local government in the Isle of Man
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Local government ( gv, gurneilys ynnydagh) in the
Isle of Man ) , anthem = "O Land of Our Birth" , image = Isle of Man by Sentinel-2.jpg , image_map = Europe-Isle_of_Man.svg , mapsize = , map_alt = Location of the Isle of Man in Europe , map_caption = Location of the Isle of Man (green) in Europe ...
was formerly based on six sheadings, which were divided into seventeen parishes (today referred to as "ancient parishes"). The island is today divided for local government purposes into town districts, village districts, parish districts, and "districts", as follows: *Four town districts: Douglas (borough), Castletown, Peel and Ramsey *Two "districts": Michael, Onchan *Two village districts: Port Erin and Port St Mary *Thirteen parish districts:
Andreas Andreas ( el, Ἀνδρέας) is a name usually given to males in Austria, Greece, Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country located south of the Anatolian Pe ...
, Arbory and Rushen,
Ballaugh Ballaugh ( ; , ) is a small village on the Isle of Man in the parish of Ballaugh (parish), the same name, in the sheading of Michael (parish), Michael. It is the only village in the parish. The parish adjoins Jurby to the north, Lezayre to the e ...
,
Braddan Braddan ( gv, Braddan) is one of the seventeen parish A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is th ...
,
Bride A bride is a woman who is about to be married or who is newlywed. When marrying, the bride's future spouse, (if male) is usually referred to as the ''bridegroom'' or just ''groom''. In Western culture, a bride may be attended by a maid, brides ...
,
Garff Garff () is one of the six sheadings of the Isle of Man ) , anthem = "O Land of Our Birth" , image = Isle of Man by Sentinel-2.jpg , image_map = Europe-Isle_of_Man.svg , mapsize = , map_alt = Location of the Isle of Man in Europe , ...
, German,
Jurby Jurby ( on, djúra-bý – deer settlement - animal park) () is one of the seventeen List of parishes of the Isle of Man, parishes of the Isle of Man. It is located in the north-west of the island (part of the traditional ''North Side'' division ...
,
Lezayre Lezayre ( ; gv, Creest ny h-Ayrey), formally Kirk Christ Lezayre, is one of the seventeen historic List of parishes of the Isle of Man, parishes of the Isle of Man. It is located in the north of the island (part of the traditional ''North Side'' ...
,
Malew Malew ( ; gv, Malew) is one of the seventeen parish A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is th ...
,
Marown Marown ( , rhymes with "gown"; gv, Marooney) is one of the seventeen historic parishes of the Isle of Man ) , anthem = "O Land of Our Birth" , image = Isle of Man by Sentinel-2.jpg , image_map = Europe-Isle_of_Man.svg , mapsize = , ...
, Patrick, Santon


Sheadings

The Isle of Man was historically divided into six sheadings ( gv, sheadinyn): in the traditional clockwise order, they are Glenfaba, Michael, Ayre,
Garff Garff () is one of the six sheadings of the Isle of Man ) , anthem = "O Land of Our Birth" , image = Isle of Man by Sentinel-2.jpg , image_map = Europe-Isle_of_Man.svg , mapsize = , map_alt = Location of the Isle of Man in Europe , ...
, Middle, and Rushen. The sheadings are now significant only as: *the districts of the Coroners (although two pairs of sheadings are now combined for this purpose), and *the basis of certain electoral constituencies (now somewhat loosely). The Coroners are responsible for process-serving and enforcement of judgments, not for holding inquests of death; that function is carried out by the High Bailiff, who is ''ex officio'' Coroner of Inquests. The origins of the term ''sheading'' are unclear. There are three main possibilities: * from the Norse word ''skeid'' – meaning ship-assembly, with each sheading providing men for a warship. * from
Middle Irish Middle Irish, sometimes called Middle Gaelic ( ga, An Mheán-Ghaeilge, gd, Meadhan-Ghàidhlig), is the Goidelic languages, Goidelic language which was spoken in Ireland, most of Scotland and the Isle of Man from AD; it is therefore a contempora ...
''seissed'' meaning "sixth part" – with the sheadings having been a 14th-century Scottish introduction. * from the
Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) is a form of the English language that was spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest of 1066, until the late 15th century. The English language underwent distinct variations and developments ...
word for an administrative division, ''scheding'' – with the sheadings having been introduced following English rule in the late 14th century.


