Ronan is criticised for cost to town

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CASTLETOWN MHK hopeful Carol Quine has hit out at fellow commissioner Richard Ronan for resigning when he did.

She said had he waited for 12 months – when the whole board is up for re-election – it would have saved the town money ‘in fiscally-challenging times’.

When he resigned, earlier this month, Mr Ronan, 47, said: ‘Unfortunately I have found that in the time I have served, the authority of the commissioners has been so eroded that we have become little more than a ceremonial body with nothing more than light administration duties within our sphere of influence.

‘Moreover I find it difficult to explain to constituents that matters which rightly concern them, are often or nearly always outside of the commissioners’ remit, which make anything the commissioners decide largely futile.’

Ms Quine, 50, said: ‘I understand his reasons plus his work and family commitments, which is why he resigned from the events committee early on in its formation.’

But she added waiting would have avoided cost. She argued being a commissioner ‘can and does make a difference as has been seen with the events committee and the Christmas festival and working with other government departments, other events are planned throughout the year.’

The board has gained an extension to the deadline for the draft Southern Area Plan comments, made the delivery of services more cost effective and efficient and a new bye law officer will help to improve the quality of life for residents by enforcing rules on areas such as abandoned cars, dog fouling and litter. She said: ‘If you have the commitment and the willpower change can happen.’

She said she has served a term as a commissioner previously, in the early 1990s, and resigned because she said she ‘was just as passionate and frustrated’ as Mr Ronan – although she timed it so her resignation would not prompt an election.

‘But I have realised with maturity that the way to be involved and to make a difference in something you believe in is by being a part of the establishment that can ultimately make that change and not walk away from it, but be there to fight your corner, you don’t always win but at least you will have been heard.’

l It was incorrectly reported in last week’s Manx Independent that Richard Ronan had retired from Port Erin Commissioners, when it was in fact Castletown Commissioners. We apologise for the error.

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