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StuartT

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Posts posted by StuartT

  1. Why not just get your knobs out and have a measuring contest?

    I've got a ruler that goes up to 3MM's............

     

    Sorry but not everyone's knob is as miniscule as yours.... If you wonder how I know the size of your tiny planaria your Mum told me...

  2. I've only just picked up on this thread but Albert's figures are shocking and reveal a national disgrace. If we are issuing that many work permits every year then there's something seriously wrong in the way we educate, train, retain and employ our potential workforce. It once again shows the gulf between the stated government policy of maximising employment opportunities for our own people (a long fiction) and the reality of the job market on the Island. I've spoken to several very senior government executives (never mind the private sector) over the years who have had no interest in employing Manx workers. There has long been a belief that non-Manx workers boost the economy by increasing demand, buying houses, consuming services, boosting the tax-take, increasing GDP etc.

     

    I could well believe that. I remember temping at various government departments doing temporary contracts at AA level through a couple of employment agencies, being requested back time and time again after my contract was completed, yet everytime I applied for a permanent job in the next grade up (AO - which I was more than qualified to do not even being given interviews because the EO who reviewed my application didn't pick up on a specific piece of experience mentioned on the CV and then said I didn't qualify for an interview as I didn't tick all the boxes - even though I pointed out I did by showing him the relevant experience on my CV)... Then someone else would arrive in the role I'd applied for (usually from England) and not have a clue about it and end up asking me (as a temp in the grade below them) what they should be doing. Then they'd get temporarily moved up to EO cos someone had gone sick and still have to ask how the job was done, whilst I at AA grade with far more experience in the area than them would have to carry on advising them about how things needed to be done. There's a lot of taking on temps temporarily for just under a year then laying them off (I understand because various rules and regulations state if a temp is kept in a role they are entitled to the job), then asking for them back a few weeks later....

     

    As it is I learnt the hard lesson if you want to get anywhere on the IOM you have to get off it. There are too many crabs there. It is my home, I love the Island itself and most of the people, I want to return there in a few years. but wonder why on earth I spent so long persevering with it when I should have gone away sooner... I have friends who say they will never return...

  3. serious businesses on the island recognise that local experience is good if you want to sell a bag of coal but if you want to do real business outside the island, you need non-manx experience from your workers to go with it. there should be re-patriot programs at enticing locals back to the island once they have got the off-island experience however there is a backwards stigma that once you go then thats it! coupled with the attitude making everyone non-manx a foreigner makes this place very bleak indeed.

     

    i am a local if anyone is wondering tongue.png

     

     

    I agree off Island experience is a good move for a young Manx person. Sadly the govt doesn't want to support it's young people if they go away....

  4. Enjoyed reading some well-informed posts from Stuart T and Woolley. I agree that the scope for refurbishment ought to be looked at before commissioning a new build, surely there is money to be saved?

     

    The Steam Railway began operations yesterday, 24th February. This seems very early compared to previous years. I would have thought that the use of diesel haulage on early and late season trains could potentially save a great deal of money, either using the restored diesel rail-cars or a refurbished diesel locomotive. Rail-cars are an authentic part of the IoM railway heritage, and diesel traction has quite an enthusiastic following.

     

     

    I definitely agree about the railcars, the crazy thing is that both of them already had major amounts of work undertaken before they were shunted into the carriage shed. If however the railcars were to be restored I would argue that there should be some sort of turntable or turning triangle installed at (least) Douglas and Port Erin (perhaps one at Castletown and/or Ballasalla too?) to allow the railcars to be turned cab first all the time. This is because the Railcars were built before the days of true DMU's and mean that one railcar has to drag the other one thus slowing them down and wearing them out far quicker - imagine driving your car towing another one in reverse all the time.

