Isle of Man Local Web Guide

Douglas South - Andrew Jessop

Dear Voters, 

I have great pleasure in. issuing my manifesto which I hope contains sufficient

substance for you to decide that I deserve your vote; and that if elected I will serve the best interests of you, the Isle of Man and the Constituency of Douglas South. It is obviously not possible to cover everything in depth, or even every issue, but hopefully the key points are made.

I make no apologies for campaigning on what I see as the essential issue for this National Election - REFORM - but I assure you that this in no way implies that I have no concern for ‘local’ issues. There isn’t a candidate that will say we don’t need better housing, improved community facilities and safer streets - the difference will be on how they plan to tackle the issues. I firmly believe that if we create the right national and local government structure, and a ‘can-do’ culture, then the solutions to the all-island problems of housing, transport, crime, etc. wilt be more easily found. I also believe that I possess the ideal credentials to deliver the very necessary arid beneficial restructuring, the doggedness to pursue practical solutions and the competence for all the other work of a National Politician; and ask that on November 22nd you trust me with your vote.

Andrew Jessopp BSc (Hons) The Best Candidate for National Government

The Role of National Government

The Manx Parliament, Tynwald, performs several functions, but essentially those of a legislative, financial and representational nature. These include passing and amending laws; raising taxes and controlling public expenditure; and debating and scrutinising government policy and administration. Many of these functions need to be conducted with an eye to protecting the interests of the Island from the ever increasing (and often undue) outside influences.

The principle function of the House of Keys is to consider new legislation, but it also has a role to play in maintaining public accountability by asking questions of the government on ‘public affairs’.

Thus it is not the function of the ‘National Government’ to run the buses - that is for a bus company. Likewise, it is not for them to run swimming pools The list could go on but the point is that too much valuable time of Tynwald, the Keys and MHK’s is spent in addressing issues that belong in the commercial or local authority sector.

Therefore, if progress is to be made in international, national and local politics radical changes must be made to the present political structure. Hopefully some, if not all, of the changes I propose will be adopted and the Island will benefit from not just a more focused, efficient and effective form of Government, but one that encourages greater participation of, and accountability to, the people.

Economy and Employment

Whilst like many people I welcome the new tax strategy, and the contribution of the finance sector to the well-being of the Island’s economy, I am concerned that the inevitable pressure for development is causing unease in certain quarters. It is essential that a balance is found between growth in the economy and protecting the environment that (hopefully) we all treasure. It is important that before further large-scale developments are approved that the public is made fully aware of any possible impacts and given a opportunity to participate in the decision making process.

New businesses to the Island should be informed that they have a responsibility to give ‘added value’ to the community and not just in terms of additional tax revenue. Before they are allowed in to the Island they should be made to ‘pass’ a form of ‘cost/benefit’ analysis. Criteria could include: does the business help diversify the economy; will it encourage further immigration and therefore additional pressure on housing and the infrastructure; will it enhance the image of the Isle of Man; is it offering a long-term commitment to the Island.

Even so, it would seem sensible to restrict (for at least the next few years if the government predicted slow down doesn’t materialise) the establishment of businesses that have a high (in Manx terms) employment requirement to allow time for the required infrastructure improvements, to not only catch up but, to provide sufficient ‘slack’, to accommodate any new development less painfully. And before encouraging more immigration it would also seem sensible to extract the maximum potential from the existing labour market by offering more assistance to mothers who may wish or need to return to work by improving child care facilities and/or giving tax breaks on child minding costs. (There is no point in going to work if the child care costs almost wipe out any increase in income).

Moreover, if growth was ‘managed’ during this period it would be even more important to properly manage the spending on infrastructure improvement and renewal; something which at present is being done in a very cavalier fashion. I certainly believe that we are paying over the odds for many schemes.

Finally, we must never become over reliant on one sector. No matter how low the tax threshold if the cost base becomes significantly cheaper elsewhere businesses will pack up and go; and it may have already begun. And if indeed a few large employers leave the Island there is no guarantee that a replacement job will be available for those left behind.

