Isle of Man Local Web Guide

Glenfaba - Alan Kermode


I am 38 years old and own a demolition and civil engineering company currently employing twelve full time staff. Although born and educated on the Island, I spent several years working in Australia and now hold dual nationality. I am married with four children. 


I am from a long-established Manx family and care deeply about the future of the Isle of Man. With a proven track record of getting things done in the private sector, I offer a “hands on, can do” approach to politics. I am enthusiastic, committed and hard-working. As a common-sense working person who is in contact with a wide variety of people, I pride myself in being in touch with the needs and aspirations of the community. I offer a fresh style of politics. 


My principal concerns for the next five years are: 

  1. Sustained economic growth 
  2. A new approach to the provision of family homes
  3. Halt the construction of an all-lsland Mass Burn Incinerator
  4. Cheaper air fares
  5. Greater support for teachers


    Most people feel that the cost of air travel is far too expensive. I believe Manx Airlines is abusing its dominant position in the market. When Emerald Airways offered cheap flights to Liverpool, Manx Airlines immediately undercut them. As passenger numbers were insufficient to sustain both companies, Emerald eventually folded. Surprise, surprise, Manx Airlines soon raised their prices. Something similar happened on the Dublin route with Aer Arron Express, and is now happening on the Belfast route with Platinum Air. If the Island was a part of the E.U. such predatory pricing would be illegal under Article82 (competition law). The time has come for a select committee report on, and an Office of Fair Trading investigation of, Manx Airlines pricing policy. I also believe that the government must be more pro-active in encouraging airlines such as Ryan Air and Easyjet onto Manx routes. It is all right saying we have an “open skies” policy, but we should be actively courting such low cost airlines. Cheaper air fares will benefit everyone and be a major boost to our tourist industry, presently handicapped by exorbitant travel costs. As an offshore jurisdiction, many businesspeople fly to and from the Island each week. Although the costs are absorbed by their companies, ultimately these costs are passed on to the consumer. We must maintain our competitive edge in the global financial services market. Lower cost air travel will help encourage economic diversification. 
    Car ownership is increasing year on year. Congestion and parking are now real problems in some of our towns. Then there is pollution. All nations have obligations under the Rio and Kyoto Conventions to reduce exhaust emissions. I believe the time has come to introduce free bus travel for all. At present all residents over60 years of age are entitled to free travel. With petrol at nearly £4 a gallon and parking in Chester Street Car Park £3 per day, I believe that if everyone could travel on the buses without charge, this would substantially reduce the number of car journeys and relieve congestion in towns. Last year total revenue from passenger fares on the buses was approximately £1.6million. But I am of the opinion that complimentary travel would not only improve quality of life on the Island, it would also demonstrate that we are serious about facing up to our long-term responsibilities for the planet.


    As a parent with three children currently at school, I know that there are many good things about our education system. This year the government will spend £63 million on education, and work will begin on the new St. John's School. The College of Further Education is an excellent facility and the new International Business School is to be welcomed.

    However, after talking to teachers, I am aware that there are some serious problems A recent N.U.T Survey of all teachers on the Island revealed that 33% intended to leave the profession within the next five years. This is a shocking statistic. Why is our educational system faced with such a chronic problem of retention of staff? Is it because teachers no longer wish to teach? No. The answer is they are over-burdened and over-stressed with administration.

    There have been too many new initiatives, programme's and assessments Over recent years. We have been line-dancing with U.K. policies. Teachers are our most important educational resource and they join the profession because they genuinely want to make a difference in young lives. We must understand the needs of our teachers and provide additional administrative support staff and assistants to help relieve the increasing burdens placed on staff teachers If we can raise morale in the profession then all our children will benefit, 
    Explore the Introduction of a means-tested Voucher scheme for nursery places. This should assist parents on low pay to obtain important Pre-Schooling for their children. 
    I wholeheartedly sup- port the present policy of paying tuition fees for, and maintenance grants to, our university students


At present the Island is enjoying great prosperity which, on the face of it, is benefiting everyone Pensions have increased this year by Over 20% and generous personal allowances mean a Working married couple can now earn £300 per week without paying Income lax. There are eight times as many job vacancies as there are unemployed and the strength and diversity of the economy is allowing our Young people to find jobs on the Island without having to move away. We must be continually looking at ways to maintain Our competitiveness vis-a-vis other offshore jurisdictions For example Consideration should be given to reducing the lower rate of company tax from 12% to 10%. The Island needs to maintain its reputation for financial propriety and continue to raise its profile throughout the World. We need to have vision and a global marketing Strategy. As an employer I believe the minimum wage should be raised immediately to £5 per hour.


