Blog 20 Mar 17One of those very special weeks as Tynwald marks the 150th anniversary of the first popularly elected House of Keys, which is an honour to be associated with, especially as we are still relatively new Members to the House of Keys.

With Ellen off work today (Monday) I took the opportunity to get into the office for 8am, which gave me plenty of time to send a few e-mails before heading over to DED at 9am to sign a number of letters relating to the TT Launch.

Back to the office for 9.30am briefly before driving up to the Grandstand for a meeting with Isle of Man Marshals Association.

Returned to the office for 11.15am, which gave me an opportunity to start sifting through CVs and Applications for the new Board of Trustees being appointed to the Manx Heritage Trust.

At 12.30 two Constituents called into my office to discuss a serious case of corporate bullying, which I have promised to review over the next few days. Straight back to DED at 14.00 for a briefing on the Visitor Economy before attending a formal meeting on Wednesday, which I have been invited to attend.

Back to the office once again for 14.35, which enabled me to finish reading through the remaining CVs and Applications. At 16.00 I went over to the Government Building to meet up with the other interview panellists, in order to short-list the candidates for interviews.

The meeting finished at 17.25 and after sending a couple of emails I went home for 17.45.

Tuesday was a strange day, in the office for 8.15am and this gave me time to prepare for today’s House of Keys sitting, along with drafting a couple of letters.

I always thought sending letters was so last century, but I am surprised by how many letters I actually send out in this role.

Just before 9.50am I headed down to the House of Keys. Again, it was a relatively short question time once again, but it was missing my three questions, which were transferred over to the Tynwald sitting because I wanted them down for oral answers and not written.

The Keys sitting finished at 11.25am and after catching up with a few e-mails and phone calls I took the opportunity to catch up with colleagues over a spot of lunch.

After lunch I printed off several documents for tomorrow’s meetings and at 13.15 Martyn Perkins, MHK drove us down to Castletown. We were a little early, so we took the opportunity to stroll around the town. At 14.10 we headed to the old House of Keys building for a special sitting to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Democratic Elections to the House of Keys.

It was a strange experience sitting in the old House of Keys. On the one hand it was fantastic to sit in the seats and the building of our forefathers, but on the other hand it just felt like 21 MHK’s sitting around a kitchen table.

After a group photograph we heading back to the Legislative Buildings, which gave me a opportunity to deal with any other outstanding issues before heading home at 17.00.

Hard to describe Wednesday. In the office for 8.20am and with no meetings scheduled before 10am, I took the opportunity to complete my fourth online exam, which forms part of my Introduction to Commonwealth Parliamentary Governance programme.

Just the final assignment to complete before travelling off island.

Just before 10am I headed into Athol Street for a Chamber of Commerce meeting to review and discuss the Visitor Economy and Cruise Industry. The meeting finished at 11.15 and I took the opportunity to go home to get changed before returning to the Legislative Buildings for 12.10.

A quick spot of lunch before going over to the DED for 13.00 and meeting with industry representatives to discuss the Tynwald Motion for an increase to the island’s current minimum wage, along with introducing a new minimum wage band for over-25s.

I left the meeting at 13.55 to get back to the Legislative Building for a further meeting with the Isle of Man Marshals Association and other TT stakeholders. The meeting finished at 15.40 and Tim Crookall, MLC and I had a further briefing with the Head of Motorsport at the DED. That meeting finished at 16.30, which gave me time to send a few e-mails and answer a few questions regarding a post I put online the night before.

I left the office just after 17.10, in order to get ready for the Junior Achievement Dinner and the Awards evening, which was being held at the Villa Marina. A very special evening and the entertainment was outstanding, it just shows the island has some amazing talent and at such a young age.

I managed to get home for 22.40 and after sending a few e-mails I called it a day at 23.10.

In the office for 8.20am on Thursday and my day started badly with some cross words with a backbench colleague, which unfortunately was a carry on from the night before, as we simply could not see eye to eye on a matter which is important to me.

I wish could explain the pressures, the strains and stresses of this job of being an MHK at times. No two days are the same and there are pitfalls around every corner.

After calming down I did manage to get some work done including printing off next week’s Tynwald Order Paper before walking over to Athol Street to attend a Chamber of Commence meeting on the Construction Industry at 10.00.

I had to leave the meeting at 11.10 in order to get back to the Legislative Buildings for a Backbench MHK meeting on the Tynwald Order Paper. At 12.25 a number of MHKs went for lunch, which gave us an opportunity to catch up on things.

Straight after lunch I started to go through the Tynwald Question Paper, along with writing up some notes. I then headed up to Onchan at 14.20 to meet up with several Constituents to discuss an ongoing issue which I am trying to resolve.

At 15.50 I headed to back to Legislative Buildings to respond to several e-mails and to draft a personal statement that will go online tomorrow lunchtime or on Monday morning. I left the office at 17.15 and after tea my good friend Keith Watterson gave me a lift to the Onchan Live at Home Scheme AGM, which started at 19.00. It’s a real privilege for me to join their committee going forward.

The meeting finished at 20.40 and once home I started drafting this week’s Blog.

Finally called it a night at 22.00.

Friday wasn’t a busy day, which gave me an opportunity to clear up any outstanding correspondence and e-mails etc. In the office for 8am and after catching up with things, I met up with an old colleague from Onchan Commissioners at 9.30am, which gave us an opportunity to catch up over a cup of coffee.

At 10.40am I had a meeting with a journalist, in order to discuss several ongoing items.

With no other meetings scheduled for today, I took the opportunity to head home for 12 noon, as any other work could be done there.

In the afternoon I took it easy and continued to read through my Tynwald Order Paper but I took the opportunity to chill out and to relax after a busy couple of weeks.

Unfortunately, that was not the end of my day as I was scheduled to meet with Martin Macfarlane and Onchan Youth Team, in order to take a look at the anti-social behaviour in Onchan and the wider area.

Back home for 22.30