A local politician claims local authorities are ‘not happy’ about the Department of Infrastructure’s highway charter which could see them taking on more responsibilities.

The DoI says it wants to set ‘service level agreements’ on things like hedge cutting, gully and street sweeping and removal of weeds.

But Marown commissioner Alison Lynch says a lot of local authorities wouldn’t be able to carry out works on roads and pavements due to the financial cost.

She believes it could be a ‘back door’ way of starting to cut, or merge, local authorities.

She said: 'The DoI will look after the strategic routes. So, for example, the A1 Douglas to Peel or maybe the TT course. That’s what they see as a strategic route.

'Anything off the strategic routes they’re wanting to hand over to the local authorities, including pavements and roads now at the moment.

'We already - thanks to the government - deal with the hedge, cutting the gully, emptying those services were handed over to us a number of years ago.

'Now, at the moment there’s no money forthcoming.

'To help out the local authorities with this, and really, even if they did come up with a financial incentive, I doubt whether it would cover costs of the local authorities taking on road and pavement.

'I sit on the Isle of Man Municipal Association. Even Douglas Borough Council was saying that they would really struggle to take on pavement and highway maintenance because they don’t have the stuff.'

She said that the authorities' public liability insurance would need to change.

'If it was absolutely forced upon the local authorities to take this on, we wouldn’t do it unless the roads and pavements were in absolute 100% immaculate condition, and is that ever going to happen?

'The local authorities across the island are working together on this. And we’re not happy. We’re not happy whatsoever.'