Pupils return to school

Twelve-week closure comes to an end

All the Island’s schools fully reopen this morning.

They closed 13 weeks ago on 23 March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

These Ballakermeen students have been studying from home during the period and are worried about the long-term implications on their education:

Maths teacher at Ballakermeen Tiffany Baker says the return will feel very different from a normal start to a term.

She understands some pupils will be anxious while others will be excited:

The newly appointed Children’s Champion agrees it’ll […]

22 June 2020|

New Children’s Champion appointed

Rob CallisterRob Callister MHK takes up role

Vulnerable young people on the Island now have a new Children’s Champion.

Rob Callister MHK will take up the position, which was designed to give children in need a voice.

He takes over from Tim Baker, who’s moved into the infrastructure ministerial position.

The role is focused on representing the interests of children in care, young carers, and children with complex needs, when decisions that will affect them are made.

Mr Callister says his own personal trial and tribulations as a youngster should be invaluable to the position:

20 June 2020|

Tynwald votes to end Manx Gas deal

Manx Gas will be given notice at the end of this month to end its controversial regulatory deal with government.

The move came following a motion tabled by ousted minister Chris Thomas who was unsuccessful in getting a new voluntary agreement after more than 12 months of negotiations.

Mr Thomas, who was sacked as Policy and Reform Minister, said time had run out for a deal. ’Let’s just do it – vote to give notice, vote to put in place better regulation,’ he told Tynwald.

His motion was amended by Infrastructure Minister Ray […]

18 June 2020|

The Manx Gas delay – who is to blame?

Details of new agreement now due next month

A new gas regulatory agreement is “long, long overdue” says one MHK, but who is to blame for the delay?

Dollin Mercer has this report:

Tynwald agreed to terminate the 2015 regulatory agreement with Manx Gas at this month’s sitting, following a motion from the former policy and reform minister, Chris Thomas.

But following a successful amendment from his successor, Ray Harmer, we won’t know more about a new deal until after next month’s sitting.

Chris Thomas was the man in charge of […]

18 June 2020|

We are not kept in touch by govt over Covid – MHK

Rob Callister, MHKTynwald members have to tune into press briefings to find out what the Council of Ministers is up to.

That was the charge levelled by one MHK against the Chief Minister as he outlined the latest moves to ease Covid restrictions.

Gatherings of up to 10 outdoors and up to two visitors inside were allowed from Wednesday in a move announced by Howard Quayle at a press briefing on Monday.

But Rob Callister (Onchan) asked why Tynwald members weren’t briefed first.

He said: ’As an elected member I don’t feel I’m in […]

27 May 2020|

Judgments register is limited

Alf CannanThe range of the Judgments Register, often referred to as a register of debt, limits its effectiveness in providing a true representation of civil debts.

Treasury Minister Alfred Cannan said Treasury has been working toward introducing amending legislation as part of the civil debt recovery project.

In response to a Keys question from Rob Callister (Onchan), Mr Cannan said: ’The amending legislation will, amongst other things: increase the range of civil debts included in the register and modernise access arrangements in respect of register data.’

He said delivering amended legislation has been […]

22 May 2020|

Delayed reshuffle after Allinson becomes minister

A number of appointments confirmed in Tynwald

There’s been what could be described as a delayed reshuffle in Tynwald this week, as a number of new political appointments were confirmed.

After Dr Alex Allinson MHK was made minister of education, sport and culture earlier this year, his previous roles needed to be reallocated.

His Ramsey colleague Lawrie Hooper will take up the departmental role in the Cabinet Office.

As a result, Mr Hooper will no longer be a member of the education department, but keeps his role in the Department for Enterprise.

Dr Allinson’s other departmental role, in […]

22 May 2020|

Vehicle tax rise voted through by Tynwald

Rate to increase by 3.2% for most vehicles next month

Vehicle tax is set to go up by 3.2% next month.

Tynwald voted in favour of a move from Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer this afternoon, with just MHKs Clare Barber, Lawrie Hooper and Rob Callister voting against it.

Under the new measures, all motorbikes will now be charged a flat rate of £25.

Vehicles more than thirty years old will also be charged the same fee.

Mr Harmer said given the rates haven’t gone up in two years, it was effectively 1.6% per year, which is lower than inflation.

Source: Manx […]

21 March 2020|

Isle of Man passengers ‘held to ransom’ by lack of flights

FlyBe planePeople on the Isle of Man could be “held to ransom” by airlines if flights lost due to Flybe’s collapse are not replaced, an MHK has said.

Rob Callister said while Loganair taking on flights to Liverpool was “fantastic for patient transfers”, it was not “as good” for other people.

The Scottish airline started two daily flights to the city on Thursday.

Mr Callister said reinstating flights to Manchester and Birmingham was needed to “drive pricing down”.

Some people booking remaining Easyjet flights to Liverpool have been charged between £600 and £700 to get […]

14 March 2020|
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