First House of Keys sitting for two weeks. From my perspective a busy order paper, 28 oral questions and 6 written. I answered two questions on my function as the final arbiter of planning appeals. I got the feeling that the member asking the questions didn’t understand the robust nature of the process, which I have recently strengthened by taking legal advice on cases from the AGs Office. This will ensure that the as office will defend the case should it result in a petition of doleance.

 

Planning is very subjective and relies heavily on how you weigh different material considerations, this can be somewhat confusing to people not familiar with the system.

 

Department member Mr Perkins in his role of Chairman of the Office of Fair Trading had a number of questions with regard to Manx Gas. It seems to be open season at the moment as they have recently raised their prices but as he pointed out there were price reductions last year and in addition compared to gas prices in the Channel Isles the Isle of Man fares well. That’s not to say that the promised review of the regulatory structure will not see better prices.

 

I was tasked with taking the Dog Amendment Bill 2016 clauses through an amendment to include mandatory DNA testing which was withdrawn when I gave an undertaking to review the situation when we get further data from other jurisdiction who have recently introduced the same.

 

However in the next short while the old paper dog licences will vanish and all dogs will have to be microchipped, which will be far better for traceability of lost or stray dogs or dogs that are stolen.  At the same time will save owners money as the microchip is a one off whereas the old licence was renewable annually.

 

The day finished at nearly 7pm after a late department meeting discussing environmental matters.