Gef’s Daily Roundup

Sea Swimmer Appears in Court

Ian Christopher Kirk, who was arrested by officers on Laxey beach earlier this week, has pleaded not guilty to breaching the island’s coronavirus regulations on Laxey Promenade on the morning of March 25. Mr Kirk was bailed by High Bailiff Jayne Hughes until his next appearance for a pre-trial review.

Capital’s New Mayor

Douglas Borough Council has announced that Councillor Raina Chatel has today been selected as Mayor for the municipal year ending Tuesday, May 8, 2022. Mrs Chatel will replace Councillor Jon Joughin who has served successive terms as Mayor.

Pop up in Peel

On Saturday 121 people will receive their second dose at another pop-up clinic at the Western Wellbeing Centre in Peel. Those attending are asked to follow social distancing rules and to wear a face mask.

Disruption Loan

The gov has announced the extension of both the Coronavirus Business Disruption Loan Guarantee and Working Capital Loan Arrangements. 

The Treasury and Finance Isle of Man worked collaboratively with the island’s banks to provide access to Government backed loans through the Disruption Loan Guarantee Agreement (DLGA) opening up to £60m of new lending, 80% underwritten by Government and the Working Capital Loan Agreement (WCLA) providing up to £10m of new lending, 100% underwritten by Government.

To date, under the DLGA, £3.4m has been approved by banks, it is currently provided through Conister Bank, Lloyds Bank, Barclays Bank, HSBC and RBS International (NatWest Isle of Man Bank). The WCLA is provided through both Conister Bank and Santander International and provides a further safety net for those businesses who cannot access working capital via their banks or do not qualify for assistance via the DLGA.

Treasury Minister Alf Cannan said: ‘Through these schemes we have supported 83 businesses and over 800 jobs in addition to a wider package support available for businesses. The commitment of our local banks to supporting our local economy and helping businesses trade through these difficult times is vital and I am delighted that we have been able to collaborate in this manner to put these facilities in place.’

Salmond Starts Again

Former SNP leader Alex Salmond has been announced as the leader of a new pro-independence party which will contest May’s Scottish Parliament elections. Mr Salmond will take over leadership of the Alba Party, which was created in January, from founder Laurie Flynn. 

Mr Salmond said in a statement: ‘Alba will contest the upcoming Scottish elections as a list-only party, seeking to build a super-majority for independence in the Scottish Parliament. Over the next six weeks we will promote new ideas about taking Scotland forward – giving primacy to economic recovery from the pandemic and the achievement of independence for our country. We expect to field a minimum of four candidates in each regional list and we’re hoping to elect Alba MSPs in each area of Scotland.’

Elections for the Scottish and Welsh devolved administrations are on May 6 with independence parties in both countries currently expected to do well in the polls.

Suez Blockage

Shipping experts believe it could take days or even weeks to free the 224,000-ton vessel that is wedged across the Suez Canal, blocking one of the world’s busiest waterways since Tuesday. The Ever Given, a container ship almost as long as the Empire State Building is tall, ran aground on March 23 after being caught in 40-knot winds and a sandstorm that caused low visibility and poor navigation, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said in a statement. 

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