One person seems to be able to bring Ramsgate councillors together across Party lines, Tim Garbutt. One tells me he values Tim's views, on the basis that whatever Tim advises, he knows to do the exact opposite. Both sides of the political fence are bemused at his sheer ignorance of the procedures, the law, Parliament's role and the independence of the police.
John Bunnett (Thanet Council's Deputy Chief Executive) must be squirming. Tim has full confidence in his abilities, but when set against his vitriol for almost anybody else in Thanet he has come into contact with; be they councillor, MP or Council Officer, he must wonder what he has done to be associated with such policies and ignorance. From what I observe John works closely as a team with Thanet Chief Exeutive Richard Samuel, but Tim has picked up something that was not apparent to the rest of us. Indeed John was the Chief Officer all the way through the recent Manston Expansion application, as the Chief Executive was away on leave all through this period. No officer did more to facilitate the expansion. There you go John, that might revise Tim's opinion of you as he wants to close the airport.
Credit to James Maskell who in comments is trying to give Tim a quick course in Modern British Constitutional Politics. There is an important role for scrutinising Manston, but if Tim is seen as the local leading Green by the local press, that will poorly represent those outside the Council who want to monitor airport owners Infratil and challenge them.
Tim's passion against night flights may be in part because he works through the night with posts at 3.20 and 3.41 in the morning. My colleague Cllr. Peter Campbell observes:
"Has Tim got a 106 agreement for night time blogging, or as Brian White (Head of Planning) would have us believe "late evening"?