We Asked, You Said, We Did

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

We Asked

The Cabinet Office asked for feedback on a wide range of possible changes to the Island’s domestic and non-domestic rating systems. The feedback was sought on the following main areas:

  • How non-domestic rates should be raised and collected
  • Whether there should be the ability to offer discounts to certain economic sectors
  • How should charities be treated within the rating system
  • Whether there should be transition periods for those experiencing significant increases and decreases
  • Prompt payment discounts
  • Should discounts be offered on domestic rates in relation to single person occupancy and ability to pay.

You Said

We received 346 responses to the consultation on the Consultation Hub and a further 18 written responses to the consultation on modernising the Isle of Man rates system. During the consultation process we also hosted a number of workshops to bring together the 22 Local Authorities to discuss their thoughts on modernising the rates system, their concerns and ideas, and during this time we also answered numerous phone calls and emails regarding the consultation.

We Did

We would like to thank those that took the time to answer the consultation online or in writing. The consultation responses are being used to finalise plan for rates modernisation which is currently being drafted. The responses to the consultation will be published in due course.

If the plan is approved by Tynwald, draft legislation to support modernisation process will be created, and there will be a further consultation on this legislation and we would again welcome your feedback at that time.

We Asked

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) consulted local Isle of Man residents on the medicinal use of cannabis to give them an opportunity to express their views on how medicinal cannabis could be made available on the Isle of Man.

Medicinal cannabis is cannabis consumed with the objective of reducing symptoms of a medical condition. This differs from recreational use where the purpose is to achieve a sensation of euphoria or relaxation, often referred to as a ‘high’.

On 1 November 2018, the scheduling of cannabis based medicinal products under the Misuse of Drugs Legislation changed.  As a result of the application of earlier legislation in the Isle of Man, the Statutory Instrument that made this change in England, Wales and Scotland also applied in the Isle of Man.  The law in the United Kingdom (UK) changed to allow medicinal cannabis to be used in very limited circumstances and this change affected our law too.   In the Isle of Man, we have the opportunity to consider whether we want our approach to medicinal cannabis to remain in line with the UK, or whether we take an alternative approach

You Said

We received 3,285 responses from Isle of Man residents and local organisations (99% from individuals).

Only 0.8% of respondents were NOT in favour of the introduction of medicinal cannabis

The majority of respondents that were in favour would like to see it offered as a quality assured product direct to the public for self-medication through accredited dispensaries (option D) or as a framework similar to the Netherlands (option C)

62% were in favour of restricting access to adults over the age of 18

95% would support the cultivation and manufacture of medicinal products in the Isle of Man subject to a suitable regulatory framework.

Please see full report for more detailed analysis.

We Did

Analysed responses will now be made available to politicians to consider next steps.

We Asked

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) consulted local residents on a framework for licensing hemp for industrial use on the Isle of Man.

Industrial hemp is grown for commercial use as a fibre or foodstuff. Hemp is a variety of cannabis sativa and is one of a number of plant species that can be used for fibre production. Hemp varieties contain very low levels of the chemical delt-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and, therefore, do not have the psychoactive properties of cannabis used for recreational use.

Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1976, it is illegal to cultivate any plant of the genus cannabis. Therefore, growing hemp for industrial purposes at the present time is also illegal under the Act.

However the Act does make provision for the DHSC to make regulations that would enable licenses to be granted to grow cannabis species. Therefore, through the consultation process the DHSC sought the views of Isle of Man residents on the acceptability of industrial hemp as a commercial crop.

You Said

We received 1,012 responses from Isle of Man residents and local organisations (99% from individuals).

97% of respondents support the introduction of a regulatory framework within which industrial hemp production could be permitted on the Isle of Man.

The majority of respondents (63%) supported a similar framework to that currently in place in the UK however respondents were split almost 50-50 between keeping the UK framework as it is and wanting changes to the UK framework before implementation in the Isle of Man.

Please see report for more a detailed analysis.

We Did

Analysed responses will now be made available to politicians to consider next steps.

