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Guidance and Legislation

The Department have prepared a new guidance document for Members and Officers of Local Authorities on the Isle of Man. The Local Government Handbook replaces a previous document which had been in use since 2011. This guide updates and modernises guidance for Local Authorities and is intended to act as a "living" document and will be updated and amended further in the future. It is recommended that users consult this website to see the latest version. This handbook is available to download in PDF format from this page.

This document should continue to be used as a reference in conjunction with the document issued in 2009 entitled Corporate Governance Principles and Code of Conduct Guidance.

Whilst this guidance is considered best practice, the implementation of the principles in the document are not mandatory. A copy of the document is available to download in PDF format from this page.

The Office of Fair Trading has produced a short guide providing an overview of how competition law could impact on the delivery of public services, and it is intended to assist those involved with procurement of goods and services to avoid becoming the victim of anti-competitive practises. A copy of the document can be downloaded in PDF format from this page.

The Local Government Team has prepared a Guide for Local Authorities in Recruitment of Staff. The document sets out information about preparing job descriptions, person specifications, advertising a post, shortlisting and interviewing and candidate selection. It also explains the process required when seeking approval from Government when recruiting senior members of staff (Clerk and Responsible Financial Officers).

Standing Orders

Under Section 27 of the Local Government Act 1985, Local Authorities are required to make standing orders governing their proceedings. Local Authorities are recommended to have at least 6 Standing Orders; covering the management of meetings, tenders, contracts, exclusion of members with specified interests etc. A copy of the Department's Model Standing Orders can be found on this page.


Local Authorities have powers to make byelaws to address various issues within their district. Under the Local Government Act 1985, Authorities can make byelaws which regulate various activities and which are aimed at preventing and suppressing nuisances. Under the Dogs Act, Authorities can make dog control byelaws which can prohibit dogs from certain areas (egg. children's playgrounds) and also specify areas where the keeper of a dog must remove faeces deposited by the dog (eg. pavements, parks and beaches).

In order for any byelaws to be effectively enforced, Local Authorities need to appoint Byelaws Officers to patrol their district and to take action as appropriate (eg. issue cautions, fixed penalty notices, or action through the Courts etc) Document to be transferred from 'Local authorities' page.


Some of the main items of legislation governing the Island’s Local Authorities are as follows:-

(* this Act applies to all Local Authorities apart from Onchan).

There is also legislation in place concerning the production of an annual set of external accounts for audit, in addition to legislation concerning the Local Elections.

Please see the Department's General Information Handbook for Members and Officers of Local Authorities for more comprehensive details of all the Acts and Regulations which impact on the workings of Local Authorities.

Attendance and Travelling Allowances

Attendance allowances and travelling allowances can be claimed by Local Authority Commissioners/Councillors, and further details can be found in the:

To assist with the collection and recording of such claims, a suggested monthly template allowances claim form has been produced and which can be used by the local authorities, should they wish.  

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