Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Bid to cut Legislative Council numbers put on hold by Tynwald

Tynwald Chamber Image copyright Tynwald
Image caption Members of the Legislative Council are elected by Members of the House of Keys

A proposal to reduce the Isle of Man's Legislative Council by a quarter has been put on hold.

Ann Corlett MHK had called for Tynwald to approve cutting the number of elected members in its upper chamber from eight to six.

The council could "work effectively and efficiently" with fewer members while saving taxpayers' money, she said.

Alfred Cannan MHK called for the debate to be halted until a report looking at politicians' pay had been debated.

Its recommendations "may or may not have implications for the Legislative Council," he said.

The Legislative Council - also known as LegCo - is primarily a revising chamber for new laws.

The panel is due to submit its report in December.

Image caption David Cretney has said he will not seek re-election to the Legislative Council next year

Mrs Corlett has argued the time was right to "slim down" because the terms of office of four Members of Legislative Council (MLC) are due to end in February 2020.

Public dissatisfaction

Among them is Tynwald's longest serving member, David Cretney MLC, who has already said he does not intend to seek re-election.

"Public dissatisfaction" over the council's role had "rumbled on for many years," Mrs Corlett said.

"Just as we call for local authority reform, we should be willing to look at reform ourselves."

However, Chris Robertshaw MHK said the Legislative Council created a "very special balance" in the island's parliament that should not be thrown away.

Voting for a reduction in numbers would "inadvertently and dangerously upset the balance," he said, warning politicians, "you may regret it at your peril".

The council includes eight MLCs elected by the House of Keys, the President of Tynwald, the Bishop of Sodor and Man and the Attorney General.

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