     

    Whereas if you have turntables (I would have thought a couple of girders welded together would be quite sufficient to produce a cheap and effective turntable for the railcars, and could easily be fabricated on the Island) it allows you to turn the units to run cab first which can allow faster running, improves the longetivity of the railcars plus allows them to run independantly (therefore on light winter days you could easily run a service with one railcar working from Douglas and the other working from Port Erin. This is how the railways in Ireland (the County Donegal for which they were initially built) ran them to good effect on lines which at the time had far less traffic the the Isle of Man Railway. I would hazard a guess that it might even be possible to produce two additional carriages similar to the ones they have to increase the passenger capacity for each independant unit...

     

    I would guess the cost of refurbishing them and of rebuilding Viking might well be less than £750,000... If enthusiast could play a significant part in completing the restoration of the Railcars and the provision of the turntables then it could well cut costs further.

  5. Could they not just borrow one from a railway in Wales or something, if needed?

     

    Did you mean a Railway in Ireland?.....

     

    I doubt a railway in Wales would lend it's locomotives to be regauged from 1'111/2 '' to 3' in emergency. It would be quicker to fire up a steam locomotive and run down the line to pick up the train.... That said there are Diesels bought by the Ffestiniog Railway from South Africa (one of which is still left in South Africa) which might be suitable candidates....

     

    There are two (again historically significant) Diesel Railcars sat in the Carriage shed awaiting completion of restoration which a major amount of work was commenced on but which was discontined after some sort of funding wrangle..... Ok they wouldn't be able to tow a broken down train (a steam loco could do this quite capably), but they could supply a means of carrying passengers in an emergency (and be far more interesting than a more modern diesel)...

     

    As for Albert Tatlocks ditty, to correct you but most Railway enthusiasts (who on occasions give up their spare time to contribute something to the railways - I'm talking like actively restoring locomotives or wagons or carriages ) are not exactly impressed by the suggestion of a £750,000 Diesel either and are making suggestions as to where far cheaper options could be.... I think most enthusiasts would prefer if £750,000 was to be spent on an additional IMR Loco it was spent on returning one of the mothballed loco's (like for example No1 Sutherland or No5 Mona or No6 Peveril) to service.... Furthermore the best option is felt to be a rebuild of the Viking with more modern motors for faster running which could save a fair bit of money.

     

    A contact who is involved with the Ffestiniog was amazed when I told him about this proposal. He reckoned that the FR could refurbish the existing loco to a good standard in their Boston Lodge Works if approached. http://www.festipedi...ki/Boston_Lodge

     

    I understood there might be an issue with the way the Viking was regauged from 3' 3 3/8'' (Metre Gauge) to 3' (basically a wheel was just pushed in on one side so it's slightly unbalanced). So I guess if might be a bit more than just a refurbishment of the engine, the wheelsets could do with replacing as well, still I wouldn't have thought it was out of the scope of Boston Lodge (they've done a fair bit of regauging I believe). There is actually another Flunky in SA other than the one they have on the Ffestiniog and the other on the WHR, the FR did own it but I understand it was transferred back to a heritage group in SA who haven't done anything with it. So maybe that could be aquired for much less?

     

    I'm wondering if a more modern power unit could be fitted into the frames with a new wheelset whether that would be enough to sort the issues with the Viking, and would it be significantly cheaper?...

  6. Is it now time for the IOM govt to ask for treatment by Universities UK as a home nation??? we are home enough to raid our VAT and share health services, but get treated as a foreigner for education?? Go forth Peter and save money by getting the fees to us reduced.

     

    I agree, the IOM govt should be negotiating for home status for its students. I understand the fees are far more for IoM students than they are for UK ones (have heard the difference and it is a substantial whack). However the IOM demonstrates its insular attitude by funding it's students studying across worse than those studying here.

