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First turnout figures encouraging

Local polls engage in south and east

Counting is underway in the 2016 local authority elections.

Polls closed at 8pm in the six areas hosting contests - Castletown, Douglas, where two wards are contested, Garff, where Laxey has hosted an election, Patrick, Peel and Port St Mary.

Turnout in Castletown has been confirmed as 40.8%, while in Laxey the figure of 44% is more than 11% up on 2012, the last time local authority elections were held.

Both compare well with the average turnout for local polls of around 30%.

The MHK with responsibility for local authorities Chris Thomas says giving commissioners more powers is essential to engage residents in the way their communities are run. 

Mr Thomas says reform remains high on the agenda - and evolutionary change is coming, by offering responsibility for key services on a regional basis:

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