Douglas West - Mike Percival
I trust you will take the time to read my manifesto, and that some of the points
contained in it will encourage you to vote for me on November 22nd in the General
Election for the House of Keys.
I was born in May 1952 , the second of four children of Tony & Helen Percival
and spent my formative years in Laxey. Educated at Ramsey Grammar School I
became well known as one of the 'voices' of Manx Radio during the 1970s and
80s before moving into the print industry. I have always taken an active role
in the community and have been a member of Douglas Round Table, the Isle of
Man Lions Club and am currently secretary of Onchan Rotary Club. My interests
include motorcycling and the theatre. I am married to Jan (nee Teare) and we
have two daughters, Emma (23) and Erica (20). We have lived at "Lezayre", Quarterbridge
Road for the past seventeen years.
I have set out below just a few of the items that
I feel strongly about, each item could fill a manifesto but I have
tried to be brief:
West Douglas has some 40% of the secondary school pupils in the Island. This
is too high a percentage. I am in favour of the plan to site a secondary
school in the Onchan area to relieve the situation. However, five years is
too long to wait, the work should be moved forward to 2002. The two Douglas
Secondary schools have reached saturation point. Smaller secondary schools
tend to have better records in standard of educational performance, and behaviour.
This would also relieve pressure on the roads within the area - less pupils
coming in, less traffic passing through.
More should be done to ensure that a higher proportion
of our young people who attend University return to the Island to
work. At the moment we have a large influx of people coming in to
take jobs within the Finance Industry - jobs that could be filled
by our own residents if they came back. We must make returning home
a more attractive proposition.
At the moment we have facilities on the Island to
train teachers to primary school level, we should enlarge this to
encompass secondary school level. In the meantime we need to ensure
that sufficient numbers of teachers are attracted to the Island to
maintain the current high standards - and improve on them. This would
mean removing, or altering, the capping placed on teacher numbers.
A small price to pay for our young people - they are our future.
The new Hospital is a welcome addition, but we need
the staff to man it. Nurse training has recently re-started, but
only for adult general nursing. We have a continued and growing requirement
for nursing staff in all fields. We can expand the facilities to
ensure a centre of excellence for nurse training.
Currently we have an economy in good shape and a thriving Finance Sector, one
with stringent controls. Despite this we are under constant pressure from
the UK Government, Europe and others. We are being regarded with suspicion
as a possible home for terrorist's money laundering. The Edwards report recently
showed that our controls are already better than those of the United Kingdom
but we must remember that we want to attract business, not frighten it away.
We cannot operate in isolation from the rest of
the world, particularly in view of the current turn of events regarding
terrorism, and every effort should be made to ensure we stay one
The Island has made moves to diversify the economy
- shipping and the film industry being two examples. A policy of
searching out and attracting different types of industry will have
to be pursued aggressively. One way of following this would be closer
links with the Private Sector - there is a wealth of experience and
knowledge out there, which should be used to greater advantage. The
IT sector alone could provide a worthwhile boost to the Island's
funding and employment. The recent allocation of licenses for on-line
gaming was a start but did not go far enough.
Tourism, whilst no longer our major revenue source,
remains vital to the economy. TT Week alone brings in a considerable
sum. More encouragement for specialist holidays and support for our
hoteliers is the logical way forward.
I would like to see more investment in people -
better re-training facilities in order that people may qualify for
one of the many vacancies that exist. Incentives need to be offered.
At the moment we have the Job Seekers Allowance and the retraining
allowance - moves in the right direction.
The new Hospital will alleviate traffic problems in Douglas when it opens,
that would be a good time to look closely at the movement of vehicles around
Douglas and to improve our traffic handling system. The development has been
beset by problems and the overall cost keeps rising. This cannot be allowed
to happen with future major projects. Appropriate Government Departments
must make sure things are not allowed to spiral out of control.
The new Prison is not yet under way, but soon will
be. Whilst it is not to be in Douglas we must ensure that the building
will be in keeping with its surroundings. We do not want 20 foot
concrete walls with razor wire and arc lights.
The Incinerator continues to cause disquiet. At
a time when many countries are getting rid of the system, we seem
intent on adopting it. Why?
The system of landfill is temporary at best, there
are a limited number of holes to be filled. Re-cycling would provide
a partial answer. Recently the bottles most of us carefully place
in the green bins have actually started to be recycled - up to that
time they were dumped in landfill sites. We could do the same with
paper, food waste, garden waste, metals etc. Various countries use
recycling bins for households - it would work here.
There is cause for concern about the general crime rate. Comments have been
made that the area is turning into an inner city environment. A strong reaction,
but the crime rate is on the increase. Police foot-patrols act as a deterrent.
It is hard to see what is happening when traveling at speed in a car.
Priory House, the centre for young offenders, is
just outside the boundaries of the constituency. Reports suggest
that a surprisingly high percentage of crime can be traced back there.
The level of supervision needs improving.
In the UK the Youth Justice Board, after a 15-month
trial has instituted a "Pay Back" policy - young criminals come face
to face with their victims, and pay them back - in cash or time -
a similar scheme could be operated in the Island.
Reports suggest that almost 80% of crime is drink related. We have just extended
licensing hours dramatically. The two do not seem mutually beneficial and will
require careful monitoring.
