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Tynwald gives local authority more power!

The issue of local authority reform has raised its head again.

In Tynwald, Local Government Minister John Shimmin proposed changes to the 1998 Recreation and Leisure Act, designed to give Douglas Corporation responsibility for the entertainment which could be put on in certain areas of the borough.

The debate included some concerns about local authorities having too much power.

East Douglas MHK Brenda Cannell said the changes would mean local authorities could make decisions about what entertainment to hold in their squares without seeking permission from Tynwald. She said it would give them more power which, in her opinion, wasn't a good way to proceed with local law. She used the recent clashes over dogs on local authority land as an example of where, in her opinion, this hadn't worked in the recent past.

She was supported by David Callister, MLC, who also felt Tynwald should have the opportunity to approve by-laws or otherwise. He said if the authority decided to hold a rock concert at midnight, he would be on the minister's doorstep calling for him to sort it out.

But Mr Shimmin said he found it hard to understand why the highest court in the land should be delving down into dog by-laws and the equivalent.

He said that if Tynwald had to rubber-stamp everything it might as well go the whole way and reform all the Island's local authorities, so members could control everything they did.

He maintained that if the Island wanted local democracy, this was an area where local issues could be dealt with at a local level, and said the by-laws would still be laid before Tynwald and could be picked up if a member wished to do so.

Tynwald supported the proposals, which will come into effect on July 1.








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