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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org – available from Monday am.
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.”