Carlisle Airport: ‘How many of those jobs actually go to local people?
Last updated at 12:41, Saturday, 04 August 2012
In the flatlands and fields which make up the low-lying countryside community around the airport, people were quietly going about their business as the airport approval news came through.
It’s an area where tractors skinning fields and the odd thundering juggernaut are the few things to break the tranquility.
The issue has been keenly watched by the residents of Irthington, the nearest village to the airport.
Raking the garden of his 91-year-old mother’s home was Mark Ashworth, 51, her full-time carer.
Rake in hand, there was a weary cynicism in his tone.
“I don’t think the real reason for the airport being here is the stated reason,” he said. “Jobs have been used as a threat but it’s like Sellafield. How many of those jobs actually go to local people,” he pondered.
Mr Ashworth has lived in Irthington since 1977. “It’s not nice living next to an airport,” he explained. “There’s a smell of kerosene, although the amount of activity at the moment is quite low. There’s Mail planes and the odd charter. But even the small Lear jets will wake you up.”
He added: “People believe they’ll be able to fly to popular holiday destinations but I don’t really think that is going to happen.”
At times, it has seemed that local farmer Gordon Brown stood as a lone and isolated voice of objection. Many more here support him, though. “He’s a hero as far as I’m concerned,” declared Mr Ashworth.
In his garden, David Elsender, 72, wonders aloud how the village might change character. He moved here 10 years ago from a busy life in Birmingham.
The retired lecturer is not a rabid anti-airport. He regularly used to “Eddie” spot the company lorries on his runs up the M6. He appreciates the value of the company to the area.
“I’m not too worried about the industrial side,” he breezes. “But if you’re going to have a bigger airport, the thing that worries me is the floodlights and the light pollution. If you’re going to have 24-hour security, you’ll get a lot of light pollution. The other end of the village is going to be in the flight path and have landing lights in their gardens.”
On the other side of the airport, Kayleigh Hadwin, 19, was busy finishing off the lunch-time crowd at The Picnic Basket on the small industrial estate next to System Training and John Deere Forestry Equipment.
It’s a small cafe run by Mandy Makepiece of nearby Brampton. It has flourished from being a small van to having its own unit.
Kayleigh, of Newtown Irthington, doesn’t drive and was out of work for six months before getting a job close to where she lives.
“I’ve just got off the phone with Mandy,” says Kayleigh. “She’s over the moon about it. I think it’s good because they are going to have building work to do and workmen will be needed. That means passing trade for us.
“There’s not loads of passing trade around here.”
At Old Wall, to the northwest of the airport, Joe McVittie, 78, and Jean, 77, were firmly applauding. Joe, a retired stonemason of Laing, was positively upbeat. “It’s good,” he declared. “If all those jobs had gone it would have made that place an eyesore.” Jean, his wife of 56 years, agreed: “The way jobs are at the moment we need people like Stobart to create them.”
It was a similar story down at The Golden Fleece Restaurant and rooms, which is busy preparing for a re-opening after flooding this summer. Owner Robert Cowan, 55, said: “It’s got to be good news for us. I think the feeling round here is it’s ridiculous how long it has dragged on.
“You’ve got to praise Stobarts for their perseverance.”
James McKinnon, 59, of nearby Cotehill, nodded agreement.
“They should’ve made their minds up years ago because people shouldn’t have been left hanging on all this time. They’re either for it, or against.”
First published at 10:49, Saturday, 04 August 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
scheduled fights will not work the airlines will pull out after 1 year. i fly from blackpool and its 1hour away it a great airport but they have flights pull out, it hard when u got good airports round us like manchester ect, and blackpool had ryanair flying to london it left pulled the flight so no chance carlisle,
John I live NEAR an airfield, soon to be an industrial estate an airport would be good, I could fly to the States to see my family. I have read the reports and they don't stack up to be an airport. However if the airport did happen, I am not selfish enough to want planes to fly over the school, this could be averted if the runway was changed
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