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About William_Hartnell

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  1. Is the key to the story that plans are being “drafted”? Will actually get developed in the near future? With quite a few unsold properties on Ballakilley in Port Erin plus the development unfinished you would to question why Dandara would want to start building new properties just a few miles away. If there’s approved planning it will increases the value of the site/asset. Plus the mention of a supermarket is interesting. It would make an ideal location for an out of town large Tesco/Aldi/Morrisons (insert rumour here) down South.
  2. I travel frequently for work. I have no issues with queuing. Its part and parcel of travel and I find most people are patient at security. I agree he issue at Ronaldsway is partly due to scheduling. Predominantly down to the slow processing speed per passenger. About 6 months ago nearly the entire security team seemed to have left. Perhaps due to the poor audit/report mentioned above. By comparison the new team are just too slow at getting people processed, checked and through the scanners. They are working to process and aren’t paid a great deal but it does need addressing. In balance I will say it has got slightly better in recent weeks. I have been caught by having my tray re-packed to the individual item per tray liquids analysed in detail and bag seals checked, which I accept is fine if not a pain. But it needs to be done quickly when there are several hundred people waiting to get through the gate. The re-packing is just one of several small things that cumulatively mean when there is just one scanner operating each passenger is processed on average in minutes rather than seconds.
  3. That should have read ... the last thing you can afford to be is stinking of booze or appear to be nursing a hangover. Mouthwash, lemon juice, coffee and chewing gum. I've done my share.
  4. Spot-on. Most of the hotels listed are far from 5 star standard. I am impressed they have been that thrifty. A lot of local private sector businesses have a far bigger budget per head. As you say, these trips are usually far from a jolly. If you’re at a conference or in meetings the last thing you can afford to be is stinking of booze or nursing a hangover. There’s a temptation at the moment to highlight any civil service and government costs, particularly travel and then try and reference some truly awful decisions such as cutting Meals on Wheels. This is a department that has produced the goods. Whether you agree with e-gaming or not it has contributed significantly to the local economy. Conferences, meetings and travel go hand in hand with the sector. We can’t “cross the streams” and associate legitimate spend and costs with “cost saving” activities such as meals on wheels and the loss of key services.
  5. When you get past the headline the consultation its referring to lists seven proposals to improve the current system. At first glance most of these have some merit. The idea of flipping the system is to invite comment only. As others have mentioned if the system worked as it should do then there is no case to “flip it”.
  6. I tend to agree with a lot of what quilp has said in an earlier thread. There’s an element of sensationalism in the Isle of Man Newspapers piece. The paper doesn’t go on to ask the important follow-up questions. At least the online article doesn’t cover them. The three questions unanswered are… What was the purpose of the visits and what was the religious or moral context? Who agrees who then approves these visits. This isn’t specific to the Living Home but for any religion or even business. Is it down to the individual schools and is there a second pair of eyes scrutinising these visits are in line with policy? Why was there no letter to parents or ability to opt out? I have a nephew at one of the schools concerned. No letter or notification was given to his parents regarding the visit(s). While he is a fairly cynical little bugger when it comes to religion his parents still want and need to know the purpose and content of these visits. The concern is here we have no idea of the subject matter or content of these visits. Even if it was as innocuous as running a free book club at lunchtimes without any religious agenda it is morally wrong the parents and guardians were not advised of the visits. On a broader note, the church does needs further scrutiny and not just their financial arrangements. There needs to accessible accurate and balanced information available on their structure, practices and message. As an organisation it has grown quickly and to a degree below the radar. It has ambitions to elect members to local authorities, get into schools and expand their population. All that is fine as long as it’s held to fair and public scrutiny and in balance I don’t want to see a witch hunt. Assuming Living Hope are not doing anything wrong morally or legally they should be allowed to practice their faith as should any religion but not in schools. Then anyone thinking of getting involved will have fair and open access to their belief structure, financial arrangements, links to other organisations etc. The way they seem to have historically indoctrinated new members is quite subtle and indirect initially. Free childcare, social events etc and I would at least want to people to understand what that path eventually leads to. On a personal note I have seen a close friend, an atheist, slowly drawn into the church. Initially through their partner’s involvement, which started with kids clubs. I would have never believe they would get involved in any religion but they ended up facing a difficult choice. Get involved initially in the church community or see their partner and slowly the children become more distant and absent. That friend is now heavily involved in the church. The kids play with other members kids. Socially they spend all their time within the community. The church has become the sole focus and foundation of their life. To the detriment of friends and family. The once logic and strong rationale of my friend has gone down the drain. He has a whole new belief and moral structure. It’s not hard to see how that has slowly happened when so much of his life has been spent dedicated to the church and community. In balance as a family they look happier, better off and healthier for it. It’s filled a void that had existed in their life and brought them together. In doing so it has left them isolated from the world and I would say quite vulnerable as a result. I have seen in another instance the devastation that can happen to ostracised church members kicked out of the community. Not physically barred but collectively cold shouldered as a result of a divorce. One spouse (coincidently the breadwinner and more active member) was given all the support the other treated like a leper.