     

    There are three points worth mentioning here

    1. Assuming fees for Manx students stay roughly the same, the apparent discrepency between fees for UK/EU students and Manx students should no longer exist for the majority of courses. From 2012, course fees in the UK now vary between £6,000 and £9,000 pounds depending on course and institution, which is more or less the fees Manx and Channel Islands students have always been charged.
    2. The old Home/EU fees being talked about were only lower than those charged to Manx students because places for UK students were heavily subsidised by their treasury. The Isle of Man isn't part of the UK, and so Manx students didn't benefit from the subsidy. Truth be told, it wasn't really that much to do with individual universities or Universities UK: given that the actual running costs of any given university per student far exceeded that of the old £3000 a year UK fees, they would have been fools to offer fees much below what they did. In other words, the discrepancy mentioned in the first point was largely illusory: the 'lower' UK student fees were only that part of the fee which was charged directly to individual students, with the rest being met by the tax payer.
    3. Manx/Channel Island fees were generally lower than those charged to International students, as a gesture towards the relationship between the Island and it's economy and the UK. If memory serves, it was usually around a thousand pounds a year less, although that depends heavily on which universities you're talking about - some have a reputation for milking the international student cash cow more than others (in particular, the LSE).

    A case has been made for negotiating lower fees before. There's no harm in trying, but my guess is that, unfortunately, such an approach wont get very far. For a start, we're not going to be able to barter them below the fees they're now charging UK students, which as I mentioned isn't that different from what Manx students were charged in the past anyway.

     

    That makes sense but I'm sure that the figure I was informed of was more than £9,000. I will have to see if I can check what it was now.... If however the fees for UK and IOM students have moved closer together then there's even less excuse for the Department of Education to deny maintenance funding to students in courses where it is provided as standard regardless of age....

     

    Aso, most univerisities of any repute have a sufficiently strong record attacting international students that they simply aren't that bothered about Isle of Man students. Sure, those few who apply to each university are a welcome source of extra revenue, but they're not about to drop their prices in any serious way when they can quite happily fill their boots charging the Earth to Chinese, Malaysian, Middle Eastern, and, increasingly, American students.

     

    For some courses yes, however for other courses they can take IoM students but are not allowed to take students from outside the British Isles. Nursing would be an example of that because of the NHS commissioning of places. It's an interesting situation, most IOM Careers advisors would say that you aren't elligible for those place as would the universities but when you examine in detail IOM students are eligible. I can verify this because it is a case that has been put to the test and proven...

  7. Thanks for that, Stuart.

     

    I think, but can't confirm for certain that Wilks may be buried at Ballaugh. Would have to check that though.

     

    From memory: His Daughters Bust (her head & shoulder portrait in stone not her boobs) I think by Joseph Swinnerton is in the bay tea room of the Manx Museum. I seem to have a feeling that she might have been involved with some sort of education or prison reform (though have no way to check that) or some other worthy deeds in the Island.

  8. The Boer women and children were concentrated in camps on the Cape prior to being shipped off to such as the Island of St Helena in the South Atlantic.

    Is that really true, Barrie? St Helenians have a strange mix, but I wouldn't have said Boer was in there. In any case a shipment to St Helena could be nothing other than transportation; it is a volcanic outcrop and possibly the most remote inhabited island in the world.

     

    Funnily enough, there is a St Helenian slave buried in Braddan old church yard with a very touching and complimentary epitaph. We (serially)shared a Governor with St Helena at the time, I think.

     

    No we didn't, Mark Wilks was Manx...

     

    http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Mark_Wilks

     

    Slave is a bit of a misnomer. Samuel Ali had an education and was treated more like a son. Obviously his master (I use the term Master as I think Master/Servant is a more appropriate description of their relationship than Owner/Slave) cared enough about him to have a headstone erected in a cemetary.

     

     

    slave-mi.jpg

    Manx Life magazine, Jan/Feb 1992

     

    Old Kirk Braddan churchyard contains many interesting tombstones, but none is more touching than the one shown here (right).

    The tombstone marks the grave of a former slave, Samuel Ally, who was brought back from the West Indies, along with a number of other slaves, by Colonel Mark Wilks, one time owner of Kirby Mansion, next to the church.

    The inscription records:

     

    SAMUEL ALLY

    An African and native of St Helena.

    Died the 28th of May 1822 aged 18 years.

    Born a slave and exposed in early life to the corrupt influences of that unhappy state, he became a model of TRUTH and PROBITY for the more fortunate of any country or condition.

    This stone is erected by a grateful Master to the memory of a faithful servant who repaid the..... (inscription becomes indistinct here).

