• Rushen Commissioners Newsletter SPRING 2016

    March 8th, 2016 by Stan Pilling in General News ·Newsletters

    Rushen Commissioners Newsletter

                                                                                                                                       SPRING 2016

    Welcome to all of you who may be new or not so new to the Parish of Rushen.

    If you need any information please do not hesitate to contact Gill Kelly, our Clerk.

    You may be confused by your ‘postal address’ which could be Port St Mary, Port Erin or even Castletown. This postal address was designated as being wherever the mail was sorted and delivered from. If you have received this newsletter rest assured you are indeed in the Parish District of Rushen. As Post Codes are now used there is little reason to put the postal address, you can therefore if you wish insert ‘Rushen’ as part of your postal address. The Post Office has confirmed this.

    Local Authority Elections

    In April 2016 all the seats on Rushen Parish Commissioners will be up for election. At the Rushen Commissioners AGM last May two members stated that they would not be putting their names forward for this year’s poll. So, if you think you can do your bit for the community we live in, keep things ticking over or really make a difference this will be your chance. Please do not forget that your name must be on the electoral roll before you would be eligible to stand. If you are interested in standing you would be welcome to attend one of the monthly board meetings to get an idea of what goes on.

    Election Day will be 28th April 2016 and the polling station for Rushen will be Ballafesson Hall. In March Election Notices will be in the papers and on our Notice Boards. Nomination Papers will then be available from the Clerk’s Office. Phone 834501. To stand for election you must be on the Voters List. You will require to have a Proposer, seconder and at least 8 assenters. All of these must be on Rushens VotersList. Closing date for the Nomination Forms to be brought to the Clerk is 5th April. Should a candidate wish to withdraw their nomination or should anyone object to a nomination this must be done before 2pm on 6th April.

    It is now compulsory to have your name on the Voters List (electoral roll). You will have recently received the form to complete and return. The Government is to levy a fine for anyone who fails to comply. We have been asked by Government to remind people that they must have their name on the list

    Ballakilley land

    You may have seen in the press the two fields adjacent to Rushen Churchyard which were not zoned for development have been transferred into the ownership of Rushen Parish Commissioners. It has taken nearly 20 years of discussions for this to come to fruition. Part of the land has already been subject to a planning application for a much needed extension to the church yard and also a Church car park. Planning permission has now been granted and work will hopefully be starting on these projects in the very near future. Southern Nomads Rugby club along with Sport Erin and with the support of your Commissioners have recently lodged a planning application to convert the larger of the two fields into two rugby pitches together with a cricket wicket and car parking. It is anticipated that a club house will also be built on the site in the future. The club house will also be available for community use, as will the playing fields when not in use for matches or training. There is also room in this field for a BMX course/ skateboard park. If you have an interest in either of the latter two pastimes and would like to get involved, Rushen Commissioners are looking for a club/group to organise this facility so please get in touch with our Clerk. There will also be a public footpath through the area from the Ballafesson Road to Church Road with seating and trees etc. You can view the plans for the sports area and the Church car park, etc at gov.im/planning or at our Office.


    Rushen Commissioners run their finances efficiently. We have a policy whereby refuse collection and disposal at the Energy from Waste Plant is treated separately from the general rate. As each household, regardless of Rateable Value, will produce roughly the same amount of refuse we have a ‘per household’ charge. If anyone produces more rubbish they have to buy a second bin and pay an annual charge (currently £30). This is a very fair way of treating this expense.

    Other services such as lighting, Amenity Site, Swimming Pool, etc are based on rateable value, not on whether you use them. Our Rate for 2016/17 will be 85p in the pound and the ‘per household’ charge for refuse collection and disposal will be £63. The latter increase is to cover the increase in refuse disposal from £79.50 up to £86.56 per tonne (for Rushen). The increase in the Rate is, in part, to cover weed spraying and also new work and maintenance to our new Ballakilley Recreational Area which Rushen Commissioners and therefore the ratepayers and residents of Rushen now own.

    We will continue to do our best for you.

    Street Lighting

    Your Commissioners continue to be responsible for the provision of street lighting. To that end we engage the services of the Manx Utilities to provide the electricity and expertise to maintain the lights and switch gear.

    The Board has made a policy to replace old and unrepairable fittings with new LED light units. The consumption of electricity of these new units is approximately one third of that of a comparable old fitting. The light emitted is a clean white light that is directed in a downwards pattern to illuminate the area. We would wish to retain the rural feel of our parish, but would welcome suggestions for well used areas that may require some improvement.

    Southern Civic Amenity Site (The Tip)

    The Southern Civic Amenity Site has undergone many changes in the last year or so – one of the most noticeable being is its name: it is now called The Southern Recycling Centre to reflect the site’s main purpose. Following the retirement of long term clerk Mrs. Amanda Butler changes have also been made to how the site is administered. Day to day running of the site is now undertaken by Port St Mary Commissioners and their Clerk Mr. Alastair Hamilton who reports to the site’s Board, which is made up of one member each from the Commissioners of Port St Mary, Port Erin, Rushen, Arbory, Castletown and Malew. This Board is at present under the chairmanship of Mr. Alan Grace. Site hours have been changed to meet users’ requirements, with longer opening hours in the summer to reflect the growing season and shorter hours in the winter months. The site does not close for lunch.

