During LVP’s 8th Annual General Meeting, held on Sunday 22 February 2014, Peter Karran MHK proposed that his Tynwald colleague, Kate Beecroft MHK should takeover from him as Party Leader.
In proposing Mrs Beecroft, Mr Karran said he felt it was time for a change and by adopting a female party leader LVP would demonstrate, by deeds as well as words,we are a progressive and inclusive party.
The proposal was whole-heartedly seconded by acting Party Chairman, Pat Ayres and unanimously supported by the members present.
Mr Karran, was presented with a small plaque by Mr Ayres in recognition of the sterling work he had performed during his term of leadership and also given an honorary lifetime membership to the party.
LVP’s own ‘Iron Lady’ said she was very pleased to accept the role bestowed upon her and assured members that under her leadership the party would continue to hold the government to account and looked forward to the challenges ahead.
Earlier in the day, the meeting had listened intently to a presentation by Kate on the party’s parliamentary members’ ‘Year in Politics’.
She spoke about health services, and how the Minister and his Chief Executive have been held to account over misleading parliament in respect of the letter from 10 consultants expressing concern about the management of the hospital; although she added in her opinion other instances of misleading parliament had yet to be satisfactorily dealt with.
However, she said she thought progress is now being made in bringing about change in the management of health services and, thanks to the increasing prominence of the new Health and Care Association, she hoped she could now afford to divert her attention to other matters.
The Sefton bail-out and the investment in Pinewood also featured heavily in her round-up, both of which she stated continue to cause her not only concern, but also a great deal of anger over the way she feels she and the public are being denied answers to legitimate questions being asked in Keys and Tynwald.
Mr Karran spoke briefly to endorse what Mrs Beecroft had had to say and to applaud her for her resilience in continuing to ask the questions in the face of the often hostile reaction of Ministers to her questioning of them. He also touched upon the ‘ongoing scandal’ of IRIS and the failure of the Executive to hold the consultants to account for the failures and cost over-runs in the project.
Following on from there the guest speaker, Mr Roger Tomlinson of the Positive Action Group, gave a very informative and knowledgeable presentation on the proposed Freedom of Information Bill.
Members expressed their gratitude to Mr Tomlinson for the way he made his presentation and answered their many questions about this very important piece of legislation.
Mr Karran also thanked Mr Tomlinson and acknowledged how important it will be to thoroughly scrutinize and debate the Bill when it gets to Keys to try to avoid the Island ending up with an emasculated and ineffective piece of legislation that denies the public access to the information they deserve to have.
In closing the meeting retiring party leader Mr Karran warned members of the danger that the Island could easily slip back into the bad old ways of when he was growing up in the 60’s and 70’s and how vital it is that LVP play its part in preventing this from happening. He urged members to go out and encourage more people to become engaged in the political life of the island and hopefully to join LVP.
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