  7. Any guesses on congregation size? It must be approaching a couple of thousand overall and has to be the best attended of the denominations on the Island. The fact they’re building / trying to build new churches while everywhere else buildings are being converted into residential units speaks for its self.
  8. I have to agree competition is not the answer. We only need to look back at the old Monte Castillo aka the Viking to see the impact of two companies running on the same routes and that was at a time when there was a lot more demand from the dregs of bucket and spade tourism. Acquiring the land is the right thing to do. 15m although optimistic would give us a decent asset that is not exclusive to the Steam Packet. It could be used by other operators. If nothing else it secures the long-term future of that route. While the company remains under private equity or bank ownership we are going to get at the very best a decent operating company and service. While local or public ownership doesn’t magically fix anything it does bring the companies focus back on its local market. The devil in me says we should pull enough strings to devalue the company as an asset then look at a joint public/private takeover with another operator.
  9. Is this really good? The original scope was to create a world class facility offering specialist courses, not readily available elsewhere, to support the local economy by providing a highly qualified IT workforce tailored for sectors such as gaming and through the arrival of hundreds of international students. This was the premise of the original DED and IoM Government support. What we have is a facility, albeit only initially, offering the same degree and qualification(s) that have been available through the Isle of man college for years. Reading between the lines it looks like the College and Department of Education have facilitated the Chester "franchise". You may argue a dedicated IT facility and the longer-term “vision” of the facility makes this a valuable asset for the Island. However, the specialist courses that really made the original proposition seem to now be dependent on the Chester franchise and standard IT degree course being successful. I may be missing something but is there really sufficient local demand for courses already offered by the college and Chester university to facilitate the wider scheme. Why would a foreign student opt to study these courses in the Isle of Man over any other UK university or college? The whole thing just sounds flimsy. I genuinely hope it succeeds. Anything that benefits local students is fantastic and you have to applaud the vision they have and wish those involved all the best.
  10. I would agree its nothing to do with Hartford’s development, which is well underway now with the garage being demolished as I type. Plus Hartford aren’t the type of developer to invest in a such a big project and run the risk proposed Government work may or may not go ahead. If you’re looking for conspiracy theories you might be better looking at the (then) UK consultants commissioned with the work, JBA, who just happened to open their Isle of Man office this year. A sweetener perhaps from the DED to relocate the business to the Island*? I understand after 2014 that the DoI and Government needed to be proactive and address the risk areas on the coast. It was definitely right to include multiple locations in that scope of work even if some of the locations were not seen as particularly high risk e.g. Gansey. But why having now determined from the report that some areas are relatively low risk and any solution is expensive and not particularly effective is this even going to consultation with residents? By all means address the badly affected areas such as Castletown but why waste time and energy proposing to look at the other lower risk areas. Again I am referring to Gansey here and I am sure there are others. Its a waste of time and effort for everyone concerned. Unless I am missing something obvious here, such as erosion under Shore Road, then this is clearly a non-starter and again that’s before you even start to consider the impact of destroying an amenity. Is this all just a reaction to a piece of lazy journalism or is it an exercise in arse covering by the DoI. In the event of future flooding they can tick the box and say they commissioned a study but it was turned down by residents and local authorities. *This is tongue in cheek. JBA are one of the leading experts on costal flooding and regardless of their location would have been in the shortlist for such a piece of work.