We Asked

The Department of Education, Sport and Culture (DESC) consulted Isle of Man residents on the draft Education Bill.  The purpose of the Bill is to modernise existing legislation and address matters which include:

  • Considering fundamental principles of education in the Isle of Man and updating the duties of the DESC as well as developing provisions around financial assistance for pupils.
  • Having a range of school types and considering regulation of catchment areas
  • Inappropriate use of social media
  • Being more flexible in pupils starting compulsory schooling and considering holidays during school terms
  • Assessing work done by those of compulsory school age being educated otherwise
  • Having principles underlying Additional Educational Needs and introducing an Additional Educational Need Code
  • Assessing the educational provision of pre-school education
  • Regulating educational institutions and private tutors
  • Introducing an Educational Tribunal to deal with issues

You Said

In total there were 588 responses considered, the majority of which were submitted via the Consultation Hub and others which were either emailed in or submitted in hard copy.  A range of views were expressed across the all questions.

We Did

Responses were analysed to see whether there were any dominant views, which are detailed in the overview document.  These were then considered by the Department with suggestions being put forward for drafting instructions to revise the draft Bill.

We Asked

The Department of Home Affairs consulted on a draft Sexual Offences and Obscene Publications Bill. The purpose of the Bill being to modernise and consolidate the legislation relating to sexual offences, indecent advertisements and obscene publications and address important matters such as:  

  • updating the definition of consent to ensure that it provides appropriate and clear protection for victims
  • reviewing sentences for offences
  • addressing image-based abuse
  • modernising the legislation relating to pornography and obscene publications
  • the pardoning and removal of criminal records relating to historic consensual homosexual offences

You Said

In total, 204 responses were received via the Consultation Hub and a further 7 responses were received by letter/email of which the vast majority were from private individuals. 

The responses were positive in their views and also were very helpful in terms of their answers or suggestions in relation to questions asked, or issues to be addressed.

Please see full feedback document for more detailed analysis.

We Did

Analysed results were submitted to the Department with proposals for appropriate improvements to the Bill. The Department duly considered and approved improvements to the Bill; these were then made by the Drafters in the Attorney General’s Chambers. The Bill was authorised for printing and introduction into the House of Keys by the Council of Ministers and will receive its First Reading on Tuesday 25 June 2019.

We Asked

Our consultation paper outlined proposals for enhancements to the Authority’s existing regulatory framework in relation to corporate governance requirements for general insurance intermediaries (“intermediaries”) and included a draft Governance Code.

You Said

We received 4 response from interested parties. 

We Did

We will take account of feedback in when incorporating the governance requirements proposed in CP18-07/T08 into consolidated regulatory requirements for intermediaries, which will be subject to further consultation in due course. 

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 I. The current Regulations applying MARPOL Annex I are the Merchant Shipping (MARPOL Annex I – Prevention of Pollution by Oil) Regulations 2006, which will be revoked.

You Said

We received two responses to our consultation. The Department of Infrastructure suggested that we consider how awareness of the new regulations could be disseminated to smaller boat owners/operators, particularly those whose vessels are not registered with the Ship Registry.

The second response concerned the format of the consultation and the way in which the information was expressed rather than the Regulations themselves.

We Did

We intend to work with the Department of Infrastructure and other interested parties to ensure that information was transmitted to all owners and operators in the most efficient way.

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

We Asked

The purpose of the consultation was to seek comments on the proposed content of the Safeguarding Board (Qualifications and Procedures) Regulations 2018, which set out the functions and operation of the Board and the Safeguarding Together Guidance, which provides a framework for professionals to work together to meet the requirements of the Safeguarding Act 2018.

Views were sought from everyone, but in particular from relevant stakeholders, including Government Departments, the third sector, private sector organisations and voluntary agencies that provide services to children and vulnerable adults.

Within the Programme for Government 2016-2021 the Isle of Man Government has committed to a society that is inclusive and caring. Within the theme of ‘Healthy and Safe Island’ there is a further commitment to improve the quality of life for children, young people, vulnerable adults and families at risk.

You Said

The consultation had 14 responses:

  • 12 online responses and
  • a further 2 which were received by email

Of these total 14 responses:

  • 9 respondents consented to publishing their response and these are now published and available to review
  • 2 of the responses made specific comments on fostering and family placement services – the Cabinet Office has ensured these comments have been passed on anonymously to the relevant Department

Of the 12 online responses, 8 were submitted by individuals and 4 were submitted on behalf of organisations.

