Blog 7 May 17This week’s Blog starts again on Saturday 29th April and also covers the final two days of my trip to Montreal, Canada.

I didn’t go out on Friday night with the other delegates, as I needed to respond to numerous messages and emails on the fee being charged to the RNLI, along with other problems on the horizon.

Although the previous week was a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills, to represent Tynwald and to meet like-minded Parliamentarians, it has been an extremely tiring week. By Friday night I was certainly running on empty, especially when I was keeping up with everything else back home.

I fell asleep for 20.30 local time on Friday night and woke up on Saturday for 4am (9am UK time). I spent a couple of hours early on Saturday morning answering e-mails and messages on various topics, along with going through my schedule for the forthcoming week.

With regards to the RNLI, I genuinely wasn’t aware of the fee imposed on the charity, but it is becoming extremely difficult for DED to introduce a fair and transparent process that protects the TT Brand going forward, but at the same time gives licence holders peace of mind.

Having reviewed the item, the RNLI approached the department and were happy to pay a nominal fee to cover legal and administration costs.

Anyway, after breakfast on Saturday morning, we attended the final day of the University Course, which was being held in our hotel Boardroom and not McGill’s University.

The spirt, engagement and friendship amongst the group of delegates on the course has been amazing, and the Isle of Man members have certainly made a lot of new friends from attending this CPA course.

The final day of this section of the programme started at 9am with the final few delegates giving their presentations regarding their Parliaments and their legislative systems. Thereafter, delegates were asked to make a further presentation by country on what things they have achieved and what things they could implement when they get back home.

The course finished at 12 noon and after saying good bye to many of the delegates, a number of the remaining students jumped on the open top bus in order to enjoy a sightseeing tour around Montreal. We also took the opportunity to look at the Notre-Dame College and the Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, which was truly fantastic.

The tour last over two hours and we got back to the hotel for 18.00 local time. Thereafter I got the opportunity to catch up with e-mails and to pack my case for returning home tomorrow night. Once I caught up with things I walked over to meet the other IOM delegates at a local restaurant called Le-Milsa, which was a Brazilian style restaurant with salsa dancers.

Back to the hotel for 22.30, in order to finish off my packing etc.

On Sunday morning I was up and about at 7.30 local time, but I took things easy today. I joined a number of delegates for breakfast before heading into the town for some final shopping. Just enough time to collect my bags before jumping into a taxi at 14.30 local time, but the flight didn’t actually leave until 19.45 local time (0.45am UK time).

The flight left on time but I didn’t get much sleep overnight, an hour if I was lucky.

We landed at 7.25am on Bank Holiday Monday at Terminal 2, London Heathrow, at which point I headed to Terminal 5 in order to catch a BA flight back up to Manchester at 10.10am.

Once in Manchester I went through my third security check of the day, but again the flight was on time and I finally arrived back in the Isle of Man for 15.20.

I fell asleep almost straight away when I got home, but only for about 40 minutes. I went to bed at 18.00 but I was woken up by a phone call at 20.00. I then slept right though until 7.30am on Tuesday morning.

Straight in the office for 8.10am on Tuesday in order to prepare for today’s Keys sitting, which started at 10am. The sitting was relatively short with only seven questions for oral answer and the sitting finished at 11am.

After the sitting there was a meeting with a potential MLC candidate, in order for MHKs to ask the Candidate any relevant questions. Straight after that meeting the MHKs who went to Canada did a Manx Radio interview.

I spent Tuesday afternoon catching up with cutting the lawn at home, several personal items that needed my attention as I was unable to do them last week. I also started to draft a couple of speeches for this month’s Tynwald sitting.

I finished at 18.30, which gave me a further opportunity to catch up with some sleep.

In the office for 8.20am on Wednesday morning, and with no meetings until 11am it gave me time to really catch up with things since being away. Cleaned out my email in-box before catching up on phone calls and addressing several constituent matters, including litter and the new tenancy agreements for social housing tenants.

At 11am I headed over to DED for a Construction Industry briefing, which included a discussion on the new work permit system.

Back to the office for 11.45 and printed off several board reports for the next Public Accounts Committee Meeting and for the next Environment and Infrastructure Committee meeting tomorrow morning.

After lunch I continued to prepare for my Committee meetings, but just after 14.15 I walked over to the LegCo Committee room in order to hear the DED Minister and Senior Officers give evidence to the Tynwald Select Committee into Vision Nine.

I returned to the office for 16.00 and I spent the rest of the afternoon printing off the Tynwald Order Paper and related documents, which took about an hour to complete.

I left the office at 17.10 and once at home there was a couple of messages from Constituents looking for some help. After tea I drafted a detailed e-mail to DHSC in respect of the ComCab, Liverpool Taxis Service on behalf of an Onchan Constituent.

I also reviewed the Agenda pack for the Environment and Infrastructure Policy Review Committee being held tomorrow morning.

Called it a day at 19.40.

In the office for 8.15am on Thursday and the first task was to continue to review the Agenda Pack for the Public Accounts Committee, which was being held later on in the day. Just before 9.30am the Environment and Infrastructure Policy Review Committee met to discuss ongoing projects and other government policies that should be reviewed by the Committee going forward.

The meeting finished just after 11am at which time I drove up to Manx Radio to do an extended interview with regard to my recent Canadian trip and the University course undertaken.

Back at the office just after 12 noon before taking Ellen out for lunch at the local Noodle Bar, which was fantastic again.

Returned to the office for 12.50, in order to catch up with e-mails and correspondence, along with looking through the Public Accounts Committee paperwork.

At 2pm I headed down to the Committee Room for the Public Accounts Committee, which finished at 15.10. The rest of the afternoon involved printing off various reports and articles relating to the Iris Scheme, which is long overdue for a review.

I left the office at 17.00 and at 18.30 I attended Onchan’s Live at Home Scheme board meeting. Unfortunately, I was 30 minutes late for the meeting as I had the wrong time in my diary.

It is a great local charity and I am looking forward to working with the board over the next twelve months.

Once at home I completed several other Constituent tasks before finishing at 21.30.

With no meetings scheduled for Friday morning, I was able to work from home researching and reading up on all the debates and reports on the Iris Sewerage system since 2010. I started work at 8.30am and I suddenly realised that it was 12.15, which meant there was a mad dash to get ready for 12.30.

Both Ellen and I needed to be in Onchan for 12.45, in order to attend the grand opening of the newly refurbished Onchan Community Centre (the Hub), which looks fantastic.

The Hub was officially opened by His Excellency Sir Richard Gozney who unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion.

The refurbishment of the Hub was the legacy of the previous Board of Onchan District Commissioners and I did enjoy catching up with some the previous Commissioners, and to see their hard work and vision move from the drawing board into reality.

Back home for around 14.30, which enabled me to continue reading the historic events surrounding Iris Sewerage System. Thanks to Paul Moulton at MTTV I was also able to watch the MLC Hustings via live stream.

Finally finished for the day at 17.00.

On Saturday I will be attending the St. Peter’s Spring Fair along with going to my second film premier and showing of the film called 3 Wheeling, which is an excellent movie.