Love Laxey, Love Garff!

Beach Buddies are teaming up with the Commissioners to launch a new initiative to improve the tidiness of neighbourhoods in Laxey, Lonan, and Maughold: and the more local residents we can get involved the better!

To start things off Beach Buddies and the Commissioners are joining a local meeting at 10.00am on Sunday 14th August at the Laxey Sailing Club, arranged by local resident Robbie, to listen to your ideas for cheering up some of those locations in need of a bit more Tender Loving Care.

You can’t help but notice that there are some areas that are tired and untidy and with your help a real difference can be made. You could take ownership to help improve and maintain a local area, help pull weeds from the road side, pick up litter or have a general tidy of the Glens, the beaches, the parks. We all live in the local community lets create spaces for others to enjoy; look at the great example set by Susan and Ken Crellin at Quarry Falls in Laxey and those who’ve adopted tram stops and so on. Why not step forward and take part in creating more welcoming clean spaces for visitors and for ourselves as a Community!

Beach Buddies and the Commissioners would like to encourage and support more of these inspiring actions across the Villages and open areas of Garff. Bill Dale will be on hand at the meeting to offer expert knowledge, advice, and the support of his organisation to the initiative.

So what are the Commissioners doing? Our Maintenance Team is small, but we’ve recently increased the maintenance budget to employ an additional part-time contractor to assist our directly employed (and wonderful) maintenance duo. Our focus is on increasing the amount of tidying of public spaces such as pavements, verges, and other public areas; but Garff is a massive area (from Ballure to Groudle) and the addition of some community projects and collaboration would really assist to make the Sheading look better: there’s more to be done!

Please come along to the public meeting on 14th August 2022 @ 10am at Laxey Sailing Club and find out how you and your family can get involved.

Laxey Promenade Public Shelter Statement 18.07.22

The Commissioners would like to issue an initial statement on their plans for the future use of the Laxey Promenade Public Shelter –  Seating and Table Facilities will always be provided in the Laxey Promenade Public Shelter.

The factual position is that the Public Shelter has always been in the ownership and control of Garff Commissioners. The Commissioners have always intended to have tables and chairs in this public facility, now and in the future. This will continue to enable the general public to consume food and drink, including all patrons of the adjacent Laxey Beach Kiosk.

The Board wish to advise that they will also be enhancing the current facilities within the Shelter over the coming months.

It should be noted that all customers of the adjacent kiosk takeaway will be absolutely welcome to use the public facilities to consume food and drink items inside the building; along with all Members of the Public.

The Commissioners have not fully finalised their plans at this stage but extensive, appropriate and comfortable seating/tables will be placed in the Public Shelter.

This will enable all Members of the Public, including customers of the adjacent kiosk to make free and full use of the Public Shelter to sit and consume food/drinks as they have always done.

A further statement will be issued once the plans have been finalised.

The Commissioners remain committed to providing facilities which primarily benefit the public but also bring benefits to local businesses.

Great Laxey Brass Band Festival Going Ahead – Make the most of a dry afternoon!

This morning’s forecast is for the rain to clear by mid-day so we are expecting to get The Great Laxey Brass Band Festival underway at 1.00pm in all three venues in the Upper Village (the Mines Tavern, The Glen Pavilion, and The Miner’s Statue).
Should the rain linger a little the event will still commence at 1.00pm using inside venues at The Laxey WMI, The Glen Pavilion, and Christ Church (beside the Tram Station). The event will then ‘venture-out’ as the weather improves.
Marshals will be circulating the Village to pass on information about any changes.
We’ll be in touch with Ronaldsway at 11.00am and make an announcement; as they will be able to predict much more accurately then. The announcement will be made on FB Sites ‘Visit Laxey, Visit Garff’, Garff Commissioners’, Laxey Central, & on Garff Commissioners Twitter page.
The situation may be a dynamic one but we and the wonderful bands will react to any situation and make sure the Show Goes On!
If it is wet Cookies and Candy, the Children’s Entertainer will give shows downstairs in the Laxey Working Men’s Institute at 2.00pm and 3.00pm; if dry the shows will be in the Tram Station as planned.
At this stage, however, we should have the dry weather in before 1.00pm. Cross those fingers now!
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The Great Laxey Brass Band Festival from 1.00pm Sunday 1st May 2022