    The site hours are: Summer April to October 9.30am to 5.30pm and winter November to March 9.30am to 4.00pm.

    The site’s Board recently took the decision to move to a cashless system so you can now pay by card or cheque. Regular/frequent users can set up an account and pay on a monthly basis. Use of the site is still free for domestic waste. Garden compost has been produced for a number of years but the site is now offering the compost for sale in small bags of approx. 25kg for £2.50 per bag or 5 bags for £10. You can have as many bags as you want and you can also have a scoop full on your wagon or trailer for £35 per tonne. As the site’s name suggests recycling is its main aim and users are encouraged to separate as much of their waste as possible. This helps the site to have clean waste for further recycling, although the downturn in world markets at the moment will have an effect on the prices received for the product especially scrap metal.

    If you have any suggestions for improvements or alterations you would like to see, please let us know.

    New responsibilities for Local Authorities

    On 1st April 2015 Rushen, along with all of the other Local Authorities took over some responsibilities from the Department of Infrastructure. These include road sweeping, hedge trimming, gulley cleaning and weed spraying. Rural Parishes like Rushen have had much higher expenditure than towns and villages (who have few hedges) as we have so many miles of roads, much of them with hedges both sides. These are expensive to cut. You, the ratepayer, are now paying for this out of your rates. We hope we have carried out these functions well but it has been a learning experience this year and we would welcome any comments or suggestions.

    Library Services

    The Board continues to make a contribution to the George Herdman Library in Port Erin.

    Our charitable Thousla Cross fund also makes a donation to the Mobile Family Library.

    Looking forward, the Board has the opportunity to pay an annual fee to the Henry Bloom Nobel Library in Douglas. After registering each parishioner would have access to the full facilities, without further charge. This would include the 24/7 online services of eBooks, encyclopaedias the audio and conventional books of a modern library. Douglas Corporation are currently offering 12 months FREE membership of the library, following its relocation to Lord Street. Please visit their site library.douglas.gov.im if you wish to take advantage of this offer We would be obliged if you could contact our Clerk and give your views – is this a service that you or your family would use and would be likely to continue to use in the future?

    Website                   www.rushen-commissioners.com

    You will find copies of our recent minutes from the meetings and other articles as they appear. If you would like to make a contribution please get in touch with our Clerk.

    First Parish Authority to Sign an Armed Forces Community Covenant

    A Community Covenant is a voluntary statement of mutual support between a civilian community and its local armed forces community.

    Mr. Stanley Pilling signed as the chairman of Rushen Parish Commissioners and his wife Sheila Pilling signed as the Chairman of Port Erin Royal British Legion.

    Mr. Pilling said “he was proud to endorse on behalf of the people of Rushen the continuing connection with the armed forces within our community”

    Mrs. Pilling said “She was pleased that her community of Rushen was the first of the Parishes to adopt the Community Covenant and looks forwards to other Local Authorities following suit”

    Beach Cleans

    RPC continue to support maintenance of the beaches in the Parish through funding voluntary groups who wish to carry out beach cleans. Beach Buddies are the main organisers of beach cleaning services on the island and RPC are very supportive of their efforts. The majority of waste is of course plastic. It not only looks unsightly but is a serious pollutant as it is ground down by wave action into small particles which then accumulate in the marine food chain and ultimately in those of us who eat seafood. It is also a serious risk to marine wildlife as they ingest large plastic items mistaking them for food.

    Local Authorities are not actually responsible for cleaning beaches but most do so – Rushen has done for many years –Fleshwick and most of Bay ny Carrickey are in Rushen. The DOI Harbours Division are responsible for beaches but they will only clear up anything ‘dead or dangerous’. For many years Rushen have asked Government, when attending the British Irish Council, to ask for all the areas surrounding the Island to stop litter going into the Irish Sea. This doesn’t seem to have been very successful yet.

    Litter:- A closely related matter in that a large proportion of the litter being collected from our beaches will have resulted from people dropping litter either locally or on the adjacent islands. It seems curious that while there is great support for the idea of keeping our beaches clean, there is little action taken to combat the problem of people deliberately dropping litter on land. There are a number of litter bins around the Parish. Please let us know if there are any locations which would benefit from a bin being installed. The contractor we use for road sweeping will remove large items or excessive quantities from a location. However it is not practical for a road sweeper to stop for every bit of litter lying in a hedgerow or path. We would urge those of you who walk to pick up items and dispose of them. If every person out walking stopped to pick up even one item it would make quite a difference over time and improve the appearance of the Island. Bare hedgerows etc can look quite unsightly as they accumulate junk either blown there by winter storms or thrown there by passing morons. Perhaps a Parish spring clean could be organised if there was sufficient interest from parishioners – let us know if you are.

