Arbory Connect – Covid 19 Community Support.

Arbory Parish Commissioners have launched a support scheme which will operate during the Covid 19 Crisis period. It is called Arbory Connect – Covid 19 Community Support.

Letters will be sent to all residents by the end of the week outlining details. In the meantime details are posted below and will be added to our website.

Dear Arbory Resident

With the current need to self-isolate, practice social distancing and increasingly restrictive measures to contain the Covid-19 virus, your Commissioners have decided to find ways to keep people connected and the Parish functioning as best as possible.

This letter is a first response to the Covid 19 Crisis to let you know Arbory Parish Commissioners are developing ways to assist you. The situation is constantly changing, and our work will evolve as events unfold. As things develop, we will form collaborative partnerships with other organisations and of course we will be working closely with Rushen too.

Most importantly, we need your feed-back and thoughts so we can develop services which best suit your needs. No one has been here before and there are no experts other than the people living through this right now. If you have any suggestions ideas or thoughts get in touch and we’ll do our best to help.

Our aspirations include trying to find ways to do the following to make life easier for parishioners:-
• Deliver food and provisions to people who need it
• Work with Shoprite to deliver the essentials via our network of volunteers
• Connect you to businesses that can deliver to your doorstep e.g. ‘Cooil Bros Ltd’, Colby Spar, Island Seafoods.
• Connect you to businesses that offer a meals on wheels service e.g. The Sound Café
• Provide links to people that you could teach via a video feed
• Ringing people regularly to check they are ok

Of course we will be taking every necessary precaution to stop the virus spreading.

We are thinking about setting up a ‘traffic light’ community monitoring scheme but we need volunteers to make it viable. Basically, you put a card up in your window depending on your needs as follows:

Green means all is good
Amber means that I need some help like shopping
Red means in need of immediate help.

At present don’t have enough people to check the whole parish but if we get enough volunteers, we’ll set up the scheme and write again to let you know.

Another service already up and running is for people self-isolating who want to talk to a therapist about these very troubling times. Arbory Parish Commissioners working through local charity Quing are offering free 30 minute appointments with their team of qualified therapists via video call. Please contact our Clerk if you want to arrange an appointment.

IT IS VITAL WE HAVE A STRONG GROUP OF FLEXIBLE VOLUNTEERS IF WE ARE TO FULFIL OUR ASPIRATIONS. Already several volunteers have stepped forward to help. If you are under the age of 55 and have no underlying health conditions, please let us know how you can assist.

If you are interested in helping or if you need any help please call or email our Clerk or Deputy Clerk as follows:-

Deputy Clerk – Colin Kniveton on 836454 or at deputyclerk@arbory.gov.im

Clerk – Phil Gawne on 834501 or at clerk@rushen.gov.im

Colin will be co-ordinating the Arbory effort whilst Phil focuses primarily on Rushen and of course you can also contact one of your commissioners too.

To keep up to date with the latest news, follow our FaceBook page which will be sharing updates from Isle of Man Government and Manx Radio news.

We are experiencing challenging times and do not know how long this will last. We will be remaining positive hope this crisis is also an opportunity for our wonderful communities to work together at their best.

Best wishes and take care,

Stephen , Jane, Murray and Ady

Arbory Parish Commissioners

Civic Service – Event Postponed

Civic Service – Event Postponed.
 
After much discussion between Arbory Church and the Commissioners it has been agreed to postpone Arbory Parish Commissioners’ Civic Service, due to take place this Sunday 15th March.
 
Arbory Church had communication from the Bishop telling them to cancel any catering. Without catering the event loses its social part which is as important as the service itself.
 
While Isle of Man Government advice regarding the Corona Virus would appear to allow for such a gathering to take place, there was also concern regarding having a large number of people in close proximity. The concerns from the Church members have been carefully considered when making the decision to postpone.
 
Although no cases of Covid 19 have been identified on the Isle of Man and this may seem a strong reaction, Arbory Church and Arbory Commissioners are not prepared to take risks when vulnerable people are involved i.e. the elderly. They have a duty of care for congregations and parishioners at this key stage of the virus’ development.
 
 
For further information please contact Jane Glover by phoning 492010 or emailing j.glover@arbory.gov.im

Contribute to Your Community – Become an Arbory or Rushen Commissioner.

Are you passionate about your community? If the answer is yes, by serving as an Arbory or Rushen Commissioner you can make your voice heard and influence decisions that will help shape the future of your community.
 
Arbory and Rushen Commissioners are responsible for a variety of functions including street lights, refuse collection, parks, road sweeping and highway verges to name just a few.
 
