Isle of Man Examiner letters, August 4, 2014

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It’s so hard to believe planning decisions

I cannot believe what I have just read in the Manx Independent!

The Council of Ministers has rejected a planning application by Sea Breezes to turn the former marine laboratory in Port Erin into a Marine Interpretation Centre in Port Erin. Yet, two pages on in the paper I see a private sports facility being built at The Nook near Governor’s Bridge, which is far too big for its location and totally out of keeping with the surrounding environment.

Someone offers to provide a facility in Port Erin which will not only enhance Port Erin but provide an attraction for the whole of the island, while creating much needed jobs and revenue. But it is turned down!

Dare we ask why?

Dare we also ask why an oversized building was allowed on a stretch of pleasant semi-rural road?

Our planning system is a farce!

R Scott (Mrs.) Friary Park, Ballabeg

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We were treated superbly

I read with growing distress and confusion the article headlining the Manx Independent on July 31 (page one).

I am a parent whose child was cared for by the nursery while my partner and I work as healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, our child and ourselves were also involved in the investigation against Maddrell.

While I do not dispute or disregard the events or emotions of the parents involved, I found that our personal situation was dealt with professionally and sympathetically by everyone involved.

Firstly, we were informed of the situation very quickly by the nursery – themselves obviously in a state of shock and distress. We were immediately given the means to open communication with the police officers leading the investigation.

We were given the information that we could be given immediately by the detective in charge of the case.

We were reassured and guided by the officers who arranged for us to be interviewed.

We were advised not to discuss the issue directly with our child because, understandably, it could lead to false or planted memories, possibly further distress to the child and to us should anything be revealed, however, we were told to write down and contact them immediately should our child raise anything regarding Maddrell and his actions.

At the time of the interview, we were treated superbly.

Explanations were full and care was taken to ensure that both me and my child were supported and understood the process, what would happen next and how.

I understood that the interview would be recorded for evidence but was not aware that my child could be cross examined again in court, should it be necessary – and therefore agree that pre-recorded interviews should be used when the case is proceeding.

Although the whole situation was extremely worrying and stressful, and our child was too young to vocalise if anything had happened to him, I feel that the only part that was not handled well was the repeated adjournments that Maddrell was allowed to orchestrate which led to stretching the case out to a year before he finally admitted his crime – presumably in order to avoid confronting what he had done in public court.

Maddrell not only abused his position, he abused his employer, colleagues and his place of work by using that position to carry out his crime.

The nursery continued and continues to carry out high quality and professional childcare while going through what must have been a dreadful time for them – I find the staff child-focused and exceptionally caring and I will continue to use them as loco parentis while I work.

The police were supportive and communicative and appeared compassionate and experienced which is so important because, in the future, this will happen again in our community.

Concerned Parents, Onchan. Names and address supplied

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I’d like to get in touch with pal

I would like to get in touch with Donald Ash/e, an army pal while doing National Service in the army during 1955-57.

We were stationed at Midwest HQ Officers’ Mess Twyford House and Oakley Manor Belle View Road, Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

If you are successful I can be contacted by e-mail derekpowell1935@live.co.uk or my home address

Derek Powell, 4 Clwyd Ave, Mynydd Isa, Mold, Flintshire, CH7-6UT

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Do we charge for using air space?

Did I read it right that, lots of flights fly over Ukraine because it is cheaper than some other countries?

If this is so, it implies that countries charge a TOLL for crossing their air-space.

Which leads me to ask: does our government collect money for each of the many aircraft – judging by their con-trails – passing over the Isle of Man en route, presumably, to or from the USA and Canada?

Ian Bleasdale, Glebe Cottage, Maughold IM7 1AS

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Make jobless smarten island

I travel into Douglas several times a week from Ballabeg. Usually I am in a bit of a hurry and thinking of what I have to do and where I need to go. But yesterday evening I had to go in again and was not in a hurry.

It was a beautiful sunny summer evening and I was enjoying the gorgeous country views on the main Castletown to Douglas road.

But my attention was drawn to the roadsides. They are an absolute disgrace!

The hedges are overgrown with brambles extending over what is left of the pavements, wild flowers are growing out of as well as beside the footpaths, and in many places the grass on the verges is practically waist high.

This is not the only road in this disgraceful state but this is the main airport to Douglas road, the one along which visitors by air to the island travel to the capital. What kind of impression does this give of our beautiful island?

Everywhere I go the roads and the roadsides are in the same desperate need of attention.

Don’t give me the usual excuse that we cannot afford it.

If we are ever going to successfully revive our ailing tourist industry and if we are ever going to successfully encourage businesses to locate over here, we going to have to afford it.

Let’s cut down on some of the perks our MHKs and civil servants enjoy.

Let’s cut out the number of times roadworks are re-done either due to faulty workmanship or bad planning. Let’s cut down on the number of fancy roundabouts and so-called highly dangerous traffic calming measure that are springing up all over the place.

Let’s cut down on some of the refurbishments and new builds that, although needed, are not needed right now.

And let’s give some of the unemployed the job of smartening up our beautiful but sadly run-down and neglected island.

Please, MHKs, let’s get our priorities right. If we really do want to increase our revenue, we are going to have to increase our spending and smarten up our environment.

Some of the letters in the papers bear testimony to the disappointment visitors experience when visiting our once beautiful but now shabby island. I doubt they will want to come again.

R. Scott (Mrs.), Friary Park, Ballabeg, Arbory.

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