Second day of Tynwald Court sitting.
14 items covered to short order and then we bogged down on the last 4. Item 22 was a move to have the Legislative Council and House of Keys vote as one body in Tynwald. On analysis this would have given the unelected Council an ability to sway nearly any vote when combined with the Council of Ministers block vote so Members sensibly voted this down.

Douglas Promenade and the future of the Horse Trams led to a lengthy debate which fortunately led to am ongoing commitment to retain this heritage transport link within the new or repaired promenade schemes.

There was a lengthy debate on Children’s Social Services brought about by a motion from Mr Karran revolving around allegations of falsification of files and oppressive treatment of individuals. In a way I felt that I had wasted 5 months sitting on the Social Affairs Policy Review Committee (SAPRC) where almost weekly we have been taking evidence from individuals affected by Social Services and on two occasions in public taken evidence from the Department and pulled no punches in our questioning. The final result of the debate was a referral to an independent body and it will be interesting to see whether their findings confer with the SAPRC.

A final motion revolving around value of our banking services resulted in another debate that confirmed what I already knew from my role in Economic Development, that we are doing all we can to encourage modern and alternative banking methods but we are very hamstrung by what is happening elsewhere with regard to regulation and capital reserves etc.

Lunchtime saw a presentation on mobile phone base stations and masts and their safety in terms of the electromagnetic radiation affect on health. An excellent presentation on ‘Health Issues in Perspective’ by Henrietta Ewart put things in good context and was very reassuring both in terms of the hand helds we use and the masts. The frequencies are non ionizing with output regulated and there is apparently no evidence from anywhere in the world, despite many detailed studies over the last 30 years and even longer, when it comes to radio waves generally that we are at risk.