Responses to the consultation included:

  • the scope of the Regulations and data sharing
  • the appointment of independent Board members
  • third and private sector representation on the Board
  • a number of specific comments in respect of the practical operation of the Board and panels
  • DBS checks
  • the responsibilities of non-affiliated bodies
  • a number of queries regarding the provisions within the Safeguarding Together Guidance
  • the potential burden on volunteers
  • partnership working
  • risk management
  • implementation of learning outcomes
  • the practicalities of partnerships working

Full consideration has been given to the consultation responses received resulting in a number of amendments to the Regulations and Safeguarding Together Guidance.

We Did

The Regulations and Safeguarding Together Guidance have been submitted for consideration at the January 2019 sitting of Tynwald.

We Asked

The purpose of the consultation was to consult on proposed changes to the fees which are charged by the Isle of Man Ship Registry. The proposals in the consultation form the basis for new Merchant Shipping (Fees) Regulations 2019 which will revoke and replace the existing Merchant Shipping (Fees) Regulations 2017.

You Said

We received one response which stated that, in the view of the respondent, the proposed annual fee for the registration of pleasure yachts was too high and compared unfavourably to other jurisdictions. It was also suggested that we should base the fee upon a yacht’s tonnage rather than length.

We Did

The issue raised in respect of the annual fee for pleasure yacht was considered and the Department felt that the proposed fees were appropriate.

The fees Regulations are currently scheduled to be laid before Tynwald for approval at its March sitting.

We Asked

The Department for Enterprise (DfE) asked for your views on social enterprises

You Said

27 responses were received using the consultation hub. Of these responses, 40% were from individuals, 25% from third sector organisations, 15% from the private sector and 15% from social enterprises. 52% of respondents could identify social enterprise activity on the IOM and 48% could not.

We Did

The Department for Enterprise will consider your suggestions and they will help to develop our action plan for the future. We are now looking at options for developing a toolkit to provide additional support.

We Asked

The Communications Commission requested views from consumers on the provision of telecommunications services in the Isle of Man.

You Said

28 responses were received in response to the survey. 22 of the respondents gave permission for their response to be published.

We Did

Responses to the survey have been analysed and will be taken into account as part of the market review which is currently underway. A consultation on the market review findings, including Significant Market Power designations and appropriate remedies, will be released in 2019.

We Asked

The Cabinet Office asked for feedback on proposed changes to the Isle of Man’s GDPR and LED Implementing Regulations 2018 (GLIR) and Data Protection (Application of GDPR) Order 2018 between 10 October and 7 November 2018. The proposed amendments to the GLIR and the Data Protection (Application of GDPR) Order 2018 were published with the consultation.

You Said

The consultation attracted over 15 responses in total, from a number of categories of respondent, including businesses, industry associations, and individuals in addition to Government Departments. The majority of responses supported the specific questions set out, and set out further comments on diverse areas from drafting and typographical issues, areas requiring clarification or further regulation, or specific issues such as modifications and exemptions.

We Did

The Cabinet Office has considered all of the comments and suggestions received. A paper providing full details of the consultation feedback, and the Cabinet Office’s responses has been published on the Isle of Man Government’s Consultation Hub.

The revised Implementing Regulations as amended are due to be laid before Tynwald at its January sitting.

We Asked

The Cabinet Office asked for feedback on proposed changes to the Isle of Man’s Town and Country Planning Act (1999) between 3 September 2018 and 1 October 2018. These changes were included in a draft Town and Country Planning (Amendment) Bill 2018.

You Said

The consultation attracted 71 responses in total; the majority via the Consultation Hub and 6 by letter. These have been published where permission was received, sometimes anonymously. There were a number of types of respondents, including local authorities, conservation and heritage groups, government departments and individuals. 

We Did

A summary of the consultation and responses is published and is available for download.

These responses have been analysed carefully, and are being taken into account as the Bill is prepared for introduction into Tynwald.  The revised Bill is due to be introduced into the House of Keys in early 2019.

We Asked

The purpose of the Consultation was to ask for feedback on proposed changes to the legislation which prescribes requirements for the making and keeping of records. The main proposals were:

  • Seafarer’s Discharge Book to be replaced by a new document called a Record of Sea Service
  • Ships to stop sending Official Log Books, List of Crew and GMDSS Log Books back to the Isle of Man Ship Registry
  • Ships to keep Official Log Books, List of Crew and GMDSS Log Books on board for a period of 3 years from the date of closure

You Said

We received six responses, none of which raised any objection to our proposed course of action. A number of minor technical points were raised which were considered when implementing the Regulations.

