Positive Action Group - Possan Jantys Jarrooagh

Open, accountable government, rigorous control of public finances, and a fairer society for all.

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The Budget and Mr Bell

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Chief Minister Alan Bell 'got carried away' (his own words) in Tywnald's Budget debate.

We have long been aware that, like Peter Mandelson, he is 'frightfully relaxed about people being filthy rich'.

But unlike Peter he doesn't like to use the 'r-' word.

Usually he prefers to clink the odd coinage 'individuals of high net worth.'

(This could be taken to imply a superior morality in such folk.

And such a usage is of course less likely to stir the resentment of those of us who aren't well off.)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 February 2012 20:34

In Praise of Kerbside Collection !

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Kerbside collection vanIn his Budget speech (27.01.12) Leader of Douglas Borough Council, David Christian wholeheartedly backed the joint kerbside collection scheme developed with Braddan Commissioners.

Have the ratepayers of Onchan lost out by the decision to withdraw from the scheme we wonder?

"Green issues have remained to the fore with the Council’s decision to continue operating the kerbside collection service, funding it jointly with Braddan Commissioners from 1st November last year until 31st March this year, after three years’ funding by the Department of Infrastructure ceased on 31st October 2011. 
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 13:13

A message to the people of the IOM from the Chief Minister

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Entitled "Driving change to achieve a sustainable future" Allan Bell lists the priorities of the government and the actions it intends to take.

Please read the detail in the attachment.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 13:30

Consultancy Culture at DED

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In Tynwald (November 2011) MHK Kate Beecroft asked about external advisors used by the Department of Economic Development. In his answer Minister Shimmin differentiated between paid and unpaid bodies and revealed the cost. 

Which external trade associations, professional bodies, registered charities and consultants are actively engaged with the Department to advise on strategy and service delivery plans; and what the external advisers cost, broken down into (a) expenses and (b) labour charges?

Last Updated on Monday, 23 January 2012 17:37

Consultancy Culture Exposed

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The extent of government's use of consultants was exposed in a multi page written answer (No 13) to a question from Speaker Rodan in January's Tynwald.

Almost £12 million expenditure was declared in employing over 80 of them, many from off-Island.

One startling fact is that the Chief secretary's Office and DED together spends £450,000 per annum on PR consultants, Lanson Communications.

However this may not be the complete overall picture, as the definition of consultant may well have been narrowly interpreted.

For example it was revealed only a month ago that Tri-X Childcare Limited (a UK company), is contracted until the end of March,by the Department of Social Care, on behalf of the Safeguarding Children Board, at a cost of £112.000. Yet there is no mention of this at all in the answer.

Chief Minister Allan Bell in the earlier Q& A session had spoken at length about the need to change the culture within government.

A good starting point may well be to reduce the dependency on consultants, after all government already employs about  2150 civil servants.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 21 January 2012 10:50

Towards a More Selfish Society

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The results of the latest British Social Attitudes Survey (of nearly 3300 adults) have just been published – with some very worrying (but perhaps not surprising) trends revealed..... and apparently effected significantly by the current economic turmoil and the prospect of austerity conditions for the next 5-10 years...

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 12:56

2012 - the year IOM Government lights our tapers?

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Let's trust that 2012 is the year IOM politicians finally keep their promise to provide meaningful Freedom of Information legislation!

"He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.

That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation."

Thomas Jefferson

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 12:53

Freedom of Information (FoI) - Part 2 - Costs exaggerated?

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The Chief Minister stated "...such a piece of legislation (FOI) might come at a high cost" in his Keys answer (01.11.11).


Later he went on to say  "we are basing that at the moment on the experience in Jersey, where the cost ran into many millions to actually get it established and I think there is an annual  running cost of somewhere in the region of £1 million a year."


In a subsequent interview for Manx Radio  he again referred to Jersey "...but we must understand the fact that in jersey for example it cost them over £4 million pounds to bring in the original structure and I think the annual running cost is over a £1 million...."


Mr Bell you are not right.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 December 2011 12:22

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