Still Blocking Us

Despite it being several months Castletown Commissioners sought clarification as to why the DoI was ‘blocking’ investment in the town, the local authority said no further progress has been made, so it had decided to call out the depts and ministers involved on Twitter. Watch this space.

Car Parking Charges

An FoI has revealed that the DoI is renting back its former piece of land at Lord Street with an agreement it pays the owner 20% of the income from its parking. Up until January 19, this amounted to an income of £131,731.85, with £26,346.37 being paid to the owner.

It was announced in 2020 that the DoI had reached agreement to sell the former bus station site to Lord Street Development SPV Limited, with Kane Limited, run by businessmen Stephen and Connor Bradley.

Under the terms of that agreement, as revealed by former DoI Minister Tim Baker in July 2020: ‘The separate agreement contains a contractual obligation on the developer to build bus shelters, public toilets and an information centre. There is a requirement for these parts to be completed within 26 months of the date of the agreement May 4, 2020.’

That 26 months would take us into next summer. But with the pandemic and the involvement of the Manx Development Corporation, we, much like everyone else, awaits news for these much anticipated developments.

Protecting Girls

The UK government is planning on banning a cosmetic surgery called hymenoplasty across the UK. It attempts to recreate a woman’s hymen, which in some cultures is linked to virginity, and has been described as a form of honour-based abuse. Minister for Care and Mental Health Gillian Keegan said the government was ‘committed to safeguarding vulnerable women and girls in this country’.  Hymenoplasty is available in clinics and can cost up to £3,000.

Sue Gray Day?

An inquiry into alleged rule-breaking Downing Street parties could be published as soon as Wednesday and will ‘make for very uncomfortable reading’ for Boris Johnson, ITV News understands.

The investigation, led by civil servant Sue Gray, has now concluded according to Political Editor Robert Peston, and it is likely to be published on Wednesday or Thursday. 

The Metropolitan Police launched its own investigation on Tuesday morning after ITV News revealed a birthday party for the PM was held in June 2020, while the country was under Covid-19 lockdown rules.

‘It will, I am told, be a report that will make for very uncomfortable reading for the PM and Tory MPs,’ Peston said.

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