I am 49 years old and live in Ballafesson with my wife and two children. From 1984, I ran my own landscaping business until I was elected as an MHK for Rushen at the June 2000 by-election. I have a degree in Politics and previously taught Mathematics and British Government & Politics. I have also worked as a Computer Programmer for a major bank Prior to the by-election, I served as a Commissioner for Rushen Parish for eight years. This gave me an extensive knowledge of local government affairs and an appreciation of our local heritage.
I believe an MHK is elected to serve the Island, to represent his constituency, to help his constituents and to be a steward of the public finances.
I pledge to fight for the interests of individual constituents and! will always respond when you need assistance in dealing with the Government. I have held monthly surgeries in Port Erin and Port St Mary since my election.
Occasionally there will be a conflict between the needs of the constituency and the needs of the Island. In these circumstances, I will make a decision based on my principles and policies that I stand for.
I have set out my policies on the inside pages. Please contact me if you would like to discuss any issue in greater detail.
I would like to thank all those who supported me in June 2000. I hope! have repaid the confidence you placed in me.
I am happy to be judged by my performance as one of your MHKS. I hope you will vote to re-elect me on November 22nd so! can continue to work for the constituents of Rushen and the policies in my manifesto.
Make sure you have your say in who represents you. Please take time to cast your vote on polling day.
Supporting the Local Economy
We need to revitalise our two villages and create jobs. A relocated Government Department would be a useful start. The Strix building in Port Erin should not be used for Shoprite’s expansion. If a commercial /office use cannot be found then it should be available for the community.
Tourism still has an important role in the South and is part of our long term future. We need to be proactive in providing services and facilities for visitors. The development of the Sound cafe is welcome.
Local shops are essential to the life of a community. They are already threatened by the big stores. I will oppose any large new stores coming to the Island.
The steam train brings many tourists to the South and is important for the survival of many local shops and cafes. The 2nd summer of the IRIS pipeline being laid under the track could be very damaging to such businesses.
I was responsible for the proposal to lay the pipeline in the fields during the 2nd summer in order to keep the trains running and protect local tourism.
A Marine Aquarium/Sea Life Centre for the Island would benefit both residents and visitors. I now believe the best location is in a working port and I have promoted Port St Mary to the Department of Tourism.
Facilities for Young People
If we are serious about discouraging vandalism as well as drink and drug abuse amongst teenagers, we must encourage and support measures to give young people positive alternatives.
The local commissioners’ project for a skateboard park is most welcome.
In last year’s manifesto, I suggested a Local Cinema would be of benefit to the whole community. The Strix building in Port Erin could be suitable and it could also accommodate a centre for teenagers. The Four Roads Clinic could also be considered.
The Police Service
We would all like to see more policemen ‘on the beat’. This will only be possible with a major increase in police numbers. Our local police have been working well within the limited resources available.
In the long term, we all have a responsibility to build strong local communities and reduce antisocial behaviour. We owe this to our children and future generations.
The Ballakilley Project
The joint local commissioners wish to purchase, with government assistance, the land behind Ponyfields for a green belt recreation area. The purchase of this land would make a host of sporting and recreational facilities (and even a campsite) possible.
After pressing the: Council of Ministers with my MHK colleagues, negotiations for this land are now taking place.
In this particular case, it may be necessary to compulsory purchase the land at an independently assessed price based on its ‘amenity’ value.
Local Government Reform
Any reform must be based on keeping our existing Village and Parish authorities which are vital for strong local communities.
I have studied local authority finances and there are many areas where public money is being wasted and better financial control is required.
There is value in providing some services, such as refuse collection and minor road and pavement repairs, by a larger district authority. There should be one Housing Authority for the South.
The last Rate Revaluation was 30 years ago. A new Revaluation is essential for fairness.
Port St Mary Marina
I now believe that this is a viable project provided the resulting changes to tidal flows and storm wave action will not threaten damage to both Chapel and Brewery beach (Gansey). Whilst many will not wish to see Port St Mary change, I believe it is necessary for the future of the village. If the Island is to reduce its dependence on the finance sector, we must be prepared to accept growth in other areas.
I have actively opposed further housing on this headland. I spoke at the Inquiry on the Port St Mary Local Plan on behalf of many concerned local residents.
There is still a need for a ‘skipper’ bus service for the local community.
I am pleased that a commuter rail service to the South is now a realistic possibility after being the first to suggest this in 1991.
Support for Recreation & Sport
Local football, rugby and other clubs are a vital part of a healthy community and provide a good service for young people. They should be helped in practical ways to provide good facilities.
Important National Issues
I make no apology for repeating the policies from my June 2000 manifesto (shown in purple). Little has changed since then and, with a few exceptions, I still uphold the same views.
