Douglas Borough Council has called for the Department of Infrastructure to deliver a full presentation on the latest proposals for the Douglas Bay Tramway in its Douglas promenade refurbishment scheme.
The move follows a Council meeting on Wednesday October 8th at which Members expressed their disappointment that the Department had chosen to hold a public consultation commencing on October 7th without first inviting the Council’s views.
Members also resolved that the Council advise the Minister for Infrastructure, Hon Phil Gawne MHK, in writing that any proposed amendments to the Heads of Agreement sent by the Council to the Department in July 2014 must be received in advance of any such presentation in order that Members may take legal advice and consider their decision.
Council Leader Councillor David Christian MBE JP said: ‘Right from the outset, when the resurfacing of the promenade was first mooted, the Council expressed a willingness to listen to the Department’s proposals and made clear that it must be included in all discussions. To date, regrettably, the latter has not always been the case, as evidenced by the Department electing to go out to public consultation before seeking the views of the Council.
‘Members would welcome an open and frank exchange with the Department - hence this call for a full presentation – but this can only take place after long overdue amendments to the Heads of Agreement have been received and discussed by the Council.
‘Members’ concerns have been expressed against a background of mounting speculation in the media about the relocation of the tram tracks – and indeed about the future of the service itself. As a prime stakeholder in a scheme that is of vital importance to the regeneration of Douglas the Council is eager to partner with the Department and arrive at a mutually acceptable and beneficial solution. To this end I look forward to speaking to Minister Gawne at his earliest convenience.’