We Asked, You Said, We Did

Below are some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes.

We asked

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture is seeking views on proposals to introduce Water Quality Objectives (WQO) and Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) to assess water quality and monitor compliance for inland, coastal and bathing waters in the Isle of Man.

You said

17 responses were received to our survey and found our approach acceptable.

We did

The Department has drafted the Water Pollution (Standards and Objectives) Scheme 2020 which will be brought to Tynwald in December 2020. Within the draft scheme the Environmental Quality Standards and Water Quality Objectives are included and policy documents have been produced to outline how the scheme will be implemented. The feedback from the consultation will be used to review the current monitoring programme and investigations.

We asked

The purpose of this consultation was to gather views regarding the Council of Minister’s proposal to introduce a Civil Contingencies Bill 2020 ─ this aims to develop new legislation to replace the Emergency Powers Act 1936, which was used during the Island’s recent response to Covid-19.

You said

36 responses were received to our survey. Cabinet Office welcomes this constructive engagement. These came from members of the public, Government Departments and members of Tynwald.

All responses received during the consultation have been considered and are assisting the further development of the legislation and operational policy before a final version of the Bill is arrived at.   

We did

We have carefully considered all the feedback received, and recommended various amendments for political decision, after which, a final version of the Bill is aimed to be progressed for further consideration.

We asked

A full and public consultation process was undertaken from 21st July to 1st September 2020. In addition to the online consultation process on the Government Consultation Hub, four drop in sessions were offered to stakeholders to meet officers who have been involved in developing the draft bill.

Sessions were held in Douglas, Ramsey, Peel and Port St Mary, throughout August 2020, to provide access to communities around the Island.  The sessions were attended by over 100 members of the public. A full page advert was placed in The Courier, and adverts and reminders were put out on all major social media channels. Posters and radio interviews were also used to promote the consultation and associated drop-in sessions.

You said

There were 120 responses to the consultation, 100 of which were submitted via the online consultation hub. In addition to views being welcomed from the general public the following stakeholder groups were directly invited to contribute to the consultation.

  • Tynwald Members;
  • Registered political parties;
  • Chief Officers of public bodies;
  • Local authorities; and
  • Businesses and third sector organisations with a direct interest in climate change.

We did

The Bill has been revised to take account of the consultation feedback as well as having its drafting improved to better implement the policy goals as set out above and in the consultation. The revised Bill was subsequently introduced into the Branches for its first reading on the House of Keys on Tuesday 3rd November 2020.

A summary of the responses is available to download below. 

We asked

The purpose of the consultation was to gather views regarding the Department’s proposal to introduce a mandatory register of landlords and their properties. In addition to consulting on the draft Bill which will enable this, the Department also consulted on the secondary Minimum standards Regulations.

You said

194 responses were received to our survey. A large amount of landlords also submitted extensive views to the Department directly, all responses received during the consultation have been considered and are assisting the Department to further develop the legislation and operational policy before making its recommendations to the House of Keys.

We did

The Department has prepared a response report and facilitated public events, held in Braddan, Ramsey and Port St Mary, hosted by the Department of Infrastructure and including input from the Department of the Environment, Food and Agriculture and charity Housing Matters with a focus on the register and how it will operate at a practical level.

We asked

A survey was conducted to gather consumer views on the ease of switching telecommunications services between suppliers. The purpose of the survey was to understand how well current processes were working.

You said

131 responses were received to our survey. A number of individuals shared their personal experience of switching with the Commission also, which has been very helpful for us.

We did

The results have been analysed and the written submissions are currently being assessed. A summary of the results and outcomes will be published on the Commission’s website shortly.

We asked

For views on the Authority’s revised proposals for the minimum capital requirement for PCCs and ICCs under the draft Insurance (Non Long-Term Business Valuation and Solvency) Regulations 2020.

You said

Respondents found our proposed approach acceptable.

We did

We finalised the Insurance (Non Long-Term Business Valuation and Solvency) Regulations 2020 ahead of the launch of the new capital and solvency regime in December 2020.

We asked

The purpose of the consultation was to ask for views on a proposed set of updated Regulations to give effect to the latest version of MARPOL Annexes III to VI and to Protocol I.

This is intended to be done via amendments to the following existing regulations:

  • Merchant Shipping (MARPOL Protocol I – Reports on Incidents Involving Harmful Substances) Order 2015
  • Merchant Shipping (MARPOL Annex III – Prevention of Pollution by Harmful Substances) Order 2015
  • Merchant Shipping (MARPOL Annex IV – Prevention of Pollution by Sewage) Order 2014
  • Merchant Shipping (MARPOL Annex V – Prevention of Pollution by Garbage) Order 2014
  • Merchant Shipping (MARPOL VI – Prevention of Air Pollution) Order 2014

Since most of these amendments are already in force internationally, the effect on Manx Ships is likely to be minimal.

You said

We received three responses to this consultation, all of which were supportive of our proposed action.

