Thursday, June 20, 2024

Infrastructure services reform making progress, says minister – BBC News

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Image source, Isle of Man Coastguard

Image caption, Coastguard services are among those being considered for transfer

  • Author, Alex Blake
  • Role, BBC Isle of Man
At a glance

  • Four services within the Department of Infrastructure are being considered for transfer
  • Minister Tim Crookall said it was “early days” and further analysis was still needed
  • The coastguard, port security, local government, and minibus services could be all be moved
  • An independent review of the department was commissioned in 2021

A number of services within the Department of Infrastructure are under consideration for transfer to another part of government, the minister has said.

Moves to reform the department have been underway since an independent review identified “fundamental weaknesses in the department’s organisational, management and governance arrangements” in 2021.

Minister Tim Crookall told Tynwald members the relocation of the coastguard, port security, the local government unit, and minibus services were under consideration.

Mr Crookall said further analysis and consideration was now “vital” following a high level assessment of the services.

‘Core business’

Under the potential overhaul coastguard and port security services, which currently sit within the Harbours Division, could be transferred to the Department of Home Affairs.

It has also been proposed that the local government unit be moved to the Cabinet Office, which coordinates local authority elections.

And minibus services, currently shared between Manx Care and the Department of Education, Sport and Culture, could move to within those bodies themselves.

That would allow Bus Vannin to “return to its core function of providing public transport to the island, rather than the speciality transport”, Mr Crookall said.

He said there was “far too much going on in the department at the moment”, and there was “an ambition to make things better”.

“We need to concentrate on our core business which is the maintenance and the infrastructure and keeping the island running,” he said.

Alongside any of those changes, mainstream bus services would undergo a “full strategic review” looking at “routes, scheduling, fleet size and type”, Mr Crookall said.

An independent review updating the 2017/18 report by engineering consultants Systra on the island’s heritage railways would also be considered by the department, he added.

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