     

    ......boon of liberty with unbounded attachment.

  9. Is it now time for the IOM govt to ask for treatment by Universities UK as a home nation??? we are home enough to raid our VAT and share health services, but get treated as a foreigner for education?? Go forth Peter and save money by getting the fees to us reduced.

     

    I agree, the IOM govt should be negotiating for home status for its students. I understand the fees are far more for IoM students than they are for UK ones (have heard the difference and it is a substantial whack). However the IOM demonstrates its insular attitude by funding it's students studying across worse than those studying here.

     

    For example the Dept of Education cut off for maintenance fees is 29 if you are studying in the UK, but 39 if you are studying in the IoM. For example with Nursing Students studying at Keyll Darree there is a maintenance grant provided irrespective of age (also the UK provides a maintenance grant for it's Nursing Students)but any Nursing Student coming from the Isle of Man to study in the UK gets nothing from the IOM Govt unless they meet the Department of Education conditions - and there's no Department of Health support available for Isle of Man Nursing Students studying away. They aren't even elligible for travelling expenses to cover the cost of getting to the placements. I know one manx person who had to drop out of their Paediatric Nurse Training (they don't even offer Paediatric Training on the IoM) because they couldn't afford the costs because the Dept of Education wouldn't fund them properly- a loss of a potentially skilled Manx person to the Island.

     

    So to make this clear you can have lived here for as little as 5 years and get into the Dept of Health Course and get full funding, but can be born and have lived on the Island all your life, paid tax and get no support beyond your fees if you go to the UK. It's a similar situation with teaching students. If you reflect on the fact these students can do up to 30hours of placements then effectively the IoM Govt is espousing indentured service - except on worse terms as you don't get fed or accomodation so have to either save, borrow or scrounge any money to for support.

     

    The attitude of the politicians is that if you go across there's no guarantee you'll come back (even though there's no guarantee that you'll stay post degree if you've been on the IoM as little as 5 years). The Govt hasn't stopped to think for one minute why it is that Manx born young people might find they have no motivation to return after their own government effectively washing their hands of them..... the message is stay here and hope you're lucky enough for the limited opportunities (but if you don't fit then you won't get anywhere no matter how much you try or how hard you work) or go away to get a break and we'll do as little for you as possible... of course once you've funded yourself through uni we'll always take advantage of the training you've funded if you want to come back - but you still won't get anywhere unless your face fits.....

  10. StuartT. I'm with you that skilled jobs should not be cut, and the railway is a great asset to the Island but can we really afford to subsidise each passenger by nearly £7-10 (I can't recall the exact figure but with only £66k in project receipts for the forthcoming year)? Government working practises and contracts are outdated and unrealistic I feel. To the best of my knowledge many heritage railways in the UK employ such craftsmen and skilled workers. Do you not think a similar situation could work here with the craftsmen employed using money from some sort of subvention? Even sharing their expertise with the enthusiasts? Perhaps you have a better working knowledge of the railway system than me, if so I'm open to debate.

     

    I'm not suggesting everyone goes to uni, I agree with you that it would be a massive waste of money and not complement individual skills. I think those that have a reasonable academic aptitude and more importantly drive to learn should be financed to go to university. I think that apprenticeships can be considered within tertiary education and perhaps could be a source of income to the railway.

     

    I guess the point I was trying to make was more that the IOM should not cut its nose off in-spite of its face. Spending money on short term vote winners like keeping the high frequency of some of the underused bus services and more controversially healthcare (that will earn some hate in my direction) at the expense of education which should hopefully provide a future return, is unwise. I'd love to read some literature about the provision of free preschool care and likelihood to commit criminal offences later in life. A couple of £k a year for preschool is nothing compared to housing an offender (correct me if I'm wrong but approx £40k). As I've also said we need to promote the railway across a lot more. There's a lot of very rare and significant items on both transport systems. Improving access to and promoting them is a step in the right direction...

     

    This is all healthy debate, I don't mean to offend with my opinions.