We did

We will proceed with the proposed changes to Regulations which shall be laid before Tynwald for approval in the coming months.

We asked

We sought views and feedback on the proposed new Manx Care Bill via the public consultation “Creating a new Organisation to Provide Health and Social Care Services – Manx Care”.

You said

We received 36 formal responses to the consultation: 4 of these responses were received from organisations and 32 individuals.

The majority of consultation responses received were supportive of the establishment of Manx Care and the proposals set out within the consultation paper and the Bill.

We did

We have now reviewed all of the responses received which has proved useful in identifying some changes that have benefited the drafting of the Bill. A large amount of feedback was also received which will be useful for various other projects that form part of the wider Transformation Programme.

We asked

Following consideration of the Inspector’s recommendations, the Cabinet Office published a notice announcing the general effect of the proposed modifications on the 14th February 2020. Eight weeks were permitted for any person to make objections or representations in writing concerning the modifications proposed which were set out in several documents on the Consultation Hub.

You said

There were 49 responses to the consultation, with responses from Local Authorities, Political Members, Developers and the Public. Topics ranged from the TT Access Road, Strategic Reserve Release Mechanism and the Town Centre Boundary.

We did

Cabinet Office has now considered the representations received during the consultation on the Modifications and full commentary is set out in a ‘Cabinet Office Response Table’ which has been made public.  On the 21 September 2020, the Cabinet Office adopted, by order, the Area Plan for the East.  

Cabinet Office intends to take the Adopted Plan to the October 2020 sitting of Tynwald. Minister for Policy and Reform, Ray Harmer MHK, will move that The Town and Country Planning (Area Plan for the East) Order 2020 be approved.  Should the plan be approved, it will come into operation on 1 December 2020 and result in the revocation of the following plans as they relate to the area covered by the Area Plan:

  • The Isle of Man Planning Scheme (Development Plan) Order 1982
  • Braddan Parish District Local Plan, 1991
  • Douglas Local Plan, 1998
  • Onchan Local Plan, 2000
  • Laxey & Lonan Area Plan, 2005

The Adopted Plan and ‘Cabinet Office Response Table’ is available on the Government website http://www.gov.im/tape.  Alternatively, copies can be viewed at Cabinet Office, 3rd floor Reception, Government Office, Bucks Road, Douglas IM1 3PN

We asked

The purpose of the consultation was to gather views on proposed Regulations to give effect to the International Maritime Organisation’s Casualty Investigation Code. We also consulted on requirements for investigating accidents on ships not covered by the IMO Code (for example fishing boats and pleasure vessels). The proposed new Regulations will replace the existing Isle of Man Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting & Investigation) Regulations 2001.

You said

We received two responses, both relating to procedures rather than the legislation. These comments have been addressed in the procedures which will accompany the Regulations.

We did

We will proceed with the proposed changes to Regulations which shall be laid before Tynwald for approval in the coming months.

We asked

The Town & Country Planning Act (1999) sets out a definition of ‘development’. Things that fall within this definition must have planning approval before they can be carried out. Planning approval can be via individual planning applications or can be a ‘blanket’ approval by secondary legislation (aka Permitted Development or PD). The mechanism for the latter is a Development Order produced by the Cabinet Office and approved by Tynwald. The determination of a planning application must take into account all relevant material considerations and must not take into account anything which is not a material consideration.

Development Orders may be appropriate where proposals are unlikely to be contentious or where relevant the material considerations are unlikely to benefit from case-by-case consideration. Where a proposal is contentious due to non-material issues, there is unlikely to be any benefit of case-by-case consideration by way of a planning application as the process cannot legally take into account the non-material issues which make it controversial.

Amendments were proposed to the existing Permitted Development and the principles were the subject of a public consultation as part of the ongoing joint project between the Cabinet Office and the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture to reform the planning system. However, for the avoidance of doubt, references within this document to the Department refer to the Cabinet Office. The consultation asked for views about a number of proposed amendments to existing Permitted Development rights. Part 1 of the consultation focussed on minor alterations to existing sites and buildings (outside Conservation Areas) which could help to reduce carbon emissions, including:

  • Air Source Heat Pumps;
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Points;
  • Replacement Conservatory Roofs;
  • Solar Panels; and
  • Cycle Shelters.

A clarification in relation to household extensions and parking was also proposed. Part 2 of the consultation proposed amendments to the Change of Use element of the Permitted Development Order including:

  • expanding some of the town centre areas which allow change of use between classes (covered by Permitted Development); and
  • clarifying the requirements for flats to have at least one window with a reasonable outlook.  

You said

There were 45 responses to the consultation, including 3 Local Authorities (Garff, Port St. Mary and Ramsey), the Manx Wildlife Trust and Manx Utilities. Marown Commissioners confirmed they had no comments.

