Blog 26 jun 17This week was all about meetings and briefings, ahead of Tynwald Day next week.

In the office at 8.15am on Monday morning and the first hour was spent going through my filing cabinets for paperwork which is no longer needed.

A few people have mentioned the amount of paperwork that Peter Karran had in his office, but even using iPad etc, I am surprised by the amount of notes and reports you actually collect in this job…….

At 9.50am I headed up to Onchan to meet several Constituents for coffee and a general catch up. I returned to the office for 11.15am and I just managed to send a few e-mails before heading to the Barrool Suite for a briefing given jointly by DOI and DHSC in respect of some future housing provisions, which look very exciting.

I left the meeting slightly early at 13.30 as I needed to make several phone calls regarding a housing application on behalf of an Onchan Constituent. This was followed up by a couple of e-mails.

I also took the opportunity to draft a couple of questions for the July sitting of Tynwald, along with submitting some evidence on Means Testing which is currently out for Consultation.

At 14.25 I had a meeting with landlords from three Douglas local Pubs, in order to gain an insight into the industry, and to listen to their concerns and views for the Isle of Man going forward. It was a very interesting meeting, and there were certainly a few items that need to be further explored.

The meeting finished at 15.40 and the rest of the afternoon was spent catching up with e-mails and going through the House of Keys Order Paper for tomorrow. I also managed to complete a further task on my McGill University course on parliamentary procedures, which is still ongoing, along with making several more calls.

I left the office at 17.15, but no time for tea as I needed to be at Onchan District Commissioners for 18.30. This time there was an Agenda paper with various topics, which were openly discussed with the four MHKs for Onchan & Garff and the Commissioners.

Back home for 20.00 and after catching up with a few e-mails and messages, I called it a day at 21.15.

Tuesday saw the final sitting of the House of Keys until the autumn, which is disappointing. In the office for 8.15am and the first hour was spent making a number of phone calls relating to flooding in Onchan and TT Motorsport.

At 9.45am we headed down to the Keys Chambers for today’s sitting, which had 10 oral questions for answer, along with several Bills going through various stages.

The sitting finished just after 12 noon and after sending a few e-mails I quickly headed into town to complete a couple of personal tasks. Back to the office at 13.00 to collect my keys before joining up with other MHKs for the Speaker’s Lunch, which is a tradition going back many years.

It was good to spend a couple of hours with my colleagues from the House of Keys over a simple lunch.

Back to the office for 15.00 in order to catch up with e-mails and to draft a couple letters, which I should have done last week. At 16.00 I drove down to the Sea Terminal for a meeting with various parties to find a solution to the St. Peter’s Church burial problem.

It was a very constructive meeting, and I am hoping that we have found a suitable solution on behalf of St. Peter’s.

I returned to the office briefing at 17.00 to complete a couple of tasks before leaving for the evening at 17.20.

After tea I went through my DED Agenda Pack and finally finished for 20.50.

Wednesday was another busy day with a variety of topics and meetings scheduled throughout the day. In the office for the usual 8.15am but I didn’t get the chance to drink my coffee as I needed to run into town for 9am to fix my new phone, which had deleted all my contacts.

Back to the office for 9.15am to collect my bag before Tim Crookall, MLC and I headed over to DED for the meeting with the Minister and the Political Members. At 10am we went into the Boardroom for a DED Senior Management meeting, which started with a presentation or overview on the possibility of building a deep water berth in the near further.

Straight after the meeting we had the Department meeting, which finished around 12.55. Back to Tynwald building and I took the opportunity to have lunch with a few of my Tynwald colleagues.

Back to the office to collect my car keys at 13.40 before driving up to Onchan for three Constituent meetings. Back to the office for 15.10, which gave me an opportunity to catch up with e-mails and phone calls, along with completing a further assignment on my McGill University course.

I left the office at 17.10, but I only had time sufficient time to change my shirt before driving to Onchan District Commissioners for 18.00.

The meeting was called to discuss the future of the Groudle Glen Water Wheel, and there were 16 of us sitting around the table, including representatives from Garff Commissioners, Onchan Commissioners, Garff MHKs and various other Industry professionals.

It was an excellent meeting and a very open discussion and we are still a long way from finding a satisfactory solution, but it is a start. The biggest barrier remains cost, we need to find a purpose for the Water Wheel, but not using a blank cheque.

The meeting finished at 19.00 and once home I needed to read through some current legislation ahead of a meeting scheduled for tomorrow, but I finally finished for 20.30.

The day finished with one of those moments that if you don’t laugh you would almost certainly cry. My morning suit for Tynwald Day arrived, but unfortunately, nothing fitted.

Well, I say nothing fitted – I have a tie and a hat – the jacket and waistcoat were too tight and they sent me trousers with size 44 inch waist……

Thursday started with a panic, in office for 8.15 and the first task was to make a couple phone calls with Treasury, in order to help push through some legislation that is needed to help local businesses.

At 9am I needed to order a new Morning Suit, and although the Company promised me next day delivery it is unlikely to arrive until Monday. With Tynwald Day next Wednesday, if it doesn’t fit I just have to hope that I can hire one locally….

At 9.30am I jumped into the car to drive to the Post Office in order to return the other suit. Thereafter I met up with a local merchant at 10am, in order to discuss what legislation needs to be updated to protect businesses on the Isle of Man going forward.

John Houghton did a lot of work during the last administration on a Debtors Register. Most of it has lapsed but I am pleased to pick this item up on behalf of local businesses that need protection and updated legislation to rebuild confidence in many industries that suffer from bad payers with very little enforcement available.

Back to the office for 11.20am, which gave time to catch up with numerous e-mails, along with drafting a couple of letters. Just before 13.00 I walked over to Bar George to have lunch with the Directors from my previous Company.

Returned to the office for 14.00 and I was able to read several through documents on the review of the Manx National Heritage before meeting up with two fellow MNH trustees at 15.00.

That meeting finished at 16.00 and after sending a couple more e-mails I headed home to change into a suit. At 17.20 the trustees of the Manx National Heritage gathered for the first time, in order to make introductions etc.

I got home for 19.15 and after catching up with e-mails, I called it a day at 20.10.

An early start on Friday, after dropping Ellen off I drove into Onchan to attend the Construction Forum meeting, which started at 8am.

I had to leave the meeting slightly early (9.25am) as I needed to call in to see a Constituent who had a file full of letters and e-mails regarding an going dispute, which I am looking into on behalf of a number of Onchan Residents.

Straight after that meeting I headed up to Manx Radio for a 10am meeting with the Senior Management team. Several topics including the TT radio coverage this year and in the future were discussed.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t realise the additional pressure put on Manx Radio staff during events such as the TT and Tynwald Day – they certainly do an excellent job on behalf of the Isle of Man.

I finally got into the office for 11.30am in order to respond to several e-mails.

I did have a lunch appointment that was cancelled at the last minute, so I had lunch with couple of my Tynwald colleagues.

At 13.00 I headed down to Ballsalla for a meeting with a building firm, in order to look at some historic issues that need addressing. At 14.00 I drove from Ballasalla into Castletown for a meeting with the Chairman of Castletown Commissioners, in order to discuss the retail situation in Castletown.

The meeting finished at 15.30 and I took the opportunity to call into Radcliffe’s Butcher before getting back to the office for 16.30.

I left the office at 16.55.

Although my calendar for next week is relatively light, I will need to complete several work items on Saturday, along with visiting some newly built tourism accommodation.

Sunday is the Tynwald Garden Party, which is being held at Government House.