We Did

An Order to amend the Merchant Shipping (Seamen's Documents) Regulations 1987 is expected to be laid before Tynwald for approval at its March sitting.  The Order removes the provisions on Seafarer’s Discharge Books from the Merchant Shipping (Seamen’s Documents) Regulations 1987 and if approved by Tynwald the Department will stop issuing Seafarer’s Discharge Books and start issuing Seafarer’s Record of Sea Service on the 1 April when the Order comes into force.

We Asked

We Asked

The Treasury asked for feedback on the draft Dormant Assets Bill 2018.

The main aims of the proposed legislation are:

  • to enable dormant assets held by banks in the Island to be transferred to a central fund called the Dormant Assets Fund and
  • to allow a proportion of the amounts transferred to then be distributed for charitable purposes in the Island

The legislation will not act to disadvantage anyone who later seeks to recover their dormant asset as their right to reclaim will be preserved indefinitely.

You Said

The consultation attracted 25 responses in total, 21 of which contained comments about the draft Bill.

Respondents included:

  • local banks
  • local businesses / organisations
  • politicians
  • Government bodies
  • individuals

All respondents indicated general support for the introduction of a dormancy regime in the Island. Some respondents sought further clarity over how the proposed legislation will be applied to bank accounts in the Island. Responses also sought more detail regarding the operational framework provided within the draft Bill and some amendments were proposed.

We Did

All comments received have been considered and reported upon within the consultation response document with additional detail supplied where requested. A number of amendments to the Bill have also been made. The Council of Ministers will now be asked to approve the revised Bill and agree introduction to the Parliamentary Branches as soon as possible.

We Asked

Isle of Man Post Office (IOMPO) sought the views of Isle of Man residents, businesses, organisations and IOMPO clients on how to best adapt letter and parcel deliveries and post offices in the community in a responsible way. This was in the context that the online digital revolution is changing the way people communicate and how and where they choose to buy their goods and pay for services.

These changes are impacting the postal industry globally as fewer letters are being sent, and fewer people are using post offices than ever before, while parcel deliveries and returns increase as more people shop online.

The change in core demand for these services locally, coupled with changing demand for IOMPO’s commercial services and increasing costs, meant IOMPO reported a loss for the first time in its history this year.

You Said

A total of 2,737 people responded, the large of majority of which were individuals, of which 67% were aged over 50 years. 2,091 people completed the consultation online and 646 by post.

  • 279 gave permission to publish their response in full
  • 1,773 gave permission to publish anonymously
  • 685 did not give their consent to publish

The consultation asked respondents for their views on a number of key elements with regards to  Letter and Parcel Delivery Services and Post Office Network Services.

We Did

While there is clear support for a 5-day week mail service, the response to the question about IOMPO’s financial responsibility was inconclusive. Therefore, we will be assessing this further with focus groups and the free-flow responses to see if there are any further ways identified in which IOMPO can be more financially responsible in the delivery of our services.

Further analysis work on the results for the Post Office Network Services will also be undertaken with  focus groups held with interested parties such as key stakeholders, including customers, staff, unions, sub postmasters, local commissioners and other parts of Government on the key issues and the future service options available. We are grateful to the 33% of respondents who expressed their interest in participating in a focus group to discuss specific topics in more detail.

The consultation results as well as the additional scrutiny, will allow the final direction and choices to utilise the unique attributes, capabilities and social value of the IOMPO to be fully considered by the Board and in stages, they will be taken to Tynwald where the final decisions on any key changes will be made. 

The published summary of consultation responses is available below.

Julie Edge MHK, Chairman of Isle of Man Post Office, wishes to thanks all those who took the time to submit their views to this consultation.

We Asked

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture asked for feedback on whether or not there should be a ‘sunset clause’ introduced in the Agricultural Holdings Act 1969 to remove it over time, in favour of the Agricultural Tenancies Act 2008.

You Said

Overall there were 68 respondents to the consultation that provided a name and/or email address.