We did

This report is a summary of the responses and the issues they raise. It considers questions 5 – 9 of the consultation, providing statistical analysis of the answers and common issues. A number of detailed points were raised in relation to the Order, some suggesting changes and some raising concerns. These are set out in Appendix 2. The draft Order has been updated in light of the above, and will require Tynwald approval before coming into operation.

We asked

The Commission sought views on its recommendation for the Future Constitution of the Communications Commission.

You said

In total 5 responses were received: 3 responses from Licensed Operators and 2 from MHKs.

We did

The next stage of the process will now involve reviewing all responses received in order to further inform, guide and enable the Commission to put a recommendation on its future structure before Tynwald for its consideration. The Commission will publish a Response to Consultation in the near future.

We asked

For your thoughts on sites or areas of land that should be considered for a particular land use ahead of the publication of the Preliminary Publicity stage for the Area Plan for the North and West. 

You said

CO received 166 submissions suggesting 167 sites; 110 in the north, 57 in the west.  75% of the sites proposed were for predominantly residential use.

We did

All sites have been digitally plotted and will be used as base evidence in the drafting of the Preliminary Publicity documents in line with Schedule 1 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1999. A public notice will announce the start of this process in due course.

We asked

For views and evidence in relation to our proposals for a number of legislative changes to the insurance intermediation framework.  The proposals had been subject to a prior consultation exercise with views sought on the final format of legislation ahead of the proposed implementation in October 2020.

You said

Respondents generally welcomed and supported the proposals.  A number of respondents sought to clarify the applicability of the proposed legislation to their own business models or products.  Furthermore, some respondents noted areas where the legislation, as currently drafted, might be clearer.

We did

We made a number of changes the drafting of the legislation to make it clearer. The Authority will now progress the legislation through legal review and consultation with Treasury, with a view to introducing the legislation in October 2020.

We asked

We sought views on the draft Flexible Working Regulations 2020, which extend the eligibility criteria for an employee who makes a request to work flexibly, and set out a framework for the process to be followed by the employee making the request and the employer dealing with the request.

The consultation asked the question:

“Do you support the proposal to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees, irrespective of their length of service?”

It also asked whether respondents had any other comments on the Regulations.

You said

There were 70 responses to the consultation. 29 responses were from organisations and 41 were from individuals. 52 of the responses (74%) supported the proposal to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees, irrespective of length of service

The breakdown of responses to the question “Do you support the proposal to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees, irrespective of their length of service?” is as follows:

Do you support the proposal to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees, irrespective of their length of service?

Responses from organisations (including businesses)

Yes

18 (60%)

No

11 (40%)

Responses from individuals

Yes

34 (83%)

No

7 (17%)

All responses

Yes

52 (74%)

No

18(26%)

We did

The Flexible Working Regulations 2020 were approved by Tynwald in May 2020 and came into operation on 1 June 2020.

We asked

The Communications Commission sought your views on proposals for the definition of relevant telecommunications markets, Significant Market Power determinations and proposed obligations to remedy identified competition issues.

You said

In total 3 responses were received: 2 from Licensed Operators and one individual response

We did

The Communications Commission is now considering your responses and conducting a review of the final decisions with the intention of publishing a final Response to Consultation in the near future.

We asked

The purpose of the consultation was to ask for views on a proposed set of updated Regulations to give effect to the latest version of MARPOL Annex II. The current Regulations applying MARPOL Annex II are the Merchant Shipping (MARPOL Annex II – Control of Pollution of Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk) Regulations 2008, which will be revoked.

You said

We received one response to our consultation, the purpose of which was only to clarify the effect of the proposed amendments.

We did

The Merchant Shipping (MARPOL Annex II - Control of Pollution by Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk) Order 2020 was approved by Tynwald at its May 2020 sitting.

We asked

We asked for views on proposed increases to fees payable to the Authority from 1 April 2020 in line with inflation.

You said

We received four responses, however no significant issues were raised.

We did

The new fees are due to come into operation on 1 April 2020, subject to the necessary Tynwald procedure.

We asked

We sought views and feedback on two proposed new Bills, namely the “Registration of Electors Bill 2020” and “Elections (Keys and Local Authorities) Bill 2020”, via the public consultation “Modernisation of the Island’s Electoral System”.

You said

We received 140 formal responses to the consultation: 29 of these responses were received from organisations/Local Authorities/political parties and Tynwald Members and 111 individuals.

The majority of responses received were broadly supportive of the draft Bills.

We did

The next stage of the process will now involve reviewing all responses received in order to further inform the drafting of the Bills.

We asked

For views and evidence in relation to our proposal to remove the requirement for auditor confirmations in the insurance authorisation application process in respect of Protected Cell Companies (“PCCs”) and Limited Partnerships (“LPs”).  The removal of the requirement for auditor confirmation would bring the approach PCCs and LPs in line with that of conventional insurance companies.

You said

Respondents welcomed and indicated support for our proposals

We did

We drafted the Insurance (Protected Cell Companies and Limited Partnerships) Amendment Regulations 2020, which will be progressed to bring the changes proposed into effect.