A SIXTH candidate has come forward to contest the single seat constituency of Castletown in next month’s general election.
Pharmacist Mahendra Patel has announced he is standing in a bid to replace Tony Brown..
He said: ‘The times ahead are going to be difficult and trying at the best of times requiring level-headed sound reasoning rather than knee-jerk responses to issues, to ensure a smooth passage through the troubled waters.’
The late timing of his announcement was deliberate, he said, as he wanted to encourage several candidates to come forward.
‘I believe in democracy, that’s what the whole thing is about,’ he said. ‘I did not want to stifle other candidates early, that is why I held back.’
Election issues include revision of health provision, on and off island; a review of pensions ‘to be fair and equitable’, also support for all age groups and appropriate social and benefit targeting, employment, infrastructure upkeep ‘but not at the expense of aesthetics e.g. the extension of the runway at Ronaldsway Airport’.
Castletown is ‘a quaint, peaceful town which needs nourishing – the centre of this historic town has seen some aesthetic improvement but considerable reduction in the variety and number of retail outlets which form the vital basis of the heart of the town – been allowed to economic decay,’ he said.
‘The regeneration scheme has yet to achieve significant improvements in town, apparent lack of parking has not helped matters. Improved and increased policing would help generate a safe and peaceful for all age groups to enjoy the town and its varied amenities, which also need building on, especially for the youths to spend their energies.’
Mr Patel has lived in the town for 25 years and runs Castle Pharmacy with his wife Mina, he considers himself to be ‘more Manx than the Manx’. He served as a commissioner in the town for 11 years, three times as chairman of the board.
He said: ‘I will afford equal commitment to both local and national/international issues – I very much look forward to sufficient support from the constituents to enable me to make a significant and sustained difference for us all.’
The five other candidates are Colin Leather, Jason Moorhouse, David Pownall, Carol Quine and Richard Ronan.
Current MHK Tony Brown is standing down at the September 29 election.