     

    To the best of my knowledge most heritage railways except perhaps with the exception of perhaps some of the really big projects like Shildon and the NRM (which are underwritten by the UK government at the moment - both are free to get into) don't employ staff. Most of them are mainly volunteers who have worked in other industries - a lot are retired craftsmen. You have to get that pool of craftsmen from somewhere. In the IoM you have a lack of that pool because most of the jobs are admin based. Therefore if you want to foster those skills you have to provide the roles. The railway is an effective way of doing this.

     

    As I and others argued it is a shame that the skills of the railway staff could not be expanded on and utilised as a source of income - for example producing boiler and locomotive parts for the heritage railway industry as a number of other railways have. There's a lot of newbuild projects going on to recreate classes of locomotives long lost. With the loss of many of the mainline steam operations in the former Eastern Block countries there are less places to foster those skills. I guess the issue would be in getting items to the Island and from it, and whether there would be enough outside business to support the facility...

     

    I'd also argue that the railway took the step in the wrong direction with the 'health and safety closed doors policy'. Whereas in the past you could easily visit the workshops and walk into the old carriage sheds to see disused carriages and locomotives, now this is not possible. I would have thought there is a possible education angle - bringing in School children to see the skills undertaken (to give them an inspiration for alternative careers, also you could link it into science (the physics of a steam engine). I also feel more disused stock should be exhibited, the museum for having all the money spent on it (essentially to build a shop) with the exception of the display boards has less to see as there are fewer artifacts on display. Meanwhile other significant artifacts are hidden away in carriage sheds unviewable to the public. Unfortunately the Transport Museum at Jurby seems to have little scope for Railway or Tramway related articles and the tramway itself lost its museum...

     

    I have always felt that really when the money was more plentiful there should have been a serious project to create an electric commuter railway system with modern stock, as long as it was sympathetic to the heritage aspect of the railway (ie minibuses running door to station meeting fast modern units running a service at peak times with a bus from the station around town to take people to their workplace, interspersed with steam heritage trains at off peak times. Whilst it may have involved a massive capital expenditure (which is why genuine commuter schemes haven't taken place) one has to balance the amount spent on such schemes with the amount of expenditure there has been to create a road infrastructure which still seems fails to meet the needs of the population. The big problem is in the Isle of Man there is too much of an ingrained car culture from the top downwards and there has been no efforts to challenge this. Whilst the expenditure on a genuine commuter railway system would have been large, it would have been co-ordinated and all of the money from it would have gone straight back into the government coffers to fund further expansion. As it is this Island has once again proved it is behind the times with the car is king mentality still prevailing. Hopefully in better times future governments will have the wisdom to put into place a serious infrastructure to challenge this. Only time will tell.

     

    As for subsidising passengers by £7-10 the figure is not that large when you consider as you mentioned the amount prisoners are subsidised by. This is why I argue the railway should be free to residents. Ok it might mean more money coming from taxation to support the railways but at least it would mean that residents could use it any time they wanted - and if they choose not to well that's their choice.

  11. £750,000 on a choo choo train. Unbelievable.

     

    Indeed - it's a diesel.

     

    I do not care whether it is diesel, steam, or battery powered. After Teare has shat on the less well off on the Isle of Man, to spend money on a train is a bloody disgrace! Even folk in the business community would not manage finances the way this lot are.

    They would soon go bust!

     

    £750,000 does seem crazy money to spend on a Diesel locomotive. Hopefully a far cheaper solution will be found.

     

    I think the expenditure on the roads is a bloody disgrace too. We could have had a first rate railway system if the money wasted on roads and the buses had been spent on the railways instead.....

  12. If cuts have to be made why not look at the heritage railways. They could be run by volunteers with some financial state assistance.

    Rant over, contradictory opinions welcome.

     

    Right so you want to cut the amount of jobs available for skilled craftmen? Not everyone wants to go to university. I'd strongly support university education not being cut, but I would argue that by suggesting turning the railway totally over the the volunteer sector to cut government budgets you're effectively espousing turning skilled labour into unskilled unemployed. The Railway systems are one of the few places where people are able to maintain traditional craft skills. These skills don't come overnight. Lay everyone off and the skills will virtually disappear. And you'll have umpteen other people on the dole having to be supported by the taxpayer for no benefit at all. Then there's the cost of retraining them to do another job - and they'd probably end up getting moved into another wanky unskilled admin post which the IOM govt is overfilled with.

