Councillor on Medway Council
Speech delivered to full Council about Rochester Airport

John Ward

Speech delivered to the full Council meeting on 22nd February 2007

Thank you Madam Mayor.

I am sure it will come as no surprise to you or anyone else here tonight that I have been looking at Section 4 of this report with great delight. This deletion of the Local Plan Policy S11 that threatened to close Rochester Airport is news of great joy to me.

It is the final proof that we have been able to achieve all that was stated in Policy S11—and more!—but without sacrificing the existing airport, which will be so important in the future. A case of both having one‘s cake and eating it, Madam Mayor, and vastly better than the simplistic and very limited ambitions of the opposition members who originally formulated Policy S11 and outvoted us to get it adopted. We on this side have positive vision, they have only negatives to offer.

I fully support the deletion of the now well-outdated Policy S11, as proposed at 4.3 of the report, Madam Mayor. Let us now move forward without having that opposition-wrought cloud still hanging over us.

Yes, the opposition groups' leaders have all had gloomy and negative things to say about the Conservative Administration's insistence on keeping the airport green, but then they are always negative and gloomy. It's like having Albert Steptoe, Victor Meldrew and Marvin the Paranoid Android all in the Council Chamber at once, Madam Mayor! I leave it as an exercise for others to work out which of them is which...

Opposition Leaders?

Oh, and yes, just as some of my colleagues have mentioned, I too have had snide comments about the Airport from Councillor Esterson and other Labour members. It;s always Labour who specialise in being snide, isn't it, Madam Mayor? I've looked up the word, and—you'll find this interesting, Madam Mayor—it's actually an acronym, S.N.I.D.E., and it stands for "Socialists Notably Incapable of Debating Effectively". That's why they have to resort to such practices.

Anyway, as I said, Madam Mayor, I have great joy in fully supporting this proposal.

Thank you, Madam Mayor.

John M Ward (Councillor, Rochester South and Horsted)