Blog 26 Mar 17With so much rain last weekend, Ellen and I didn’t get an opportunity to get out and about, so I spent most of last weekend working on an assignment for my course on the Introduction to Commonwealth Parliamentary Governance and also preparing for Tynwald.

With no meetings scheduled until Monday lunchtime, I took the opportunity to spend a couple of hours with Ellen who was also off work today. You don’t get four weeks’ annual holiday in this role, so it is important to factor in some holidays and free time as and when you can, but it does depend on your workload, schedules and meetings.

We headed down to Ramsey for a coffee and walk around the town, which was very enjoyable. I was back home for 11.10am and after a quick change I was in the office for 11.40am, which gave me time to send a few e-mails.

Just after 12 noon I walked over to the Manx Museum for a press photo relating to an article going out this week. I then had to walk over to DED for a meeting regarding an independent review of the Manx Museum and the future role of their trustees and the organisation.

Back to the office at 13.40, which enabled me to send out several thank you letters for events attended over the last couple of weeks.

News was also breaking that I had left the Department of Health and Social Care, which certainly wasn’t an easy decision to make but in time I am sure that the wider public will agree that I made the right decision.

In this role as an MHK you have to be 100% true to yourself and stand by those difficult decisions and the actions you take over a five year period. Many will say that hindsight is a wonderful thing, but on this occasion there just wasn’t an alternative course of action I could take, other then to tender my resignation……

Just before 15.00 I headed back to the Manx Museum for the first of two meetings regarding the independent review of the organisation. The first meeting was with the trustees and the second meeting was with the trustees and the senior management team.

The meeting finished at 16.55 and after sending several e-mails I headed home for 17.25. I spent Monday evening going through my Tynwald Order Paper once again before calling it a night at 20.45.

In the office for 8.20am on Tuesday, but the day went so fast again. Just managed to send a couple of e-mails and to go through the questions I will be asking in Tynwald before heading down to Tynwald Library for 9.45am as a portrait of Peter Farrant by Svetlana Cameron was being presented.

Straight from the Tynwald Library to the House of Keys Chamber for 10.15 as a group photo was being taken. This left very little time to gather up things before getting to the Tynwald Chamber for 10.25am.

Certainly a very busy question time with 32 oral questions being asked this morning, including 3 from myself.

No formal presentation today at lunchtime, which gave MHKs and MLCs and opportunity to catch up over lunch. At 13.45 there was a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association AGM meeting, which finished at 14.15.

This month’s Tynwald sitting reconvened at 14.30 and finished all its business for 17.35 , but it was an excellent sitting with some fantastic questions and a couple of good motions at the end.

After sending a few more e-mails and answering a couple of messages, a number of MHKs met up for a quick drink after today’s Tynwald sitting before heading home. I got home for 20.15 and after a quick shower and something to eat I started reading through the DED Agenda pack for tomorrow’s meeting.

Called it a day at 22.10.

Wednesday started slowly, in the office for 8.25am before I enjoyed a coffee and chat with Martyn Perkins, MHK. I then went over my notes before heading over to the DED Building for 9.20am for a Political team meeting with the Minister.

At 10am we went straight into Department meeting, which was longer than normal and finished around 13.00. Once the meeting finished I signed a couple of letters and had a short briefing on a TT announcement being made shortly.

Back to the office for 13.15, only had time to drop off my stuff before Lawrie Hooper, MHK and I headed to the local noodle bar for lunch, which was excellent.

From 14.00 to 17.00 was taken up by Constituent and DED matters, which included drafting numerous e-mails, letters and making phone calls regarding several planning concerns. I also prepared my file for Friday’s interview session with potential candidates for MNH Trustees.

Left the office 17.00 in order to get ready for the Isle of Man Sport Awards being held at the Villa Marina, which started at 18.30. What a fantastic night it was with many local sports being recognised and it was the first time I have attended the Awards since being nominated myself many years ago.

Finally got home just before midnight.

Woke up very tired, but still up and about from 6am and in the office for 8.20am as my attention turned towards the TT Launch and associated events being held today.

The day started with several phone calls with the Head Teachers of Ash Hill and Onchan School to resolve concerns from parents over school numbers and catchments for September 2017.

I then went through my Public Accounts Committee Agenda Pack in advance of the meeting being held at 10.30am. The Committee is set to take a closer look at the overspend at Noble’s Hospital in the coming months.

The meeting finished at around 11.30am, which gave me sufficient time to send a few e-mails before Tim Crookall, MLC and I headed down to the Motor Museum at Jurby to meet up with the media and TT riders for lunch and a get-together.

We headed back to Douglas at around 14.45 and the rest of the afternoon was spent reading through a detailed planning application on behalf of a Constituent before heading home at 17.15.

Just enough time to get some tea and changed before heading down to the Villa Marina for the official 2017 TT Launch. Another fantastic night with lots of interviews with many of the top TT stars.

The event finished at 22.30 and once home I sent a couple of messages before calling it a day at 23.20.

With a very busy day ahead, I started early on Friday by writing this week’s Blog from 6.30am before heading to the office for 8.15am. Just had time to draft a couple of letters before meeting with Laurence Skelly, MHK and heading over to Government Buildings.

From 9.30am to 17.30 we interviewed the first 12 potential candidates who applied for the position of trustee on the Manx National Heritage trust. A long day, but extremely rewarding and a wide range of candidates. Back to the office for 17.35 and after sorting out a few things, I headed home for 17.50.

This Saturday morning we enjoyed a good breakfast in the newly refurbished Railway Station. Beautifully done out, I’m sure it will be very popular with both locals and visitors and soon prove to be a good investment.

I also had a constituent meeting this Saturday lunchtime to discuss a planning issue.

Hopefully Sunday is free with nothing planned other than taking my Mum out for lunch for Mother’s Day.