I am totally opposed to the construction of a mass burn incinerator. : : £43 million has been allocated by Tynwald to build the facility at Middle Farm in Braddan. Mr. Gilbey is the minister in charge of progressing the scheme. . . 

(a) HEALTH My principal concern is that I believe incineration poses a serious threat to our national health. A report published last year by 40 experts from the Environmental Protection Agency in the U S A showed strong evidence that although most dioxins and furans are filtered out by the activated carbon filters in the chimney stacks of incinerators, some are released into the atmosphere. Independent research commissioned by the Friends of the Earth showed that dioxins attack the immune system, accumulate in body fat and can also reduce fertility. 

One conclusion is clear Dioxins cause Cancer. 

In addition to dioxins; very fine particulates of heavy metals are also released from incinerators. Work done by Profess&Howard of Liverpool University shows that these particles are then absorbed in the lungs and stay permanently in the bronchi, the particulates also settle on the grass of the fields surrounding incinerators and are then ingested by grazing livestock. As a result traces of lead and mercury can be found in meat and milk. A breast-feeding mother will then inadvertently pass these contaminates on to her baby . 

France, Spain and the Netherlands have banned any further building of incinerators. These countries are acting on the Precautionary Principle” i a on the principle that if you are not 100% sure you shouldn't do it I believe we should do likewise.

Kewaigue Primary School is less than half-a-mile away from the proposed site of the incinerator the Douglas/Onchan conurbation where over half the Island’s population reside, is about one mile away. I am gravely concerned about the addition of carcinogenic toxins from an incinerator to the cocktail of vehicle emissions and smog already periodically experienced in the Pulrose basin.

b) COST: Fact — recycling is cheaper per tonne than incineration. ...I believe we need an integrated system of reduced packaging streaming of refuse from homes maximum recycling in a safe landfill. Recycling is an opportunity for government and citizens to work together for a better environment. I personally do all I can at present to pursue recycling

(c) APPEARANCE: Because the incinerator Will burn wet garden and household waste there will be a visible plume from the chimney stack. Is such a conspicuous emission over’ our capital the right image for a tourist industry which promotes the beauty of the Island? . .I hope you agree with me that the mass burn incinerator must not be built Although Mr. Gilbey has signed a contract with the private contractor, and there are penalty clauses should the project not proceed, it is still not too late to stop the scheme. A change of mind is a small price to pay for the well-being of our community If elected, I will be seeking a fresh vote on mass burn incineration in the new House of Keys.


As a person who has constructed a number of properties, I have personal insight Into the Islands current housing problem. 

The average house price last year was £120,000 the average weekly earnings of all workers £335. However, many workers’ earn less than this average wage. For these members of our society it is almost impossible to buy a home. Like any other product the price of housing is determined by the forces of supply and demand House prices are governed by the price of land the cost of materials and the profit margin of the builder At present because building land is in short supply the cost of plots is high The cheapest building plot is around the £60 000 mark.

The government's answer Is to offer cheap mortgages. I believe this to be tackling the problem from the wrong end

My proposal: .THE FIRST HOME scheme. .Instead of offering cheap money to buy overpriced houses, more land needs to be re-zoned for housing then affordable plots offered to first-time buyers. 

Under my FIRST HOME scheme, government would buy land currently not zoned for residential use then tender with private contractors to install main services. Plots could then be sold off on a needs basis within each parish or town district for, say, £25,000. Home owners could then negotiate with the builder of their choice for a design that is appropriate to their present needs and budget. Aside for making homes affordable, the other benefits of this FIRST HOME scheme would be: 

(a) greater choice of: styles (not limited to several standard “types”); 
(b) purchasing much more bricks and mortar as a percentage of the total house cost;
(c) homes which lend themselves to expansion as family needs change; (d) the opportunity to put down roots and be able to grow and develop a sense of place and community. What we build today is tomorrow’s future.

