Election Blog“Canvassing” up to Sunday 17th July 2016

Thursday 14th July
My normal sleeping patten has finally returned, long may it continue. I actually slept for around 7 hours uninterrupted before Monty decided he needed my full attention at 5.45am.

Started the day by drafting some additional election notes on the older generation, along with reading the UK and Isle of Man headlines.

With so many things going on at the moment, I am forgetting to have breakfast sometimes, so this morning I called into Coffee Exchange, Athol Street to collect a Cheese & Tuna melt, along with having a chat with Stu Peters.

Quickly listened to Beth Espey interviewing Chris Robertshaw, MHK from last night. Top marks to Beth for an excellent interview, unfortunately some of the answers given by Chris were the equivalent of Nytol – nice bloke but where is the passion?!

Completed the usual nine hours in the office before getting home for 17.50. I still managed to get straight out for 18.00 and complete two hours of canvassing before getting home 20.15.

It has been a brilliant week for canvassing and just walking around Onchan speaking to constituents. The weather has been fantastic and I have certainly covered the miles in and around the village. Tonight the Steam Packet User Agreement, Pensions, Policing were the topics brought up by Constituents.

Unfortunately, waiting at home was further correspondence relating to Onchan District Commissioners and a sitting MHK, which needed to be reviewed and a reply sent before I went to bed.

One thing is for certain, the relationship between Onchan’s MHKs and Onchan District Commissioners needs to improve after September, if Onchan is to truly represent all Constituents within our village and parish over the next five years.

Finally got finished for 22.15

Friday 15th July
Another 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep, which has certainly helped recharge the batteries.

After checking the usual website and social media, I heard the paper van turn up outside my house. I think I have the island’s smallest and laziest paper round ever, which takes all of 5 minutes to complete! GE White drops off 26 IOM Couriers each Friday, which I fold and put in a box outside for my neighbours to collect as they drive past.

In the office for 8.15 and Friday normally means Bacon or Sausage Baps that the office provides.

During lunchtime I had to put together an Absent & Proxy pack for a Constituent, along with reviewing the voters list provided by the IOM Courts yesterday. Sorting out 2,500 to 3,000 address labels isn’t going to be easy, but it is job that needs to be done before September.

I was home for 17.40 and then straight out, but only managed 30 minutes canvassing tonight. Mainly because I was tired after a very busy week but there were also a few drops of rain in the air – well, that’s my excuse.

Fridays are normally movie night, a night to switch off and relax.

Received additional paperwork from Onchan Commissioners, which can wait for tomorrow.

Saturday 16th July
Wide awake at 5.15am this morning – thank you Monty!

After checking the usual website and social media sites, I read a correspondence I received from a friend in respect of the level of elderly care being received on the island at the moment. An interesting letter, which confirms at times all we need is an element of common sense to be applied and put a level of trust in people who are employed to do the job!

I also took the opportunity to start writing this week’s Blog, and it is only when you look back over the difficult week that you discover how much you can actually fit into a busy week.

I also sent the Chairman of Onchan Commissioners a quick email on an employment issue.

Fell back to sleep until 8.20am.

Started canvassing at 9.45am and returned home just before 2pm. Four hours of walking around the village on a very warm Saturday wasn’t easy, not to mention the fact that I am wearing shoes and not trainers!

That said, I certainly covered a large area in the four hours and again met some fantastic people.

I also met my first angry/frustrated Constituent, but it wasn’t aimed at me but at those within government and the lack of opportunities for her children, who currently have little or no chance of getting on the property ladder at the moment. (Details of the government’s 1st time buyers and local authority housing to be sent out.)

I also met a wonderful couple who stated very clearly from the outset that they would not be voting for any Garff Candidate – imagine their surprise when I told them they were still inside Onchan’s boundary for the election! They invited me into their home in order to discuss the Manx Gas standing charges.

Once I got home, no chance for a rest as the grass needed cutting.

Time to put my feet up…….

Sunday 17th July
Strange day, I woke tired and with a bad case of sunburn from yesterday. A little foolish but I still managed to get in two hours canvassing, unfortunately, it didn’t feel right to knock on doors on a Sunday, so I may have to go back if time permits.

Again, I got a serious case of sunburn, I am just glad I have already done my live Manx Radio interview!

I also have several blisters from my travel around the village, and I am not even half way around.

The rest of my Sunday looks just as busy, I have CVs to review and notes to write up for my second Manx Radio interview on Thursday lunchtime.