MAROWN Commissioner Paul Craine has announced he is standing as an independent candidate for the Middle constituency in September’s general election.
It means there are now four candidates bidding for the single-seat constituency.
Mr Craine, who was previously chairman of Marown Commissioners, first entered local politics in 2007 and in the local authority elections in 2008 he topped the poll in Marown.
He grew up in the Isle of Man and lives with his wife, Ann. They have two daughters and have lived in the Middle constituency since 1984. He spent 16 years living in Union Mills and 11 years in Glen Vine.
Mr Craine said: ‘I am enormously proud of my Manx heritage. My great-great-grea-grandmother was born in Harry Kelly’s cottage (before it belonged to Harry Kelly), T. E. Brown wrote a poem about our clan of the Craines at the Cooil and my father was taught art by Archibald Knox.
‘I know both of the parishes in the constituency well. These are great communities. The parishes are predominantly rural and attractive but in the east the encroachment of Douglas is an ever present threat and the further west you go, the poorer the level of services becomes.’
Outside of work and his role as commissioner, Mr Craine is known for his involvement with the Island Games Association of Mann. Between 1991 and 2007 he was secretary, team manager and chairman.
His current job is co-ordinating adviser for secondary education in the Department of Education and Children. He took on this role following a successful 20-year career in teaching, but due to the fact he is standing in the forthcoming election, he has had to resign.
Mr Craine, said: ‘Under government regulations I can apply to be reinstated in my post if I am unsuccessful in the election, but I am now working my notice and will have no income for the final month before polling day.’
He said: ‘I believe that we need MHKs who prioritise good, caring constituency work – but in the island’s current situation, we need MHKs who can offer much more than that. I know that I have a great deal to learn but I also know that I have a good understanding of both local and national government. I know how the civil service operates and I know that no-one will work harder to represent the people of Middle.’
Planning is the number one issue that he identifies for Middle. Work on the Eastern Area Plan is about to start and will lay down which parts of Middle should be zoned for development in the next decade and beyond. He said he would make it one of his top priorities to ensure that the area plan meets local needs in Middle.
At the all-island level, Mr Craine sees the economy as certain to dominate the election. He said: ‘We need level-headed people who understand the issues and care about the outcomes. There are going to be some very tough decisions to be made.’
He pledged to support island businesses and work towards attracting inward investment, improving the island’s international reputation, as well as initiate a review of the range of government activities.
Mr Craine said ‘low taxation’ and ‘big government’ simply do not go together, adding: ‘At a time of uncertainty and change, it is more important than ever that our representatives in the Keys are listening and communicating. People want to have their views heard and want to know what is going on.’
The other candidates for Middle are sitting MHK Martyn Quayle, farmer Howard Quayle, who is not related to Martyn Quayle, and Liberal Vannin candidate Juan Cottier.
The general election takes place on September 29.