Boris Johnson is continuing on his Kamikaze mission to build an airport in the Thames Estuary, despite all major parties opposing it both nationally and locally.
Now the Conservative leader of Medway Council has had enough.
He has written the following open letter, demanding a face to face meeting with the Mayor:
Dear BorisIt would appear that a number of differing and conflicting views are coming out of your office with regards to the Thames Estuary airport.Last week, I went with my fellow councillors as part of a delegation from Medway Council to see deputy mayor, Kit Malthouse, to demand that your island airport plan is grounded.We all made our view completely clear – that we are unanimously against this pie in the sky scheme.Mr Malthouse told us that the steering group you have set up into the airport will continue and that he hoped that ‘from a personal point of view’ we will eventually see the benefit of placing a six runway airport on an island off the Kent and Medway coast.This is despite the fact that the infrastructure needed for this would devastate the countryside here. Not to mention the damage aircraft landing and taking off in the estuary would do to the internationally renowned environmental wetland sites on the Hoo Peninsula and along the Thames where hundreds of thousands of birds migrate to annually.Hours after our meeting it emerged that your chief engineer behind the airport plan, Doug Oakervee, had suddenly, and somewhat mysteriously, pulled out of an important meeting with the London Assembly on the airport due to take place this week.Just days later, you were on BBC’s Question Time telling the audience: “I don't want to build an estuary in the, er, an airport in the Thames Estuary.”This lack of clarity is confusing and I strongly feel this whole matter needs to be cleared up.Last year, I wrote to you asking for a meeting with Medway Council's group leaders. You replied stating that you would not meet me at that time, but that we could see Mr Malthouse instead. As mentioned, we did last week.In view of the events that followed, coupled with the fact that I do strongly believe it is correct and proper that we meet with you as the mayor rather than with a deputy, I now urge you to reconsider and agree to such a meeting.As before, I would request that this meeting with you not only includes myself, but the other group leaders of Medway Council.I feel that this is the only way we can properly tell you why we are unanimously of the view that your plan for an island airport off the Kent and Medway coast must not happen.Your sincerely,Rodney Chambers,Leader of Medway Council[my hyperlink]
Interesting that Kit Malthouse and Boris believe people will "eventually see the benefit" of the airport, when even their own party leader and councillors currently don't.
I wonder how they plan to change people's minds?
Mayor answers to LondonThames Estuary Airport[Supplementary question]Question number 2382/2008Meeting date 12/11/2008Question by Kit MalthouseMr Mayor, would you agree with me that if on 17 January this year BA flight 038 had come down 800 yards short of where it actually crash landed at just over the perimeter of Heathrow we would not actually be arguing about re-siting the airport, we would be discussing where the best place to put it is?Answer by Boris JohnsonI could not put the point more powerfully...
Well I guess they could always raise fears and exploit personal tragedy? It's worked before.
-Update- Rodney Chambers has also written a piece for MayorWatch calling Boris "increasingly isolated" over the airport.