It is my intention to stand in the forthcoming general election in September and this release is to confirm my candidacy.
I will be running on a theme of the ‘West is Best’. What does this mean?
It has been a humbling experience and great privilege to serve as MHK for both Glenfaba and Peel for the last 6 years and by close association with all parts of the constituency I have grown to understand the ethos of the West, the mixed countryside, coastline, heritage and cultural centre of the Isle of Man combined with a superb, friendly and go ahead community.
Looking to the future the North and West Local Area Plans are in process, it is vital that we get this plan right. It will set the scene for the future and be a social and economic driver for the next 10 or 15 years. We need a good mix of land for commercial use for employment, social housing and care provision as well as Peels long awaited sewage treatment plant.
My local priorities will include education, it looks as though after much pressure the QEII stem block will start shortly and there needs to be a review of the Clothworkers where improvements are needed.
Continued economic growth is essential as without that all the services we want become unaffordable. This administration has faced two major challenges; firstly Brexit, fortunately we have seen a reasonable outcome there with continued access for our agricultural and fishery products and latterly covid, this has hit the local fishing industry hard and I am pleased to say I have secured four tranches of grant support and a further will hopefully receive Tynwald approval to ensure that we preserve the industry in its entirely.
Roads and transport. We all know that the roads on the Isle of Man are not the best in the world. We must have a more coherent road repair strategy and this needs to combine with proper transport links including bus timetables that incorporate responsive transport for local communities.
It is also becoming apparent that many people want to walk and cycle, we need a balance between car users, cyclist, horse riders and pedestrians that preserves our coastline and countryside with a mix of access for all.
We need to capitalise on Peel heritage and really put a stamp on Peel as a cultural centre of the Isle of Man.
As the demographic of the population get ever older including myself, we need to look forward to provide proper residential/social care and facilities in the West. The Corrin Home problems have highlighted just what the loss of provision can mean to the community. We already have the first integrated medical hub with the surgery and wellbeing centre. We need to expand on this so that there are a wide range of affordable options open to the community.
The environment is important and this has been one of the administrations priorities. I took the Climate Change Bill through Tynwald and this has set a 2050 net zero target. Looking forward there will have to be some profound changes in the way we live but I believe that we can strike a balance between social, economic and climate change providing we don’t try to outbid each other in terms of net zero without the technological solutions that are on the horizon but not with us yet.
Farming on the Isle of Man is some of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable in the world, it also produces excellent produce. Our farmers should not be tarred with the same brush as factory farms that are springing up around the world. I have and will continue to fight for a viable farming community which includes our meat plant, which is essential to providing meat of local provenance. Very important to processors, restaurants and the public as a whole. This combined with our superb grass fed milk from the Isle of Man Creamery gives us a unique sustainable and resilient food supply.
We have a great story to tell in the West, the mix of rural, urban heritage and history are second to none. If re-elected I will listen, continue to hold political surgeries, fighting for what the electorate ask for in terms of better services, economic growth, address climate change and support my local constituents and ensure that the West is really the Best.