Updated: Meeting to discuss anger at an MHK

By Paul Hardman   |   Reporter   |
Thursday 11th August 2022 2:29 pm
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Andrew Smith MHK (Isle of Man Newspapers )

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A special meeting is to be held next week to discuss constituents’ views about a policy U-turn by MHK Andrew Smith.

Mr Smith had gone on record on the campaign trail voicing his support for assisted dying, only to later become one of the two MHKs to vote against Dr Allinson’s Bill on the issue. The other was Peel & Glenfaba MHK Kate-Lord Brennan.

A second U-turn which sparked backlash among Garff residents was Mr Smith’s stance on sewage treatment – before last year’s election he said ‘the best solution for Laxey’ was pumping the sewage to Port Jack where it would link into the IRIS scheme.

In Tynwald last month however, he voted for and voiced support for an extra £16.9 million to be put towards funding a regional sewage treatment strategy, which is replacing IRIS.

The Captain of the Parish of Lonan, Stephen Carter, has called the meeting for Monday, August 15, at 7.30pm.

It will take place at the Baldrine Methodist Sunday School.

A Captain of the Parish is required to call a requisition meeting if he/she receives verified letters from 12 or more residents petitioning for one.

He has had enough letters to call for such a meeting.

The meeting is specifically about assisted dying legislation.

Garff consists of Maughold, Lonan, Laxey and part of Onchan.

Requisition meetings are most commonly called in advance of general elections, to allow candidates debate issues in front of the public.

Such a meeting was also called to discuss the issue of the Laxey floods, for example.

When contacted for comment by the Isle of Man Examiner before the meeting date was announced, Mr Smith said: ‘I have had some initial notification but no precise details as to the proposed format or intended outcome from such a meeting.

‘Once more details are forthcoming I will then be able to assess and respond accordingly.

‘Just to clarify at the outset that this matter was never a policy of mine, neither have I made any mention of it in any of my manifestos.’

He added: ‘Currently, as a member of the Treasury board, you will appreciate that I am focussing the majority of my efforts working with the Treasury team to address the current economic climate and rising energy costs.

‘Hopefully you will agree that these issues are critical to our island community and as such must take precedence.’

Mr Smith said that he would be happy to publicly discuss the meeting ‘as and when all the facts and details are published and known to me’.

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