Construction Industry

I have spent the last seven years campaigning for

a better regulated construction industry: one that affords better value for money for the tax-payer and offers greater confidence to sub-contractors and suppliers. In particular I wanted to be sure that only financially sound companies were employed by government and that subcontractors and suppliers, working on government contracts, were protected from non-payment by main contractors.

I am pleased to say that as a result of my first Petition of Grievance in 1995 some progress has been made in certain areas, but had all the steps I had wanted been taken it may have prevented the Crowe EPH situation from arising. I am therefore totally disgusted that the government intends to allow a near bankrupt company to work on the incinerator project.

How this could ever be described as the actions of a responsible government is beyond me, and it is effectively putting two fingers up to all the Manx businesses working in the industry.

Should I be elected I will see that procedures for awarding contracts are tightened, and that an insurance scheme is introduced to help protect sub-contractors and suppliers from bad debts.

Waste management

I am well known by some as the Chairman of BADAIR, a committee member of Zero Waste Mann, and for holding the view that building the incinerator will be one of the biggest follies of this present administration. It grieves me that we are going to be charged in excess of £100/tonne to ‘burn’ water and paper etc.; and that if this project proceeds the cost will probably be added to our rates.

As it may be very difficult to get the project cancelled, all that I can offer is that I will do everything possible to prevent a site being found to dispose of the toxic ash residues (as without this UWL cannot operate the plant) and regulate it out of existence. I will support genuine minimisation, recycling, reuse and kerb-side collection schemes. I will also assist schemes that can utilise recyclable material on the Island, such as using paper for insulation material and plastics for garden furniture etc.


Schools, and particularly primary teachers, are currently under pressure to accept imposed changes; several of which are of dubious merit.

Teachers are being saddled with far too much admin. Teachers are there to teach, not fill in forms. If necessary, administrators should be employed to fulfil the bureaucratic nonsense required by the department.

A further nonsense is the role played by the head teacher in the newly reorganised and delegated financial management system. The head teacher is made to carry the can if things go wrong but has no vote in who is employed at their school. This is left to well meaning but potentially misguided volunteer lay governors. Surely this must change. I disagree with the system that pays a head according to how many pupils attend his school. This can result in over crowding of some schools and is shear folly. Schools should be adequately funded regardless of the number of pupils on the roll. The catchments policy operated by the department can exacerbate the problem.

The need for OFSTED inspections needs challenging. Surely the Education Department, or professionals from within the island, should be continually assessing the performance of schools and in a manner that is less stressful to the staff. OFSTED only presents a snapshot, is too infrequent to be of much benefit and costs too much.

League tables etc. are also window dressing introduced by politicians to appear concerned at standards. Schools shouldn’t be judged by just how many A grades their pupils get but whether the pupils achieved as well or better than they were expected. This is more important than the actual grades achieved.

In light of the recent debacle over the appointment of the new Director the role and status of the Board of Education should be reviewed.

The Island should also have its own Exam Board (and University), set its own standards and not blindly follow everything England and Wales does.

A four or five term year should be introduced so that learning is more progressive rather than disjointed. The more even terms, and holidays, would be better for the pupils who would retain more of what they learned and they wouldn’t get bored with long holidays. Staff would be less stressed by having more frequent breaks and parents would have more choice of holiday dates. I also support the view that schools should be composed of both sexes but that classes should be single sex as they produce better results.

Finally more emphasis should be given to teaching vocational and social skills to pupils showing no inclination or ability for academic work. Rather than lose these children through disruption and alienation it would be preferable to offer them an alternative, especially as the Island has a shortage of trades people. Surely any qualification is better than none and college is still an option later.

Industry and Infrastructure

We currently have too many eggs in one ‘economic’ basket - the finance sector. Whilst this has provided many new opportunities for Island residents, particularly the young, history has taught us that over reliance on one form of income is detrimental to the long-term success of the Island.

