Area Plan

I warned you all it would be back on the radar and well now it is. The Area Plan for the East looks set for its day in court. In a written answer Policy and Reform Minister Ray Harmer confirmed that as of January 12 two claims were filed in relation to the plan. They are Baccarat Limited & Morland Enterprises Limited v Cabinet Office (Doleance) and J M Property Management Limited v Cabinet Office (Chancery). Both claims were filed on January 8 but no further details are given as to the nature of the challenges or what they could mean for the plan if they are successful.

Manx Gas Deal Not Signed

Despite expectation that it would be signed by now, the island’s new regulatory deal with Manx Gas has still not been finalised. Mr Harmer, in a response to a question from Chris Thomas, said that Manx Gas has raised repeated concerns about the constitution of the Communications and Utilities Regulatory Authority.

He added: ‘Manx Gas were informed that the constitution of the Board was being changed and despite numerous assurances that the majority of the Board was non-political only began submitting requested financial information for review on 22 December 2020 following Tynwald’s approval of the Order amending the membership of the Authority. This consequently has had a significant impact on the ability to reach consensus on a new agreement.’

The deal was agreed by Tynwald last year and the gov should’ve signed the deal by December 31, Mr Thomas has said this means the gov no longer has a mandate to negotiate with Manx Gas and that legal regulations should be imposed on the energy supplier by Tynwald.

What do you do?

Justice and Home Affairs Minister Graham Cregeen has outlined what his new job title entails. Mr Cregeen is now responsible for leading on criminal justice policy, speaking for CoMin on matters of justice policy, coordinating the development of justice police, advocating for an efficient and effective justice system, promoting the principles of open, transparent justice and chairing the CoMin committee for justice. After being quizzed by Lib Vannin leader Lawire Hooper, Mr Cregeen said his work would also include civil justice matters.

Covid Review

After a two hour debate in Tynwald today, members have voted to hold a full review of the gov’s Covid-19 response. Members also backed amendments including one from Liberal Vannin leader Lawrie Hooper for the review to include the island’s compassionate travel policy, which has been one of the most controversial aspects of the border regime. Mr Hooper has previously called for changes to the policy to allow for non-residents to visit sick residents or to attend funerals.