Blog Dec 16I will be glad to see the back of this week, not just because it has been an extremely busy few days but because I have been totally under the weather for most of it.

Unfortunately, because I didn’t take a few days off to fully recover I have passed on my heavy cold to most of my Tynwald colleagues – sorry…

Monday started with more prep work and reading, which seems to be never ending but it is a vital part of the role, in order to ensure that the right decisions are made going forward. Monday lunchtime Daphne Caine, MHK and I had a meeting with the Clerk of Onchan Commissioners to try and resolve an ongoing and very complex matter involving an Onchan ratepayer.

In the afternoon the Public Accounts Committee held their first meeting, which lasted about 3 hours, but I have high hopes that this Committee will achieve a lot of things in the coming months and years.

Monday night I continued to read through my Tynwald agenda pack…

Tuesday started early (just after 8am) with me responding to several Constituent e-mails, messages and phone calls on various topics. As an MHK it is good that people put their faith and trust in me to help resolve issues and concerns, and it certainly is one of the most rewarding parts of the role.

Tywald started at 10.30am and didn’t finish until 8.40pm but it was a still a very enjoyable day. That said, I am disappointed that the Sewerage Rate was increased from 92p in the pound to 98p from April 2017, I certainly thought the Motion would fail, based solely on the speeches delivered on the floor of the Tynwald Court.

With very few people receiving any pay rises in recent years, I felt that people need some breathing space at the moment, and they certainly cannot afford this continuing stream of charges going from Central Government.

I am also disappointed that the reconstruction of the Douglas Promenade will now see the tramway stop at the Villa Marina and Gaiety Theatre. I still believe that the right decision is to run the MER down the entire promenade and for Horse Trams to have a reduced timetable in the future, but remain a vital part of the heritage railway package.
I got home for around 10pm and after grabbing something to eat I started to go through my DED Monthly agenda pack, which was called with short notice. I managed to get to bed just before midnight.

Despite Tynwald finishing late on Tuesday evening, I was in the office just after 8am on Wednesday morning. All DED political members had a meeting with the Minister at 9.30am before the monthly DED meeting at 10am, which included a detailed briefing on an ongoing project. Once back in the office, I managed to send a few e-mails before heading up to the Barrool Suite for the second presentation and workshop re. the Programme for Government, which finished around 16.00 so there was sufficient time to send a few final emails before heading home.

On Thursday morning I managed to clear the rest of my in-box and schedule several political meetings for the New Year. I then headed to DED for a meeting with several different government sectors to review a new potential business opportunity. At lunchtime I attended St George’s Church for the annual Tynwald Carol Service. I managed to get a few hours myself in the afternoon before going to Government House in the evening for the Christmas Reception.

In the office just after 8am on Friday in order to prepare for the first meeting of the Environment and Infrastructure Policy Review Committee, which I will be Chairing and the other Committee Members are Chris Robertshaw, MHK and Clare Bettison, MHK.

It was a very positive meeting and I am looking forward to working on this Committee.

I left the office around midday to do some shopping but I spent the late afternoon going through my Junior Achievers Dragons Den pack, and getting ready for some meetings scheduled for the new year.