Dear Voter, It has been an honour to represent Peel in Tynwald and the House of Keys for the past fifteen years. I am offering myself again for election and I will be standing as an independent candidate.
I was born and brought up in the Isle of Man and for the past twenty-five years I have lived in Peel. Before marriage I qualified as a nurse and midwife and worked for a time as a ward sister in a large teaching hospital in England. My husband works in Peel and our children have been educated in the Peel schools.
I entered politics in 1978, being elected to the Board of Peel Commissioners on three occasions. Since being elected to the House of Keys I have served on the Departments of Education, Transport, and Agriculture. Fisheries and Forestry. I have been a member of Whitley Council, the Water Authority, the Social Issues Committee, the Executive Committee of the Manx Museum and National Trust and the Overseas Aid Committee. I have been responsible for taking various government bills through the House of Keys and have been elected to a number of select committees. The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association invited me to represent the British Islands and Mediterranean Region at two conferences studying representation in parliaments.
Whilst I retain an interest in many local groups and societies. I am actively involved in the Peel Ladies Lifeboat Guild, Peel Heritage Trust. and am a founder member of the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group. As president of Peel Football Club I am delighted that we have secured the first division championship in consecutive seasons.
I hope to be able to call and see you, when I shall be prepared to discuss these and other points with you. However if you would prefer to see me at any other time please do not hesitate to contact me at home.
Political and financial stability remains the basis of good government, which has sought to bring about a prosperous and caring society. Important as it is the Finance Sector should not take precedence over the other traditional income generating industries of Farming, Fishing and Tourism, which are all of prime importance earning new money to support our infrastructure and services. Good housekeeping and prudent use of tax payers’ money will be required to provide the improvements in Education, Housing, Health, Law and Order, Employment and Leisure that I wish to see.
During the past fifteen years Government has made considerable advances in improving employment opportunities and raising living standards. With the recent introduction of minimum wage legislation I hope the low wage economy is a thing of the past.
Whilst many new jobs have been created, allowing our young people greater opportunity to remain here, we must not he complacent. The expansion of the Isle of Man College and the creation of the International Business School have created opportunities for training and education enabling our people to gain qualifications for the top jobs in all sectors of the economy.
Fishing - Peel is based on and has grown with the Fishing Industry -"If fishing thrives, Peel thrives". I pledge to continue to support it with grants and loans. Training and finance should be available to encourage young people to ensure there is a future for both the catching and processing sectors of the industry. I support the setting up of the Fish Producers Organisation, conservation of stocks, retention of licences and, if re-elected, will press for greater control and influence of our 12-mile limit.
Peel continues to be the main fishing port of the Island and I would oppose any increase in harbour dues, which would adversely affect existing users.
Agriculture is one of the mainstays of the economy. The last fifteen years has seen a huge investment by both government, in the form of financial support and the development of the meat plant, creamery and flour mill; and by the farmers. BSE and Foot & Mouth have changed how food is produced and safeguards such as import controls must continue. Government funding to support local food production, conservation of the countryside and protection of habitats is essential and I will seek support for the development of organic farming.
Industry and businesses must be encouraged to come to Peel as well as help being available to existing units to expand. I support the retention of land in the Peel Development Plan for Industrial use so that local work can he provided.
I have and shall continue to oppose out of town shopping developments in favour of town centre units. T support the establishment of more Government financed, centrally accessed car parking, which should encourage shopping in Peel.
Finance is now a varied sector of our economy, which includes banking, insurance and shipping. Strict financial controls and supervision must continue, not because of outside pressures but because we want to protect the good name of the Isle of Man.
Our ability to vary VAT has been extended and I look forward to the introduction of other tax changes, however it must be remembered that we can only provide services if we have the income from taxation to pay for them.
Tourism and those businesses associated with it have suffered this year owing to the Foot and Mouth epidemic in England and the IRIS works in Peel. Hopefully both will be behind us next year and the IRIS scheme will have benefits for Peel and tourism.
Peel Harbour could be improved by the provision of a water retention scheme increasing shelter for fishing and leisure vessels. An associated sympathetically designed bridge will afford easier access to the Castle. The Heritage Centre and Castle provide focal points for tourists, but we must do more to encourage them to shop locally, support our cafes and other facilities. The protection of our natural assets and the un spoilt character of our City will also serve as an attraction to both visitors and locals.
Law & Order. The certainty of detection together with firm, fair and consistent sentencing will help reduce our crime rate. Community policing, local knowledge and neighbourhood watch will assist in the detection and thus the prevention of crime. However more needs to be done to reassure residents that help will be available when required.
New strategies must be found to tackle alcohol and drug abuse, which are associated with much of our crime.
Health. For many years I have been extremely concerned by the lack of health education as so much could be done to prevent illness. The recent appointment of health promotion officers is to be welcomed.
I had to fight to get the Day Centre and Respite Care Unit developed in the Corrin Home but now the advantage to both patients and carers is evident.
The new hospital will open in two years time but more needs to be done to shorten the waiting lists in all areas of the health services. I will do all I can to assist the surgery in Peel to develop new facilities to cope with the increase in population, and the Corrin Home to improve its accommodation.
I will be actively encouraging the provision of nursing facilities in the West to replace Ballawattleworth Nursing Home.
