A new Government will be formed following the General Election on 22nd November 2001.
One of the first tasks for the new House of Keys will be to elect a Chief Minister who must show leadership in determining a secure, sustainable, safe and buoyant economy, for the Island’s people. Once elected he or she will select a Cabinet of Ministers where new blood is vitally needed in order to establish a strong, forward thinking Government; one upon which we can truly rely to uphold the Island’s independent status in the often hostile international arena.
Pressure to harmonise our taxation policies must be strongly resisted, and there should be a greater emphasis on the diversification of our economic base, with the improvement of incentives for our tourism, manufacturing and farming industries.
The policies I present to you are a combination of my own independent views and incorporate those of the Alliance for Progressive Government (APG).These policies show a clear vision with common sense and practical solutions to the many and varied issues which affect us all.
QUALITY OF LIFE:
We have seen an unprecedented influx of new residents, averaging 850 persons a year over the last four years. This rapid population growth is outpacing the provision of housing, health and education on the Island, and is overburdening our road and sewerage infrastructures.
During my term of office we have passed legislation and received royal assent for RESIDENCY CONTROLS. Despite this, the present Council of Ministers have been reluctant to bring in the regulations to effect this new law.
TO PROTECT OUR QUALITY OF LIFE THE NEW GOVERNMENT MUST INTRODUCE SUCH REGULATIONS.
LAW AND ORDER:
The rapid increase in population has impacted on our capacity to enforce the laws we make. With police numbers remaining largely static, there is often insufficient deployment of police officers in the evenings and at weekends. Urgent attention is needed and the Government must lift its employees capping policy to increase personnel.
I support the APG policies for maintaining law and order and protecting the public, by ensuring that persons who are repeatedly convicted of serious criminal offenses receive extended prison sentences. Other measures would include properly structured rehabilitation programme's.
Greater police numbers are needed on our streets, with a particular emphasis on Douglas Promenade - the site of too much unruly and criminal activity over the years.
A larger police presence supported by CCTV cameras would certainly benefit problem areas.
HEALTH & SOCIAL ISSUES:
The cost of the new hospital has risen out of all proportion with an estimated £111.7 million of tax payers money already committed - a figure which does not include a further £3.7 million identified as over spend. The completion date has been delayed and the whole project fraught with difficulties. The issue of medical staffing has not been addressed, neither has that of access during road closure for racing.
You may recall that, following my outspoken remarks about the building of the new hospital, I was promptly relieved of my political responsibilities for the Island’s construction industry and sacked from the Department of Trade and Industry.
However, the predictions I made, both before and after my election to the House of Keys, have been proved right. Rest assured, I will continue to be outspoken in the public interest in the future!
I AM COMMITTED TO:
I am pleased to report that Tynwald has approved a Select Committee Report which I had the privilege to chair. The Report makes 14 recommendations, one of which calls on the DHSS to investigate the provision of core and cluster sheltered accommodation, together with a central meeting place facility and craft workshops.
Other recommendations provide for greater family input in the policy making process. There are also calls for a seamless transition into adult care facilities for the children; and in general, calls for more serious consideration being given to the personal preference of individuals in respect of their living accommodation.
Our society should seek to increase, not limit, the range of choices available to handicapped members, for the ability to choose is something we all hold very dear.
A Youth Commission must be established to examine the reasons behind drug and alcohol-abuse amongst our young people if we are to foster a caring and responsible society. Such a Commission must embrace the problems associated with such abuse in seeking to provide both medium and long term policies which will encourage - parental skills, mapping of child development, education, healthy diet and a general improvement in recreational facilities. The Commission must involve the young people themselves, their voice must be heard by Government.
On the educational front I wish to see greater provision of state run pre-school nurseries. This is vital for Douglas which at present does not provide such a facility - the benefits are twofold, in the monitoring of child development whilst enabling mothers who wish to return to work to do so.
The provision of new and improved youth and community initiatives is of paramount importance if we are to encourage respect and appreciation in our young people.
I have pressed hard for greater opportunities in sport and this has- now been included--in-the National Curriculum. As many sporting activities as possible should be available free to those under 16 yrs.
HEALTHY BODIES = HEALTHY MINDS!
