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Long serving Minister wishes new team well

Monday, 3 March 2014

South Douglas MHK David Cretney has said today that he wishes the new team at Council of Ministers well as he comes to the end of his almost 18 years unbroken service to the Island as a Minister.

'In discussions with the Chief Minister I made it clear that I would not be contesting the 2016 General Election and he needs a mix of experience and newer members who will be contesting the election.' Said David. 

Under the boundary review recommendations presently before Tynwald for twelve two seat constituencies, South Douglas is extinguished as a name and as a constituency. It becomes broken up and part of West Douglas and Central Douglas.

'My support had always come from throughout the constituency, by then I will be 62 and will have been an MHK for 31 years, or half of my life, and I think my decision is the correct one.'

He continued -

'I will always be most grateful for the tremendous support I have been given since being a Councillor between 1983-1985 for St George's Ward and then to contest the By Election (caused by the elevation of the late Mattie Ward to the legislative council), in South Douglas in 1985 followed by the General Election in 1986 when I took the second seat by one vote to long serving Adrian Duggan. 

Since then I have had five further General Elections in 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011 topping the poll by a landslide on each occasion, and for the last quarter of a century obtaining more votes at every election compared to any one else elected in any other Douglas Constituency, and becoming the longest serving MHK ever for South Douglas'. 

David was Minister for Tourism and Leisure between 1996-2006 which included many high level responsibilities including chairing the TT organisation and latterly put in place the officials and structure which recognised and strengthened its commercial and sporting structure and helped to lead on two highly successful events in 2007 for the Centenary, 2011 for the Mountain Course Centenary and now, as everyone knows, is on a new high.  He become the self styled, 'Minister of Fun', and was well respected in a role which seemed a perfect fit to his skill set. 

Between 2006 and 2010 he took on the vitally important role as Minister for Trade and Industry until under reorganisation it became Economic Development and Alan Bell took on the expanded high profile role. He became the first Minister for Community, Culture and Leisure between 2010-2011 and after the General Election in 2011 took charge of the massive Department of Infrastructure. 

Amongst the things he has enjoyed being involved in most are the development of the National Sports Centre where he was involved from the concept stage as a political member of Tourism whilst Alan Bell was the Minister and was himself able, with the help in particular of Eddie Lowey, to see it through to its successful award winning fruition. From laying  the foundation stone of the NSC to opening the all weather and totally refurbished King George V Park (The Bowl). 

He enjoyed his time as chairman of the Isle of Man Post Office between 1992-1996 and as a political member of the Department of Local Government and Environment was not only the Chairman of the Planning Committee but was able to fight to achieve the support in Government to completely redevelop Pulrose,

'I remember in my early days in the House of Keys the houses in old Pulrose being described as ice boxes with so many old friends having to sleep downstairs as the houses were freezing upstairs. I was very proud of the part I played in this major scheme', said David. 

'I have always, as a long standing member of the Manx Labour Party, had a very keen interest in social justice and I am very satisfied to have had a significant role in the development and introduction of long overdue social legislation including redundancy, equality legislation, minimum wage provision, unfair dismissal and much improved maternity provision amongst other areas.  

As the second longest (along with Peter Karran) serving member of the House of Keys, I have been elected by my peers to serve on the Tynwald Management Committee, the Standards and Members Interests Committee, Emoluments and Tynwald Ceremony Arrangements Committees.  

In my discussions with the Chief Minister I have indicated my willingness to continue to serve the Island as a Department Member and subject to Council of Ministers approval I am very much looking forward to my new role which will be announced in due course alongside all other departmental memberships.'

David is involved as President, Patron or as a Member of a number of sporting and care of the elderly organisations outside his Tynwald commitments. 

'My sincere thanks are due to all the political members who have worked with me and to the staff of each Department in which I have served as Minister. 

Most of all my thanks to the wonderful people of South Douglas who have placed so much trust in me for so long. I will now have a little more time serving you until 2016! 

Finally, to my family who have had to put up with the negative side of being related to a high profile, highly committed Minister.'

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