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Key issues to be discussed at next community meeting 5 October 2012

CHIEF Minister Allan Bell MHK says he is looking forward to another lively public debate at the next community meeting to be hosted by the Council of Ministers.

The event, which takes place at the Erin Arts Centre on Tuesday, October 23, will provide a further opportunity for Island residents to engage with Ministers on matters of national importance. It is the third in a series of regional meetings and will follow a similar format to successful events held at the Manx Museum in March and Peel Centenary Centre in June.

The Chief Minister will open the meeting in Port Erin with a review of the current administration’s first year in office, and a look ahead to future priorities at national and international levels. Social policy reform will be among the topics for discussion and Social Care Minister Chris Robertshaw MHK will deliver a brief update on the consultation looking at the challenge of reducing Government expenditure while providing fair, appropriate and sustainable public services. There will also be an open question and answer session where members of the public can ask Government Ministers about key issues and challenges facing the Isle of Man.

Mr Bell, who will chair the session, said:

‘The community meeting in Port Erin is now less than three weeks away and I expect there will be robust exchanges and some strong opinions expressed. These events are an important part of my promise to promote open and transparent Government and to work with the public in the best interests of the Isle of Man. They are extremely valuable in terms of generating direct and honest dialogue with local people and we take on board the ideas, comments and concerns that are voiced.’

The community meeting at the Erin Arts Centre will start at 7.30pm on October 23. The event is free and open to all members of the public. There is a limit on the number of people the venue can accommodate and seats will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. No bookings will be taken. Looking further ahead, the community meeting in the north of the Island will be held in Ramsey on January 30, 2013.

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