I firmly believe that real wealth and success is created from making things, not speculating on our and other peoples money. We need amongst other things to attract low volume, high value manufacturing industries to the Island and research and development companies. And these type of businesses are on our doorstep in the UK, we don’t need to go to America to look for them. We should also encourage and support entrepreneurial residents to start small businesses - such as Bushy’s who have successfully provided employment on the Island and now help promote the I.o.M. by exporting their highly regarded Manx ale.

We also need to create the infrastructure to help attract, and then support these new businesses, and it is right that we are using the current buoyant coffers to undertake some of this work. However, the size and cost of some of these projects are grossly inflated; often like the self satisfied importance of the Minister promoting them and I would seek a review of several projects. Certainly we need to review the system that allows a civil servant to alter a scheme approved by Tynwald and adopt his own that then more than doubles the cost - as is the case with IRIS. I for one have grave doubts as to whether this scheme will work, but even if it does the running costs of £200,000 p.a. for electricity alone is a serious concern. Furthermore, I believe that the pipelines are being installed illegally.

One infrastructure renewal program I am relatively satisfied with is the Water Authority’s. It is unfortunate that water rates are rising to pay for this essential work, but we can’t live without clean water. What I would like the authority to do is to use the glass we collect for recycling in the new water treatment plants. Apparently this is the best available material for filtration.

Unfortunately, I can’t get that excited about the roads. Work on new roads is done piecemeal without any sign of a cohesive policy and I just wish that at least once they would finish one job before they start another. It would also be a good idea to maintain them rather than leave them to become a rippled and pot-holed danger to road users.

Despite the fact that western nations are supposed to be looking for ways to reduce energy consumption and therefore pollution, the Island, with a growing population, is inevitably going to consume more for some time to come, especially if new industries are attracted that require large amounts of power. The new gas-fired power station at Pulrose will obviously provide some of this power, but I have concerns as to how ‘clean’ this power source is. It may not produce sulphur dioxide but it does produce lots of micro particulates; and they are potentially very harmful.

Therefore, I commend and support the MEA’s proposal to build a wind farm and would encourage them to seek even more ways of producing ‘green’ energy.

Returning Government to the People

I like many people thought that we lived in a democracy, but I am becoming increasingly concerned that we in fact live in a virtual autocracy. The Council of

Ministers have become too powerful and it is too easy for them to get Tynwald approval for their, sometimes half-baked, policies and schemes. They need to be cut down to size and made to work harder to capture the vote to support their view. It is also about time that a clearer distinction was made between the responsibilities of national and local politicians.

I suggest that the following reforms should take place:

National Reforms 

  • the political and legal functions of Tynwald should be separated to allow legal challenges to government decisions

  • a new Supreme Court should be constituted

  • the House of Keys should be elected on an all-island basis

  • introduction of ‘on-line’ voting in Key’s elections

  • only MHK’s should be Ministers

  • functions of a Minister should only be delegated to another MHK

  • conflicts of interest should be rigorously policed

  • access to information should be made easier

  • an ombudsman should be appointed to investigate complaints against Government / officials and given powers to correct misdeeds / award compensation

  • Chief Officers and Directors should be made more accountable to the electorate and easier to replace

  • annual Government Policy Review should be broken up into sections and voted on by section not ‘en masse’ (with the same applying to the budget)

  • number of ministries should be reduced to six and CoMm to seven

  • planning ‘committee’ should be independent with no political member

  • tourism should be organised like water / postal authority

Local Reforms

  • Douglas Corporation and all the other local authorities abolished and replaced by a streamlined and more focused ‘unitary’ Island Council or ‘House of Local Representatives’

  • the Island should be divided into 12 two-seat or 24 one-seat constituencies

  • responsibility for all ‘local’ services should fall within their remit

Services would include:

  • planning enforcement and building control

  • waste management (inc. litter) and local drainage maintaining local highways and footpaths etc.

  • public transport, traffic and parking control

  • parks, leisure, recreation, community and sport facilities

  • housing (public and community care) and environmental health.

