Statement on Local Elections Act 1986

On the 30th July 2015 Port St Mary Commissioners became aware that Ms Rebecca Sinfield, a duly elected Commissioner, had ceased to be on the register of electors.  Port St Mary Commissioners consulted with its advocates and it was advised that the relevant provisions of the Local Elections Act 1986 were clear. That a person had to be on the register of electors both to be qualified for election and to be qualified to be a member of the Board.

The Local Elections Act 1986 states:

“6. Qualifications for election and holding office as member of local authority

A person shall, unless disqualified by virtue of this Act or any other enactment, be qualified to be elected and to be a member of a local authority for any district if his name is entered on the register of electors for that or any other district and on the day of the election he has attained the age of 18.”

Ms Sinfield, no longer being on the register of electors, was advised regretfully that she was no longer qualified to be a Commissioner and that her seat was accordingly vacated.

Port St Mary Commissioners note the statement by the Department of Infrastructure that it intends to introduce revised legislation and looks forward to the introduction of such legislation.

Until that happens, Port St Mary Commissioners have taken a pragmatic and practical approach to the interpretation of the relevant legislation. It would be wrong to allow an individual who was knowingly no longer qualified to be a Commissioner to take part in Commissioners meetings and to vote on important issues. If that occurred any decisions taken or votes made by that person could be open to challenge.

Port St Mary Commissioners very much regrets the loss of a hard working and well respected Commissioner but is conscious that it must comply with the law as determined by Tynwald.


Alastair Hamilton, Clerk,

Port St Mary Commissioners.

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