TT Homestay

MiQuando, the firm which operates the Homestay Scheme on behalf of DfE, is welcoming applications for island residents looking to register their properties for TT 2022 and beyond. The Homestay Scheme provides an opportunity for households to host paying visitors for the TT festival. During the TT period ‘Homestay Hosts’ can earn up to £1,800 tax free income and will have access to the Dept’s Public Liability insurance. Households who do not register will not have access to the tax-free limit nor the insurance.

Angela Byrne, Head of Visit Isle of Man, commented: ‘It’s fantastic news to hear that the TT is returning next year along with new elements that are set to revolutionise the experience for visiting fans and those following from around the world. With 2022 expected to be a very busy and successful year for the Island’s iconic motorsport event, the need for good quality, alternative accommodation during this peak period is going to be vital if we are to continue to attract more visitors to the races.’

Any household looking to offer Homestay during the period must be registered. Registration is quick and easy, with fees of £60 for a new one-year registration or £80 for two years. The fee includes an inspection visit (for new registrations), plus marketing on the official Homestay website www.iomhomestay.com and social media pages.

Losing Our Money

An FoI from Gef has revealed that the gov has paid out over £650,000 following employment tribunals in just four years. Since 2017, the gov has dished out £680,621.99 of taxpayers’ cash, with over half of that (£386,345.73) coming in 2021 from just five tribunals. Unsurprisingly given the lockdown, 2020 saw only two recorded payouts totalling £25,587.50. There is no record for 2019 however 2018 shows 11 tribunals led to payouts totalling £244,488.76 and 2017 showed three tribunals led to payouts totalling £24,200.

We had asked: ‘Since January 1 2017, how many employment tribunals have been lost by the Government each year and what has been the total annual payout in these tribunals.

In response to our request, the Cabinet Office said: ‘ You may wish to contact Manx Industrial Relations Service and additionally all other Departments, Boards and Offices as they may hold further information. The information provided relates to parts of Government that the Office of Human Resources (OHR) provide services to. It is also possible, although potentially unlikely, that settlement agreements may have been entered into by Government employers which do not form part of the OHR records e.g. because it was negotiated wholly through the employer and payment was not via payroll.

The Guild

The syllabus for the 2022 Manx Music, Speech and Dance Festival has been officially launched. Better know as The Guild, the event is always eagerly anticipated but more so than normal this time after being cancelled for successive years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Free copies of the syllabus, which details new and returning classes as well as requirements for competitors, are available in outlets Island wide – and online at www.manxmusicfestival.org – ahead of the closing date for entries (5th February 2022). The Guild takes place from 23rd-30th April 2022, with the majority of classes based at the Villa Marina in Douglas.

Chairman Anne Clarke said: ‘Like so many events. the Guild was hit by a global situation way beyond its control but, with such a rich history and being so beloved by the Manx people, it was inconceivable we would not rise again once possible, and all our focus is now fully on 2022. We are grateful and proud of our association with long-term sponsors, Dandara, and that relationship has helped develop the event and help us move with the times as we look to introduce classes which appeal to 21st century competitors and audiences. We look forward to seeing new faces and regular competitors attempting a fresh challenge next year.’

The 2022 Guild will see the first “Anything Goes” class, designed to be an uplifting night of pure entertainment with an ABBA theme. Another new introduction will be Mime.

Unemployment

The number of people registered as unemployed fell again in September, down 30 to 365. The International Labour Organisation estimates that 810 people are unemployed and looking for work, which also represents a drop of 30 since August.

There was an increase in the number of vacancies registered with the Job Centre in September, up 123 to 1,218, compared to August of which 847 remained at the end of the month. The sectors with the highest number of vacancies remaining were medical and health services, catering and retail. The number of registered unemployed people on the island has continued to drop each month since the end of the third lockdown in March.

Howzat!

It’s an Ashes winter this year with the Barmy Army heading Down Under to face Australia in the world’s most famous test series. And while the initial squad announcement was met with a collective frown from fans, like a bolt from the blue Golden Bails himself Ben Stokes has been declared fit. The 30-year-old was given the all-clear by his consultant and the England and Wales Cricket Board following a second operation on a fractured finger. Stokes withdrew from England’s squad for the five-Test series against India in August to rest his left index finger, which he broke while playing for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League in April.

Ashes series are often dominated by one player and millions of cricket fans will be hoping this winter will be Stokes series, even if it isn’t his inclusion has brought a much needed sense of hope to many who feared a whitewash is on the horizon.

A Caring Family

Three of four quadruplets who are following in their mother’s footsteps by working in the NHS have graduated from university. The 21-year-old quad’s mother Joby Shibu Mathew is a nurse at Ipswich Hospital. Daughters Anjel, Aneetta, Aleena graduated from the University of Suffolk on Thursday. They are working as fully qualified nurses at Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge. Anjel is working in a cardiology ward, Aneetta in a cardiac-thoracic surgery ward and Aleena is working in a sleep study ward. Sister Aneesha qualified as a physiotherapist at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, and now works in Kettering, in Northamptonshire.

Barbados

The island nation of Barbados has elected a female former jurist to become its next head of state, a symbolic position held since the 1950s by the Queen. Sandra Mason, 72, the governor general of Barbados, became the country’s first president-elect on Wednesday when she received the necessary two-thirds majority vote in the Parliament’s House of Assembly and Senate. She will be sworn in on November 30, making Barbados a republic on the 55th anniversary of its independence from Britain.

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