Tim Baker, DOI MinisterTim Baker, DOI Minister

Tim Baker, DOI Minister

Only three GCSE and A-Level students studying Manx

Figures released by Education Minister Dr Al show that just three students in Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 are studying Manx in the island. Castle Rushen, QE II and Ramsey Grammar schools all have one student studying the native dialect each. The most studied language is English, with 1,797 students studying it, but the figures don’t show if this is because of GCSE English being compulsory. French is the next most popular language with 237 students, followed by Spanish (168), German (96), Chinese (36) and Italian (23). The figures were released after a question from Jason Moorhouse MHK.

Simple majority could boot out Chief Minister

A move by Garff MHK Daphne Caine to change the way the House of Keys removes a Chief Minister from office has passed the clauses stage and its third reading. The Council of Ministers (Amendment) Bill 2020 will now go to the Legislative Council where it will be considered and possibly amended by MLCs. Mrs Caine has said the Bill will be an ‘improvement’ to existing laws which require 16 MHKs to vote out a Chief Minister. She said it was not designed as a judgement on HQ, whose term as Chief is due to end after the general election in September 2021. 

Our Post Office is as competitive as possible

Isle of Man Post Office chairman Julie Edge MHK says the service remains ‘committed’ to being as competitively priced as possible, but that there are ‘unavoidable additional costs incurred with connecting to the Royal Mail network’. She added that the Post Office has to balance competitiveness with ‘Tynwald’s direction that the business has to be profitable and self sustaining’. Ms Edge said the IomPO’s board has set out a strategy to ensure it returns to profitability, it recently published losses of £504,346 in the financial year 2019-20. The taxpayer owned business is set to return to profitability by 2023-24.

Dump to stay open

A waste dump near the Point of Ayre will be staying open for longer than intended as the DoI has failed to meet its own deadlines to replace it. The gov wants to replace the existing dump with one at Turkeylands in the south of the island but DoI Minister Tim Baker told the Keys that the Wright’s Pit North, which is in his constituency, will have to remain open for a further year and might even remain open into 2022. The U-Turn came just days after Mr Baker told Tynwald a decision was due soon but now it appears there is ‘no suitable on-island facility which is both affordable and compliant’ with all the relevant approvals and licenses. Mrs Caine said this showed the DoI is ‘dysfunctional’, something Mr Baker denied but did accept it is ‘less than ideal’.

Keys accept Manx Care Bill amendments

MHKs have accepted all the amendments proposed by MLCs to the Manx Care Bill which creates the legislative foundation for the roll out of the island’s new health and social care system which is due to begin on April 1 2021.