PORT Erin’s Barbara Christine Guy is the village’s new commissioner.
A by-election took place last Thursday evening and two candidiates put their names forward to fill a vacant seat on the board.
They were Mrs Guy, who lives in Erin Lane, who works at Marks and Spencer in Douglas, and Jolinda De Beer, a business analyst, who lives in Bradda West Road, Port Erin.
In the poll Mrs De Beer received 266 votes while Mrs Guy received 399. The turnout was 24.69 per cent
The seat on the board was vacated when commissioner Tony Wright stepped down last month because of ill health.
Mrs Guy, 61, was born in Manchester – but is firmly rooted in this community.
She moved to the island at the age of 18 and married ‘a Port St Mary boy’ John at the age of 21. They have lived in Port St Mary and Port Erin, but the village is where their children and grandchildren are.
She and John have been licensees at the Haven and the Cosy Nook, and Barbara worked at the Cherry Orchard and at Cowley Groves until this year, when the office closed.
She was inspired to become a commissioner by the new candidiates standing to be elected on to the board during the local authority election in April.
‘When I first went to the open forum when commissioners were campaigning for the vote [in the April elections], I felt I had a lot of connection with a lot of the new candidates. They were very vibrant and new. I thought how exciting this is going to be, there is a really good chance of regeneration, of going forward, doing what we always wanted to do.
‘When Tony resigned, I thought it was a shame they had lost one of the new blood, I thought I’m as passionate as they are, why don’t I step in and bridge the gap Tony left?’
She said there was a good turnout for Thursday’s by-election and she was pleased with the support she has had.
‘It’s exciting and it’s a challenge as it’s something that I’ve never done before,’ she said, adding though that she is passionate about the village.
Being a commissioner ‘is out of my comfort zone ... but life is about taking on a new challenge and seeing what you can do’.
She thanked the people of Port Erin for their support and belief in her and she thanked Jolinda, who she said ran a ‘good campaign and she’s a lovely, lovely lady and she would have been good as well’.
Mrs Guy believes it’s an eciting time to be joining the board with the majority of members being newly elected on to the board in April.
‘Hopefully I’ll get up to speed quickly and be on a par with them,’ said Barbara, who has her first board meeting on Tuesday evening, and since Thursday has had the ‘two-inch think’ agenda for that meeting to look over.
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