Parishes

The parishes have ecclesiastical roots, and are thought to have been introduced to the island in the 11th century from Scotland, the bishopric having been established in the 10th century. Civil parishes also existed from at least the late 15th century, their boundaries diverging significantly in some cases, where one or more Treens might pay their ecclesiastical tithes to one parish, but their Lord's Rent to another. Parish boundaries broadly followed physical features such as rivers and watersheds, but there were many detailed divergences. For example, a mill and its croft, located on the west bank of a river, could be included in the adjoining parish east of the river by a loop in the boundary. The
parish A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bisho ...
es within each sheading of the Isle of Man are currently: * Ayre –
Andreas Andreas ( el, Ἀνδρέας) is a name usually given to males in Austria, Greece, Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country located south of the Anatolian Pe ...
,
Bride A bride is a woman who is about to be married or who is newlywed. When marrying, the bride's future spouse, (if male) is usually referred to as the ''bridegroom'' or just ''groom''. In Western culture, a bride may be attended by a maid, brides ...
,
Lezayre Lezayre ( ; gv, Creest ny h-Ayrey), formally Kirk Christ Lezayre, is one of the seventeen historic List of parishes of the Isle of Man, parishes of the Isle of Man. It is located in the north of the island (part of the traditional ''North Side'' ...
* Garff – Lonan,
Maughold Maughold (also known as Macaille, Maccaldus, Machalus, Machaoi, Machella, Maghor, Mawgan, Maccul, Macc Cuill; died c. 488 AD) is venerated as the patron saint A patron saint, patroness saint, patron hallow or heavenly protector is a sain ...
,
Onchan Onchan (; glv, Kione Droghad) is a village in the parish of Onchan (parish), Onchan on the Isle of Man. It is at the north end of Douglas Bay. Administratively a district, it has the second largest population of settlements on the island, after ...
(''Kione Droghad'') * Glenfaba – German, Patrick * Michael –
Ballaugh Ballaugh ( ; , ) is a small village on the Isle of Man in the parish of Ballaugh (parish), the same name, in the sheading of Michael (parish), Michael. It is the only village in the parish. The parish adjoins Jurby to the north, Lezayre to the e ...
(''Balley ny Loughey''),
Jurby Jurby ( on, djúra-bý – deer settlement - animal park) () is one of the seventeen List of parishes of the Isle of Man, parishes of the Isle of Man. It is located in the north-west of the island (part of the traditional ''North Side'' division ...
(''Jourbee''), Michael (''Maayl'') * Middle –
Braddan Braddan ( gv, Braddan) is one of the seventeen parish A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is th ...
,
Marown Marown ( , rhymes with "gown"; gv, Marooney) is one of the seventeen historic parishes of the Isle of Man ) , anthem = "O Land of Our Birth" , image = Isle of Man by Sentinel-2.jpg , image_map = Europe-Isle_of_Man.svg , mapsize = , ...
, Santon * Rushen – Arbory, Rushen (''Rosien''),
Malew Malew ( ; gv, Malew) is one of the seventeen parish A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is th ...
The above are civil parishes; the ecclesiastical parishes of the Anglican church have been altered considerably to reflect the geographical distribution of the island's population.


