The Leader of Douglas Borough Council, Councillor David Christian MBE JP, has responded to recent comments made in Tynwald which suggested that relations between the Council and government, notably Treasury and the Department of Infrastructure, might be under pressure.
In doing so Councillor Christian reaffirmed that Douglas Borough Council remained committed to ‘maintaining positive engagement’ with Treasury, the Department of Infrastructure and the wider Isle of Man Government to contribute to the successful delivery of the Douglas promenade redevelopment scheme.
He said: ‘The Council is fully supportive of the promenade redevelopment project. From day one we have been keen to engage with government to progress the scheme which, as custodians of the capital, we see as vital to creating a town fit for the 21st century and beyond.
‘In working towards that goal, the Council recognises that disruption caused by the promenade works is having an adverse impact on some businesses in the area, an outcome our partners in government also acknowledge.
‘To suggest, however, that the Council should waive collecting rates from businesses and private households affected by the works fails to recognise that rates are levied in order that the Council is able to deliver essential year-round services such as bin emptying, street lighting and cleansing, maintaining the public gardens and beach cleaning.
'The Council remains, however, more than willing to engage in dialogue and cooperate with Treasury, along with the Department of Infrastructure and Department for Enterprise, in order to help support the business and residential community along the promenade during the redevelopment. I would add that Council officers continue to enjoy a productive and constructive working relationship with their opposite numbers in government.
‘Our workforces are making every effort to maintain service delivery standards along the promenade and, while the Council has every sympathy with those affected, I must make it perfectly clear that this is, ultimately, a government scheme, albeit one in which the Council is keen to play its part in bringing to a timely and successful conclusion.’
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