     

    I'd strongly support volunteer contributions to the Railway but am totally against the loss of any jobs there.

  13. Advise from this department can be viewed on 3fms headlines today, it is really unbelievable and will certainly ensure that there will be few street parties on the Island, I am not planning a party but it gave me a good laugh, you couldn't make it up.

     

    "2. Street parties may be held on minor residential roads but cannot be held on main roads or bus routes." (but you can close them for 4 weeks of the year if you want to run motorbike races)....

  14. Could they not just borrow one from a railway in Wales or something, if needed?

     

    Did you mean a Railway in Ireland?.....

     

    I doubt a railway in Wales would lend it's locomotives to be regauged from 1'111/2 '' to 3' in emergency. It would be quicker to fire up a steam locomotive and run down the line to pick up the train.... That said there are Diesels bought by the Ffestiniog Railway from South Africa (one of which is still left in South Africa) which might be suitable candidates....

     

    There are two (again historically significant) Diesel Railcars sat in the Carriage shed awaiting completion of restoration which a major amount of work was commenced on but which was discontined after some sort of funding wrangle..... Ok they wouldn't be able to tow a broken down train (a steam loco could do this quite capably), but they could supply a means of carrying passengers in an emergency (and be far more interesting than a more modern diesel)...

     

    As for Albert Tatlocks ditty, to correct you but most Railway enthusiasts (who on occasions give up their spare time to contribute something to the railways - I'm talking like actively restoring locomotives or wagons or carriages ) are not exactly impressed by the suggestion of a £750,000 Diesel either and are making suggestions as to where far cheaper options could be.... I think most enthusiasts would prefer if £750,000 was to be spent on an additional IMR Loco it was spent on returning one of the mothballed loco's (like for example No1 Sutherland or No5 Mona or No6 Peveril) to service.... Furthermore the best option is felt to be a rebuild of the Viking with more modern motors for faster running which could save a fair bit of money.

  15. From a quote earlier in the thread Citizen X is onto something here:-

     

    Understand that the 'old boilers' are someway towards their resting place. However, what ever happened to ingenuity and forward thinking. Here we have a item made of fabricated parts to which we are advised are no longer able to be sourced - however there is such a thing as reverse engineering and we should be deploying the skills of local engineers and fabricators to help replace those 'worn' parts and help provide the longevity of the exisiting engines. Surely this keeps it 'local', supports local employment, retains the costs on the island and feeds into the community and economy - not take from it. I am sure that is what 'island' life is supposed to support and portray

     

    In the UK certain preservation railways are making a decent amount of money doing boilersmith jobs and overhauling locomotives. There's even a market for total newbuilds. Now given that there is a need in the Island to keep the resident fleet running it would be a great way to develop on this and to diversify. It would provide opportunities for those who want to be more creative and might even make attract people who want to learn how to build or maintain locomotives. You could even extend it to coach maintaining and building (there's not that many railways which are allowed to build and run wooden bodied coaches) Except for the need to invest in such an infrastructure which is unlikely at the minute the only other major problem I could think of is the 'steam racket'.....

     

    The figure of £750,000 does seem very steep. Amongst enthusiast circles the general concensus is that a rebuild of the Viking should be undertaken, equipping it with engines more suited for passenger speed running than shunting around freightyards.

     

    As regards the IMR and the SMR & MER I realise a lot of people might not really care about this, but the two systems are really significant. The IMR has the distinction of having one of the largest surviving fleet of Beyer Peacock 2-4-0T's plus a rare DUBS built 0-6-0 locomotive (there's not that many anywere in the world still running) as well as a large number of 19thC Locomotives and carriage stock (there's not really that much about in the UK of 19thC Rolling stock). A lot has been lost in the bad years of the 70's and early 80's. As for the MER and SMR they are pioneering and extremely important in the development of Electric traction.

