Friday, 10 October 2014

More on Cornwall's Spaceport Bid

Let me begin by making it clear that I think it would be brilliant to host the UK spaceport in Cornwall.  There must be issues with noise for nearby residents. I can only hope that those aspects are being borne in mind although I note that there has been no consultation with local councillors, never mind the public, so far.  It was noise that made a previous Lib Dem led administration  say no to hosting joint strike fighter aircraft at Newquay and, as a result, that opportunity was lost to Lossiemouth in Scotland.

I assume that the space use would not conflict with the reliability of the civilian use of the airport.

Cllr Folkes, Cabinet member for Finance, would like me to assure you that the Council is hoping that all the money for bidding on the spaceport will come from Cornwall's  European Convergence monies.

What, I think, most people would regard as a very large sum has been set aside for this purpose. At this stage I better not say how much the Council tells me has been set aside in case it is commercially sensitive but Cllr Folkes may be happy to do so. Let's just say I am surprised by the amount and it better be money well spent.

I suppose the difference between me and Cllr Folkes is that I regard the monies from Europe as every bit as much Cornwall's money as money from the UK Government, borrowed monies or monies from Council tax or business rates.

One point I hope Cllr Folkes and I can agree on is that a spaceport would appear to require a runway extension of between approximately 450 and 750 metres at Newquay.

Let me make these two points absolutely clear for Cllr Folkes' benefit.   I am in favour of an airport and runway extension.  His party have democratically decided that they are not.

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