I envisage Regional Committees being established and residents groups, non-governmental organisations and community focus groups being assured of participation in the decision making process. Hopefully this new structure, if adopted, would result in improved efficiencies, more credibility, and mare interest and accountability in local government. This would be especially so as everybody would know who was responsible for providing each service and could get a say in how the services in their area are provided and run, what the priorities are for their area and how their money is spent.

Law and Order

Firstly, we must not lose sight of the fact that the Island is a relatively low crime area in comparison to much of the British Isles. However, it is distressing that petty crime, vandalism, violent assaults and drug abuse appears to be on the increase; and that residents feel that insufficient effort is being made to curb them. There is something fundamentally wrong with society when people, young and old, feel intimidated or threatened either in or outside their homes.

It is essential that we address the causes of these fears so that we can return to the days of yore when you could walk freely at any time of day or night and leave your house and car unlocked without fear of theft. This may sound utopian but I don’t see why we should allow the unruly to dictate our lifestyle and the criminal to force us to turn our houses into fortresses (and I speak as someone who is paid to develop and market security equipment).

I applaud some of the new policing initiatives introduced over the last two years. but there still needs to be more police sub-stations and patrols in residential areas to reassure the residents that their concerns are being addressed.

Youth and Community Relations

Firstly we need to instill a sense of respect for other people and their property and that can only be done by building community relations.

Existing Youth Clubs should be open more frequently and, if schools aren’t to be put to better use, additional multi-purpose community centres built. All day drop-in centres offering advice and a place to meet should be opened for young people; and they should be encouraged to assist in the creation and running of them. In this way they should have a greater sense of ownership, thus more respect, and be less likely to abuse it. If they cause any damage - then they must be made to fix it!

Parents should also be made more accountable for the actions of their children and if they can’t keep them under control they must be prepared to share the consequences. I acknowledge that in many families both parents work so they are not at home when the children leave school mid way through the afternoon. Is there not a case then for kids to remain at school until later participating in extra-curricular activities?

Drugs and Alcohol

Drug, alcohol and other substance abusers should be treated as though they had an illness and sent to rehab., which may need to be a secure unit. Whatever, this should not been seen as a soft option, and if they have also been involved in other crimes they too should be made to make amends in some form or another. However, there is no place in our society for drug pushers and importers and they should be ‘exterminated’.

I wholeheartedly endorse the Chief Minister’s Drug and Alcohol initiatives and look forward to the strategies on youth and smoking. I am totally against the legalising of any existing controlled substances as I believe that the evidence is more compelling to retain rather than to relax controls.

As a society we need to change the binge drinking habits of the young by teaching them sensible drinking in a ‘family’ environment. As a member of CAMRA I wish to preserve the traditional ‘British Pub’ but the ‘pub’ culture has not always helped in regard to sensible drinking. Therefore, I support the change in the licensing hours and I would support a move to introduce more ‘continental cafe’ style premises where children are not considered to be out of place and socialising, rather than drinking alcohol, is the primary purpose.

The need for Penal Reform and the Prison

When people step outside the law we need to determine, particularly in the case of young offenders, whether it was a malicious act or a mischievous/foolhardy one as we shouldn’t criminalize or lock up people unnecessarily. Where the ‘offender’ is not considered a serious threat to society, and especially if they have a family to support, then they should be sentenced to ‘community service’, an ‘open’ type prison, tagged or locked up at weekends so that they can continue to work. This shouldn’t be regarded as being soft on crime but as a more pragmatic approach. For the able bodied community service should include tasks such as: picking up litter off beaches, clearing footpaths, and cutting back bracken. For those with a medical condition or with a particular academic or other skill a task more appropriate to that condition or skill should be applied. If offenders thought it was optional and tried ‘bunking-off’ then perhaps they would like to participate in a chain gang dressed in fluorescent clothing. Prison should be retained for the dangerous and habitual criminal that society needs protecting from such as: the violent, drug pushers, child abusers and burglars.