    Statutory Boards

    Rushen Commissioners have a representative on the following boards and committees: Southern Recycling Centre (Southern Civic Amenity Site), Southern Swimming Pool, Marashen Crescent Housing Committee, Municipal Association and Southern Healthcare Committee.

    Marashen Crescent Housing Committee

    The Committee oversees the operation of the sheltered housing provision for the South of the Island. There are now a total of 135 units on the three sites at Marashen Crescent, Reayrt y Chrink and Cooil Veg. Major works have been undertaken in the past year to upgrade the central heating boilers in the older units with modern efficient gas boilers. This will see an ongoing reduction in heating costs for residents, through a combination of reduced unit costs, reduced maintenance costs and much greater efficiency than the oil boilers they are replacing. External refurbishment works have also been undertaken on the older units in Reayrt y Chrink and Cooil Veg.

    Southern Swimming Pool

    The pool continues to operate successfully under the new manager. Major refurbishment work to the plant and equipment in 2015 has produced a major improvement in energy efficiency. The introduction of a new ultra violet water treatment system has meant an 80% reduction in the amount of chlorine in the water making swimming in the pool much more pleasant experience.   These major works will enable the pool to continue operating until such time as government funding becomes available for a replacement pool.

    Open space and other areas of land

    The transfer of functions from the Government to the Commissioners has highlighted that there are some areas within the Parish that may be more suited to local management. You or a group may wish to see a flower bed established or a piece of land tidied up. Please get in touch and let us know what may work to brighten up your patch of the parish. We would like to work with you. Are you a Member of a group or organisation that supports Community projects?

    We would like to work with you to improve our parish.

    Climate Change and all that

    You may have noticed that it has been rather wet and windy recently. As far as we are aware there have not been any serious flooding to properties during the recent bad weather events. Problems with overflowing ditches and problems with large volumes of water freely flowing down road ways in places such as Surby continue to cause concern. We will continue to lobby the DoI to carry out improvement work in such areas. Given that government funding is tight and other worse hit areas of the Island are likely to take priority it is always wise for individual house holders to take precautions e.g. use of sand bags and clearing grids. Sandbags were available at the amenity site during the recent flooding event and also – after some persuasion from our Clerk – from the DoI depot at Colby Level (in case the rain continued to fall outside of business hours).

    Reminder to all landowners

    Over recent years it has been noticeable that there are more cases where storm water has been running off fields causing damage to roads, difficult and dangerous driving conditions and, in some cases, flooding to properties.

    Please do your bit to help.

    In another weather related matter, Ballafesson Hall was full on 12th November to hear information presented by Mr. Paul Salmon of the DOI concerning the proposed sea defences along Shore Road and Beach Road, Bay ny Carrickey. There was a full question and answer session resulting in additional information being made available to Mr. Salmon and his team for consideration when deciding on the best course of action. If you are interested in this topic but missed the meeting the details and further information are available at https://www.gov.im/coastandwave

    Refuse Collection, Waste and Recycling

    We would encourage ratepayers to do all they can to reduce the amount of recyclable waste that they place in with their general refuse. Materials such as glass, metal and rubble, in particular, do not burn in the incinerator but end up as bottom ash which has to be further treated and disposed of. Most people will be aware of the facilities at the Amenity Centre, along with bring banks available at various locations.

    Port St Mary Commissioners now have collection rounds for recyclables which has saved them a considerable amount of money through the reduction in waste tonnage they are putting to the incinerator. Collection costs and the much more spread out nature of housing in the Parish would likely mean that such an operation would be impractical for Rushen.   However, if Rushen residents were to remove more recyclable materials from the waste stream it would reduce the tonnage we take to the incinerator and consequently have a beneficial effect on our disposal costs. We need you to help us to help you to remove and recycle the heavy items like glass that will not burn at the EfW plant. This will save you money.

    Meayll Peninsula Booklet & Walkers’ Guide

    John Rimington, former Member of Rushen Commissioners and MHK for Rushen compiled this booklet in 2000 for Rushen Commissioners. It has now been updated and a new chapter included. It is being reprinted and will be on sale in March. All proceeds go to Rushen Commissioners’ charitable trust – The Thousla Cross Trust which helps young people and organisations for young people in the Parish of Rushen. This also includes donations to Rushen, Port St Mary and Arbory Primary Schools and Castle Rushen High School as children and young people from Rushen attend these. Look out for the booklet to be released – it will be mentioned in the papers and on our website.


    CONTACT DETAILS                         www.rushen-commissioners.com


    Gill Kelly,                         tel/fax: 834501           [email protected],

    Office address:

    Newlands, Ballagawne Road, Colby


    Stan Pilling,                                Chairman               tel: 836068              [email protected]

    Derek Cain,                                Vice Chairman     tel: 834699          [email protected]

    Peter Gunn,                                                             tel: 832157          [email protected]

    Peter Vernon,                                                          tel: 835469              [email protected]

    David Radcliffe,                                                       tel: 835509       [email protected]