DCSIMG

Commissioner considers ‘no confidence’ vote in MHK

Peel MHK Tim Crookall

Peel MHK Tim Crookall

A Peel Commissioner is considering asking for a referendum within the town for a vote of ‘no confidence’ in its MHK over the ‘toilet tax’, after he supported it.

Politicians voted 24-9 in favour of the tax on February 19.

In an email sent to the press and the MHKs who opposed the tax, commissioner Ian Davison and Peel resident Geoff Birkett, said: ‘It is a pity that the Peel elected representative Mr Tim Crookall did not have the guts to represent Peel and its constituents as he was elected to do, we are considering calling a referendum within the town for a vote of no confidence in Mr Crookall’s ability to represent Peel.’

Mr Davison hopes to raise the issue at the next meeting, on Tuesday, at the town hall.

The row over the controversial ‘toilet tax’ has been rumbling on for weeks since the government announced the plan to introduce the new £50 sewerage charge.

This outraged many island residents and a petition with more than 6,300 signatures was handed to Tynwald on budget day.

A requisition meeting was also called in Peel with around 100 people attending to quiz Peel MHK Tim Crookall, Social Care Minister Chris Robertshaw and Michael MHK Alf red Cannan.

Chief minister Allan Bell, Water and Sewerage Authority chairman John Houghton and Treasury Minister Eddie Teare were also invited to the meeting, but were unable to attend.

A petition containing more than 300 signatures against the tax was handed to Mr Crookall before the meeting and a motion at the end of the meeting saw a unanimous vote against the ‘toilet tax’, which was also relayed to Tynwald.

After the meeting commissioner Ian Davison and Geoff Birkett accused Mr Crookall, in an email sent to Tynwald, members of the Legislative Council and the press, of saying that ‘he had already agreed with Mr Bell, was voting for the tax and he did not care what his constituents thought and that if he was wrong this would reflect in the next (general) election in 2016, if he stands for re-election’.

Mr Crookall strenuously denied that he made the statement, saying: ‘I categorically state that at no time at all did I say “I do not care what my constituents thought”, also, I did not say anything about “if I stand for re-election”.

‘What I did say was that the constituents would judge me at the next election.’

Mr Crookall then asked for Mr Davison to retract his statement but the commissioner refused, saying in a further email: ‘I am unprepared at this time to retract any words that you disagree with, which you say were not the words you used at the requisition meeting, until I speak again with the people at the meeting who put this particular question to you and ask them again for clarification.

‘I will ask the television people for a copy of the recording made and then a decision can be made based on exactly what you did, or did not, say and if any of the comments need to be retracted then they will be.’

The latest email from Mr Davison and Mr Birkett goes on to say: ‘We just wanted to thank you all for standing on behalf of the people of the Isle of Man and voting no to the toilet tax.

‘A big thank you to Mr Cannan who attended the Peel meeting and was originally going to vote yes for the tax but had the guts to say that he would ask his constituents their views, and then change his vote if the majority of his constituents were also against the tax, this is called representing your constituents and democracy.

‘Once again thank you for your vote, at least democracy exists within some of the island’s elected representatives.

‘However dictatorships are like flat roofs, they have a very limited life span, hopefully in 2016 it will be replaced and democracy will exist again.’

Mr Crookall has declined to comment on the latest email.

 

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