attempts, Iris Johnston did not provide any substantive answers to any of the above questions, preferring only to state that she had attended a host of meetings and had tried very hard to achieve something.