Onchan MHK Julie Edge has announced her resignation from the Department of Infrastructure.

She said her resignation follows a number of developments over the past fortnight including the appointment of Marlene Maska to the department.

Ms Edge said: ’The new Minister announced at a department policy and strategy meeting on Wednesday June 24 that he had decided he needed an MLC in the Department and, as a result, had asked Mrs Maska MLC to join the department and that she was taking on responsibility for housing and public estates.

’This announcement was made without any prior consultation with me and I was made aware of this change in front of numerous department officers.

’I highlighted to the Minister that I held the delegation for housing and public estates, so naturally asked why responsibility for this highly sensitive political area was being given to a politician who is unelected by the public.

’For an MLC, without a public mandate, to hold overall responsibility for what is a significant issue to a large proportion of the Isle of Man population astounds me. The minister made it clear that the delegations were in his gift and that was his final decision.

’I believe it was Mrs Maska who had requested the housing and public estates delegation as she felt that best fitted her skills, thus removing an elected MHK with a mandate for setting policy in such a sensitive area from that role within the department.

’I have worked extensively over the last 4 years making effective decisions and implementing the merger of two divisions into one, housing and public estates which has been a success, realising cost savings in the process.

’It would appear this move is being orchestrated to move me away from the successes of the division and for another political member to deliver the final outcomes of various work streams - with me being distanced from those outcomes.

’Whilst I acknowledge the benefit that MLCs are able to offer departments with legislation, providing a politically significant delegation to unelected members is undemocratic and I feel the Minister is acting in opposition to the will of Tynwald in respect of Government memberships of MLCs.

’It appears that the press release announcing Mrs Maska’s appointment to DoI was also misleading to the public, indicating that she was being brought in to help with significant challenges within the department, only for her then to be placed into the only DoI division operating effectively within budget. Where is the challenge?

’It is only logical that you would bolster up those areas of the team which are underperforming, not the areas which are performing effectively.

’The final straw on Wednesday was when a meeting was held with many political colleagues with regard to the road traffic problems in Onchan and at St Ninian’s and the imminent closure of Summerhill announced yesterday was not mentioned - an issue which will cause further chaotic traffic issues for residents.

’I wish the division well in the future and hope policy that is already well developed, reaches conclusion for the people of the island.’