     

    The problem with the railways is that they haven't really been marketed properly across since the brilliant work of Alan Corlett who did much to bring the Island's railways to the attention of the worlds enthusiasts. Those of us who have spent a large amount of time around the railways will remember the Haylcon days of the 1990's and the centenary years when many items of stock and locomotives which people thought would never run again were either put back into service or made available for public display. Sadly I guess that perhaps it was overdone a little bit and attendances dwindled in the 00's - again probably mainly due to the costs of getting here. The running of new special events such as a winter train, evening specials, the Easter bunny and the Valentines as well as the traditional Santa trains are a step in the right direction.

     

    I'd argue what the Island's railways really need is a proper museum nearer Douglas where many of the hidden gems of stock are available for display. They also need renewed publicity across with the message as to how important these railways are in the terms of transport museum and how much still survives intact here. I think a lot more TV publicity like that of Micheal Portillo's Great Railway Journeys could be useful.

     

    Ultimately I think the Island's Railways probably do need to look to working towards a commuter base in the long term. Though this would have to be a very long term plan as it would require faster modern rolling stock for commuting. I would say improved trackwork but the trackwork has already been improved (it's just the Route to Ramsey and Peel which needs 'trackwork improvements') Getting people to abandon their cars is the hard part. I am strongly convinced that the railways and the buses need to be integrated - ie using smaller buses running around communities to feed the railway system. I would also argue it might be time for legislation to get people out of their cars - eg congestion charges, a reduction in road schemes, maybe even a free public transport system for residents.

     

    As for those who quibble about the cost of maintaining the railways and the costs of building a railway to commuter standards to the adjacent towns and villages it is important to reflect the vast sums that have been spent on road improvement scheme's to little benefit - if we hadn't build Richmond Hill, Governor's Hill Roundabout, Windy Corner, the proposed QB schemes, Ballakillowey roundabout, etc then there might have been a good deal more capital available for a decent rail infrastructure. The hard part is making those moves to get people out of their cars - and this is extremely difficult given that the car culture is deeply ingrained in Tynwald itself. One thing is certain, if the car culture is not challenged then it's ultimately going to destroy the Island we all love so much....

  16. Prison budget around £7 million

    123 people working there.

     

    Room for cuts?

    Perhaps the idea is to reduce the coppers, catch less bad guys, send less people to prison and be able to make even more savings!

    Could it be that they realise the previous politicians are getting a bit older and they needed to consider some new blood for Tynwald?....

  17. Maybe the name calling during the speech was because of the resignation.

     

    From Manx Radio news report:

    Dudley Butt MLC made a heartfelt speech to Tynwald during Tuesday's sitting decrying plans to end publicly funded nurseries.

    It emerged later Mr Butt had handed his resignation to Education Minister Peter Karran earlier in the day.

     

    Allan Bell didn't know about the resignation till this morning when he heard it on the radio. Surely his ministers should have the gumption to tell their boss when a departmental member has resigned. Didn't Peter Karran think that was something he should have told his boss?

     

    Why am I suddenly thinking this would be ripe for a manx downfall parody?...

    Anyone fancy doing one?...

  18. I have no kids. but plenty of freinds god kids naphews etc. so its not that im in a bubble.

    but theres half the island that dont get this now. and im sure there kids are not held back. and as its only really been 98 that it was expanded on the island. i dont see that them kids pre 98 have been held back.

     

    i do agree that they could well have cut diffrent things first and the amount of waste in gov could well have paid for this services for years to come.

     

    but then they have made there choice and lets hope they stick with it.

     

    to be fair i would have added the 5k to uni places for each year. and done loans like they do in the uk. or you could have gone for 2.5k a year and then added a bit more each year. it would sort the wheat from the chaff.

     

    5k per year to uni places - that means each student has to come out with £15K to complete their course - plus their costs of living (because the department of Educashun isn't that great at providing maintenance grants either. Even at the lower rate of £2.5K you suggest per year that's £7.5K by the end of the degree - £12K for 4 year degrees if you go with the department of Educations suggested £5K raise for a 4th year - which would mean for medicine it would cost about £22K not including your living costs)!!!...

