I have to start this week’s Blog by acknowledging and thanking everyone for all their comments and the feedback I have received over the past 12 months – it is very much appreciated.

I am always surprised when I meet people out and about and someone happens to mention that they enjoy reading my weekly Blog….. I certainly enjoy recording my day to day activities as I try to fulfil this fantastic role, and to give an accurate insight into my workload and the functions undertaken as an MHK.

I also learned a very valuable lesson this week that as an MHK you can lose friends and support incredibly quickly. Unfortunately, I looked into a matter on behalf of a very old friend and a Constituent back in February, but I only discovered this week that the individual feels incredibly let down as I was unable to deliver the result they wanted.

Unfortunately, by the time the Constituent had contacted me the item had already been through a tender process and the contract had already been awarded to a UK firm.

For what it is worth, I genuinely believe that Manx contracts should be awarded locally wherever possible, but during these tight financial restraints all Government Departments are looking for value and saving.

I can assure Onchan Constituents and the wider public that I am always grateful when people take me into their confidence and I genuinely try to get things fully resolved or ensure that the right level of support or advice is given, but unfortunately we can’t move mountains and on occasion we will fall short of expectations, but it isn’t from the lack of trying.

I also happened to mention this to another friend and his response was ‘If you are looking for friends you are definitely in the wrong job……’ Cheers for that!

Turning my attention to this week’s Blog, someone also mentioned last week that they would like to see a greater depth of detail, especially with regard to my meetings and briefings etc.

I will certainly do that wherever possible going forward, but it isn’t always possible as most meetings relate to discussions, policies, procedures and actions that still need to be finalised. But I will try to add additional information if and when I can.

On Monday I was able to work from home as I didn’t have any meetings or briefings, mainly because I blocked out some time ahead of this month’s Tynwald sitting.

It is hard to explain the amount of paperwork and reading you have to work through each other month as a Tynwald member, but I know each member does things slightly different.

I also had to respond to various correspondence throughout the day, along with taking various calls, but I was able to start at 7.50am and finish for 5pm.

Back in the office for 8.25am on Tuesday morning and the first part of the morning was spent preparing for the Tynwald sitting. Just before 10.30am we headed downstairs for today’s sitting, which started with the President congratulating Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh on their 70th Wedding Anniversary.

There was a total of 23 questions for oral answer and a further 11 for written answer.

At lunchtime there was a further protest by Manx Gas customers outside the Tynwald building and I took the opportunity to say hello, and to listen to some of their concerns.

Unfortunately, I only had a few moments to spare as there was a lunchtime presentation given by various representatives from Manx Gas in between the Tynwald Sittings.

I certainly took the opportunity to fire a few questions at the Manx Gas Chiefs, which are the same questions I have been asking over the last three years on behalf of concerned Manx Gas customers.

The briefing finished at 14.25 and it was straight back into the Tynwald Chamber to continue to work through the Order Paper. It definitely felt like running through treacle at times, especially on the Programme for Government update and the Functioning on Tynwald, which was very confusing and hard to follow at times with so many amendments being tabled during the debate.

The Tynwald sitting finished at 20.25 and I got home for 21.30.

I certainly went home feeling angry as I messed up a vital vote in the Chamber, but I only realised after I pressed the wrong button and President had moved onto the next Recommendation.

I can assure people that I went into the Chamber fully understanding how I intended to vote on certain Motions and Recommendations, taking into account any election manifesto promises – but that was the easy bit……

Unfortunately, you then have to take into account multiple amendments being tabled left, right and centre and if an amendment is accepted, you then have to quickly think how the amended recommendation actually reflects on your original election promises, which isn’t easy and you only get a few minutes, if not seconds between votes.

In the office for 8am on Wednesday morning with Tynwald going into a second day, which meant any meetings provisionally scheduled for Wednesday had to be re-arranged.

The first task was to read through my DED agenda pack before walking over to DED in the heavy rain for motorsport briefing. Back to Tynwald in time for today’s sitting, which started at 10.30am.

The Tynwald sitting finished at 13.30 but I managed to grab something to eat before walking back over to DED for the Department Meeting, which started with the usual Political meeting amongst the members.

Finally got back to the office just before 16.00, which gave me time to respond to a few e-mails etc. I then started to go through the MUA evidence ahead of the Environment and Infrastructure Policy Review Committee session tomorrow.

I left the office at 17.10 and once home I continued to work though the MUA evidence before calling it a day at 20.30, but not before completing one last job, which was to sign numerous Christmas Cards….

In the office for 7.45am on Thursday morning in order to continue to prepare for the Environment and Infrastructure Policy Review Committee session with the MUA. Just before 10am I went down to the Committee room for a debrief ahead of the actual Committee session in the LegCo chambers, which started at 10.30am.

The public hearing finished at 12 noon and we then had a quick 30 minute Committee meeting at the end, in order to discuss the evidence taken.

The afternoon was spent sitting at my desk, in order to catch up with a lot of administrative work, including looking into several Manx Gas accounts, which I promised to review on Tuesday.

I also looked through some documents on behalf of the IOM TT Marshals’ Association, which included a follow up call with the Secretary. In addition, I reviewed an ongoing employment dispute on behalf of a Constituent.

I left the office at 17.10 and after tea I continued to work through some admin tasks along with listening again to the Committee Session from earlier on in the today, but I was happy to call it day at 22.00.

Up and about early on Friday and the first task was to pack a small suitcase as I am flying to Birmingham for the NEC Bikelive Show, which has been on since 18th November.

The Isle of Man has a stand promoting the TT, Southern 100 and the Festival of Motorcycling, and after holding various discussions with the IOMTT Marshals’ Association over the past 12 months, it is good see them making a welcome return to the NEC this year, in order to promote and recruit additional Marshals.

I quickly called into town before getting into the office for around 10am, but just to complete a few tasks as I needed to drive down to the airport for 11.15am. No issues going through security today and the Flybe flight was on time…..

Arrived in Birmingham on time and after checking into the hotel, the afternoon was spent walking around the venue and looking at the Isle of Man stand, which was busy all afternoon.

Saturday will also be spent at the NEC in Birmingham before heading back to the Isle of Man.