3rd November – A Second Keys Sitting

An interesting session and my first Keys speech. Kate Beecroft moved a private members bill to introduce an independent health regulator but I felt this was premature. At present the Health Service is undergoing an external review and I have recently been appointed a member of the Social Service Policy Review Select Committee whose remit is to scrutinise, among other things health provision. I have to say I am cautious about introducing new layers of oversight that by the Health Ministers calculations would cost a minimum of another quarter of a million pounds a year.

An interesting debate, something that I am sure will resurface when the external review is complete after which I may find I am able to support the same.

During our lunch hour we received a comprehensive briefing from DEFA on Sea Fisheries Strategy 2016/2021. The Isle of Man is fortunate having one of the best Queenie Fisheries in the Irish Sea. In addition to this I was surprised to find that King Scallops are an even larger revenue earner along side crab, lobsters and langoustines. The strategy revolves around sustainability without which the industry will flounder. We were assured that our fisheries enforcement vessel, is rigorous in preventing incursion by unlicensed craft. This was evidenced by the fact that later in the week we heard that a boat skipper from Northern Ireland was fined £5,000 plus costs and his catch of King Scallops of nearly £2,500 confiscated.