• Newsletter September 2007

    September 30th, 2007 by Gillian Kelly in Newsletters

    Board Members — elected in April 2004 for a four year term are:–

    Mr Derek Cain (Chairman)
    Glendown Farm – tel 834699
    Mr Peter Vernon (Vice Chairman)
    Kincroft, Surby Road – tel 835469 kincroft[at]manx(dot)net
    Mr Peter Gunn
    Fleshwick House, Fleshwick – tel 832157
    Mr David Ronan
    Glen View Cottage, Hatters Lane – tel 835810 – david.ronan[at]manx(dot)net
    Mr Adrian Tinkler
    Dhoon Rushen, Surby Road – tel 834173 – tinkler[at]manx(dot)net
    The Clerk is Mrs Gillian Kelly
    Newlands, Ballagawne Road, Colby. Tel/fax 834501 –

    Please contact any of the Members, or the Clerk, if you have any problems or queries regarding local authority affairs, etc.

    Meetings are public and are held on the third Wednesday in the month starting at 7.30pm in Ballafesson Hall. All residents of the Parish of Rushen are welcome to attend.

    Rushen Parish Commissioners are represented on the following Boards and Committees:

    • Marashen Crescent Committee – Peter Vernon
    • Southern Civic Amenity Site Board – Derek Cain
    • Southern Local Authorities Swimming Pool Board – David Ronan
    • Municipal Association – Peter Gunn
    • Southern Healthcare Committee – Adrian Tinkler
    • Rushen Ambulance Committee – Peter Vernon
    • Ballkilley Working Party – Derek Cain and Peter Vernon

    Rates held for 2007/08

    The Commissioners are very pleased to report that the rate in the pound has been held at 67p for 2007/08. Continued good housekeeping and control of costs has resulted in our being able to also hold the “household charge” at £5, reduced from £20 for 2006/07.

    Please note that only those amounts headed ‘Commissioners’ and ‘Refuse’ on your rates bill are set and received by Rushen Parish Commissioners. By far the largest amount on the bill is for Water. This is also charged on the rateable value of your property.

    Although tenants of Local Authority and DOLGE houses do not received rates bills they do still pay rates, which are included in the weekly rent. Therefore any changes to rates affect tenants of local authority houses in the same way as all other householders.

    Local Authority Elections

    The current Board is now almost half way through its final year in office with the election of a new Board due to take place in April 2008. The current Board would encourage residents of the Parish who feel they may like to become involved in local politics to consider standing for election. Further details can be obtained from the Clerk.

    Social events/Thousla Trust

    Two social events were arranged during the last twelve months to raise funds for the Thousla Cross Trust. A very successful Winter Concert was held in January at Ballafesson Hall with many memorable performances. The evening raised £431.

    In August a Parish Fair and Children’s Sports was held. Unfortunately poor weather caused the postponement of the event from Saturday to Sunday but the afternoon was a great success with almost £250 being raised.

    The Commissioners intend to arrange a concert again this winter, probably in January, and would welcome anybody who would like to take part. Please contact the Clerk or any of the Commissioners if you would like to have a go.

    The Thousla Cross Trust is an established charity with aims and objectives to advance the education of the public by providing opportunities for the personal development of the individual and by the provision of facilities for personal and social educational development. The Trustees focus donations towards the development of young people in the area. During the year donations have been made to Rushen Primary School, Scooill Purt le Moirrey and Port Erin Commissioners.

    Southern Neighbourhood Policing

    As mentioned in last years Newsletter, Rushen Parish Commissioners have signed up to the Southern Neighbourhood Policing initiative introduced by Inspector Paul Cubbon and his team. The following update has been provided by Inspector Cubbon:

    “I would like to thank Rushen Parish Commissioners for giving me the opportunity to briefly explain how policing in the South of the island has changed during the previous twelve months. Most people will be aware that the name of your local Police has changed from that of the previous ‘Southern Division’ to that of the ‘Southern Neighbourhood Policing Team’. The change in our policing style is more than a mere change of name and has more to do with close community partnerships than the re-branding of an existing public service. Neighbourhood Policing is built around the concept of the information sharing between both the Police and local partners such as your Parish Commissioners. Through formalised agreements between ourselves information is openly shared concerning local issues within the Parish of Rushen that may effect the quality of life of local residents. Historically The Isle of Man Constabulary has provided Service based on issues which affect the Island as a whole without necessarily focusing on the issues at very localised levels. Through the advent of neighbourhood policing all Southern Local Authorities now have the opportunity to influence how Police services are deployed across the whole of the South of the Island on a parish by parish basis. Through the information sharing process which takes place at scheduled monthly meetings both the Police and Commissioners can identify emerging issues at an early stage and take appropriate action to deal with them. Fortunately the Parish of Rushen has a very low crime rate and instances of public nuisance and anti-social behaviour remain equally low and would certainly be the envy of other parishes or villages on the Island. Through this partnership approach and the close liaison now being enjoyed between the Police and your local Commissioners a proven and long lasting process now exists to ensure that local issues are jointly dealt with at a local level”

    The Commissioners’ would like to thank Inspector Cubbon for taking the time to provide this article.

    Southern Local Authorities Swimming Pool Board

    This is run by a Board consisting of representatives from each of the seven southern local authorities. The refurbishment project reported in the Newsletter last year commenced towards the end of August 2007. The pool is expected to be closed for approximately eight months, re-opening in May 2008. The refurbishment work will see improvements to the changing room and reception areas as well as providing a new multi-purpose room which will be used for fitness activities as well as providing a facility for events and meetings.