To my mind criminals are sent to prison as a punishment; rehabilitation comes afterwards. Sentences perhaps should be along the lines of 40 days in the nick and 20 days rehabilitation in a semi-secure unit. Whilst, I don’t think they should be locked-up for 24 hours a day or made to slop out, neither should they have a better lifestyle than they may have on the outside. They certainly should contribute to their upkeep by working and earn any ‘privileges’. A part from psychopaths and pedophiles, who apparently cannot be rehabilitated and should be locked up indefinitely, a reduction in their prison sentence could be offered in return for doing voluntary community service’. Any problems whilst carrying out their ‘community service’ and they would begin their prison sentence again.

I do not support the building of a new prison at Ballafletcher, but believe that an extension and improvements could be carried out on Victoria Road. After all the government do own additional land in that area with workshops, it is adjacent to the police station, and convenient for the courts. Alternatively, Meary Veg would make a better greenfield option than Ballafletcher.

Town and Country Planning / Island Strategic Plan

Without doubt planning on the Island is currently in disrepute and it offers the public little confidence in the decision making process.

Essentially we are struggling along with planning legislation written in the 1930’s whilst a flawed 1999 revision lies sitting on the shelf.

Fundamental changes need to be introduced that make the planning system more honest, open and fair to all parties. Moreover, the procedures and the making of decisions need also to be seen in that light.

Planning should be removed from the political arena and made a process that is truly democratic, independent and as objective as possible.

Certainly planning decisions (and the reasons for them) should be made in public and not behind closed doors. Furthermore, government should be made to observe and play by the same rules as the rest of us. Currently they are able to do almost anything they like (e.g. the proposed houses on the sports field at the Hospital) whilst an individual may find themselves overly regulated against.

More emphasis should be given to the All-Island Strategic Plan, new planning guidance notes and common sense; and then it would be possible to do away with the arbitrary and divisive local plans and nominal ‘development zones’.

For example the current local plan for Douglas was approved relatively recently but regrettably it is a fairly feeble document. It neither adequately addresses the need for future improvements to the town nor how its inherent historical base is to be protected.

Unfortunately the first draft of the Strategic Plan falls short of expectation and requires more detailed and firmer policies. If this is done then planning could move forward in a less confrontational and more sustainable manner.


I believe that we all deserve a decent standard of living when we retire. Not everybody will have been in a position during their ‘working’ life to fund a decent pension and will rely on the state to provide one. In times of plenty, such as now, it is only reasonable that the state pension is enhanced for those on low incomes, provided of course it leaves plenty in reserve for less well off times. Conversely, those that have been fortunate enough to save should not be penalised, if they go into care, by having to use all their capital to fund it.


I think it would be prudent to prepare for the unthinkable - a major terrorist attack on the Island or on a nuclear installation across the water. The government should issue some basic information leaflets to reassure the public that they have plans to deal with such an incident. I also believe that the Home Affairs Dept. should be strengthening our Civil Defence and giving consideration to establishing a Home Defence Force.

I am horrified at the recent hoax anthrax attacks. These acts are despicable and anyone found guilty of such hoaxes should be treated as if they were real.

However, I do not currently see the need for the introduction of mandatory identity cards.

Parliament Buildings

The current Tynwald and House of Keys buildings are from a bygone age and are no longer suitable for a modern parliament. However, I am not convinced that spending £6m on refurbishing these buildings is the best idea. It maybe more sensible to transfer them to Manx National Heritage for preservation as ‘historic’ buildings and another chapter in the ‘Story of Mann’ and to build a new parliament building in the former capital, Castletown, or at the traditional parliament site of St Johns.


I think the press is far too deferential to the government. However, this is hardly surprising considering that the government controls Manx Radio and is probably the biggest revenue earner for I.o.M. Newspapers.

A mechanism for increasing press ‘freedom’ is long overdue to encourage more investigative journalism. We could also do with an injection of biting political satire to spice up the current, almost lifeless, political reporting.

The broadcasting of more than just Question Time would help to initiate the public as to what goes on in parliament and the performance of their MHK’s. The introduction of the Island’s own television station should be a priority for the next administration. If the Island continues to rely on the BBC it will never be able to properly communicate its message to its residents, let alone those further a field.

