Blog 27 Aug 17Last weekend was extremely busy with my political surgery on Saturday, which was again well attended (thank you) and lots of different topics discussed. David Talbot from the Manx Credit Union was also on hand, and it gave us two ex-Local Authority Commissioners an opportunity to catch up on gossip.

I also had to defend a Facebook post from a Government Minister, which was totally inaccurate and misleading to say the least…….. as I mentioned to someone the other day, I didn’t come into politics to play these silly games; he simply said, ‘Then you will lose…..’

I spent last Sunday morning drafting e-mails etc from the items raised during my surgery, but I still managed to get a few hours off during the afternoon.

Apologies also if my Blogs over the next couple of weeks are delayed or missing but I will give further details as I go along.

The week was scheduled to be simple with plenty of free time to catch up and to relax, plus grab a few extra days to myself.

Monday was meant to be a straightforward day, I was even thinking of doing some more painting, but it just didn’t turn out that way……..

In the office for 8.15am on Monday and with no meetings or briefings I was only expecting to be in the office for a couple of hours. The first job was to put together 40 or 50 brochure packs for when I attend the European Dark Skies Conference next month. Then the day unfolded extremely quickly and before I realised it was 17.15 and time to go home.

I also managed to draft several letters in the morning and had numerous meetings with my colleagues throughout the day, including one with the Department of Infrastructure Minister on the Social Housing and Regional Waiting Lists.

News also broke that the Clerk of Onchan District Commissioners was sacked and thereafter I received a continuous stream of phone calls and messages, which meant I had to make a number of calls myself, along with reviewing the Isle of Man Employment Act 2006.

I was sat at my desk for around nine hours and for the life of me I couldn’t explain where the day went, but I was certainly glad to leave the office.

Tuesday was just as stressful as Monday and although I have been in the role for almost a year, I am still not the getting the balance right in respect of defending myself or letting things go…….

I sometimes admire my elected colleagues who have this power to simply ignore all negative comments or criticism, but again there is a fine line as to what is considered fair and unfair in this job – but I am still learning.

I didn’t get into the office until 10.30am. I spent the first couple of hours at home reading through the DED Agenda pack ahead of tomorrow’s Department meeting and catching up with e-mails.

I also had to go up to Manx Radio to do an interview before getting into the office, which was in response to the interview given by the DHSC Minister (Kate Beecroft), who had released details of how Members voted within a Department meeting, which was factually incorrect and I believe politically motivated against me.

At 11am Julie Edge, MHK and I had a meeting with a DOI officer, in order to look over traffic plans for Onchan, which hopefully will help reduce the speed limits in and around the main road going through the Onchan Village.

With no further meetings or briefings, I headed home at 12.30 and thereafter I caught up with the e-mails, drafted a couple of letters and reviewed the M & A’s on behalf of an organisation which I have offered to help.

Happy to call it a day at 17.00, but still had to make several phone calls in the evening.

In the office for 8.15am on Wednesday morning and after dealing with several e-mails and phone calls I headed over the DED for the Political meeting with the Minister, which started at 9.30am.

At 10am we had our Department meeting, which included an introduction, budgets and the usual Department meeting. The meeting finished at 12.15 and I was back at my desk for 12.30 which gave me a chance to catch with some administration tasks and phone calls.

Just after 14.00 I drove into Onchan for two Constituent meetings, which didn’t finish until 16.25. Back to the office briefly before heading home for 17.15, but after tea I went through some visitor and economic data relating to the TT, along with making a few calls before finishing at 19.45.

With no briefings or meeting scheduled for Thursday and Friday, I had pencilled in a couple of days off but it didn’t really happen.

I still went into the office for 8.20am on Thursday to do another paperwork clear out and tidy up, which took a couple of hours to complete. Decisions made by the Board of Onchan District Commissioners are also taking up considerable time in reviewing legislation, phone calls and drafting e-mails.

At 10.50am I headed along to the Promenade to meet up with Paul Moulton at MTTV, who is interviewing all MHKs with regard to looking back over the past 12 months.

I felt it was a good interview, I hope that people see that it is an honest account of the first 12 months, warts and all……

Straight after the interview I headed home in order to do some painting but after catching up with e-mails and the ongoing issues involving Onchan Commissioners I was then copied into the message on Facebook relating to the Mike Hailwood Foundation.

I headed straight up to the Grandstand to speak to staff and to schedule a meeting for next week. Once the meeting finished I went back to office as I received a call relating to Family Services, which required several follow up calls with various parties.

I left the office at 17.00.

I did manage to free up some time on Friday. Instead of going into the office first thing I headed out for a walk along the Promenade at 8am to complete a 3 mile circuit in under 42 minutes.

After getting changed I headed into Onchan for a meeting with the interim Clerk of Onchan Commissioners to ask some questions, and to get some answers where possible.

The rest of day was spent catching up with personal tasks, paying bills and painting.

Saturday will be spent at the Grandstand all day escorting His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor at the Festival of Motorcycling.