In brief…

Sea and air routes

The IoM Steam Packet Company wishes to renew its user agreement ahead of its expiry in 2020/26. Acknowledging that they far exceed commitments on service levels, government must be free to achieve the best deal for the Island, which may mean reaching agreement instead of going out to test the market via a full tender. The full facts need close examination before any contract is agreed.

I support greater commerciality in our air services and feel that the Open Skies policy needs further review.

Renewable energy/green tech

Government needs to revisit the AEA renewable energy sustainability study published in 2010. The stated aim was to generate 15% of electricity through renewable sources by 2015. We need an update on what has been achieved, and to confirm the Island’s support for renewable energy generation with clear targets plus updates on what is achieved and when.

I applaud the Island’s first public sector eco houses built in Castletown that provide significant savings on energy bills and I would like to see all new local authority housing embrace new passivhaus technology, plus incentives to encourage more sustainable construction methods on the Island. With 9.9% of households suffering fuel poverty (Cabinet Office report, March 2016) and property responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, this is an area where significant benefits can be achieved for individuals and the environment.

Douglas promenade

The promenade is the gateway to the Island and may be seen as symbolising the state of our latest administration – a total lack of progress because of a bureaucratic planning system, red tape, a lack of vision and failing to carry the weight of public opinion to drive the change that is long overdue. The promenade is a national embarrassment. We apologise when welcoming tourists or business visitors for its lack of repair and progress. Reconstruction is now necessary along its entire length and work needs to commence as soon as possible, incorporating the horse tramway and maximising car parking. The Department of Infrastructure must deliver a cost-effective scheme to achieve this in a timely manner.

Other issues

  • TUPE regulations – the UK’s Transfer of Undertakings {Protection of Employment} Regulations 1981 – need to be adopted by the Island to provide certainty to workers over employment rights when companies or services change operator.
  • I would support abortion law reform and assisted dying for the terminally ill under very controlled circumstances.
  • BBC television licences for Isle of Man over-75s will have to be paid for by pensioners from September 2016.  Eddie Teare, the retiringTreasury Minister, says it would cost £600,000 for the IoM Government to pay for this ‘non means-tested benefit’ and it would be outside the law to withhold the amount from the BBC. I feel other ways of funding the licences from government should be explored. Also, the BBC service provided to the Isle of Man would benefit from further scrutiny and consideration of the more than £800,000 paid annually to support Manx Radio as the Island’s public service broadcaster.
  • To download a full copy of my manifesto, click here.