They have further responsibilities held in conjunction with other Local Authoriities including Sheltered Housing, Libraries, Southern Swimming Pool and the Southern Civic Amenity Site.
 
Local Authority Elections take place on 23rd April 2020. The Merged Authority of Arbory qnd Rushen will have 6 vacant seats – 3 in Arbory Ward and 3 in Rushen Ward.
 
If you are interested in standing and want to find out more about what is involved, come and meet existing commissioners on one of the following dates:-
 
Wednesday 18th March
6 pm at Ballafesson Hall
Interested parties can stay for the meeting of Rushen Commissioners immediately afterwards.
 
Thursday 19th March
7pm at Halley McLaig Meeting Room, Ballabeg
Interested parties are also invited to attend the Arbory Meeting at 7.30 on the 1st April.
 
Nomination papers and information seeking election can be obtained from the Clerk, Phil Gawne, by emailing clerk@arbory.gov.im or phoning 834501.
 
The deadline for submitting completed nomination papers in 5.00 pm on Tuesday 31st March 202

Grow Your Own at Ballabeg Allotments

Would you like to grow your own vegetables but do not have room in your garden? Investing in a plot at Ballabeg Allotments might be the solution.
 
Ballamaddrell Allotments were established by Arbory Commissioners in 2010, with the assistance and co-operation of Prof. Simon Maddrell. The entrance is on the Grenaby Road, Ballabeg, and there are approximately 35 plots.
 
The day to day running of the site is administered by the Arbory Allotments Association and enquiries should be made to the Chairman, Mr John Atkinson, Tel. 425649 or e-mail atcoiom@manx.net
 
The facility is chiefly for Arbory residents, but others can be admitted if there are any spare plots available. Full and half plots available
 
A new initiative has been launched this year for those who may only want a small area. 8’ x 4’ bed sections can be rented for only £5 a bed a year!

April Local Authority Elections – Electoral Register

Ensure Your Vote Counts in the Local Authority Elections in 2020

It only takes a minute to respond to

annual update of electoral register

Registration forms have been delivered to all households in the Isle of Man as part of the 2020 update of the electoral register.

The annual canvass helps to capture the information required to maintain an accurate record of people who are eligible to vote in an election.

Forms were posted to all households currently listed on the electoral register and to ‘The Occupier’ at properties with no registered electors.

It is a legal requirement to respond to the annual canvass, even if an individual chooses not to vote. The deadline for responses is 18 March 2020.

Not being registered can also affect a person’s credit reference history and potentially result in an application for a mortgage, loan or mobile phone contract being refused.

Improvements have been introduced in recent years to make the canvass process quicker and easier for residents, as well as more efficient for the Government.

For most households the printed details on their registration form, such as the address and the list of eligible voters living at the property, will remain unchanged. If that is the case, people can respond in less than a minute via a telephone call, text message or online.

The online option is also available for people to notify the Electoral Registration Unit of any amendments to the prepopulated information.

Responses can still be submitted by completing and signing the paper form and returning it in the pre-paid envelope provided. However, people are encouraged to respond online, by phone or text messages, as it costs more to deal with paper and postal returns.

A number of households have already confirmed or updated their details electronically as part of a pilot e-canvass project. Anyone who wishes to take part in future e-canvasses can opt in by providing their email address for electoral registration purposes.

Further information about the electoral registration process and who is eligible to vote can be found on the Government website or by contacting elections@gov.im or tel: 685754.

 

Arbory Parish Commissioners – Rate Setting and Merger Updates 2020

Arbory Parish Commissioners – Rate Setting and Merger Updates.

On 24th  of January Manx Radio published a news item regarding Arbory Parish Commissioners rate setting and the forthcoming merger with Rushen Parish Commissioners. It has resulted in contact from parishioners with various concerns and queries. Consequently the commissioners would like to take this
opportunity to give fuller details and dispel some myths,

.Firstly the merger. Arbory and Rushen Parish Commissioners welcome Tynwald’s decision this week to approve the Order which will lead to the two parishes merging later this spring.

The parishes of Arbory and Rushen have existed as legal and ecclesiastical administrative areas for many centuries and while the Order creates one authority, the individual identities of the parishes will not be lost.

The order does though allow for administrative duplication to be removed which during the course of this coming financial year will lead to improved services and increased efficiency.

Secondly the rate setting.

When parishioners were written to and consulted about the merger, the letter sent did indeed refer to rates reductions not rises. But these savings can only be achieved AFTER the merger which will show in next year’s rate setting process.

