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Department announces Public Inquiry into Braddan Parish Commissioners 26 September 2005

    The Department of Local Government and the Environment has given notice to Braddan Parish Commissioners that it intends to have an Inquiry conducted in public into the manner in which the Commissioners have discharged their statutory functions.

    Mr. Roger Rawcliffe, MA, FCA, TEP, has been appointed by the Department to conduct the Inquiry on its behalf and the terms of reference list 5 items for specific examination which include the provision of staff pensions; the setting of the Parish Rate for 2005/06; the alleged withholding of information by the Commissioners when requested to supply it to the Department; and the exclusion of Andrew Jessopp, one of the Commissioners, from proceedings of the Commissioners.

    The Inquiry is being established under Section 4 of the Local Government Act 1985 which empowers the Department to cause inquiries to be made into any matters concerning local government or the public health; any matters requiring the Department’s sanction, approval or consent under any enactment; or generally as to the manner in which any functions of a Local Authority are carried out by that Authority. Under Section 4 of the Act, Local Authorities are required to supply information, when requested by the Department or by Tynwald.

    Minister for Local Government and the Environment, John Rimington, said:

    “The Department has decided that it is in the public interest to establish an Inquiry because it has a number of concerns over certain decisions and actions taken by the Commissioners in relation to which the Department has been unable to secure the necessary information in order to satisfy itself that everything is as it should be. Ratepayers are entitled to expect their Local Authority to provide value for money in carrying out its functions and the Department has a responsibility to look into such matters if it considers it appropriate to do so”.

    Any person or body who wishes to give evidence to the Inquiry is being requested to submit written views to Mr. Rawcliffe at the Department’s offices in Murray House, Mount Havelock, Douglas, by the 17th October 2005 at the latest. The Public Notice issued by the Department also indicates that Mr. Rawcliffe intends to take oral evidence on a date or dates to be announced in November 2005.

    26th September 2005

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