    Website

    The Commissioners are currently working on the production of a website. Surby resident Nick Thornley is providing technical and artistic input. The website, which will be found at www.rushen-commissioners, is due for release before the end of the year.

    Street lighting and street signs

    The Commissioners are responsible for street lighting within the Parish and continually review the need for replacement or additional street lights. Our view has been that we should improve street lighting in areas which are used frequently by pedestrians but should be maintain the rural feel to the Parish by having the minimum of street lighting elsewhere. That said, we consider each suggestion for additional lighting on its merits and would encourage residents of the Parish to contact the Clerk if they feel that street lighting could be improved in any area of the Parish. During 2006/07 a new street lighting scheme was introduced on Ballafesson Road.

    The Commissioners are also responsible for street signs within the Parish. Please contact the Clerk if you feel that additional street signs are required in any particular area.

    Refuse Collection

    Refuse collections continues to be made on a fortnightly basis by our contractor, Jones Brothers. The collections take place on a Thursday starting at 8am. The Commissioners believe that fortnightly collections continue to be adequate and encourage recycling of items such as paper, glass and cans as well as making most efficient use of the refuse wagon which is only travelling around the Parish once a fortnight rather than once a week.

    Just a reminder that as the contents of your bin go directly to the Energy from Waste facility at Richmond Hill, care should be taken to avoid putting items in your bin which will not burn. These include large metal objects, electrical items, asbestos, soil, builders’ rubble, engine parts and car batteries. The Commissioners encourage you to compost grass and hedge cuttings and recycle papers, glass, aluminium cans, clothing, etc in the bins provided around the parish or at the Civic Amenity site. There are two recycling sites in the Parish at present, other than the Civic Amenity site. These are at Croit-e-Caley and at Ballafesson, near the playing field.

    Southern Civic Amenity Site

    As anyone who uses the Southern site will have can seen, the high standards of the past years have continued into 2007. The settled staff situation of the last year has helped things along, although the retirement of long time foreman John Hawkins did leave a void. However, this has been ably filled by Simon Kosh who is bringing his own attributes to the position.

    The composting side of the site is going well with a good quality product being produced so if you would like to try some please ask at the site.

    In the last year televisions and computer monitors have had to be separated and sent to the UK. The numbers that are being separated on a monthly basis is quite amazing with 437 TV’s and 228 computer monitor’s being collected in the 14 weeks to the end of July. This maybe shows what a throw away society we have become. At the moment the taxpayer is picking up the bill for their disposal but there may be a move in the future to pass this cost on to the ratepayer.

    The site now has a collection area for all light bulbs and is keen that fluorescent tubes are recycled due to their high mercury content.

    Householders in the south of the Island can take a variety of items to the site, including large pieces of furniture, for either re-use, recycling or disposal. Glass, aluminium, metal, paper/magazines, hardcore, old engine oil, clothes, green waste, car and other batteries can all be taken to the site. However, food-waste cannot be taken to the site.

    There is no charge for using the site, other than for items such as fridges and tyres, which require a special disposal route.

    Beach Cleaning

    During the last year there have been a number of beach cleaning events undertaken by local groups including the pupils and staff of Castle Rushen High School, members of the Isle of Man Lawn Tennis Association and The 41 Club. These have been carried out at Fleshwick and Bay ny Carrickey and are used as fund raising activities. If you would like to organise a beach clean, either as a fund raiser or as a good deed, please contact the Clerk who can arrange for bin bags to be provided and for the rubbish to be taken away for disposal

    Dog fouling

    Dog fouling around the Parish continues to be a problem. The Commissioners appreciate that the majority of dog owners are responsible and clean up after their animals but regrettably a small minority do not. The Commissioners continue to place notices and bins in locations where dog exercising takes place but the problem persists. The area around the Parish Church and the pavement between the Church and Rushen Primary School are particularly bad despite their being a bins nearby. As well as spoiling the area for others, dog faeces pose a serious health risk, particularly to children. Your dog is your responsibility and you should ideally train your dog to foul only in your own garden. Dog toilets, which work in a similar way to a domestic sceptic tank, can be sunk into the ground into which the dog faeces can be put to be broken down.

    Southern Authorities Healthcare Trust

    The Southern Authorities Healthcare Trust was established to provide the residents in the South with additional healthcare benefits over and above what is provided by Government Health Services. The Trust, a registered charity, is administered by a Committee comprising: all Members of Tynwald "resident in the benefit area", a nominated representative from each of six Local Authorities and a number of co-opted members. For further information please contact Vice Chairman/Honorary Secretary Adrian Tinkler.

    Recycling

    The Department of Local Government and the Environment are shortly to introduce new recycling “bring banks”. Your Commissioners would welcome suggestions of suitable sites around the Parish.

    Planning

    All planning applications for the area are reviewed by the Board with comments being fed back to the Department of Local Government and the Environment. It is very important that you look out for notices in the local press and the yellow “Notice of Planning Application” which will be displayed close to the site concerned. If you wish to see the details of any planning applications for Rushen you should contact the Clerk.

    Financial statements

    The income and expenditure account for 2006/07 and the estimates for 2007/08 are detailed on the attached page. The Clerk has set out the income and expenditure account in the same format as the estimates in order to make comparison easy.

    Rushen Parish Commissioners continue to look after your money a very prudent and responsible manner and retain reserves for “unplanned” expenditure.

    Just a reminder that the Clerk can be contacted on 834501 at any time. If she is out of the office, please leave a message on the answer phone and she will get back to you on her return. She is contactable by ‘phone, fax or e-mail.