Press Release – 7 February 2014

Charles “Buster” Lewin lose Legal Action against Braddan Commissioners

The Commissioners are delighted to advise all its ratepayers that the legal action against the Authority, that commenced in June 2009, by their former clerk Charles Lewin has finally reached a conclusion, subject to any appeal, as the case was struck out by Deemster Christie in the …High Courts on Thursday 6th February.

Mr Lewin, who was dismissed for gross misconduct in 2007, sought damages for wrongful dismissal and loss of his pension rights to a value, he claimed, to be in excess of £1million.

Whilst Mr Lewin had always claimed that the damages he was seeking were considerable, he did not produce anything to the Courts to substantiate that claim.

Unfortunately for the ratepayers the legal costs of this case have exceeded £250,000, however the Authority was left with no choice but to defend the action because of his unjustified substantial claim, a stance that was supported with a legal opinion from Mr Philip Coppel QC.

They now intend to try and recover these costs from Mr Lewin as well as a substantial sum of money that they have lodged as a counter claim to Mr Lewin’s action.

The Commissioners wished to record their grateful thanks to their legal team, and all their staff who have endured a great deal of pressure and stress over these past 4 1/2 years as the matter slowly ground its way through the Court system.

They are encouraged that the unjustified actions of Mr Lewin have reached the correct conclusion and this now allows them to press on with their everyday work and development plans without the unwarranted time and financial restrictions caused by this failed litigation.

The Authority hope that its ratepayers will now understand that the removal of this liability played a part in the Authority’s 6p rate reduction announced last week.

The lengthy judgement is available shortly on the IOM Courts website; see links below:-

IOM Courts – Part 1

IOM Courts – Part 2

J C Whiteway MBA
Clerk
7th February 2014

Press Release – 28 January 2014

2014/15 Parish Rates – Tuesday 28th January 2014

At the meeting of the Commissioners held on Thursday 23rd March 2014, the Chairman Mr Andrew Jessopp announced that the Commissioners’ rate for 2014/15 would be set at 219p in the pound, a reduction of 6p from the previous year.

Very careful consideration was given to the potential costs of the Authority’s development plans for the forthcoming year, details of which will be released in their Business Plan in April, as well as the increased waste disposal charges predominantly due to the staged removal of the central government subsidy of the gate fees at the Energy from Waste plant.

As a way to counter balance these increased charges the Commissioners remain heavily committed to the principle of recycling and in particular the kerbside collection service. They ask all residents to continue their participation in this scheme and to remain committed to recycling as it helps to offset other rising waste disposal costs.

Whilst making their decision on the rates the Commissioners were very conscious of the impact on its residents of the proposed increase in the all island water rate and the introduction of a new flat rate sewage rate, which now transpires to be £50 per household.

The Commissioners have, over recent years, adopted a policy of building sufficient reserves to allow them to react to unforeseen circumstances that require a large capital commitment, and cover any other liabilities including legal actions.

The improving chances of seeing an end to a longstanding potential liability was a contributory factor in the Board’s decision to reduce the rate, and they hope to release further details of this over the next few weeks.

The Commissioners will continue to examine ways of keeping the rates to the lowest possible level, whilst still maintaining a good value for money service, by entering into working relationships with other Authorities in order to try and achieve savings through economies of scale.

In concluding his speech Mr Jessopp stated this reduction may be a short term issue because, like other Local Authorities, the Board is unsure of the implications of the changes to Central Government in the light of the Scope of Government report and what impact it will have on the Parish; but at least the reduction will help cushion any other burden passed over to ratepayers in these continuing difficult economic times.

J C Whiteway MBA
Clerk

Press Release – 2 January 2014

Local Authority Rebrand

Optimised Logo

Many changes have taken place over the past few years in the way in which Braddan Commissioners work, and they feel that 2014 is the time for further change.
Not only is 2014 the Authority’s 120th anniversary year, it is also the year of the 150th anniversary of the birth of one its more famous parishioners, Archibald Knox, who was born on 9th April 1864 in Cronkbourne Village in Braddan and buried in Braddan Church in 1933.

Archibald Knox’s designs were synonymous with British Art Nouveau and he is regarded as being a prominent influence in the Arts and Crafts movement. His Celtic designs and calligraphy are world famous and iconic in the Isle of Man.
The Commissioners have used Knox’s distinctive style to create a new logo and image for the Authority which will be launched on 1st January.

The previous emblem, the Thorliefs Cross, has been replaced by a design creatively adapted from a piece of Archibald Knox’s work, which they feel helps to celebrate an imaginative step forward in the development of the Authority.

In addition to its Facebook Page a new more interactive website is under construction and a new email address, braddan at braddan.im comes into effect later this year.

Pursuing the theme of celebrating Knox, the Commissioners are working closely with, amongst others, the Archibald Knox Society, Manx National Heritage, Manx Heritage Foundation, IoM Arts Council, Department of Education, Douglas Corporation and Douglas Development Partnership under the Chairmanship of Mrs Clare Christian President of Tynwald, to help create a lasting legacy of Knox for the island by assisting organisations and authorities to pursue ideas they might have for this purpose.

As part of its contribution the Commissioners are, with the Department of Education and Manx National Heritage, developing plans to open one of the cottages in Cronkbourne Village to showcase Knox’s life, work and style and details will be released later in the year.

The Commissioners wish to acknowledge the creative input of Mannin Media into this change process.

They hope people will join them at their Parish Day, Monday 5th May 2014 on Strang Corner Field where, Braddan based businesses can demonstrate their own innovative an distinctive skills and contribution to the island.

J C Whiteway MBA
Clerk

 

Draft General Byelaws 2013 for Braddan

The Commissioners are currently revising their General Byelaws. They are different from the ones that are currently in place which were approved in 2002. If you would like to comment on any aspect of these Draft Byelaws please contact the Commissioners’ Office. Full details of the Byelaws can be found in ‘Related Items’ below.