Reforms in the 18th to 21st centuries


Town districts

An Act of Tynwald of 1777 provided for the appointment of a High Bailiff for each of the four towns, Castletown, Douglas, "Peeltown" ( Peel) and Ramsey, with various judicial and administrative responsibilities. The Towns Act 1852 provided for the first elected local authorities in the Island, enabling a board of Town Commissioners to be elected for each of the four towns, with responsibility for street cleaning, lighting and sewerage. However, the Act was not adopted by any of the towns, and special Acts were passed establishing Commissioners for each town: Douglas 1860, Ramsey 1865, Castletown 1883 and Peel 1884. The boundaries of the town districts have been extended over time to incorporate new developments. In 1896, Douglas was incorporated as a
municipal borough Municipal boroughs were a type of local government district which existed in England and Wales between 1835 and 1974, in Northern Ireland from 1840 to 1973 and in the Republic of Ireland from 1840 to 2002. Broadly similar structures existed in S ...
by the Douglas Municipal Corporation Act 1895, which replaced the Town Commissioners with a
municipal corporation A municipal corporation is the legal term for a local governing body, including (but not necessarily limited to) cities A city is a human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place i ...
entitled "The Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the Borough of Douglas", acting through a
borough A borough is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for geo ...
council, consisting of a
mayor In many countries, a mayor is the highest-ranking official in a municipal government A municipality is usually a single administrative division having municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as ...
,
aldermen An alderman is a member of a Municipal government, municipal assembly or council in many Jurisdiction, jurisdictions founded upon English law. The term may be titular, denoting a high-ranking member of a borough or county council, a council membe ...
and councillors. In 1989 the office of alderman was abolished, leaving the council composed of the mayor and councillors. The 18 councillors are elected from 6 wards, each for a four-year term expiring on 1 May 2012, 2016, and so on. The mayor is elected annually by the councillors, usually (but not necessarily) from their own number. Although there are no longer any aldermen, the corporation's legal title is unchanged. As its name implies, it is a body corporate, but the borough council is not.


Village districts

The Public Health Act 1884 permitted the creation of elected sanitary authorities for
sanitary district Sanitary districts were established in England and Wales in 1872 and in Ireland in 1878. The districts were of two types, based on existing structures: *Urban sanitary districts in towns with existing local government bodies *Rural sanitary dis ...
s.
Port Erin Port Erin ( gv, Purt Çhiarn, meaning ''lord's port'') is a seaside village in the south-west of the Isle of Man, in the historic parish of Rushen. It was previously a seaside resort before the decline of the tourist trade. Administratively it ...
was the only sanitary district so defined. The Local Government Act 1886 provided for elected boards of Village Commissioners and the creation, by resolution of Tynwald, of new village districts. The existing sanitary authority of
Port Erin Port Erin ( gv, Purt Çhiarn, meaning ''lord's port'') is a seaside village in the south-west of the Isle of Man, in the historic parish of Rushen. It was previously a seaside resort before the decline of the tourist trade. Administratively it ...
became a board of Commissioners.
Port St Mary Port St Mary ( gv, Purt le Moirrey or ''Purt-noo-Moirrey'') is a village district in the south-west of the Isle of Man. The village takes its name from the former Chapel of St Mary ( gv, Keeill Moirrey) which is thought to have overlooked Chap ...
was created a village district in 1890,
Laxey Laxey ( gv, Laksaa) is a village on the east coast of the Isle of Man. Its name derives from the Old Norse ''Laxa'' meaning 'Salmon River'. Its key distinguishing features are its three working vintage railways and the largest working waterwhee ...
and
Onchan Onchan (; glv, Kione Droghad) is a village in the parish of Onchan (parish), Onchan on the Isle of Man. It is at the north end of Douglas Bay. Administratively a district, it has the second largest population of settlements on the island, after ...
in 1895, and Michael in 1905. In 1986 the existing village district and parish district of
Onchan Onchan (; glv, Kione Droghad) is a village in the parish of Onchan (parish), Onchan on the Isle of Man. It is at the north end of Douglas Bay. Administratively a district, it has the second largest population of settlements on the island, after ...
were merged to form a "local government district of Onchan" under a single body of Commissioners (but with a separate consultative "rural committee" representing the former parish district). In 1989 the village district and parish district of Michael were similarly merged (but without a rural committee). In both cases the current districts are described simply as "districts" and are neither parish districts nor village districts.