Agricultural land is currently selling at £2,000 per acre, land zoned for residential use at anything from £150 000 per acre But whereas labour and material costs have risen broadly in line with inflation developer led property prices have rocketed. The average house price in 1994 was£61 000 so in six years house prices have doubled! I believe government could negotiate with landowners for the purchase of un-zoned land for use under this new scheme, This would allow plots to be sold at the discounted price. At present there is £13 million in the Land Acquisition reserve Fund. A government that cares for its people should have the political will to take action


  • We should never lose track of the fact that the vast majority of Island residents are decent law-abiding citizens, Nevertheless, there is criminal activity on the Island and the new Chief Constable, Mr. Culverhouse, has made excellent progress in introducing reforms which have helped reduce recorded crime by 10% last year. It is reassuring to see a substantially increased number of foot patrols. However, as with teaching, many police officers complain about the increasing amount of paperwork involved with each case. I believe there is scope for a re-appraisal of certain aspects of police duties. Such a rationalization, bringing in administrative assistants to deal with various bureaucratic matters, would free officers for the more important functions of prevention, investigation and community policing. 
  •  Drugs are the number one menace our society faces. I believe we should have large signs at Ronaldsway Airport and all ports of entry into the Island, warning that, “Drug trafficking into the Isle of Man will be dealt with severely”. I support the increased confiscation of the assets of drug suppliers. 
  • Greater use of reparation orders in the sentencing of vandals and burglars. We must place the victim at the centre of our law and order policy. Criminals should be forced to confront their victims and make good any damage caused,
  • Speeding. Regrettably this is a problem in many of our towns and villages and I therefore support the introduction of speed cameras on busy roads in residential areas.

    I believe we should experiment by placing cameras in several areas for a six-month trial period. Bowring Road, Ramsey, and the main roads through Laxey, Kirk Michael, Colby, St. John’s and Foxdale could be possible candidates. Recent results in the U.K. show speeds are significantly reduced and the number of accidents decrease. 

    Although I consider speed cameras could make an important contribution to road safety, they must not be used as an easy source of revenue. Motorists must be made aware of their presence in order to prevent any alienation of motorists from police.


The Islands most important natural resource is its outstanding beauty and relatively clean air. We need to protect and cherish this. The M.E.A.’s £10 million investment in wind energy, and the I.R.l.S. sewage scheme are to be welcomed. However, I have two concerns:

(a) Beaches. Our wonderful beaches are often spoiled by litter and debris. Local authorities have the power to clean beaches but lack the resources. All that is required is a team of two workers, with a tractor and trailer. Such a unit should be able to cover all accessible shores once a fortnight, transferring any litter gathered into strategically placed skips. For less than £100,000 we could have beaches we would be proud of.

(b) Sustainability. Substantially greater use should be made of renewable resources in buildings. The Planning Application form should have a section enquiring whether the applicant intends to make use of solar energy. Greater emphasis needs to be placed on energy efficient design and we must encourage the 
use of sustainable forms of power.


  • We have a health service we can be proud of. Net expenditure on health this year will be £140 million. The new hospital is costing in excess of £100 million but will, I hope, ultimately be a first-class facility. We must continue to uphold the principle of a free health service for all.
  • The Treasury should allocate resources for the running of the Hyperbaric Chamber. This much-used and important facility should not be struggling to raise cash from charity.
  • Increased health promotion, especially in schools. Prevention is far cheaper than cure, and the dangers of smoking, drugs and excess alcohol must be made clear,
  • Improved access and facilities for the disabled in all public places.


Farmers are our guardians of the countryside and play an important role in society. However, there are long-term structural problems in the industry. One of the aims of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (G.A.T.T.) is the global harmonisation of state subsidies to agriculture by 2010. This will entail the gradual reduction of government financial support. The idea is to create a “level playing field” in the world market for agricultural products.

Farmers will have to be competitive and market conscious in order to survive. Whilst supporting this move away from guaranteed prices and direct state support, I believe we should assist and encourage our farmers to diversify. Land can be used for many recreational purposes, derelict outbuildings converted into holiday homes and farmers co-operatives established selling goods direct to the consumer. Financial assistance should be gradually redirected towards maintenance of the countryside.

Public Services and Administration

I realise that some of my proposals will involve extra expenditure.
Where is the money to come from? Last year there was a government surplus of £22 million, Should we spend some of this? We may have to in the immediate short term, but in the longer term I believe substantial savings can be made in the way government spends our money.

