Blog 28 May 17Monday was the start of a very busy, but also very exciting week ahead.

I was in the office for 8.10am on Monday and after getting a coffee the first task was to write a small speech for tomorrow’s Keys sitting. I then needed to print off 26 copies of the new TT trademark and wordmark policy document, along with printing off pictures of the TT Logos, application forms and guidance notes etc.

It is surprising how long a simple task can take when trying to put together these information packs, which will also be given to Members and the Press during tomorrow’s Keys sitting.

I also had a discussion with the DED Minister and a couple of MHK colleagues, in order to review an agreement which could be brought up in the House of Keys on 13th June.

At 11.30am there was a presentation in the Barrool Suite in respect of the Vehicle Duty, which included the usual Q & A session. Just after 12 noon there was a further presentation on improving and promoting more cycling on the Isle of Man. I had to leave the meeting slightly early in order to respond to several urgent e-mails.

At 13.30 I had a meeting with a Treasury representative in order to look at rating mistakes, the legislation and if refunds can be made in the future. It was extremely strange to discover that in the current legislation there is no provision to give refunds for rating mistakes, even when a mistake has been discovered.

It certainly needs a longer look………

Back to the office at 14.15, which gave me time to respond to some e-mails and to return some phone calls. Just before 15.00, Martyn Perkins, MHK and I headed over to DED for a meeting with the RTLC Committee to look at legislation and the current policy for independent travel guides.

I finally arrived back at my desk for 15.45 and the rest of the afternoon was spent drafting some template letters, which I will need to send out this week.

I didn’t sleep well on Monday night and woke at 03.30 on Tuesday morning to hear the terrible news of a terrorist attack in Manchester that had killed 22 and injured more than 59 people who had attended a concert in the city centre.

It is hard to find the words to describe this type of attack on innocent people, especially children and young people attending a pop concert.

I managed to get back to sleep before waking up for 6am, at which time I sent out several emails in respect of the TT festival. I got to the office for 8am, which gave me sufficient time to prepare for today’s House of Keys sitting.

At 9.45 I went down to the Keys for today’s sitting, and with the Minister away on Government Business I had to answer the question and the eleven supplementary questions on the TT Branding, Logos and Word Marks.

The Keys sitting was again relatively straight forward with just five questions for oral answer. Today’s sitting finished at about 11am.

Once back at the office I responded to several more e-mails and phone calls, along with finishing off a template for several letters which will be sent out tomorrow.

I left the office at 12 noon and once home I spent a couple of hours working in the garden. At 3pm I caught up with e-mails and answered some calls relating to the Eastern Area Plan. I also took the opportunity to complete two further exams on my McGill university course before finishing at 17.15.

At 18.45 I attended the Eastern Area Plan public meeting, which was being held at Bemahague School, Onchan. The meeting finished at 21.10, but it was an enjoyable meeting and it gave Onchan Residents an opportunity to voice their concerns in respect of the Eastern Area Plan for Onchan.

I am grateful to Julie Edge, MHK for arranging the meeting.

After responding to any e-mails received, I called it a day at 22.05.

In the office for 8.15am on Wednesday and after grabbing a coffee, most of the morning was spent drafting numerous letters, thank yous and e-mails on various topics, I think in total I managed to send around 25 letters and emails.

I also had to respond to another full in-box of TT Branding enquiries.

I was unable to attend the opening of Islexpo this years because of a couple of scheduled meetings. Just before 12 noon I headed over to DED for a briefing and update on this year’s British Road Racing Cycling Championships, which are being held on the island towards the end of June.

This event looks fantastic and I am sure that the Isle of Man will embrace the professional riders and their teams – it promises to be the event of the year, subject to the weather.

At 12.40pm I returned to the Tynwald Building and to the Barrool Suite for a presentation given by the Isle of Man M.E. Association, which is an extremely difficult illness to diagnose.

I certainly need to do some more research into the topic, more importantly I have already arranged a meeting with an M.E. sufferer after the TT fortnight, in order to gain an insight into the illness in advance of any debate in Tynwald.

The presentation finished at 14.15am and the rest of the afternoon was spent clearing e-mails, drafting letters and making numerous phone calls.

I also looked into an Onchan housing application on behalf of a Constituent before I left the office for 17.10. After tea I continue to work though the Lord Lisvane Report (review of the functioning of Tynwald), in order to prepare for June’s sitting of Tynwald. I finally finished around 21.00.

Thursday was one of those special days, the day started with Ellen and I grabbing a coffee at the Sea Terminal. It also gave me an opportunity to read the Manx Independent and the article on the TT branding.

After parking the car we headed over to the Villa Marina for 9.15am, in order to enjoy the second day of Islexpo, which was fantastic. Slightly different from last year and I certainly believe that if we take the best bits from last year and the best bits from this year, we will have a truly brilliant event.

We really enjoyed the presentations in the morning from Emma Sinclair, Jim Mellon and Dan Cobley. Lunchtime gave me an opportunity to catch up e-mails, to respond to a couple of missed calls and to speak to people attending the event.

At 15.00 I met this year’s Islexpo guest of honour, Simon Reeve, a well known author and BBC television series presenter of programmes such as Tropic of Cancer, Equator and Tropic of Capricorn.

Simon was such a likeable individual – very much the same individual that we see on TV. At 15.15 Simon did a Q & A session with Manx Radio’s Tim Glover in front of a full house in the Villa Marina Gardens. At 15.45, I was given an opportunity to talk to Simon directly on his life journey and his travel experiences etc, which was a real privilege.

At 16.45 a number of MHKs and MLCs headed up to the Manx Museum for the official opening of the “Mick Grant TT Years” display, which is running until 2nd September.

Again it was a real honour because I grew up watching the famous number 10 rider in the early ’80s. Unfortunately, Ellen and I needed to leave at 18.20, in order to get home for a quick shower and change before heading back to the Villa for the Isleexpo Gala Dinner. (I was given my ticket as a member of DED, but I paid for Ellen’s ticket for the gala evening.)

The Villa Marina and gardens were set up beautifully for the occasion, which started with drinks outside in wonderful sunshine before we went inside for dinner at 20.15. The Chief Minister made the opening remarks and there were more tales and stories from the guest of honour, Simon Reeve who I certainly think will leave with fond memories from his trip to the Isle of Man.

We got home for 22.50 and after sending a few e-mails, I called it a day at 23.30.

Up early on Friday to take Ellen to the Sea Terminal before heading into the office. At 9.30am the Environment and Infrastructure Committee met up before driving to Meary Veg for a formal tour of the Island’s largest waste water treatment facility.

It certainly was an excellent tour of the facility, which treats sewage from the sewer networks connected to Douglas, Onchan, Union Mills and the South, as well as sludge from regional sewage treatment works and domestic septic tanks.

Back into Douglas for 12.15, at which time I received an e-mail confirming that my 12.30 appointment had been cancelled. I took the opportunity to call into DED to collect some paperwork before calling back into my office to collect several reports.

Thereafter I went home for the afternoon in order to continue reviewing the Lord Lisvane Report, along with answering e-mails etc.

I finished for the day at 18.00.

Saturday and Sunday will certainly be taken up by the Lord Lisvane Report. I also have one meeting scheduled for Bank Holiday Monday when I will be going on board a visiting Cruise Ship, in order to make a presentation to the Captain and crew, along with speaking to our Isle of Man Welcome Team.