Onchan Commissioners reject consultation document

Onchan District Commissioners have declared that they support Douglas Borough Council in their response to the Department of Infrastructure's consultation on alternative means of municipal waste management service delivery.

Lead Member for Environment and Technical Services, Mr Derek Crellin, said, "We agree with the Council that the consultation document and the assumptions made within it are flawed and do not appear to have any foundation. We have amply demonstrated that our authority is not averse to change, but any reform of our services needs to be as a result of proper discussion, scrutiny and review amongst all stakeholders."

The Department has suggested that substantial savings could be made by reorganising the Island's waste services but Onchan Commissioners, along with many other local authorities, dispute the claims.

Chairman Rob Callister said, "Onchan District Commissioners are an efficient local authority providing a wide range of services. These services are constantly under review by the Board and our members are adamant that they represent best value for money, as evidenced by the low rate in Onchan compared to other similar areas. We have restructured our business over the past several years and have reduced staff levels and expenditure in response to the public demand to make real savings. I must congratulate the authority for their acceptance of those major changes."

Mr Callister continued, "The Government have been slow in response to the financial challenges, but now needs to follow our lead and make savings within its own Departments. The new Minister, Mr Skelly, has recently admitted that the Department of Infrastructure needs to find six million pounds of savings during the next 12 months. Perhaps he should concentrate his time and staff resources to achieving that, rather than spending time looking at local authority duties that do not affect central government budgets. This is a clear indication that the Government is trying to divert attention away from its own failings and is attempting to use rate-payer funds as a convenient piggy-bank ready for plunder."