Isle of Man News - POSTED Tue 21-01-2014

Bell's bid for 'smaller, simpler' government

by Joanne Clague

Bell's bid for 'smaller, simpler' government - picture Chief Minister Allan Bell is bringing radical proposals to the monthly sitting of the Manx parliament that gets under way today.
Mr Bell wants Tynwald members to approve six recommendations he says will streamline and strengthen the government. These include cutting the number of government departments and creating one statutory board from the Manx Electricity Authority and the Water Authority.
Mr Bell says: 'These proposals are all about making Government smaller, simpler and less bureaucratic in line with public and political expectations. They will also strengthen the centre of Government, so that it can drive forward the changes that are needed to overcome the unprecedented challenges facing our Island.'
The Department of Community, Culture and Leisure will disappear, with functions scattered across other appropriate departments, and the existing departments of Health and Social Care will be combined into one Department of Health and Social Care. The Treasury will take over social security responsibilities.
The MEA and the Water Authority will merge to become the Manx Utilities Authority.
Mr Bell also wants to appoint a minister with responsibility for policy and reform who would work within a new Cabinet Office responsible for the central co-ordination of policies.

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