Isle of Man News - POSTED Tue last week

Proposed modernisation of local government legislation

by LC

Feedback is being invited on plans to modernise key aspects of local government legislation.

The Department of Infrastructure has today, Monday 9 October 2017, launched a public consultation on the proposed changes.

The intention is to further improve openness and transparency within local authorities and to strengthen legislation to support the effective delivery of services to local communities.

The Department is proposing to implement the recommendations of a Tynwald Select Committee, requiring members of local authorities to declare any interests that could potentially influence how they carry out their duties. A register of interests would be available for public inspection.

Other proposed amendments cover issues such as members’ expenses and allowances, managing political vacancies, the functioning of Joint Boards, and local authority boundaries and governance. The Bill also aims to remove uncertainty over the qualifications for election and holding office as a member of a local authority.

Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer MHK said: ‘The existing legislation is more than 30 years old and needs to be updated. The proposals are aimed at streamlining processes and reducing bureaucracy, while also providing greater clarity on matters where there is currently a degree of confusion. It is hoped that by increasing openness and trust and offering better access to local authority meetings and documents, people will become more engaged with local politics and the decisions affecting their communities.’

Information is available on the Government consultation hub and people are invited to respond to the specific questions, as well as commenting on any other aspects of the proposed legislation.

Submissions can be emailed to LocalGovernment@gov.im or sent to Ian Brooks, Department of Infrastructure, Sea Terminal, Douglas, IM1 2RF.

The deadline for consideration of responses is Monday 4 December 2017.

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