  11. "A public meeting about controversial proposed flood defence on Brewery beach (known popularly as Gansey beach) will take place at 7pm on Thursday, November 12, in Ballafesson Hall. Scores of objections were posted on Port St Mary Commissioners’ website in response to an artist’s impression of flood defence measures as proposed by environmental company JBA consultant. The main concern was rock armour on the beach, which would making it inaccessible for walkers and those using the sea for activities such as kayaking and surfing." http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/brewery-beach-flood-defence-public-meeting-to-be-held-1-7552448 I use Gansey beach for the odd spot of wind surfing and kayaking so have a vested interest here. This all seems to be linked back to a study done by JBA Consulting off the back of the exceptional flooding in 2014. Gansey or Brewery beach is listed in the report as a risk for coastal overtopping. 2% chance per annum. I am not aware of any other underlying issues with Shore Road or additional risks to the properties that would increase the need for additional protection. On the basis of this report I just cannot fathom how the DoI can even consider spending 8 million on rock revetment on Gansey Beach. More so when you consider the impact it will have on the beach, the loss of a well used amenity and one of the highest scoring beaches for water quality on the Island. And it reduces the probability of overtopping from 2% to 0.05%! The current rock armour is unsightly but it is at least hidden by the wall and while it has made the beach difficult to access its fairly. The proposed revetment is going to reduce the accessibility of the beach to low tide and it looks like a very rash reaction off the back of what was an exceptional high tide in January 2014. There are issues with the current rock armour moving and the cost of maintenance but there needs to be a much more considered longer-term solution.
  12. ‘This is normal practice throughout the travel industry. Single fully flexible/refundable airfares can also be significantly more expensive than discounted special offer returns which inevitably have terms or restrictions attached – it is comparing apples with pears’ First of all not a criticism of the Steam Packet but I have to pull Mark Woodward up on this point. Yes, I agree return deals are generally cheaper than single fares but what company (in their right mind) would attempt to charge a supplement on an unused leg of travel. Airline, ferry or otherwise the practicalities of such practice would make it nigh on impossible. For over 20 years I and many others have been doing what Mr Fielding was attempting to do and booking a return journey deal as its cheaper than a single one-way standard tariff. Usually the outward leg is the portion used and the latter return never used. Not once have I or anyone else including many of the tickets I book for the TT ever been pulled up for an unused portion. In some instances the Steam Packet very kindly allowed a contributory amount from the unused portion towards another booking. On the odd occasion it is the outward leg that was unused and I am travelling on the return leg then at the port the check-in staff simply void or check-in the unused leg. This is all a bit of a non-story. Had Mr Fielding just booked the ticket as he intended then nothing would ever have come from it. It looks like a officious ticket office staff has argued the small print that could never be enforced. I have raised this with the Steam packet a few times over the years. Encouraging return travel is all well and good but in a lot of instances people need or want to book one way. The standard (single) tariffs are so far removed from the return special offer prices, particularly at peak dates, they are encouraging this practice, which simply screws up their own yield allocation and takes up places that could otherwise be re-sold. By tweaking the standard pricing or offering a slightly discounted single ticket all this could be avoided.
  13. I agree with what others have said in this thread. It’s a sector of tourism where the cost of travel makes it prohibitive to the mass market camping and caravanning mmarket. Most caravaners take up the hobby as it is a cheap and cheerful way to see the country. Cost of travel back and forth plus plenty of options in the North West would make a trip to the Island an expensive jolly for your average caravaner. I don’t want to target them unfairly but by their nature they’re frugal, self-sufficient and are not going to contribute any significant spend into the wider economy. In addition the roads and infrastructure just isn’t there to support them. The "back roads" just aren’t wide enough and A roads at “peak” times just couldn’t cope with towed caravans. Well they could but other users couldn’t cope! I have a lot of sympathy for the motorsport folks. These are people being targeted that are already paying a fortune to compete and contribute. A bit of common sense is all that’s needed and there wasn’t really a problem in the first place. Price your mass market buggers out of the equation and give your competitor s/marshals event linked free passes restricted to key dates. All these changes are a complete and utter nonsense and a waste of time. The previous rules were more than adequate and now were legislating against new legislation.
  14. Possible contribution to the misspelling topic? hands up to that one but at least let me pin it on a rushed post and auto-correct.. I'd argue its still not far off the truth in a lot of cases.
  15. Have there been any more announcements on the actual curriculum and courses being proposed/offered? Some of the press releases have referenced a memorandum of agreement with the Open University but I don’t think (and I could be very wrong) the OU offers the type of specialist industry specific courses that they’re aiming to offer. I see and understand the benefits of a technology focused specialist IT facility. If the facility is offering OU degree level ICT courses then as others have raised how does this differ to what’s already on offer from Chester University through the college? I also raise the question that if a proportion of students are going to be full fee paying international then is the ICT going to be of the required standard “level 4” facility to qualify for a UK student visa.
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