The past year has been most challenging and The Commissioners continue to look for ways to improve operating efficiencies. You may recall that in the early part of the year the day that refuse collected was changed, this along with changes to the kerbside recycling scheme has enabled us to ensure the most efficient use of the vehicles and labour time. This has resulted in a reduction in our fuel costs and cut down on the number of trips to the Energy from Waste Plant (EfW). Also the bring banks that are in place at Abbotswood, Clagh Vane, the Railway Station, Derbyhaven and St Marks continue to be well used. Nearly 50 tonnes of waste has been collected at these sites over the past year, reducing the amount sent to the EfW saving some £4,000 in charges.
The Isle of Man Government continues to review its functions and the services it provides. It has identified functions that it believes would be better provided at a local level by Local Authorities. These functions are road sweeping, gully cleaning, hedge cutting and weed spraying. The Commissioners have agreed to take over these responsibilities but obviously there will be costs associated with it. Although the gate fee for EfW has been frozen for a year, the net result has no benefit for the Authority. Regrettably, we have no alternative but to increase the rates to cover these costs as, unlike some other Local Authorities, we do not hold large reserves. The increase is just over 5% and equates to approximately £15 per annum for the average ratepayer. However, we hope that there will be a noticeable improvement in the level of these services as a result.
Please remember that the Rates Demand that you receive includes amounts that are not due to the Commissioners. For example a Rates Demand for an average property last year in Ballasalla would be broken down as follows:
Churchyard: £ 9.00
Sewerage: £ 50.00
As you can see, the majority of your rates bill is due to Water & Sewerage Charges.
Over the coming year we hope to progress on a lighting scheme for Balthane, improvements at the Commissioners playing field ‘Keigh Keign’ and more recycling.
We do appreciate your continued support for our initiatives and sincerely hope that together we can make Malew a better and more desirable place to live.
Mrs B. A Brereton