This year’s rate setting was always done with care and attention to details and in the usual way. The costs of the Commissioners services will rise next year due to various factors outside of the Commissioners’ control, primarily as a result of inflation. This accounts for 2.5p of the increase. The costs for the amenity site alone have gone up by 37%. Arbory Commissioners could have gone for 129p rather than 130p but decided to be prudent and allow 1.25p for unexpected costs and one off merger costs. The remainder 1.25p is equalization of salaries which was agreed as in Arbory we were paying below a fair wage.

Rushen Parish Commissioners were in as slightly different situation in that for the last 5 years 10p was on the rates to raise funds for the Ballakilley Recreational project. Now the 50k has been raised, they have been able to take this off the rates. However, they have had to allow for refuse charges which were previously charged separately.

The authorities expect to generate savings next year once they merge, but until the merger happens, work to bring down costs cannot begin to take effect. The Commissioners only found out on Wednesday afternoon that the merger will definitely go ahead. The Commissioners could have taken a risk with their finances this year in the hope and expectation of future savings, but felt it prudent to budget cautiously to ensure a smooth transition to the merged authority.

Hindsight is always a wonderful thing and perhaps the Commissioners should have made it clearer at the consultation meetings that this year’s rate setting would be as normal plus an equalization with Rushen factor.

The vice chair of Arbory Commissioners Jane Glover says ‘we could have been clearer’ about when savings would be made from the merger with Rushen.

Jane Glover admits with hindsight, commissioners should’ve explained that savings from shared administration wouldn’t take affect until after the merger.

She says it’s likely ratepayers will see their bills come down in future years, once the change have taken effect.

It is worth noting that the rate is still considerably lower than some other southern parishes for example Port St Mary which has risen 2.5% from 338p to 346p.

If any rate payer would like to meet someone for a chat, please call Jane Glover on 492010.

Merger of Arbory and Rushen Approved by Tynwald

Arbory and Rushen Parish Commissioners welcome Tynwald’s decision this week to approve the Order which will lead to the two parishes merging later this spring.

 
The parishes of Arbory and Rushen have existed as legal and ecclesiastical administrative areas for many centuries and while the Order creates one authority, the individual identities of the parishes will not be lost.
 
The order does though allow for administrative duplication to be removed which during the course of this coming financial year will lead to improved services and increased efficiency.
 
Both Parishes have this month set a rate of 130 pence in the pound which will mean a reduced rate for Rushen on last year due to a £50,000 reserve for the proposed Ballakilley Recreational Area now being achieved, and a 4% increase for Arbory to cover a 1.9% inflationary increase on most services, and prudent budgeting to cover one-off costs associated with the merger. 
 

It is expected that cost efficiencies will be generated during the first year of the merger which could be passed back to rate payers in future years.

 
Media contact: Mrs J Glover – 492010‬ or j.glover@arbory.gov.im – available from Monday am.

Japanese Knotweed Control in Colby River – Good News Update.

Arbory Parish Commissioners started a 5 year campaign to control Japanese Knotweed in the Colby River in 2018. Below is the latest report from the contractor undertaking the works
 
“In summary, control thus far has been very good, with a higher rate of control than initially anticipated. The weather has also stayed warmer, for longer this year, allowing us to continue for longer, until any treatment would have been rendered ineffective.
 
In addition to the area originally agreed, we continued control to 2 fields beyond the Railway line.
As per usual, we will be making regular checks through next Spring and Summer to monitor progress, but all is certainly looking good so far.”

Southern Civic Amenity Site – Christmas Opening Hours and Contacts

SCAS.IM
http://scas.im/

Deputy Clerk Appointed

Arbory & Rushen Commissioners

Further to the recent announcement regarding the amalgamation of Arbory and Rushen Commissioners, the new Authority is pleased to announce the appointment of Colin Kniveton as the new Deputy Clerk.

The new position has been created following the planned reduction in hours by the current Clerk, Phil Gawne, and will not result in any additional costs to the ratepayers.

However, the new position will enable greater flexibility in working hours and enable the Clerk to focus on the key roles of political and financial support, while the Deputy Clerk will proved more general administrative experience.

Mr Kniveton is a retired civil servant with extensive public sector experience and was chosen following an excellent response to the recent advertisement.

Commenting on the appointment, Phil Gawne] said, “Colin is joining us at an extremely exciting time for the new Authority. The Commissioners believe there are many opportunities that will arise from the new structure and we are delighted that someone of Colin’s experience will be available to work with the Clerk to maximise the potential benefits of the new situation.”