Changing local government legislation

Closed 4 Dec 2017

Opened 9 Oct 2017

Feedback Updated 2 Oct 2018

We Asked

The Department of Infrastructure issued a consultation paper which was designed to advise the public of several amendments that were required to the Local Government Act 1985 and to invite comments on several other proposed amendments concerning Local Authority matters.

In the paper, the Department acknowledged that much of the current legislation in this area is over 30 years old and is in need of updating. Progressing the recommendations of a Select Committee of Tynwald on Local Authorities Members’ interests being considered a good start.

The paper also included several proposals concerning areas of governance, tendering and how to simplify processes to allow Local Authorities to work together more easily, as well as implementing new byelaws.

You Said

We received 58 responses to our consultation which were generally in favour of the proposed revisions.

We Did

A summary report of responses has been published on the Consultation Hub.

The Department will now seek to introduce a Bill to put into effect the recommendations of the Select Committee of Tynwald on Local Authority Members’ Interests. The Bill will amend the Local Government Act 1985 to reflect the recommendations except for Recommendation 4 which is subject to a wider review of Local Authority legislation.

The Bill will also include provisions to cover the following items:

  • Clarification on matters that must or may be included in Joint Board Orders.
  • Strengthen the legislation regarding Joint Board Orders.
  • Clarify the obligations of joint boards and joint committees.
  • Repeal the Douglas Market Act 1956.
  • Update requirements relating to Member’s expenses/allowances.
  • Clarify Local Authority boundaries.
  • Clarify the process for filling casual and unfilled political vacancies.
  • Clarify the process required to alter the number of Local Authority members and/or wards.
  • Amend the local government superannuation scheme legislation.
  • Update the requirements relating to the inspection of the minutes from Local Authority meetings.
  • Amend the Tynwald procedure for the introduction of Local Authority byelaws.
  • Clarify the provisions relating to open space.

As a result of the responses received to the consultation exercise several other matters will require further investigation and possible actions before legislation changes, should they be needed.

Results Updated 1 Oct 2018



The Department of Infrastructure is proposing to introduce a Bill to facilitate the implementation of a number of recommendations of a Select Committee of Tynwald on Local Authorities: Members’ Interests.

This would involve amending the Local Government Act 1985 ('1985 Act'). As part of this work the Department is also looking at updating the provisions of the 1985 Act relating to Joint Boards.  

The Department is taking this opportunity to address other known issues with local government legislation, for example the Local Elections Act 1986. This consultation will go into more detail about those known issues, which the Department wishes to resolve and in some circumstances provide further clarification to the existing provisions.    

Why We Are Consulting

This consultation is designed to invite comments on the Department of Infrastructure’s proposed amendments to the Local Government Act 1985 and other local government legislation. 

The current legislation is over 30 years old and is in need of updating such as progressing  the recommendations of the Select Committee of Tynwald on Local Authorities: Members’ interests.

What Happens Next

Following the analysis of the consultation results, the Department intends, subject to Council of Ministers' approval, to introduce a Bill into the House of Keys early 2018. 


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