As the General election nears, you have to make the decision as to who to elect to represent YOU in National Government for the next five years.
Therefore I introduce myself to those in the area who have not met me during this and previous election campaigns. I am 39 years old and married to Anne. I have lived in the area since 1987 and presently live in Pulrose.
Having been a Town Councilor for Hills Ward since April 1997, I feel I have the ability and experience to give you the voice you need in Tynwald, as I have given you in Council.
During my time in Council, I have served on many Committees including the Public Health and Housing Committee since May 1997. During my year as Chairman of this Committee, I was able to get extra funds from Government to progress schemes that were crying out for financial assistance. This, along with my work on the Policy and Resources Committee and the Public Works Committee has given me the insight into the working of Government and what needs to be achieved, not only to get the work done but how to procure the necessary resources.
If you are prepared to read this manifesto and vote for me, you will be gaining an M.H.K. prepared to work for you 24 hours a day 365 days a year. This has been my commitment as a Councilor and it will be my commitment as an M.H.K.
Firstly, let me take this opportunity to explain the layout of this Manifesto. In it you will find no glossy photographs of the area as you may find in other such publications, because photographs show the past not the future. All you will see within this document are the thoughts and concerns of the people of South Douglas as expressed to me as I met them on the doorstep. So these are not the thoughts of the Candidate but those of the Constituents.
In the local arena, I have broken the problems down into respective districts so residents of that area can see what work is to be done in their area. They are not in any order of priority as all are of equal importance. I fee! this is beneficial so as to highlight problem areas within the constituency.
Matters of National importance are also dealt with as these will have a bearing on all within the district so I shall deal with them globally.
As stated, these are not my thoughts, but yours. They do not reflect all our concerns as I have not been able to meet all of you individually. You personally may have matters not mentioned here that are important to you, so I say, contact me. Let me know your feelings, because if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
It was pleasing to see the introduction of the traffic calming measures under the ‘Home Zone’ programme in this area, as the estate has suffered from speeding vehicles since its development.
Unfortunately, only one ‘speed bump’ exists within the estate at its entrance on Vicarage Road, so once clear of this, traffic is free to accelerate all the way to the Stevenson’s Way/Cushag Road junction. Sb things haven’t really changed, and that is why this area must be included in phase 2 of the Home Zone Programme. Calming measures near the entrance to Clybane are a must as this is where the School Crossing Patrol is situated and one located near the entrance to Ballaquark will assist the slow down of traffic at the Cushag Road junction.
Where do we start with this estate. Only thirty years old but suffering from rotten window frames and doors, lack of central heating and dangerous paths. The first two are a Douglas Corporation remit and the Council have tried hard to rectify these matters and have now sanctioned Phase 1 of the window replacement scheme, but this, along with any plans for central heating is at the whim of the Council’s paymasters —National Government. Left as it is, these projects will turn into another Upper Pulrose and drag on for years through lack of funding. We must ensure that this is not so. When I was first elected Chairman of the Public Health and Housing Committee, I approached Government and, without any officers of either party being involved, secured 80,000 pounds for the renovation of 38 vacant properties. Now if I can do that within a month of being elected Chairman why haven’t higher bodies than me secured additional funding before now? Cages need to be rattled in Treasury.
BALLAUGHTON & SADDLESTONE
These are other areas that need to be included in Phase two of the Home Zone programme, especially at the approach to Scoill Vallajeelt. Vicarage Road is another emotive matter I feel that the road-widening should go into the fields on the west side of the road, providing this does not have a detrimental effect on the established trees in the area and any future development of the site. Constructing the road on a green field site will allow the existing road to remain open to traffic, with limited closures for connecting both old and new roads together
This area has been greatly enhanced by the Corporation recently, only to be ruined by cars parking all day rather than utilise the facilities in Douglas. Surely this has got to stop.
Once the quiet part of Douglas, Hillside now suffers from parking and speeding problems. Both these matters should be considered under Phase 2 of the Home Zone programme.
The neglected estate of Douglas. Not much has happened here since the fitting of single glazing and an electrical rewire. These properties now suffer from serious roofing problems and a Jack of central heating, but central government will not commit to expenditure. Douglas Corporation need more money for these houses and I would be only too happy to put their case in the House of Keys.
LORD ST. QUEENS ST. QUINES CORNER
This area is going to need special attention during the development of the Shaws Brow car park. As a member of the Public Health and Housing Committee, I pushed for the installation of sound-proofed double glazing but careful monitoring of the environment in this area must be carried out jointly by both Local and National Government.
Again through Government capping, we have a Local Authority capital project dragging along twenty years after it was
commenced. Provided sufficient transit properties can be secured to decant the existing tenants, then this refurbishment must be pushed forward.