The Great Laxey Brass Band Festival is back for 2022 on Sunday May 1st! Slap bang in the middle of the Bank Holiday weekend! And all taking place in the great outdoors – in and amongst Laxey’s fine cafes and pubs.
Have a pint, a meal, and a wander whilst experiencing the thrills (and spills!), the drama, and the spectacle of Brass Band Music being played loud and free across the upper Village.
Between 1.00 and 5.00 pm, six bands (Ramsey Town Band, Douglas Town Band, Castletown Metropolitan, Manx Concert Brass, Rushen Silver Band, & Onchan Silver Band) will be playing in rotation in three locations (The Mines Tavern, Glen Gardens Pavilion, and the Miner’s Statue) All followed by a big blast off in the Village Square from 4.00 pm when all five bands take to the stage!.
The ‘Jazz Aces’ will also be entertaining in the Village Square from 1.00 pm.
Why not make a day of it! A Pint in the Mines or at one of our other hostelries, food at one of Laxey’s great great cafe’s, and all topped off with an early evening stroll on our golden sands down at the Beach!
Another Great Day Out in Laxey! Don’t miss it!
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Contact the Commissioners to find out Progress with Options for Treatment of Laxey & Lonan’s Sewage

Please note that Members of the Public who wish to discuss the progress – and latest updates – from Manx Utilities can visit the office on 35 New Road, Laxey at any time and be briefed directly by the Commissioners’ Staff: please make an appointment by email or by calling 861241/422148.

A further post detailing the progress appears just below.

The Commissioners are keen to pass on comments and views from the public to Manx Utilities Project Team.

Alternatively email the Commissioners on with questions, comments, and views.

14.03.22: The Latest Update from Manx Utilities following a Meeting with the Commissioners on February 23rd 2022.

At a meeting between Manx Utilities and the Commissioners on 23rd February an update on progress was provided and the organisation has issued a statement which confirmed much of the discussion that took place (please see details set out below). The Chair of Manx Utilities, Mr Rob Callister MHK, the Executive Director, and the Head of Sewerage were present to represent the organisation.

In addition to the statements made below the Commissioners have been advised by Manx Utilities that:

  1. Land has been acquired in the vicinity of Garwick Glen. Any of this land that is not required for pumping stations or sewage treatment installations, etc is likely to be sold following completion of works.
  2. The purchase of further land in another area is being negotiated (MU advise that they cannot announce the location of this land at the landowner’s request).
  3. Manx Utilities are considering several options including an option to ‘pump away’ from Laxey/Lonan to Meary Veg in Santon. They are also considering pumping to an (as yet unknown) site in Lonan from both the Cairns site (Lowest point of the Laxey sewage system) in Laxey and from the lowest point of the Lonan system at Garwick (see their statement below titled “’Garff’). Details and costings of other options will also be brought forward.
  4. Manx Utilities advise that it is DEFA who set the standards for emissions into the sea which they must meet. DEFA issue the licence and they advise that the sewage treatment undertaken “must reduce the particles of e-coli in a sample by a factor of a million”: this means that if there are 2 million particles prior to treatment to meet the standard there must only be 2 particles in the ‘treated’ sample.
  5. There are other ‘contaminants’ than e-coli that may be in the water and the Commissioners will be approaching DEFA for clarification of these and a range of matters.
  6. DEFA advise that a portion of e-coli in the Laxey & Lonan systems (which are combined sewage and storm water) is likely to contain animal waste run-off from the fields and hills. They also advise, however, that should the need arise, DNA testing can identify whether the source is human or animal; once this is established the source of any breach of their regulations can be focussed upon and directed action taken.
  7. MU advise that the ‘pump away’ option will require Tynwald to approve a change to the current Regional Treatment Sewage Treatment Policy and any changes to the budget requirements.
  8. MU have confirmed that public consultation and public meetings will take place one they publish the five options they are preparing.



Statements fromManx Utilities made in recent press releases and published on their website:


  • The project teams are on course to make recommendations to the MU Board by Friday 25th March 2022. Whole Life Costing exercises are being finalised and the conclusions of the studies compiled to determine the best way forward for both areas on a combined cost and quality basis.


  • The final phase of the sewage treatment strategy for the Island is focused on delivering first time sewage treatment for Laxey, Baldrine and Peel.  Options are being fully assessed for local treatment works’ locations as well as pump away solutions to establish a positive outcome as soon as possible.


