Statement from Paul Weatherall on his election as Chair of Liberal Vannin:
It is a great honour to be taking over the position of Chair of Liberal Vannin from Michael Josem, at the start of a year that will present many challenges to everyone on the Island. Many thanks to Michael for his time as Chair, during which he has successfully kept Liberal Vannin to the fore.
Taking over during our circuit breaker lockdown means that direct political campaigning is somewhat curtailed for a few weeks, but I hope to introduce myself face to face to as many as possible once we can all move around freely again.
Chairing a political party brings many challenges of its own. I joined the UK Liberal Party, as it was then, in my mid 20s and have been active in politics ever since, in one way or another. In 1979, I was the Liberal Party Parliamentary Candidate for Harborough in Leicestershire and was the election agent for the LibDems in Rugby and Kenilworth in Warwickshire at the following UK General Election, so I know what it means to campaign for principles and policies that many voters support, but sadly, are often unconvinced that they can actually be delivered.
Ever since Peter Karran founded our Party back in 2006, Liberal Vannin MHKs have had a clear vision for the way government should work for the benefit of everyone on the Island. As Liberal Vannin Chair, I will be working closely with our Party Leader, Lawrie Hooper, MHK for Ramsey, as we plan our campaign for the coming Tynwald General Election in September and select new candidates to join him. Together, we will maintain our tradition of commitment and consistency in calling for greater openness and transparency in the way our government makes decisions and awards contracts.
At our meeting on January 11th, when I was elected Chair, we also adopted a Declaration of Principles, (see below) that all Liberal Vannin MHKs and candidates for political office will be expected to abide by. One of the benefits in having such principles in place is that they can then be used to hold your political representatives to account.
Over the coming months we will be agreeing policy statements on the many issues facing the Island, in preparation for our election manifesto, including:
- How we strengthen our finances after the Covid 19 battering;
- Supporting and developing our rural economy;
- Ensuring that an all-Island housing policy includes incentives for homeowners to improve insulation and replace their fossil fuel heating systems;
- Working with the tourist industry and holiday accommodation providers to re-vitalise what we offer to visitors in innovative but sustainable ways, with particular emphasis on eco-tourism
- Supporting changes in legislation on social issues, such as assisted dying and the personal use of cannabis.
- Bringing forward to 2040, our government’s commitment to meeting it’s zero-carbon target
I invite all of you, who support our principles, to join us in developing these policies and selecting our candidates for Tynwald. We live in interesting times, and yes, you can make a difference to the way our Island is governed and make it a better, fairer place for all our residents.
Visit our website – LiberalVannin.im and follow us on Facebook and Twitter or contact us directly by email:
Liberal Vannin Party Leader: Lawrie@lhooperiom.com
Liberal Vannin Chair: Paul.Weatherall@manx.net