Latest News Headlines
On-Air Now
Listen Live
Facebook

'Public buy-in was key to our merger' says Garff commissioner

Fri, 02 Aug 2019


Public support is key to a successful merger, says a commissioner who played a role in the creation of the district of Garff in 2015.
 
Nigel Dobson was part of the Lonan board which agreed to join counterparts in Laxey and Maughold to form the new authority.
 
After the three initially agreed to work together on waste services, he says members soon realised there were cost savings to be had by combining.
 
The former Garff chairman says it was a lengthy process, but ratepayer support was the tipping point which convinced commissioners to make the change.
 
Laxey, Lonan and Maughold have retained their identities under the ward-system, as three representatives from each are chosen to sit on the Garff board.
 
The structure of local government has seen little change in the last century, but the formation of new authorities is not unheard of.
 
Almost thirty years before Garff formed in 2015, the parish district and village district of Onchan combined in 1986, a move that was followed by the rural and urban entities of Michael in 1989.
 
The need for twenty-two local authorities across the Island is a common criticism by some, who advocate for bigger entities.
 
Under the Quayle administration, reform has been focused around encouraging local authorities to work collaboratively to deliver services, such as housing and waste.
 
Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer believes forcing change on councillors and commissioners is an ineffective strategy, and prefers encouraging cooperation.
 
Mr Dobson’s comments come as the rural parishes of Arbory and Rushen are exploring the idea of creating a new authority, and are asking ratepayers for their views.
 
He explained to Local Democracy Reporter Ewan Gawne how Garff came into being:
 
 

Media

  • Dobson Interview

 

Subscribe to get Energy FM News direct to your mobile device

You can get Energy FM News delivered direct to your mobile device using one of the following methods.

  • In the Apple News App on iOS search for Energy FM IOM and then just add it to your favourites
  • In the Google News & Weather App just search for Energy FM and then add us as a customised section
  • If you use an RSS Reader then just add our feed to your app, click here for our news RSS feed