Dear Elector of Middle,
FIRSTLY, may I say what a privilege it has been to have met so many of you over the last several weeks, to have had an opportunity to have discussed your issues and concerns, your hopes and aspirations for our Islandís future. Middle is a large Sheading and I have had to juggle with the demands of running the Isle of Man Farmers Ltd., whilst attempting to call and see everyone in the Constituency. Unfortunately, there has been insufficient time to call upon every household, but if elected, I would relinquish my position as Managing Director/Company Secretary of Isle of Man Farmers Ltd. so that I could devote my energy and enthusiasm to serving your interests. I would also aim to call upon those houses Iíve missed and to hold Constituency surgeries if there was a demand.
In my introductory leaflet sent to you in September, I outlined my views on some of the main issues and can now give further details:
The Isle of Manís economy needs to grow, diversify and become even more robust, whilst preserving the quality of life that we all cherish.
We have only just achieved the same income per head as the U.K and should continue to develop the economy at a steady, sustainable rate of progress so that we can raise the standard of living for all the people. Too many people on the Island have not shared in the Islandís undoubted prosperity and the next Government has a duty to address this so that we avoid divisions in Society and prevent any disharmony.
Government must continue its liaison with the Financial sector to protect its vital contribution to the Manx economy.
The formation of a Department of External Affairs should be considered to promote and defend the Islandís National Interest with the U.K., E.U. O.E.C.D. and any other external threats. This sector contributes 41 % of the Islandís income, but is fortunately split into many different segments. We must attract new business to the Island, bringing high value products, but low labour requirements, benefiting our economy but not overburdening our infrastructure. Diversification is possible in Manufacturing, and opportunities exist in E-commerce, the Shipping Register, Film Industry, Technology and as Eastern Europe adopts European Union business practices there will be potential for expansion of our Financial Services. We should encourage location of offices around the towns of the Island to spread prosperity and to ease congestion in the Capital. The events of September 11th in the U.S.A. are of course uppermost in our minds and continue to have an impact on economies around the globe.
Government has failed first time buyers
I would support the consideration of a range of options including:
The minimum standards of houses being built for I st time buyers should be increased to avoid problems in future when they come to be sold. Government should initiate a shared ownership/equity scheme providing affordable housing. Serviced plots at discounted rates could be provided for people to arrange selfbuild. A new house shell could be provided allowing purchasers to gradually complete building.
Future large developments must include provision of adequate facilities for children of all ages and amenities such as a Post Office/Shop, Chemist, Doctor and Community Centre. More sheltered accommodation to buy or rent for our old folk would free up larger homes. Maisonettes/Apartments are needed for single people, which would utilise ground better. Single people/couples should be encouraged to move from 3 or 4 bedroom Houses into smaller properties. Funds should be available to encourage refurbishment of empty older properties in Douglas, development of brown field sites and the creation of living accommodation over shops to bring life back to the Capital.
Provision of more Local Authority Housing is required to provide reasonable rented accommodation for those who donít wish to purchase. In this respect, I would encourage Marown Parish Commissioners to become a Housing Authority.
Although the present Government has ruled against creation of a new town, I believe that a significant number of houses could be accommodated at Newtown, Santon, where good transport links exist and the land is not of high scenic significance. This would ease the pressure on Braddan to provide so many of the Nationís housing requirements.
Constitutional reform is needed to give fairer representation to the electors of Middle.
Over the last I 0 years, the number of voters in Middle has grown faster than any other Sheading. If elected, I would work towards securing a second M.H.K. - out of the 24 - for Middle.
LAW AND ORDER
More action is required to combat the increase in drugs, robberies, violent crime and vandalism.
Policing is no substitute for parental responsibility and guidance of children, which would avoid problems for Society and the Police in the future. Members of the Public must be more supportive of our Police in their efforts to control the problems.
Lack of provision of facilities for children of all ages is a breeding ground for vandalism and anti-social behaviour, so we must provide for the modern needs of the youth of today. Investment in the Islandís young people is an investment for the future.
Education at an early age concerning drugs, alcohol and smoking, supported by parents is one way of trying to shape a different attitude for the future.
HEALTH AND EDUCATION
The quality of our Health and Education system is of vital importance
We are making a huge investment in our Hospital and must be prepared to invest in the most important asset of any Hospital ó its Staff. We need to encourage and expand Nurse training on the Island, so steering some of our young people into nursing, and we need to forge links with the U.K. to keep abreast of the latest developments and look to Continental Europe to learn from their situation. To be fair to all, we should consider free nursing care for the elderly when they have to leave the home in which they have invested a lifetimeís work, rather than have the house taken off them to fund their care.
