Blog 21 Apr 17This week certainly felt like half term with nothing really happening.

On one side it is fortunate, as it enabled me to fully recharge the batteries in readiness for a couple of very busy weeks ahead starting from Saturday (22nd April). Other than a few days over the Christmas break I haven’t actually had any time off since August 2015.

Monday was the Easter bank holiday and Ellen and I took the opportunity to walk part of the Raad ny Foillan way between Laxey and Ramsey, which covered around 13.6 miles. It is still surprising that in a forest in the middle of nowhere you still meet people you know – only in the Isle of Man………

Like David Ashford, MHK, Lawrie Hooper, MHK and other MHK’s I am forever reading up on things, following Local and National press issues, so it did make a welcome change not to talk about politics for one day and just enjoy a fantastic walk.

With no Keys sitting, meetings or appointments scheduled on Tuesday, I stayed at home and managed to do some gardening, which was long overdue some attention. I still kept one eye on e-mails, which were answered throughout the morning. As I mentioned in a previous Blog, MHKs don’t get any fixed holidays or days off, so you just have to fit them in as and when you can.

I spent the afternoon answering e-mails and going through the remaining two very large files as part of my Public Accounts Committee role, but it was still a very relaxing Tuesday afternoon.

Back to the office on Wednesday morning, I arrived at the office for 8.25am and after making a coffee I started by printing off several documents that I will need to read later on in the day.

I also cleared out my in-box and made a few calls before heading over to DED just before 10am for a tourism briefing. I am very confident that the tourism team can achieve and surpass the Programme for Government targets for increasing tourism and increasing visitor spend over the next few years. It is also a great industry to represent and to get involved with.

The meeting finished just after 11.10am, which gave me just enough time to sort out some travel arrangements before driving to Santon to meet a local builder, in order to discuss an ongoing planning issue.

The meeting finished at 12.40 and with no further meetings or briefings I headed home for the rest of the day. That said, it certainly wasn’t a half day off, as I took the opportunity to read through a draft report on the Isle of Man tourism accommodation, which ran into 170 pages. I also read through the Isle of Man review of tourism legislation, which is an industry consulting document.

Called it a day at 17.15.

With no meetings or briefings scheduled on Thursday, I again took the opportunity to stay at home. Still plenty of reading to catch up with, along with continuing to read through the Tynwald Order Paper.

Thursday also gave me an opportunity to look back over the last 12 months. I can’t believe that the local elections were held on 22nd April 2016 – a year ago today.

Again no Department meetings scheduled for Friday, but started to get back into work mode today by drafting several letters, speeches and e-mails throughout the day.

I also met with several constituents today to discuss various issues including sewerage, work permits, parking, housing and employment opportunities, which I followed up with correspondence.

Upon reflection, it has been an excellent week to force myself to have some downtime and to recharge the batteries before starting a very busy period, which will probably run until the end of the TT fortnight.

A big week ahead, full details next week…….