The majority of respondents were tenants, so they were generally not in favour of introducing a sunset clause in the Agricultural Holdings Act 1969.  The main group in favour of introducing a sunset clause was landlords, and they opted for the quickest transition offered (10 years).

However, a significant part of the resistance to introducing a sunset clause is related to a belief that the 2008 Act does not provide adequate security of tenure.  Some statements around the inflexibility of the Agricultural Tenancies Act 2008 and a belief that only 5 year tenancies can be arranged shows some basic misunderstanding of the 2008 Act.

We Did

The consultation process did not deliver suitable clarity on a preferred mechanism for introducing a sunset clause into the 1969 Agricultural Holdings Act.  However, it did highlight a strong resistance to change from tenants on the basis that there is inadequate security of tenure in the 2008 Agricultural Tenancy Act.  There appears to be a fundamental misunderstanding of the flexibility of the 2008 Act which may be preventing more widespread acceptance of it as a replacement for the 1969 Act.

The next steps are as follows, which are planned to be completed before the end of 2019:

  1. Gather FAQ’s on the 2008 Agricultural Tenancy Act and provide interpretation on the scope of the legislation for security of tenure and land mobility. Consider the requirements of sitting tenants, landlords and potential new/young farmers.
  2. Conduct a further consultation on the actual versus perceived effectiveness of the 2008 Act for land mobility and security of tenure.
  3. If the consultation identifies deficiencies in the 2008 Act identifies bring forward amendments to it.
  4. Launch a further consultation on the 69 Act.

We Asked

The survey was prompted following the Isle of Man Government's decision to buy the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IOMPSCo) in May 2018, when Tynwald agreed that a new agreement would be signed between the Department of Infrastructure and IOMPSCo.

You Said

An unprecented number of people responded to the survey. A total of 4,962 responses were received, including 100 who took part in their capacity as business owners.

We Did

The information obtained from the responses will now be used to help formulate the new agreement.

We Asked

The Attorney General’s Chambers sought your views on proposed new legislation which aims to update and improve the effectiveness of the registration and regulation of Charities in the Island.

You Said

The consultation attracted 20 responses.  There were a number of categories of respondent, including Statutory Boards, individuals, businesses and a charity.  The responses were broadly supportive of the proposals in the Bill, with the creation of a Charities Tribunal, clarification of the meaning of “charitable purpose” and the improvements in regulatory effectiveness being particularly welcomed by a number of responders.   Other themes raised included:

 

  1. That the advancement of religion should no longer be a charitable purpose (five responses)
  2. Whether the “close connection” test (ie that a charity have a substantial and genuine connection with the Island in order to register here) should be retained (four responses)
  3. Whether foreign charities should be put to possible additional expense of having to file accounts relating to their activities on the Island, as opposed to their global activities (three responses)
  4. Concerns as to the adequacy of oversight of safeguarding issues (three responses), and
  5. Concerns as to the references in the draft Bill to the FSA (four responses).

We Did

We considered the responses and made appropriate amendments to the draft Bill. No amendment has been made in respect of (1), (2) and (3). This is because the purpose of providing a statutory definition of “charitable purpose” is so that the meaning in the Island remains at least as broad as in England and Wales, where the advancement of religion continues to be a charitable purpose. Further, an express purpose of the draft Bill is to ensure more effective regulation, which would be hindered if charities could legitimately operate in/from here without sufficient connection, or if they did not have to provide adequately detailed information as to their activities connected with the Island. However, changes have been made to increase (4) oversight as regards safeguarding matters. Automatic disclosure to the FSA (5) has been replaced with provisions enabling disclosure between public bodies and the Attorney General for the purposes of the discharge of their respective statutory functions. A number of other mostly consequential/technical amendments have also been made to the draft Bill.

We Asked

We asked what your views are on the proposed Port Erin Boundary Extension Order 2018 which seeks to adjust the boundaries between the districts of Rushen and Port Erin so as to move the entire residential estate at Ballakilley into Port Erin.

You Said

A total of 92 responses were received overall throughout the whole consultation process.

Those that granted permission for us to publish their responses are now available to view.

We Did

A public inquiry was held on Monday 4 March 2019 in the Civic Centre in Castletown. The Chairperson’s report is available to download below, along with a copy of the Port Erin (Boundary Extension) Order 2019.