Housing. Whilst fully supporting the ideal of home ownership and low cost government mortgages it is obvious that this is not possible for everyone. It is therefore essential that good quality government financed housing be provided in each locality. Government funds local authority housing, although under the care of the Commissioners so Government must ensure that there is a proper planned programme of repair and maintenance. Funding must also continue to be available for grants to refurbish properties, especially in the conservation area, the retention of which is essential to the character of Peel.
Good quality sheltered accommodation should he available in all areas together with housing units and workshops for the disabled of all ages.
Education. During my time as Education Minister I was able to secure additional funds for school buildings. I am concerned that the Clothworkers School has still not been upgraded - mobile classrooms are not the answer to a larger school population, our children deserve better.
I welcome the increased provision of nursery education but even more investment is required. My view remains that money well spent in the early years of family life is more than repaid - not just in educational achievement but also socially and in the reduction of teenage crime.
Investment in all round education for all abilities must be our aim. We need not be like England concentrating on exam results and league tables. All students should be encouraged to consider further education whether at college, in apprenticeships or university. I succeeded in gaining an increase in grants for students but as these are means tested on parental income I think even more could be done. I have therefore encouraged Government to consider a Manx student loans system where students could borrow locally at very low rates of interest and repay once they were in employment.
Pensioners. I am fully aware of the needs of pensioners and will continue to fight for improved health care so we can enjoy our prosperity. I shall continue to support free bus travel, free prescriptions and the Christmas bonus for all pensioners. People in residential or nursing homes should have free nursing care.
Population has increased partly due to the success of Government policy, which in turn has led to calls for control. Residency legislation has been passed but I believe if it were to be introduced it would not only be very bureaucratic and intrusive to us all but may actually do little to control numbers. I shall continue to support the work permit system of job controls.
Democracy. I will continue to press for a reform of the voting system. The present "first past the post" system is only true for single seat constituencies like Peel. I fail to see why people in Onchan and Rushen should have three votes; those in Douglas and Ramsey have two, whilst we have one. Equality, one-person one vote, is my aim.
I will continue to try to gain better protection for our environment. I support the provisions of the Wild Life Act, and will encourage the government to introduce the Clean Air Act together with controls on noise. The Government must be much more proactive in the conservation of energy and in reducing, reusing and recycling waste, which I believe, should be treated as a valuable resource. I have opposed the incinerator as it will require all our unsorted waste and create more problems for the environment. Financial incentives should be available for using low energy equipment, insulation, and renewable energy schemes.
It is highly likely that Peel Power Station will close within the next seven years but plans should be made now for the re-use of the building
- eg sports hall or theatre complex.
Planning continues to be poor and inconsistent. Large-scale developments take place with no consideration for the infrastructure such as schools, health, police, water and sewerage and have few facilities for the community, families or children. I will press for this to change when the strategic plan is introduced. Developments should be lead by the planners and not the developers; urbanisation of the countryside is unacceptable.
Sewage. The development of an all Island sewerage system (IRIS) will remove a pollutant from our rivers and seas and, when completed, will be a major advance in Public Health. On completion, Peel’s shore will meet the most stringent bathing water standards.
Highways & Transport. A wide-ranging and informed debate must take place on the traffic routes in and out and around Peel. The interests of businesses, shoppers, residents and visitors must be recognised before changes are introduced. Car parking, road signs, yellow lines and pedestrian areas need urgent consideration and part of that discussion must centre on policing the policies. As it is possible for the IRIS pipeline to be laid under the rail track between Santon and Castletown I believe the same provision should be available to us. We should have the track re-laid between Peel and Douglas so that the historic or a light railway could run thus reducing some of the pressure on our roads.
Many of you will know how deeply I care for Peel, its people, appearance, heritage and culture. Everything possible should be done to keep the charm of Peel and provide employment. In the Manx budget Ramsey and Port St. Mary were deemed to be in need of assistance, via tax relief, through the Commercial Building Allowance Scheme. Peel was left out and that is why I voted against last year’s budget. I am actively pressing for Peel to receive this support in the future.
I am opposed to another primary school in Peel, as I firmly believe that one of Peel’s strengths is that all our children are educated together. A new approach to schooling is required for our increasing population.
The new skate park and bus for our young people are welcome but more facilities are required. I will continue to work with the teachers, youth workers and police, through the inter-agency group, to improve amenities in Peel.
Having fought long and hard I am encouraged by the progress that has been made towards the development of the swimming pool. The ideal site remains on the camp field adjacent to the Clothworkers.
If re-elected, I will continue to work for the good of Peel and do my best to improve available facilities within present financial constraints. My experience in politics has shown me how difficult it sometimes is to bring these plans to fruition. That is not to say that I will not keep trying, but neither will I make unreasonable promises.
If you require transport to the polling station on November 22nd, or if you will be off the Island and require a proxy vote, or require a sick vote, please let me know us soon as possible so that it can be organised for you If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Many of you know that you are able to discuss problems with me by calling at the house or by stopping me in the street. If re-elected I will continue to hold weekly surgeries to help constituents with problems. I aim to try and call on all of you before the election and shall be holding a public meeting at the Philip Christian Centre on Monday 19th November at 8 p.m.
Published by Hazel Hannan, Brottby, Peverial Road, Peel
Printed via the IoM Elections website. www.iomelections.com
REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT 1995