     

    So what are you going to do about Nurses, Dr's, Teachers, Engineers, Architects and Advocates for the Island?.....

  19. ...so the rumour mill has it.

     

    Did he speak in the debate?

     

    He was one of the most compelling speakers on education. He was also very clear in pointing out that the idea for a working party on pre-school cuts was "hatched" after 5pm Monday evening and as he did so was rebuked by Peter Karran and others who then accused him of being the "mole"!

     

    What a loss for the department. Would be better losing Karran.

     

    Does anyone know how you go about viewing the text of his speech? I'm guessing it would be on Hansard but not sure about how to go about finding it as I've had a look there and it's not immediately obvious....

  20. Dudley Butt MLC has been an effective and genuine champion for children on the island. I am sorry to see him give up that position.

     

    It would be ironic if Peter Karran is now funding the International Business School at the expense of pre-school education. He was very critical of the IBS ever since it was set up.

     

    I'm always a bit cynical about on island provision of some higher education and training - there's limited opportunities for people on island (and a lot more opportunities for training across - so it's not just down to whose face fits and is good at interview or who your parents are), and for the amount spent on institutions such as the IBS (and a couple of other on Island training opportunities in various government departments I won't name) you could probably afford to fund students who study across a lot better. For those who can't go away there's always the OU (surely where necessary specialist semina's and lectures could be arranged over a period of weeks at a prearranged venue - for example the manx museum or Keyll Darree Lecture theatre or the old nobles post graduate medical centre (wait didn't we pull that down to build two new primary schools??...)...

     

    I guess the IOM govt's arguement for the IBS and certain other on Island training opportunities is that the money stays on island....well maybe but is there more lost off it providing these facilities and would it provide more opportunities for the money to benefit more Manx people than by funding them properly through higher education across?.... or is it just about pretensions to having a 'university'?....

  21. Sad to hear Dudley go, as said he has demonstrated he has honour and integrity. The people's loss - but is it a gain for the government? Hopefully his resignation will not silence him.

     

    Is there any more elabouration on a suggestion made in another thread that money to pay for nursery education would have to be culled from the higher education budget? Hopefully it's just a vicious rumour, otherwise one has to question is nursery education really worth it as compared to higher education?....

  22. The Education Council was appointed by the independent Appointments Commission in May 2009 for a three year term.

     

    As part of their role, members of the Education Council advise the Department of Education on educational policy, and receive and consider reports submitted to them by the Department, apparently.

     

    As the debate ensues about library provision, langauge and music teaching, pre-school education etc., it would be interesting to know what the Education Council received, considered and advised about these matters during the last three years.

     

    Reference was made to "education experts" by Dudley Butt this evening when he said they had advised against the pre-school cuts and advocated further cuts to university provision instead. Maybe thats who he meant??

     

    If this is the case and it is necessary to make further cuts to university provisions in order to fun nursery's then it can hardly be argued that free nursery provision for a limited number guarantee's a brighter academic future for the Island's children... I'm sure whilst it may be debatable as to the benefits of nursery education (when it never affected those of us who didn't have it) surely even the supporters of Nursery Education wouldn't argue that it is more beneficial than the opportunity to attend and graduate from a higher education institute.... sad.png Sounds like they are selling their kids futures to pay for today.......

  23. OK Carbon Selector, seeing as you seem to think you have far superior knowledge and experience when it comes to the Parish (despite not having offered any real advice yourself, I make you an offer... next time I am back on the Island let's have a little walking race over the parish course....

     

     

    If you beat me then I have to acknowledge that on this forum that I was beaten by someone who obviously had far more ability, experience and knowledge about ultradistance racing... if you don't then you have to acknowledge you were beaten by someone who has far more ability, knowledge and experience than you about racing over distance. In addition the beaten party has to put how many minutes or hours they were beaten by...... or if they do not complete the course where they had to drop out at....

     

    Sounds fair?....

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