  • A rigorous ‘coarse screening’ process has been completed scoring over 40 potential sites against criteria comprising:
  1. Adequate space
  2. Zoning/land use
  3. Proximity to residential areas
  4. Access
  5. Conservation/high landscape or coastal value and scenic significance
  6. Elevation/topography
  7. Ecological barriers
  • For each area the coarse screening exercise has led to the selection of a small number of options which are now being looked at in more detail in order to determine the preferred solution to take forward. A concept design (comprising site layout and pipeline routes) for each option has been created and a desktop environmental review has been completed (including carbon footprint calculations) to allow a further ‘fine screening’ assessment to be undertaken which adds a further level of rigour where the following criteria are being assessed in greater detail:
  1. Land use/zoning
  2. Future growth capacity
  3. Proximity to residential areas
  4. Environmental impact
  5. Carbon cost
  6. Access
  7. Complexity & deliverability
  8. Community opportunity & benefit
  • Each of the shortlisted sites and pump away solutions are being scored against the above and are then being costed with the ‘whole life costs’ developed over periods of 25 and 50 years.
  • The cost and quality scores will be combined on a 70:30 quality: cost ratio (also undergoing a sensitivity check at 50:50) to ensure the best solution is chosen, not necessarily the cheapest.
    This is one of the most comprehensive reviews of sites and solutions that Manx Utilities have undertaken and each site has to be considered individually and in some cases in combination.
  • This is subject to positive land owner engagement.  Once the preferred options have been agreed we will be able to confirm the delivery programme. We remain on course for completion of all works by the end of 2024.
  • Water Quality
  • The bathing water quality standards required for any solution proposed are defined by Tynwald and will be in accordance with parameters set by DEFA.  Manx Utilities are designing to achieve the ‘Good’ standard of the 2006 EU Bathing Water Directive as required by the Isle of Man’s Water Pollution (Bathing Water Standards and Objectives) Scheme 2021.
  • We are also investigating what may be required should this be changed to the ‘Excellent’ element of the standard in the future; this will ensure that there is nothing within the design that prohibits any enhancement required in the future should the local Commissioners decide that Blue Flag beach status is an aspiration they would like to work towards.
  • Blue flag status requires ‘Excellent’ bathing water quality along with the adoption of over 30 other environmental and hygiene/facility factors including control of dogs, provision of lifeguards and many other aspects which would need consideration by local Commissioners.  Water quality is only covered in four of the ‘blue flag’ criteria.  Further details can be found here:
  • The discharge of any flows into rivers is controlled by DEFA whom determine acceptability and appropriate parameters.
  • National Importance, Long Term View and Costing
  • Resolving the sewage treatment issue in the remaining catchments of Garff and Peel is a matter of national importance.  Manx Utilities has sought assistance from professional consulting engineers with a robust and extensive international reputation who are also very familiar with the Isle of Man, the existing sewerage infrastructure and the operation of local and central government.
  • Whole-life-cost Net Present Value or ‘NPV’ calculations over 25-year and 50-year periods have been developed.  These are pragmatic assessment periods that take into account the best estimates for the civil, mechanical and electrical engineering capital and operating expenditure for the solutions proposed.
  • Sewage pumping costs will be included in the NPV calculations for all options short-listed to ensure these are adequately assessed.  Cost sensitivity analysis is also forming part of these calculations to determine if any selection ranking is influenced by construction cost or power cost rises – as seen recently.
  • Electricity consumption for all solutions is based on all supplies being taken from future national infrastructure, ensuring it does not assume benefits which are unrealistic.
  • The impact of tankering sludge is being taken into full consideration in the selection process.
  • Designs will be based on the current and predicted Population Equivalent (PE) values for 2021 and 2050.  These values take into account current population and an assessment based on published regional plans to predict future demands.  Future expansion beyond the 2050 PE value will also be considered.


  • Five preferred options for local treatment are now under consideration with concept designs complete. This includes options for a combined works located between Laxey and Baldrine
  • Discussions with landowners have commenced to help determine the viability of each option
  • The pump to Meary Veg option is being reviewed with various pipeline routes being considered
  • The need for extension, replacement or relocation of the outfall pipes at Laxey and Baldrine for all solutions are being reviewed
  • Options for short term improvement have been investigated but none identified as offering significant benefit
  • Issues identified with the failed planning application for a works in Laxey will be considered prior to any further application being made for any site
  • Further public consultation will be undertaken prior to any planning applications being submitted