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A chance to make a difference in your local community 22 February 2008

Local authority elections – last date for delivery of nomination papers now confirmed as (before 5pm) on Thursday March 27, 2008

Local authority elections happening across the Island in April this year are a valuable opportunity for residents to get involved in their community and make a difference to its quality of life.

That’s the message from the Department of Local Government and the Environment as it encourages people to take an interest in the elections as candidates and voters.

Elections for the 156 members of the Island’s 24 local authorities take place every four years, and the next one is Thursday April 24, 2008.

Last date for the delivery of nomination papers for candidates for all the local authorities has now been confirmed as (before 5pm) on Thursday March 27, 2008. Nomination forms and further information can be obtained from local authority offices.

No formal qualifications are required to be a local authority member, most authorities hold their meetings in the evenings, and attendance and travel allowances are available.

Local authorities are responsible for setting the rates for their areas and are involved in a range of issues (varying according to the size of the authority) including refuse collection, housing, planning, parking, environmental health, street lighting, parks, playgrounds and other public facilities such as public conveniences and libraries.

Local Government Minister John Shimmin MHK commented:

‘Local authority members can make a real difference to the environment and quality of life of their areas, and indeed to the rates bills that have to be paid by residents and businesses. They also speak as representatives of their communities in discussion of wider issues affecting the Island as a whole’. ‘
It is important for the health of our democracy that those who care about the future of their communities take an active interest as candidates and voters in these elections. Local authority members come from all walks of life and there may be many people out there who would make good candidates but have never thought of standing.’

Further information about the elections, the Island’s local authorities, and the roles and responsibilities of their members, can be found at www.gov.im/dlge/local/elections.xml

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