Investment in our Education system and the Islandís children is priceless, as they represent our wealth of talent for the future. A review is required of the Education system to correct the drop in morale of the teaching profession. We need to enhance the standing of Teachers, and eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy so allowing them to do what they do best ó teach. Free provision of pre-school facilities (as at Onchan) should be extended around the Island and tax allowances could be considered to assist in childcare costs. A new Primary School in Braddan will be required which will also provide a suitable venue for holding Community events.
More careful scrutiny of Government expenditure is required to ensure we receive value for money in all services and Capital projects provided.
Capital projects must be designed to be in keeping with reasonable requirements and should not over-run budgeted costing's.
TRADITIONAL INDUSTRIES (TOURISM, AGRICULTURE & FISHING)
As a sea-faring Nation, in the midst of the Irish Sea, seeking to maximise Tourism it has been nothing short of a disgrace that we have been unable to offer adequate Marina facilities, which would encourage new visitors from around the British Isles.
The quality of life that we all enjoy is to a large extent dependent on the Agricultural Industry and the way in which our countryside is farmed. Farming has experienced unprecedented turmoil over the last several years whilst in the U.K., a fundamental review is underway to see how to create a sustainable, competitive and diverse farming and food sector to contribute to a thriving rural economy. The Manx Government will need to keep a close watch on developments and liaise with the Industry.
The Fishing Industry deserves our ongoing support to preserve this part of our heritage, and I support the attempts to increase the range of produce being landed and processed.
LOCAL AUTHORITY REFORM
I would fight to keep Braddan from being absorbed with Douglas and Onchan to form an Eastern District Authority, and similarly I would wish to preserve Marownís identity by preventing it from being absorbed with Patrick, German, Michael and Peel to form a Western District Authority.
Government should have done much more earlier to reduce, re-cycle, re-use and compost material which would have avoided the need for an Incinerator of such magnitude. Even though I disagreed with its location, the project is now underway, and we need to ensure that it is constructed and operated safely in compliance with latest E.U. environmental standards.
The preferred site of the Council of Ministers for the location of the Islandís new Prison is Ballafletcher and has now been inserted into the Braddan Plan. The site selection process was weighted in favour of Ballafletcher, simply because Government owned the land ó this is not a good enough reason. If elected, I would work to remove the proposed Prison from the Braddan Plan. Other sites outside the Sheading of Middle have been identified as being suitable. If, however, the Prison does go ahead on Ballafletcher, I would press for some Planning gain, such as a permanent Police presence in Union Mills or assistance to redevelop the Marown Engineering site.
Transport issues feature strongly in all areas of the Sheading with speed being the main problem in built-up areas. I would support a review of the speed limits in Middle and traffic calming measures should be introduced. Residents have great difficulty crossing the road safely at Union Mills and Crosby Post Office. Hopefully, solutions can be found which will be satisfactory to all as we need to protect the businesses operating there.
When Government wastes so much money, it is regrettable that we cannot even have proper surfaces on a lot of our roads and pavements in the Sheading. A complete review is required of our Public Transport System, which needs to be customer-friendly, meaning buses at more regular intervals, late-night buses at weekends, more bus shelters and provision of adequate shelters in Douglas. I would support a new assessment of the reconstruction of Quarterbridge roundabout, which would significantly reduce congestion for people entering or leaving our Capital.
In conclusion, I have a deep sense of duty, purpose and fairness, I have always had a keen interest in Manx, British and World affairs, a long association with Braddan and Marown Parishes and a burning desire to make a contribution to the Island and its people. Not having had an involvement in Braddan/Marown Commissioners or the Association of Braddan Residents, would I feel, be beneficial in allowing me to be truly impartial, without any preconceived ideas, and if elected, I could strike a balance to represent the whole Sheading.
My new home will be situated in the heart of the Sheading at Ballahutchin Hill, between Union Mills and Glen Vine, making me very accessible, if elected, to the Electors of Middle. Additionally, I am young, keen, enthusiastic, approachable, can relate and get on well with people in all walks of life and have an ability to listen and to communicate. I care about people, about the Island, its heritage, history, culture and traditions, its quality of life and its future. I feel that I have an enormous amount to learn, a lot to give and I make a promise to do my best for the people of Middle, if you will give me a chance to prove my worth.
If you require transport to the Polling Station, are in need of a proxy or absent vote, or would like a car sticker to show your support, please ring 851416 or 472184.
Please use your vote and make EVERY ONE count!
Published By Martyn Quayle
Printed via the IOM Elections Website. www.iomelections.com
REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT 1995