The project management of the new hospital is a prime example of wasting taxpayers money. We should have had a fixed price for the whole job, a “turn-key" package. As it is we are saddled with an open-ended contract involving ongoing tendering which will ultimately cost the taxpayer much more than the fixed price arrangement.

I believe government should spend taxpayers money like a prudent person would spend his or her own money. Is the expenditure necessary? Can it be justified? Can it be done cheaper? These are questions an individual or private company always ask.

I am in favour, over a gradual period of time, of the increased use of private contractors. Road building and repair, school maintenance and the upkeep of national glens are just some of the areas where substantial savings could be made; savings that can then be spent on other public services.


  • Having had many years involvement with the planning department in my capacity as a builder, as a sub-contractor and as a home owner, I have reached the conclusion that our planning system needs a fundamental overhaul.
  • Flooding at the Millrace Estate in Sulby, inconsistency in decisions regarding the fitting of PVC windows to older properties, and the Mount Murray fiasco, are just a few examples of incompetence in the planning process.
  • Strategic development plans must be much more sympathetic and responsive to the needs of each town and village. Much weight must be given to the voice of local people.
  • The application procedure should be speeded up. At present the process can take up to 12 months per case.
  • Appointment to the Planning Committee of persons with a proven track record of practical success in this field.
  • Appeals. At present the Minister for Local Government and the Environment has the final say on applications — given the importance of planning schemes to the interested parties, I believe ultimate approval should rest not with one minister but with the entire Council of Ministers.

    This radical suggestion, that every appeal should eventually be considered by the Council, would ensure that in the consideration of each development proposal there was clear collective cabinet responsibility by democratically elected representatives. Given the intrinsically contentious nature of planning I believe it is vital that an all inclusive Island wide perspective be taken on matters of such significance.
  • Change of ethos. The attitude of the department should be one of openness, fairness and approachability. There must be greater consistency in decisions.
  • Housing in Douglas. Given that most of the people moving to live on the Island work in Douglas, I believe consideration should be given to the development of land at Douglas Head. This area is within easy reach of the town centre and sensitive residential development here would reduce the number of commuters and help ease rush hour congestion.

Constitutional Issues

Net expenditure on the Legislature last year was £2.6 million. The U.K. has a parliament of 659 MR’s for a population of 55 million. Tynwald has 33 members for a population of 75,CIJO. I believe we are over-governed and that the Legislature should be slimmed down. I support the abolition of the Legislative Council. Further I am in favour of reducing the number of M.H.K.’s from 24 to 16.


I believe the time has come to have a means of controlling immigration. We need a fair and objective mechanism, perhaps similar to the “points system” used in Australia. Such a credible regulatory procedure will help economic management and allow for controlled growth of the population.

Sport and Leisure

  • The Island Games were a great success this summer and we now have some superb sporting facilities. Sport is important in promoting health and social interaction.

    I believe we should make much greater use of professional and specialist coaches from the U.K. and abroad. Indeed, perhaps thought should be given to establishing a National Sports Academy. Australia set up a series of such academies in the 1970’s aimed at nurturing champions. Its paid off big time. They certainly have the best cricketers and rugby players in the world.
  • I support proposals for a family entertainment complex on the derelict site of the former outdoor swimming pool on Peel Promenade. The whole Island could enjoy such an attraction.

Local Issues

  • Resurfacing of the main road through Foxdale must be a priority. It is an embarrassment to the Island that a main north—south road has been in this state for so long. 
  • I support the introduction of a roundabout at the dangerous Hope crossroads.
  • As mentioned above, the introduction of speed cameras in Foxdale and St. John’s on an experimental basis.
  • World Heritage Site status be given to the mossy traffic cones at the end of Brookfleld Terrace!


Do you agree with me that the detailed practical policies I have outlined are necessary and important”

Do you wish to be represented by a younger person from a different generation

Do you want a fresh, dynamic approach to politics

I make only one promise: You can trust me to do my very best

There are many topics which I have not discussed in this manifesto. You can contact me about any issues that concern you or about the subjects I have raised by telephoning 844422. I am here to help and you will find me approachable, open minded and willing to listen. If you share my passion for positive change please vote for Alan Kermode on 22nd November.

Thank you.

Published by Alan Kermode

Printed via the IOM Elections Website.


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