Isle of Man News - POSTED Tue 06-01-2015

Backbench attempt to stall child care contracts

by Joanne Clague

Backbench attempt to stall child care contracts - picture

Peter Karran is calling for the contracts awarded to St Christopher's to operate child care services to be declared 'null and void'.

The Liberal Vannin MHK is bringing the issue to the floor of Tynwald this month. It follows an outcry over the government's decision to award residential care contracts to St Christopher's instead of the Children's Centre (chief executive John Knight, pictured), which runs the services now.

It's believed the new contracts are on the verge of being signed.

Thirty eight jobs at the Children's Centre could be affected by the move, which was taken to appeal by the charity. Meanwhile, the
government has been defending its decision.

Mr Karran has tabled this motion for Tynwald: 'That Tynwald views with concern the continuation of the tender process for the award of new contracts to the Children’s Centre and St Christopher’s Isle of Man after a conflict of interest had been discovered in one of the service areas; and believes that the process should have been stopped immediately the conflict of interest was discovered and that the resulting contracts should be regarded as null and void.'

He said: 'I have made the Minister aware of the Motion and I trust that he will behave honourably and not sign the contracts until Tynwald has had the opportunity to debate the matter and make its views known.'

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