By restructuring the existing development plan, this project can be advanced by two years providing Government and Corporation can agree additional funding. This advancement is a must, as these properties are well passed their sell by date, even the Corporation workforce have been banned from working in them on Health and Safety grounds, yet tenants still live within these substandard properties.
Whilst knocking on doors, many local issues have been raised but constituents have also voiced concern over matters of National importance such as:
Government has recently made great play of the fact that work has now commenced on site, but to my mind and those of the people I have spoken to, it should be stopped immediately How can a ‘caring and compassionate’ Government think of siteing a mass burn incinerator on the outskirts of the biggest centre of population on the Island? Authorities in the UK are closing these facilities down yet Tynwald insist in proceeding with this scheme costing millions of pounds of YOUR money. I would propose that the Government Waste Management Programme be re-evaluated to eliminate the need for this expensive and possibly dangerous white elephant.
Law and Order
Now that the option to birch serious offenders has been stripped from us by Europe, there are few options apart from custodial sentences that the courts can impose. It is necessary, therefore, to provide the Courts with the powers to impose hard and far reaching penalties for repeat and vicious offenders.
One option would be to introduce the American style Three and Out’ scheme were an offender convicted for the third time receives a jail sentence in excess of twice the normal tariff or ten years whichever is the greater
Those within the community who deal in drug trafficking and are subsequently convicted of such should be included in the above and have ALL their assets impounded. Extra powers must be given to Local Authorities so that they have the power to evict tenants receiving such convictions along with any proven as ‘nuisance’ neighbours.
The long awaited Police Station is another necessity for the area. If it is not feasible to locate it in the Anagh Coar/Farm hill area then provision should be made within any future rezoning of development land in the Kirby Farm area.
Under age drinking and solvent abuse is another major concern that needs constant monitoring and any proposals to stamp-this-out would receive my whole hearted-support.
Some of the housing problems faced by our young people today are starter homes. Government has committed itself to the regeneration of central Douglas yet fails to declare when they will progress this scheme. A sympathetic blend of first time buyer/Local Authority housing within the central confines of towns on the Island will enhance the areas and bring life back to areas that are similar to ghost towns at night.
Any land rezoned as housing should include a proportion of properties designed for first time buyers allowing people to break the trap that holds them back from home ownership.
Enhanced financial packages for mortgages and a ‘super’ tax on properties owned solely for letting would receive my support providing safeguards were in place to prevent the ‘super’ tax being passed on to the tenant.
It is regrettable to see that the elected members of our National Government see fit to ‘dictate’ to its constituents. Examples such as the Incinerator and the Prison show that the existing Government is
not prepared to listen to the voice of the people, and it was refreshing to see the slap in the face the Council of Ministers received over the proposed Foot and Mouth site in Jurby, although had it not
been so near a General Election, I wonder if such great breast-beating would have taken place. Elected members are responsible to their constituents, and as such must fight for these people at every opportunity.
I believe that the standard of education on this Island is very high. Yet this is achieved by teachers under extreme stress working in overcrowded classrooms or mobile facilities. If
the Island is to maintain its place in the financial world, we must ensure that all school users, be they teachers or pupils, are equipped with the best resources.
A much needed secondary school for the south of Douglas must be progressed. This will prevent the overcrowding that now occurs at our existing secondary schools within Douglas.
Further education for those beyond school leaving age should be encouraged.
I am seriously concerned about the present state of staffing levels at the Islands Hospitals. Shortly we will be opening the new hospital at Ballamona, but will there be enough staff to allow for the whole facility to the available to the public. Government departments are not renowned for staff moral, with many staff feeling that their efforts are taken for granted. This causes bad feeling and resentment leading to dedication being harder to achieve. Our nursing staff are greatly undervalued by their employers through lack of service conditions, such as pay. Better management, with more accountability to patients rather than budgets, is urgently required.
This is an area that the Island is sadly lacking in, as the waiting list for this type of property in Douglas shows. Developments such as the Bus Station site, the regeneration zone and the area between Lord Street and Queens Street must be brought forward as these will provide vacant properties in both the public and private sectors.
Now that you have read this manifesto, you may feel that you can support me in my campaign.
There are many ways to help and if you wish to, or if you want to contact me about any matter that you wish to discuss, please feel free to ring me on 473558.
You can display a poster for me or come and join the team on the day of the election, but most of all the best way you can help me fulfil what
is written in this, a manifesto produced from the comments told to me on the doorstep, is to use your vote.
Too many people decline to use their democratic right to vote and then regret it.
Published by Gary Cain
Printed from the IoM Elections Website. www.iomelections.com
REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT 1995