Food Production and the Environment

The foot and mouth outbreak in the UK is certainly unwelcome on top of the BSE crisis, but surely these indicate there is a lot wrong with modern food production methods. If the Island wants to retain a viable ‘farming’ sector even more emphasis is needed on producing better quality, wholesome, products rather than quantity. Further investment in ‘added value’ needs to be made at the creamery etc. so that the Island produces more than just the basic commodities of milk, cheese, meat, shellfish etc.

Furthermore, protecting and managing the landscape, land and marine environment should become an even more significant part of a ‘farmers’ job; and fortunately this has been recognised in some places. However, momentum needs building and the formation of National Parks is long overdue.


In a nut shell I believe that the current ‘Health’ service is in fact an ‘Illness’ service. Whilst I fully support the provision of first class care services for those unfortunate enough to be ill, suffering from disability or an accident we really must wake up to the fact that it is costing us too much money.

We also need to question the system that works to prolong life rather than consider the quality of that life. Just because we have the technology to keep somebody ‘alive’ doesn’t mean that we should. Therefore, more choice should be given to individuals and families as to the level of intervention.

Furthermore, medical intervention is only successful in preventing 5% of early deaths yet we spend a vast proportion of the budget in this way. Greater emphasis and a larger share of money needs to be applied to ‘Health Promotion’ and educating people to be more responsible for looking after their own health. Remember it is the most valuable thing you own and if you lose it by making poor choices you are unlikely to get it back again.

If this advice is followed then the chances are that we are much less likely to have a shortage of beds and staff at the new hospital because there will be a lot less people seeking help. This has got to be a far better way of dealing with the situation than continuing to effectively throw money down the drain.

Air Quality and Public Health

I find it difficult to understand why the air quality sections of the 1990 Public Health Act remain dormant. Countless residents must have suffered, and continue to suffer, from breathing in the toxic mixture that hangs over south Douglas. The whole Act must be introduced at the earliest opportunity along with financial assistance to offset any costs.

Traffic and Transport

I am not quite sure which century the DoT are living in but, to guess by their out dated policy of keeping the traffic flowing until it finds a place to park, it’s not this one.

Although we live in a car owning society it doesn’t necessarily mean we have the right to drive it!

More emphasis is required on restricting car use for getting into town or for short journeys. Allowing the building of the new multi-storey car park in Westmoreland Road and extending the Shaw’s Brow car park is bonkers as it will only encourage more traffic, and therefore congestion, in that area. Providing quality park-and-ride facilities, such as found in Norwich and York etc. would be a much more sensible option; as would providing more job opportunities in other parts of the Island.

Neither is the Vicarage Road super highway proposal, as it stands, sane. If any new route is required to alleviate traffic coming in from the south into Douglas it should be to take the traffic that heads into upper Douglas, via Quines Corner, on another route. The most obvious choice would be to provide a link from the Old Castletown Road at Kewaigue/White Hoe to Groves Road by the power station. Possibly the new road put in to serve the new industrial area should be utilised.

A lot more effort is required to slow traffic down in residential areas. Speeding in these areas has to be seen as socially unacceptable as drink-driving. I don’t believe speed bumps, cameras, and fixed penalty tickets work (and speed bumps are detrimental to vehicle safety, increase pollution and a menace to emergency vehicles). Perhaps taking the speeder’s car away for a week or two might do the trick. You never know the person may even discover they can survive most of the time without it and permanently reduce their use of the car.

Certainly more investment is required in the buses and I support the introduction of ‘modern’ trains and trams.

To encourage the use of smaller and cleaner fuel cars I would introduce grants for conversion to LPG, and guaranteed minimum trade-in values against new fuel efficient city cars to get old bangers off the road. Subsidies should also be offered on electric bikes and cars and other environmentally friendly vehicles.

I am also concerned that the cost of getting to and from the Island, by car or flying, is too expensive for the majority of residents and visitors. If necessary some further form of intervention is required by government to reduce prices to a more affordable level for the not so well off or none-business traveler.

