DEFA minister defends interested party policy amidst criticism

Marown Commissioners disappointed with stance

The environment, food and agriculture minister says his department was right to change the criteria for interested party status (IPS), but a commissioner insists what’s happened is wrong.

Minister Geoffrey Boot says some were using the status, which grants the right to appeal planning decisions, to delay applications and ‘stifle economic development’.

Under his supervision, DEFA opted to place more-restrictive rules on those who could be given IPS, and introduced the policy internally last year.

It came after the minister made a statement to Tynwald members in May 2018, outlining changes to planning.

Many residents in Crosby were angry […]

12 February 2019|

Housing deficiency rises above £6m

The government will need to pay out more than £6m to cover the local authority housing deficiency in the 2019-20 financial year.

Onchan MHK Rob Callister asked in this week’s Tynwald sitting how much the Department of Infrastructure was providing local authorities to cover housing deficiencies.

Douglas, the island’s largest authority with over 2,300 properties, is estimated to need £1,415,042.

Mr Callister said he believes that this figure, up from £246,949 in the 2017-18 financial year, represents the cost of housing improvements the council is undertaking.

Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer said: ’The shortfall between the rental income and cost of provision of services […]

24 January 2019|

‘They don’t enforce planning’

A committee is calling for evidence following calls by Ramsey MHK Lawrie Hooper to investigate planning policy.

Chairman of the policy review committee Rob Callister MHK has confirmed the committee is going to conduct an inquiry into the operation of the planning system, with particular reference to planning enforcement.

Mr Hooper had called for the committee to look into planning policy as he says the Department of Environment Food and Agriculture has not been enforcing its own rules for applications.

Mr Hooper told the Examiner that while he has issues with the planning system as a whole, he is specifically looking […]

23 January 2019|

MHK claims rising incinerator costs ‘unfair’ on local authorities

Callister questions costs

A 5.7% increase in gate fees at the Energy From Waste Plant (EFW) is unfair on local authorities according to an MHK, and shouldn’t be taken at ‘face value’.

The hike comes into force from 1 April and will result in charges of £91.93 per tonne for domestic waste, and £183.04 for commercial waste.

The charge is imposed by plant operator SUEZ on the Department of Infrastructure, which then passes it on to local government.

It’s predicted to place a significant financial burden on local authorities, and coupled with other pressures, result in rate rises.

Rob Callister says most of the costs which make up the […]

23 January 2019|

Political surgery in Onchan this weekend

Onchan MHK Rob Callister is hosting his first political surgery of 2019 this weekend.

Mr Callister is hosting his surgery at the Onchan Hub (community centre) on School Road on Saturday, January 19 between 10am and 11.30am.

He said no appointment is needed and he is happy to discuss any local or national concerns constituents may be having.

Mr Callister added: ’I look forward to seeing as many Onchan constituents and ratepayers as possible over the next 12 months, In order to ensure that we are listening and representing your concerns in 2019.

’If you can’t make Saturday mornings, then just let […]

18 January 2019|

More clarity needed on Treasury proposals

Minister withdraws items from Tynwald sitting

Onchan MHK Rob Callister says he’s relieved Treasury Minister Alfred Cannan has withdrawn two items from next week’s Tynwald Order Paper.

Changes to Employed Person’s Allowance and Income support regulations were proposed.

The first was that a lone parent would have to work 30 hours per week rather than the current 16 if their youngest child is over 13 years old to receive Employed Person’s Allowance..

The other was Income Support ending for parents who don’t work when their youngest child reaches six years old – currently they can do so until the child is 12.

Rob Callister says there was a […]

12 January 2019|

Manx Gas pricing review expected end of January

Findings were initially expected this month

A review into the Manx Gas charging structure won’t be published until the end of January.

An investigation into its pricing was promised following protests last winter.

It follows calls for scrutiny from Onchan MHK Rob Callister, after the company increased customers’ tariffs by 3.5%.

The review was expected to be completed by December, however the Cabinet Office says this is now expected by the end of January.

Source: Manx Radio

23 December 2018|

Edge ‘misled’ about posties’ pay

The chairman of the Post Office has been accused of misleading Tynwald over her claim that posties earn £33,000-a-year on average.

Julie Edge MHK came under fire as postal workers with the Communication Workers’ Union began a two-day strike in a dispute over pay and changes to terms and conditions.

Talks on Wednesday failed to avert the industrial action after the union rejected an improved offer on pay.

But further talks between the CWU and Post Office management were held even as posties manned the picket line outside the island’s sorting and delivery offices yesterday.

Tynwald this week approved in principle plans […]

14 December 2018|

Criticism over Post office reform plan

Post Office reform that will see a reduction in deliveries and changes to workers’ pensions was backed by Tynwald this week – but only after startling criticism from some quarters.

The board came under sustained attack in Tynwald as Post Office chairman Julie Edge they sought support for proposed pension changes and reductions in deliveries.

In criticism unusual for its ferocity, members of the Post Office’s sponsoring government department stood to openly challenge claims of co-operation.

Department for Enterprise member Lawrie Hooper accused the Post Office board of being selective to the point of misleading in terms of the information it […]

14 December 2018|

MHK refutes statement on three-day postal service

Callister calls for PO chair to correct statement

Onchan MHK Rob Callister has issued a brief statement to refute suggestions that he had supported the introduction of a three day working week for the Island’s postal service.

He says he’s not sure where the suggestion has come from and wishes to categorically refute the statement made by Post Office Chair Julie Edge MHK on the Mandate programme this morning (Thurs).

He also gives reassurance to postal workers on the Island that he’s not aware of any discussion around a three day postal service.

Mr Callister says he hopes Ms Edge will correct her […]

13 December 2018|
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