Managing the Economy
Our economy is growing too fast and this causes problems:
The government has a responsibility to:
I voted against the Income Tax Strategy because it fuels population growth. I have argued for a slower rate of economic growth.
This is the wrong time to further reduce income tax to levels which may not support our essential services in the leaner years ahead.
Diversify the Economy
We are too reliant on the finance sector for our wealth. This time of prosperity is the opportunity for prudent management and developing other sectors of the economy to safeguard the future.
These views are unchanged. I am pleased that DAFF is working on measures for the future of the Fishing Industry. I believe we also need a long term plan to ensure a healthy future for Farming which has had many difficult years.
House Price inflation is a direct result of the current economic policy and the failure to plan for its success. One company has a stranglehold on land development and too much influence on the housing market. I have proposed in Tynwald that we should consider:
Government should have the first option on buying development land so:-.
There is a shortage of affordable property to rent. I support a new Fair Rents Act to regulate rents.
Build a New Town
We should consider building a new town South of Douglas This would help take the pressure off the housing market. A well designed range of houses with proper community facilities, small shops, etc would be preferable to the suburban sprawl that is taking place in the South.
I have constantly argued for this policy and I will vote against the the Island Strategic Plan, if re-elected, unless it contains this commitment.
Management of Public Money
The Manx Government is widely renowned for its inability to control public expenditure and complete Capital Projects at a reasonable cost.
This last year has ‘opened my eyes’ to how poorly we control expenditure in so many areas - not least in proposing a £6 million spend on new Tynwald Offices.
We need far greater scrutiny of public money and far greater openness. New scrutiny procedures may well be linked to constitutional reform.
Education is well funded but we have followed the changes in the UK too closely resulting in an over emphasis on academic qualifications. Children who are not academic need more skill based and vocational training in their later secondary years.
I believe the rapid introduction of new measures from the UK has damaged our education system and placed great stress on our teachers.
We need to look closely at these changes and the increased bureaucracy they bring.We should give our teachers the freedom to teach. I have proposed that we should have our own accredited GCSE in Manx History.
The Health Service
I share the the concerns about the cost of the new hospital, the length of waiting lists and worries about staffing.
The Health Service should be professionally managed by a separate Authority instead of being run by civil servants and one MHK. An early introduction of a complaints procedure is essential.
Since June last year I have been a member of the DHSS and I am aware of the immense difficulties of running the Health Service.
I was pleased to support the new complaints procedure.
I support a full select committee study of the new hospital contract in order that we may learn from its mistakes.
I believe that the management of our Health Service can be greatly improved and I support a far greater involvement of members of the public.
Some Douglas Dental Practices are pressurising patients to change to a private and costly ‘Denplan’. We must take strong measures to retain a NHS Dental Service.
I am pleased that the dedicated an valuable service provided by the Rushen Emergency Ambulance has been recognised and that there are plans to integrate with the NHS emergency service to be based at the new Southern Healthcare Facility.
I am opposed to the current incineration plans on environmental, health and cost grounds Disposal of the incinerator ash is another high cost threat to the environment.
We must protect both our landscape and marine environment, Conserving species and encouraging bio-diversity.
The island must abide by its international obligations to act against global warming We should adopt the UK policy of "reducing C02 emissions by 20% of 1990 levels by 2010" and institute a wide range of measures to make this happen e.g.
I have continued to oppose the incinerator and to argue for cleaner methods of disposing of our waste.
I successfully moved a motion in Tynwald to commit the Island to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.
I have submitted professional information on estate and house designs for solar gain and DoLGE are now working to incorporate these into planning.
I have also made practical suggestions for improvements to the House Improvement & Energy Conservation Scheme.
I have argued for greater efforts to keep our beaches clean for the benefit of residents and tourism.
I am currently working on proposals to reform the Dog Fouling legislation.
I support a directly elected Legislative Council with elections taking place at a different time than the Keys and using larger I regional constituencies.
I voted against the Constitutional Bill last summer as it would have removed the Legislative Council. We must retain an Upper Chamber and we should either directly elect the Legislative Council (still my favoured option) or improve the selection process.
The Island needs 32 fully legitimate working politicians to provide effective government and the parliamentary scrutiny the public deserves.
I believe that we need fewer Departments / Ministers (7 or 8 instead of 9) to reduce the Council of Ministers block vote and give more power to the Parliament.
We should continue with the gradual moves to greater independence from the UK but be prepared for more rapid movement if circumstances necessitate.
The recent fiasco of the Manx Airlines insurance highlights the need for the Island to protect its interests.
These policies cover the major issues
facing the Island. Please contact me if you
Published By John Rimington
Printed via the IoM Elections Website. www.iomelections.com
REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT 1995