Requisition Meeting in Douglas December 2022

[Left to Right: Captain of the Parish of Lonan Stephen Carter who chaired the meeting, Leader of the Council Mrs Claire Wells listening to a questioner and Councillor Mr Falk Horning, chairman of the Environmental Services Committee.]

In the past there were four High Bailiffs, one in each of the Island’s four towns, Douglas, Castletown, Ramsey and Peel. Equally there was a court house in each of the towns. Some of the early Requisition Meetings on the Island were held in the towns and chaired by the relevant High Bailiff. This was primarily because the majority of people resided in the towns where the reason for such meetings often arose. Meetings in the parishes were far less common.

Eventually, as means of transport on the Island improved the number of High Bailiffs was reduced to one who travelled to the four court rooms to hear cases. Coupled with this local authorities were created in the four towns from the 1860’s and consequently Requisition Meetings in the towns were chaired by the Chairman of the relevant board of commissioners. In 1896 Douglas became a Borough and that role then fell on the Mayor.

In November 2022 the Mayor of Douglas, Her Worship Councillor Ms J Thommeny JP received a petition from 19 residents of Douglas to hold a requisition meeting. The number of signatures of residents of the area (they don’t have to be ratepayers) is twelve. The meeting was called so that the public could question the Council on the change from weekly to fortnightly refuse collections of domestic waste.

The Mayor decided she was inextricably unavailable and the Deputy Mayor had a conflict of interest as she was a member of the Council’s Environmental Services Committee which was responsible for refuse collection amongst other things.

The Council therefore looked to the Captain of the Parish of Onchan to chair the meeting but he was already committed to another meeting on the date already selected by the Council. Next they approached the Captain of the Parish of Braddan but he was unavailable, however the Captain of Lonan was available on that night.

The meeting was held in The Legion Hall, North Quay, Douglas on Monday 12th December at 6pm. The Council was represented on the platform by Councillor Mrs Claire Wells, the Leader of the Council and Mr Councillor Falk Horning , Chairman of the Environmental Services Committee. The meeting room was packed to capacity.

The audience asked questions and expressed their views which was the purpose of the meeting. Whilst the meeting didn’t have any standing in respect a resolution to alter the decision of the Council, a straw poll was held by way of a show of hand. There was an overwhelming majority in favour or a return to a weekly collection. Councillor Wells informed the meeting however that the matter would not be reconsidered.