Port Erin

Port Erin Commissioners has announced that its local authority rate for the forthcoming financial year 2022-23 will be set at 331p, an increase of 4.75% from the current rate of 316p. This increase equates to approximately 30p per week for a typical 3-bedroom property within Port Erin. Port Erin Commissioners’ Chair Mr Godfrey Egee announced: ‘The current financial year has been affected by the ongoing operational challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic along with the significant inflationary increases faced not only by Port Erin Commissioners but the Island as a whole. Increases in energy costs and food have added to the squeeze we are all experiencing regarding the cost of living.’

Port St Mary

Meanwhile, the Board of Port St Mary Commissioners have agreed a rate increase for the coming 2022/23 year of 1.5%, which equates to 354p (previously 349p).

Chair Bernadette Williams MBE said: ‘The Board has again worked hard to minimise the impact on rates for Port St Mary residents.  With early discussions starting in September 2021 and taking into account the projects to be faced in the coming year, the Board are pleased to be able to keep the rate as low as possible during what has been another difficult period for many financially. The Board will continue to scrutinise expenditure and apply sound financial planning to their decisions. The Board have identified several areas in which savings can be made and will continue to seek further savings where possible.’

A New Light on Mann

Tickets are now on sale for the next in Rushen Heritage Trust’s season of talks – A New Light on Mann, by Dave Martin. Dave’s illustrated talk will focus on LiDAR – Light Detection and Ranging – and other digital archaeology in the Isle of Man.

The talk is at the Erin Arts Centre on Monday, February 7, starting at 7.30pm (doors 7pm). LiDAR surveying has been used in Britain for a number of years (and seen on programmes such as Time Team), but coverage of the Island is recent and exciting. Illustrated by local examples of the detail that can be revealed by LiDAR, Dave – who is past president of the Isle of Man Natural History & Antiquarian Society and a Trustee of the Manx Museum & National Trust – will give an insight into LiDAR and other digital techniques (including demonstrating 3D models) and show how they help interpret archaeological and environmental data.

Tickets cost £5 (£4 for Friends of Rushen Heritage Trust) and are available from the Erin Arts Centre – https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/isle-of-man/erin-arts-centre – or Erin News and Bridge Bookshop in Port Erin.

Ukraine

Germany and the US have warned they could target a key Russian gas pipeline if the country invades Ukraine. A US state department spokesman said the Nord Stream 2 pipeline ‘will not move forward’ if Russia were to attack. The controversial energy project is designed to double gas flow and runs from Russia direct to Germany under the Baltic Sea. It circumvents Ukraine, which relies on existing pipelines for income and is under threat from Russian forces.  Tens of thousands of Russian troops have massed on Ukraine’s borders in recent weeks, prompting fears of an invasion – despite repeated Russian denials of any plan to attack.

Bounce Back Biden?

The US economy expanded at its fastest rate in decades last year as it roared back from pandemic lockdowns. Official figures from the Commerce Department showed the economy grew by 5.7% – its best performance since 1984. But analysts are expecting growth to slow this year, as the government scales back stimulus spending and the Federal Reserve raises interest rates. Other risks include high inflation and threats from new Covid variants, such as Omicron. The World Bank is predicting the US economy will grow by 3.7% this year, in line with other forecasts.

President Joe Biden hailed the figures, saying they were ‘no accident’ but rather driven by the government’s recovery efforts.

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