Parish districts

The Local Government Amendment Act 1894 created boards of Parish Commissioners for 17 parish districts, each of which comprised so much of the corresponding ancient parish as was not comprised in a town or village district. As noted above, Onchan and Michael parish districts have since been amalgamated with the corresponding village districts. In 2016 the village district of Laxey and the parish districts of Lonan and Maughold were merged to form the new parish district of Garff. In 2020 the parish districts of Arbory and of Rushen were merged to form the new parish district of Arbory and Rushen, with separate electoral wards for each of the two former districts. The powers of Parish Commissioners are somewhat less than those of Village Commissioners.


Joint boards

In 1938 the Local Government Board was empowered to create a board (commonly referred to as a "combination authority") consisting of members of two or more local authorities to exercise specified functions of those authorities. Such an authority, now called a "joint board", is a body corporate, and its members are appointed from the members of the constituent local authorities (and in some cases representatives of the Department of Local Government and the Environment). Joint boards are created for a specified purpose, and existing boards deal with refuse collection, sheltered accommodation, civic amenity sites, and swimming pools. Local authorities also have power to set up "joint committees", which are similar to joint boards but are not bodies corporate.


Central supervision of local authorities

A Local Government Board was established in 1894 with responsibility for supervising the new local authorities. It was reconstituted in 1922, 1946 (when it was renamed "Isle of Man Local Government Board"), 1952 and 1957. In 1987 the Board was dissolved and its functions transferred to a new
Department of Local Government and the Environment {{Politics of the Isle of Man In the Isle of Man, the Department of Local Government and the Environment ( gv, Rheynn Reiltys Ynnydagh as y Çhymmyltaght) or DLGE/DoLGE was responsible for the natural environment, environment, public housing, socia ...
, headed by a Minister for Local Government and the Environment. The functions of that Department relating to local government were in turn transferred to a new Department of Infrastructure in 2010.


Local government reorganisation

The structure of local government in the Isle of Man has been recognised as unsatisfactory since before the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
, but no consensus on how it should be reformed has been achieved. Proposals for reform were made by the Local Government Board and various committees in 1934, 1949, 1963 and 1967. A Select Committee of Tynwald in 1985 recommended a thorough review, and an interim report of a further Select Committee in 1986 led to a consultation document ''Time for Change'' containing proposals by the Department of Local Government and the Environment, issued in December 1991. Two interim reports were followed in 1994 by a final report by the Department making recommendations for reorganisation, itself incorporated in a report by the Council of Ministers, which however failed to endorse those recommendations. In 1999, as no progress had been made, the Council of Ministers admitted that it had been unable to agree on proposals, and Tynwald set up a further Select Committee which reported in 2001 with a scheme to reduce the number of local authorities to four. However, it merely "received" the report, declining to approve its recommendations. The next set of proposals, also for four local authorities, were made by the Department of Local Government and the Environment in 2004, but were shelved because of opposition from the existing authorities. An alternative plan, which would have preserved the existing authorities but transferred their waste collection and housing functions to joint boards, was produced shortly afterwards but also abandoned. The Department revived its previous proposals in 2005, but shelved them again due to lack of support. After 30 years, the only step taken towards any reorganisation of local government, apart from the mergers in Onchan and Michael (above), has been to confer on the Department power by order to merge two or more local authorities with their consent.Local Government Act 1985 s.6A, inserted by Local Government Act 2006 s.5: ''Statutes of the Isle of Man'' 1985 c.24, 2006 c.18 This power has not been exercised. However, in 2016 the village district of Laxey and the parish districts of Lonan and Maughold were merged to form the new parish district of Garff.


Local government today

(The sheadings are not local government units today.)


References


Local Authority Handbook
Department of Local Government and the Environment

Francis Coakley {{DEFAULTSORT:Local Government In The Isle Of Man Government of the Isle of Man Man