A politician described by the Liberal Vannin Party as ‘one of the UK’s most senior and long-serving councillors’ is visiting the island.
Cllr Richard Kemp is the leader of the three-strong Liberal Democrat group in Liverpool (where the controlling Labour Party has 78 seats) and is the international spokesperson for the Local Government Association of England and Wales.
His itinery includes meetings with businessman Chris Gledhill of PDMS; Economic Development Minister Laurence Skelly MHK; DED chief executive Chris Corlett; Steve Rodan, the Speaker of the House of Keys; the Mayor of Douglas and council leader David Christian; the president of the Isle of Man Municipal Association Andrew Jessop; and Liberal Vannin leader Kate Beecroft.
Between 10am and 4pm tomorrow (Saturday) he will take part in a discussion day with the Liberal Vannin Party.
A press statement from Liberal Vannin says Cllr Kemp’s talks with government officials will look at enhanced international trade using the LGA’s local links.
His talks with Douglas Council will look at improved links with Liverpool City Council. The meeting with the Municipal Association will look at enhanced links between it and the Local Government Association and its specialist bodies.
His session with the Liberal Vannin Party is designed to improve links between it and the Liberal Democrats in the UK.
Cllr Kemp said: ‘The isle of Man Government were a major participant in our recent Festival of Business.
‘I was able to attend several of their events along with my wife, Cllr Erica Kemp, who is the current Lord Mayor of Liverpool.
‘She and I have had a number of very happy holidays on the island and we have always wondered why the links between Liverpool and the island were not stronger.
‘After discussions with government officials when they were in Liverpool I decided to act rather than wonder and have arranged this visit. In my lifetime the Isle of Man was known colloquially as the Scouse Riviera.
‘Now very few of the people I meet have ever visited such a lovely place which is so easy to get to.’