We do have a drug problem on the Island, I would
like to see help for the users. Remove them and the pushers go out
HOUSING and EMPLOYMENT
There is a problem with affordable housing on the Island. We have the lowest
unemployment rate for 60 years and the need for skilled labour on the Island
is still growing, bringing with it further demand for housing.
We live in a market driven economy, supply and demand
dictate prices. There is no easy answer, suggestions include Government
purchase of land with houses built and supplied at cost with a minimum
period of occupancy of perhaps ten years. Resale prior to this would
result in payment for the land then being made. The properties would
only be available to first time buyers.
Most of the new building in Douglas consists of
office accommodation, but many of the older buildings have upper
floors that are, at best, used for storage. These used to be homes.
They could be again, bringing life back to the centre of town.
Any development in towns and villages must remain in keeping with their surroundings.
No more hundred house estates - rather small groups of four or five houses
in different areas. Regeneration of towns and villages is a far better way
than overwhelming them, with provision made for small shops and businesses,
local pubs, all the items that make an area a community. There is a place in
our Island for superstores, they serve a vital need, but not at the expense
of the small local convenience shop.
RATES AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES
At the moment Douglas ratepayers are bearing the brunt of the cost of provision
of facilities used by the whole Island. During the 1980's a resolution to
abolish the domestic rate was approved, but was then side-lined. With the
current exceedingly healthy state of the Government reserves this can now
Equally the water rate is outdated. Ratepayers are paying for additions and
improvements to services which should be funded by Government.
Over the years numerous studies have been carried out regarding the re-organisation
of the Island's Local Authorities, yet none of them have progressed beyond
report stage. We do not need more studies of the situation, we need to resolve
it. With a population of 76,000 the Island does not require the number of different
bodies we have to administer local matters. We have the opportunity to create
a small number of effective bodies, while it might be unpopular with empire
builders, let's do it.
I have mentioned the traffic in Douglas with relation to the schools and hospital.
Douglas is the centre on the Island for business, which brings enormous numbers
of vehicles in every day. In comparison to other countries we do not have
traffic jams, but traffic backed up from Quarterbridge to the bottom of Bray
Hill in the morning, and from St Ninians to Alexander Drive in the evening
is becoming a regular occurrence. Many of the roads in Douglas West are being
used as "rabbit runs" and parking spaces for workers in the town. Whilst
park and ride has been tried on a small scale, it is time to try again, this
time with better controls and organization in place, on both sides of Douglas.
Some parts of the Island have "Home Zones" with
traffic calming and slowing systems in place. These work. Some of
our residential areas could be zoned, giving greater safety to the
There is a general uncertainty regarding the youth of the Island. I am not
uncertain - they are the future and I am in favour of nurturing and encouraging
them to use their spare time in ways that they will find fun, but which do
not involve violence or damage to property. Groups of young people can be
seen on almost any night around the town, drinking & smoking. Something
has to be done to give them alternatives. I am sure many people will say
that everything has been tried, but times change and so should we. There
is a good network of Youth Clubs on the Island but they are under-funded
and under-manned. Peel Police have started a scheme teaching young people
to restore bicycles and motorcycles, this is precisely the sort of idea deserving
At present we have an imbalance in representation for the people of the Island.
The urban areas do not have the same representation per head that the rural
areas do. Moves to redress the imbalance in the past have been defeated but
this does not mean that the idea is dead. The Democratic system is a fair
one provided each vote is worth the same amount wherever it is cast.
The upper house of the Manx Parliament, the Legislative
Council, is an appointed body. The voters of the Island have no say
in its form or membership. Whilst it performs a valuable role I would
prefer the voting members of the Council to be elected by the people.
I would be opposed to any attempts to remove the
elected members of the Board of Education. These are people who feel
strongly about education and serve a vital function. Often they are
people who have been involved in the school system in one way or
another and have valuable insights into its needs and requirements.
WHY ELECT MIKE PERCIVAL?
I have developed excellent communication skills over the years,
and have the ability to listen, take on board what is said and
find answers others may not see.
If elected I will actively press for:
Faster expansion of the secondary school system
Better further education facilities
Regeneration of towns and villages
Efficient re-cycling instead of incineration
Safeguards for the finance industry
Aggressively seek alternative types of industry
Encouragement of the specialised Tourist Industry
Reorganisation of Local Authorities and the Rating
More police foot patrols and greater powers to
Hold regular surgeries in the constituency
Maintain an open door (or telephone) policy
An MHK is elected to represent the people - I know
I would be a good representative of the voters of Douglas West and
would start as I mean to go on - voicing your concerns and fighting
During the period leading up to the election I am
endeavouring to visit every house in the constituency. If you are
out when I call, or you would like to speak to me please phone me
In an effort to cut down on waste and help the environment,
I am sending only one manifesto to each household - please let everyone
take a look at it.
I am holding an open meeting at 7.00pm on November 16th in the upper room at
Trinity Church, Rosemount. All voters in Douglas West are invited.
Please contact me on 625379, or e-mail me at email@example.com,
if you wish to ask me any questions, if you require an absent or sick voters
form, or if you need transport to the poll on November 22nd
Remember, you have two votes.
Use one of them to vote for
FOR DOUGLAS WEST
Visit the web site at www.percival99.freeserve.co.uk
Published by D.M. Anderson, Ballamoar,
Patrick, Peel, Isle of Man
Printed from the IoM Elections Website.
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