Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Manx local authorities announce plans to merge

A Rushen Parish sign Image copyright Google
Image caption Rushen and Arbory authorities are consulting residents about the proposal

Proposals have been announced to merge two local authorities on the Isle of Man to provide a more "cost-effective" service.

Rushen and Arbory Commissioners have sent letters to residents asking for feedback on the plans.

Public meetings will be held in September to discuss various options, including a full or partial merger.

Arbory vice-chairman Jane Glover said joining forces would lead to "improved efficiency".

She went on to say rural parishes "operated a different model" to bigger towns, but added "it isn't sleepy, it isn't a backwater, it's just an efficient way to work".

Based to the south of the island, the two authorities together look after more than 3,300 people.

Board members in both areas had discussed the idea on several occasions over the past decade, a spokesman said.

Under a partial merger, the authorities would combine forces but remain two separate legal entities.

A full amalgamation would see the creation of a new Arbory and Rushen Parish Commissioners, made up of two individual wards.

Mrs Glover said there would be "cost savings" and "significant time savings" under both proposals.

Rates "may drop" if there was a full merger, she added, and parishes would not "lose any identity" if it was to go ahead.

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