Steve Crowther RIBA architect has announced his intention to to stand in the Arbory, Castletown & Malew constituency.

Residing in Castletown with his family, Mr Crowther has had a long history with the region. His late father Dr Crowther conceived the Southern Group Practice, his mother, Nadene Crowther, helped start
and was involved in the management of the Isle of Man Hospice. Both his sisters also have strong
local roots. Schooled at Castle Rushen, Mr Crowther studied in Manchester to become an architect.

Mr Crowther stood in the same constituency at the previous 2016 election however, after only a short
campaign, he narrowly missed out on election by a very short majority. He believes now more than
ever is the time to be at the heart of government as many of his business and international skills are
‘key to expanding a stronger vision for the Isle of Man’s economy, particularly in view of the likely
global tax changes to come’.

As well as running his own architectural practice, he has been at the heart of a new hybrid eco-
house system to bring affordable green homes to Manx families.
Mr Crowther said he ‘has been disappointed by the progress of several regional infrastructure projects namely the
new local secondary school, Castle Rushen and the proposed IT Park adjacent to Ronaldsway Airport’.

He said that he believes the constituencies two current MHK’s have failed to deliver on their 2016 election
commitment and that ‘the current Administration has also failed to ensure the constituency has
achieved its true potential’. He examples the new Ballasalla bypass; couldn’t this read as the ‘new gateway to the south’ with a green revitalisation of the village and its facilities. Likewise, the potential IT Park could now be seamlessly blended with a new green technology Park, which Mr Crowther said is ‘desperately needed to drive new businesses locally’.

He added: ‘Arriving at the airport we could showcase the Isle of Man’s new IT and green credentials. We need to help the business start-ups in this field, which will generate the new jobs and the vital growth industries that the Isle of Man needs in the coming years. In conjunction with the IT Park it is essential we try to accelerate the optic fibre rollout which has been slow within the constituency.’

Mr Crowther said he feels ‘we don’t need more questions but those that will take the initiative, exampled by his own eco-house pilot project which brought proactive business people and trades together’.

He has spent a significant part of his career working on large transport infrastructure internationally, including
Hong Kong’s new airport, Bangkok’s underground and the city’s skytrain. He said that from these jobs, he has learnt on achieving good design within tight budget constraints and avoiding overruns.

He added: ‘The key theme running through these projects is communication, something the new administration will have to revitalise. The loss of local facilities such as post office and banks have also highlighted the decline of the high street and the digital divide pushing older citizens out of the supposedly inclusive society.’

And Mr Crowther said that he is ‘very much aware, particularly as a designer, many of the approaches being adopted in other jurisdictions to resolve these issues’. ‘The care home situation locally is also currently in a chaotic state and Covid has damaged both health and education progress, all of which needs serious redress in the coming administration.’

Mr Crowther said that, at the heart of the new government, he ‘could drive the new green transition, encouraging further diversification in the economy and catch up the ground lost to Covid’.

So far, Ian James Clanton (aka HM Sole) and former Manx Radio news editor Tim Glover have announced their intention to contest the constituency. Its current sitting MHKs are Justice and Home Affairs Minister Graham Cregeen and Jason Moorhouse.

The General Election is on Thursday, September 23. If you’re planning to vote, make sure you’re registered and if you’re planning to stand, make sure you let Gef know by emailing hello@gefthemongoose.com.

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