Town Centre

Everybody accepts that the town centre is a ghost town at night and a nightmare to find a parking space to go shopping during the day. Perhaps it is time to turn the town inside out and build shopping ‘villages’ on the outskirts and houses in their place in the centre.

International Issues

I possess a healthy skepticism regarding Europe. I certainly oppose, for example, the formation of a Federal Europe. However, I realise that it is impossible for the I.o.M. to ignore the proximity of Europe and that geographically, even in an e-enabled world, the Island is very much destined to be influenced by what happens in the adjacent Isle and in the EU.

In saying that, I believe that we have to make the most of any opportunities to benefit from access to these markets whilst at the same time not endangering our own unique Island way- of-life.

Therefore, I will keep an open mind towards Europe and the Euro (and for that matter the rest of the world) and will use my best judgment of the information provided on any benefits/threats etc. to the Island before making any decisions.

In relation to the UK I believe we should strengthen our Constitution so that we can more easily fight off any bully boy tactics adopted by the UK; as witnessed by the recent Manx Airline’s crisis.

I would also press for greater recognition of our views in relation to matters concerning bodies such as the OECD, Financial Action Task Force and OSPAR Commission.


I support the introduction of an all island rate, and the lifting of the cost burden of all-island facilities or amenities that fall entirely on Douglas ratepayers.


I believe that we have a people and property management problem, caused by in influx of 800 people a year and 2000 empty or under utilised homes (the equivalent of a house building program for 5 years). rather than a housing crisis. Unfortunately the government has chosen not to restrict new residents and done little to encourage better use of the existing housing stock. A little of either would have reduced the pressure for greenfield development and kept prices more stable and realistic. In order to overcome this mismanagement any of the following would help alleviate the current situation.

Regeneration with a mix of housing types needs to be encouraged including shared ownership, local authority and housing association properties and self-build. All four of these will help provide a stepping stone on to the property ownership ladder, but at a more affordable and sustainable level. A carrot and stick approach should be taken with owners of empty, or under-utilised, properties in order to make them more available to those seeking accommodation.

Certainly building more sheltered accommodation villages like Saddle Mews is a priority; especially as many of our elderly residents feel threatened and vulnerable living in their current estate or high rise homes. Furthermore, their relocation would not only benefit them but make available houses for young couples and families.

It is also vitally important that we do more to maintain the existing housing stock to a higher standard. It is madness to build good quality local authority homes then allow them to deteriorate by slow or inadequate maintenance. This area certainly needs a wake up call because I see little evidence of good practice.

However, just building new houses is not enough and we should be looking to build ‘better communities’ with plenty of local facilities and amenities, all in a pleasant environment where people can get to know each other. The latest Housing Policy Review has at last started to recognise these concepts but the words will be worthless unless more money is allocated to follow through with action.

We also need to discuss whether the notion that to be considered successful you have to own a house is sensible. What is wrong with choosing to rent. Why does a house have to be considered an asset rather than a home? Remember it is not long since negative equity ruined many a young families life, and those same conditions are building up currently in the Island.

Therefore, whilst seeking methods to improve the affordability for first-time buyers, it is important that we do not destabilise the existing housing market by flooding the market with cheap houses. If this does happen, which I pray it will not, then property prices at the lower end will dive, and all those who have recently been made to pay in excess of £ 100,00 for a small house, would find themselves, through no fault of their own, in serious negative equity and that then would be what I called a housing crisis.

Heritage Spot

It’s remarkable how few buildings are actually registered in the l.o.M.

The Island boasts a wealth of fine buildings, incorporating different architectural and building styles, from a vast period of time; so now the Legislation exists to offer them protection - lets get on with it.

Minimum Wage

I believe that in a so called prosperous and caring society that a £4.10/hr minimum wage for an adult worker is pathetic. £5.00/hr should be the starting point if everybody is to truly benefit from our supposed roaring economy.

Published by Andrew Jessop

Printed via the IOM Elections Website.


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