Local Government Reform

The structure of the local government system in the IOM has changed very little since it was set in the late 1800 s as opposed to central government that has changed out of all recognition.The local Commissioners had responsibility clean water, drainage,roads,bins ,local amenities,building control,raising their own finance,expanding the economy etc in an era when there were no cars ,telephones,computers or other modern tools.They have very few of these duties today but are still structured to be able to carry them out.
This is a complete and utter waste of our scarse resource.
In the South of the Island we have 4 fully staffed and resourced what I would call branch offices(Malew,Castletown,Port Erin and PSM) and 2 district offices (Rushen and Arbory).If they were combined into 1 unit based at say Castletown the ongoing savings in staffing costs would be in excess of £250k per year,and this is without any real effort.The capital savings that would be released by the sale of the unneeded assets would be well over £1m.
I am sure if the general public were aware of the gross inefficiencies and overspend of our local government using scarse resource that could be better spent on say the hospital they would support the changes.
The changes in the South would obviously have to be reflected over the whole Island and more savings would be made.
This subject has been looked at twice in recent years.In the Tony Brown administration Graham Cregeen undertook a substantial volume of work and in the Alan Bell administration Richard Ronan undertook a similar exercise.On boyh occassions it was about asking the local Politicians what do they want.Turkeys and Christmas is the answer and no real movement was made.It is time for the people at the top to drive this issue for the good of us all.One idea would be to have the system looked at by an independant committee in the same way as the parliamentary boundaries were considered.(I could expand on that if you want).

 

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By using this mechanism Tynwald would set policy and terms of reference but would not be bogged down in the detail which would be dealt with by the committee who would have no political agenda other than complying with Tynwald's wish.

 

by MelindaIOMGov on May 11, 2017 at 03:11PM

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