I’m also happy to see the inclusion of the Manx Language in the curriculum.
I led the opposition in Tynwald to the Government’s MASS BURN INCINERATOR proposal and remain of the view that this is not the way forward in dealing with the Island’s waste.
To burn all waste is madness and a gross waste of tax payers money. This project is very costly and could lead to a refuse rate being applied on all ratepayers. The Government has agreed a 25 year contract for the incinerator which will be obsolete half -way through its life, and- also out-of step with the rest of the developing world.
Meanwhile, 30% of the volume of waste incinerated - the left over ‘bottom ash’ - will still need to be land filled on the Island, whilst negotiations are underway to export the ‘fly ash’ off Island if agreement can be reached with the United Kingdom.
At the October sitting, I am pleased to report that as a direct result of my initiative, Tynwald endorsed the policy of KERBSIDE COLLECTION of recyclables - supporting a Pilot Scheme early next year. To help safeguard the Islands environment we must embrace this initiative with 100% support. It will go some way to reducing the overall volume of waste for incineration, thus reducing the associated risks.
As a priority, the Government must ensure greater emphasis on the efficient monitoring of air, water and soil, to ensure that the harmful emissions do not contaminate the air we breath and the food we eat -leading to serious health problems.
RETIREMENT WITH DIGNITY FOR PENSIONERS:
The Island is currently enjoying unparalleled success, the foundations of which were laid by the hard work of our pensioners. It is intended that the State Retirement Pension and Manx Pension Supplement, coupled with SERPS or an Occupational/Personal Pension will provide sufficient pension to ensure
retirement -with -dignity--for-pensioners. The APG has achieved an increase in the Manx Pension Supplement from £9.35 to £36.25, and will continue to press for an adequate pension income, with a review of pension policy and structure, for the benefit of all pensioners.
FAIRNESS IN THE PAYMENT OF THE MANX PENSION SUPPLEMENT:
The principle of this payment being based on contributions paid in the Isle of Man is supported. However, it is unfair that contribution years for a period of less than 10 years should be totally disregarded.
REALISTIC SUPPORT FOR TOURISM:
The Government’s compensation measures must be extended beyond early next year to enable recovery to stabilise, and to help maintain buoyancy in the near future. I believe the Tourism Industry has, to a large degree, been taken for granted by the Government. Instead, the focus has been on attracting more finance based industries, which, while important to the Island’s present economic base, should not take precedence over our established Tourism Industry.
Millions of holidaymaker's would love to visit our beautiful, peaceful Island, and we must continue to seek new ways of competing in a tough marketplace.
REALISTIC SUPPORT FOR TOURISM cont’d:
I WILL SEEK TO ENSURE:
TRAFFIC: Sadly, an ever increasing problem for Douglas, particularly East Douglas - the centre of the Town. The Dept. of Transport has consistently failed to address the problems associated with heavy traffic and car parking in our residential areas, and is inept at controlling the regulations within Disc Parking areas.
It is high time that a Douglas MHK headed this particular Government department - we might then see the attention being given to traffic and parking issues that our capital so sorely needs. One only has to look at Castletown, for example, to see where the vast majority of expenditure has been provided by the present Minister.
ACTIONS URGENTLY NEEDED:
IMPROVED STANDARDS IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTOR HOUSING:
There is a particular need to address the accommodation difficulties encountered by young single people and couples - due to the current high costs of private sector housing.
In October, all of the above new policies were endorsed by Tynwald, - although legislation will be required for the setting up of Housing Associations, this may be achievable early next year.
As a member of:
PARLIAMENTARY SELECT COMMITTEES:
I INITIATED THE FOLLOWING WITH APG SUPPORT:
All of which have involved applying pressure on Government Departments, or my moving legislation or motions both in the House of Keys and Tynwald.
In addition I have placed over 300 questions - seeking answers to the many concerns which you have brought to me.
Non political responsibilities include:
In East Douglas you have two full votes as there are two seats to be filled. I ask you to cast your vote for a woman who will continue to work ha rd for the constituency with 100% commitment, by fully representing your views with openness and honesty.
PLEASE VOTE BRENDA CANNELL
Published by Brenda Cannel
Printed via the IOM Elections Website. www.iomelections.com
REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT 1995