Local authority general byelaws are made by a local authority under the powers of section 28 of the Local Government Act 1985. However, under Tynwald standing orders the Minister for Infrastructure has responsibility for reporting to Tynwald on the Byelaws. These byelaws are designed to deal with matters affecting a local community and the Minister for Infrastructure is primarily to facilitate the referral of the local authority byelaws to this honourable Court for approval.
The byelaws are intended to regulate various activities and are aimed at preventing and suppressing nuisances or minor acts of anti – social behaviour within the parish district of Braddan. This general power is subject to the proviso that the subject matter of the byelaws must not already be covered by other legislation and that the byelaws must be approved by Tynwald.
The byelaws have been subject to extensive consultation within the community of Braddan and have been formally approved by Braddan Parish Commissioners.
The Braddan General Byelaws are similar to General Byelaws that have been recently approved for Ramsey and Douglas.
Concerns were raised about the byelaws being draconian but many of the byelaws include a proviso which means that the byelaw will only apply if the activity the person is involved in creates a danger or nuisance or annoyance to other persons. In addition, local authorities need to demonstrate that, where applicable, the byelaws are designed to deal with genuine problems in their district.
People have been concerned about overzealous enforcement of the byelaws. Although enforcement of the bylaws can be undertaken by police officers, or by an authorised officer of the local authority, it is a directive from the Commissioners that considerable discretion be exercised when enforcing the byelaws. A verbal or a written warning may be all that is required, especially if juveniles are involved, and any action through the Courts is only likely to be considered if all other options have proved unsuccessful.
The wording of the general byelaws will be uniform as this will help ensure continuity across the Island, but it is up to each individual local authority to decide which of the model bylaws they wish to adopt. It is likely therefore, that any general byelaws which are made by a parish authority will not contain as many provisions as those from a larger local authority district.
Braddan has an important role to play in developing recreational and sporting facilities in their district and the Commissioners have been proactive in recent times and have built major new developments in recent years such as the urban skate park and BMX track in Grianagh Park.
The new general byelaws will replace similar general byelaws which were made in 1991 and which ceased to have effect in 2011. Many of the provisions in the 1991 byelaws have been reproduced in the new 2014 byelaws.
The byelaws were approved by Tynwald on 17th July 2014 and come into operation on 1st August 2014.
A copy of the byelaws can be found below.