Isle of Man Examiner letters, July 29, 2014

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How planning could save money

I have thought of yet another way for saving.

Remove the need for government departments (or whatever they call them these days?) to get planning permission for their developments.

This may sound somewhat radical but when you think about it, nearly all their proposals these days are subject to public consultation in some form before they get to the ‘planning’ stage, so why go through it all again?

Secondly, when they do get to planning – involving the preparation of endless plans, schedules, reports etc.

They nearly always end up being approved (sometimes by roundabout routes involving even more expenditure on appeals, etc – as witness the recent fiasco about the derelict house by the road junction in Foxdale.)

This process involves, at the least, one government department fighting another, which is not seemly and ridiculously expensive (using our money!).

So cut out the whole process as it now exists.

In England, the railway companies (British Rail), had exclusion from ‘planning’ on all land officially in railway use.

A similar provision, law, or whatever, could be enacted here and we would all be better off!

Objectors could still bombard their MHKs or the minister responsible; the scheme would still be discussed and decided either in Tynwald, in council or by the minister concerned, just as it is now but without the expensive involvement of the planning department who are really, in practice, wasting their time on such matters.

Ian K Bleasdale, Church Road, Maughold.

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No plans to move the box away

Response to Valerie Cottle, Farmhill Park (Examiner letters last week).

Isle of Man Post Office undertakes a maintenance and repainting programme for all of its letterboxes across the island.

The Springfield/Anagh Coar post box Ms Cottle refers to in her letter is due to be painted, along with other letterboxes in the area, in the next month. The posting times plate and any other maintenance will be included at this time.

The aperture and framework inside the box work perfectly well and continue to meet the modern standards for the use of letterboxes and therefore we have no plans to remove the box from its current location.

Lisa Duckworth, commercial director, Isle of Man Post Office.

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After grumbles, some action

In last week’s Examiner you published my letter about the state of the Victorian letterbox outside the Anagh Coar Spar.

We had been grumbling gently about it to ourselves in this house for some years, but lo and behold, on Saturday morning I received a letter from Mr Ken Christian, Isle of Man Post’s customer services manager, to say that not only was it was due to be painted ‘during the next month’, but we were in no danger of losing it.

Now all we need is for the people of Peel to have their prized Edwardian box restored, and everyone will be happy. Nice to know the press still has some power!

Valerie Cottle, Farmhill Park.

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We suffered a rude awakening

I would like to extend my thanks to the person responsible for waking myself and all the elderly residents on Monday, July 21, at 6.30am and then again on Tuesday, July 22, at 7.30am.

It transpires that the MER station in Laxey were cutting back branches from trees with a power saw without any thought or consideration about people living nearby.

Obviously this person didn’t read the environmental legislation regarding the operation of industrial equipment before 8am. If he had there would not have been 34 angry residents and one really angry warden.

John McLaughlan, Warden, Cooil Roi Sheltered Housing, Glen Road, Laxey.

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Photo had been doctored in past

The editor said, with reference to my recent letter regarding the photograph accompanying the article in the Green Column about coal-fired power stations that my accusation that the photo had been ‘doctored’ in some way was wrong.

With all due respect to the editor, I would point out that this particular photo and several others of the Eggborough power station have been used quite a few times by the Greens to illustrate their articles regarding fossil fuels and to mislead people.

In all cases a well known tool that detects if Photoshop has been used to alter the photos was used and the results from www.pskiller.com revealed that Photoshop contrast was adjusted and a Photoshop tag was found.

In another test on the same image on the web at Sky News the results were even more damning as Photoshop Quantisation Tables were found and these are a dead giveaway that the photos have been altered.

On another subject I see that a Greenpeace CEO commutes to work by plane and also the chief executive officer and chief financial officer of Climate Reality commute between Denver and Washington DC weekly by plane and of course President Obama uses Airforce One to fly for a round of golf. A case of don’t do as we do, do as we say where travel is concerned.

J. Craige, Baldrine Park

Editor’s note: As we said when Mr Craige made the accusation in the Examiner two weeks ago, this was a photograph taken by the Press Association. The Press Association doesn’t doctor photographs for propaganda purposes.

It might be that it has been bought by other organisations and then doctored.

However, we have no evidence for that. We did not alter the photo used in the Examiner.

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Proper cycle lane for prom needed

My wife Val and I have just had a holiday on the Isle of Man and we enjoyed it a lot.

Our hotel was excellent, the flower gardens along the sea front in Douglas were very attractive, the Tynwald ceremony was fascinating, and we fitted in a lot of countryside and historic places.

We did notice that Douglas needs quite a bit of capital spending to bring the pedestrian shopping area and promenades up to date.

I read that the horse tram lines are to be moved out of the carriageway and that is sensible, but if a separate, properly constructed, dedicated cycle lane is not added too, that will be a lost opportunity.

We have some new dedicated lanes in Brighton and Hove which aren’t perfect but much better than having pedestrians and cyclists sharing.

It seemed to me that there would be enough room, working from the sea wall for firstly a pedestrian prom, then the trams, then a cycle lane and finally the road with parking both sides as far as possible.

I’m sure if more was spent on cycling facilities and routes throughout the island you could attract more cycling tourists.

Finally, I promised two Laxey ladies that I would put in a plea for the derelict house at the southerly end of Laxey sea front to be bought up and demolished by the local authority.

It spoils the area and is becoming a health and safety risk.

John Heys, New Church Road, Hove

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Letter reminder of happy days

I was very surprised to read the letter (Examiner, July 8) from Mrs J. Eastwood regarding her recollections of her holiday at Pink Cottage, Port St Mary, all those years ago.

It brought back so many memories of those happy childhood days and of the Forrester family who owned Pink Cottage.

Port St Mary and Port Erin were very different places to what they are now.

After the war, the visitors came in great numbers and the two ports were busy places with many hotels and guest houses catering for the influx of holiday makers.

Many people took in visitors in their own homes or had ‘sleepers’ who were the overflow from guest.

That is, they ate at the guest house but slept in other homes nearby. That would not be tolerated today, as would the absence of hot water in a house.

The reference to Pink Cottage only having one cold tap was not as uncommon as it might seem to us now.

I know that Mr Forrester was a keen DIY man and that he spent his summers working on the cottage to make it more comfortable.

Marie Forrester and her parents are all dead.

Pink Cottage has had a succession of owners and refurbishments but we have our golden memories to cherish as, I am sure, do many other readers of the Examiner.

I hope to get back in touch with Joyce and I am sure that we will have much to reminisce over.

Anne Alexander (nee Turnbull), Potters Bar, Herts

Editor’s note: We are putting Mrs Alexander and Mrs Eastwood in touch.

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