A successful candidate in the recent local authority elections wants to see more women enter politics.

Melanie Christian was elected in the Lonan district of Garff on a manifesto that emphasised her passion to redress the balance.

She pointed out that male political representatives outnumbered women four to one, and this was mirrored by the board of Garff commissioners.

Mrs Christian said: ’I felt there was a need in Garff to have better representation of younger working women with families.

;That’s not intended as a criticism of the commissioners at all. I just felt that demographically I wasn’t being represented and the issue should be addressed if we are to have our society fully represented at all levels.

’What is exciting about the House of Keys election this year is there are quite a few younger women who have put themselves forward. Half the population is female.

’The House of Keys should reflect that.’

Mrs Christian, aged 45, lives in Glen Roy with husband Mick and children Caleb, 14, and Libby, eight.

She moved to the Isle of Man in 2001 and is the manager of the special needs unit at St Ninian’s lower school.

She said: ’I taught history in secondary schools for seven years then went into supporting children with educational needs.

’It is challenging. I work with children with autism and complex medical needs.


’Every child is different. I realised going into special needs that although I love history it’s children I like working with.’

She says the needs of young people have not been prioritised in Garff. Providing better facilities for children and teenagers is top of her political agenda.

Mrs Christian said: ’That’s not to say I’m not going to represent older people, but working families aren’t as represented as other groups.’

She gives the creation of a play park at All Saints Park as an example.

’Money was earmarked for a playground around 2009 but it wasn’t built until 2018,’ Mrs Christian said. ’I’m aware there were issues with planning but I wonder if the drive was there to push it through.

’I would like to look into providing better facilities for teenage girls.

’The football pitch and skate part are predominantly used by boys. We need somewhere for girls to hang out that’s pleasant and safe.’

Another issue Mrs Christian feels strongly about is Laxey’s sewerage infrastructure.

’I’m a keen sea swimmer,’ she said, ’and I want to know why we are still pumping raw sewage into the sea. It was promised we would be connected to the IRIS scheme and that’s not been fulfilled.

’A solution cannot involve a sewage farm in a conservation area, with trucks going up and down Old Laxey Hill. We all need to work together, the commissioners, MHKs and local groups like Best For Laxey.’