Gef’s trip round the island arrived in Ramsey last night as we watched the northern town’s residents grill their grand total of eight candidates, a number which meant the list of questions answered was relatively short.
Those eight people standing are: Dr Alex Allinson, Jonathan Kinrade, Lawrie Hooper, Robert Cowell, Simon Mann, Luke Parker, Leonard Singer and Dr Erica Spencer.
First off, as always, they started with a two minute introduction to the audience.
Affordability Of The Steam Packet And A House
The first question of the evening saw the candidates slightly confused as the incumbents were asked about the gov’s decision to purchase the island’s ferry service, and everyone else was asked about first time buyer schemes in the UK that could be introduced here. It ended up as a bit of a pick and mix for who answered what questions.
Quoting a university study, one attendee wanted to know how those elected would ensure they carried through their election claims in a democracy ‘where the Chief Minister’s decisions are the only ones that matter’, prompting many candidates to make it clear they’ve not actually made any promises in their manifestos.
Renewable Energy And The Cannabis Industry
Perhaps two of the most popular issues in this election, this discussion on what resources the island could be using to grow it’s presence in two of the big new industries prompted some enthusiastic replies from the audience.
A representative of the Manx Wildlife Trust was in the crowd to ask those standing what they would do to protect our wildlife and avoid the extinction of any Manx fauna.
Old Bridges And Disappearing Roads
The most localised question of the night focussed on the Bowring Road bridge and the road to the sewage works, both of which were argued to be under threat from weather events and coastal erosion, possibly cutting the town off from essential services and connections in the event of a disaster.
A Mental Health Crisis
The night ended with the most unifying question of the evening, for both the audience and those at the front, as one resident gave an emotional plea for candidates to lay out their plan to address a mental health crisis on the Isle of Man.
More information on the election and all those standing for Keys can be found on Gef’s election website.