The Speaker of the Montserrat Legislative Assembly (MLA), Hon Shirley Osborne and the Clerk, Mrs Judith Baker, have declared their two-day study visit to Tynwald ‘extremely valuable’.
Madam Speaker and Mrs Baker were in the Isle of Man as part of a week-long parliamentary familiarisation programme, which included time spent at Westminster and was organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) British Islands and Mediterranean Region (BMIR).
The initiative comes after the territory’s General Election in September 2014 saw the MLA alter its composition to include six new Members out of a total of nine, a measure which led to the Assembly identifying the need for capacity development of the new parliament, particularly in areas of parliamentary governance and outreach and committee systems.
Madam Speaker said: ‘Right now we are very much in “development mode” so this study visit to Tynwald has been extremely valuable. The two days spent here have left a strong impression and will help shape the foundations of how we operate politically in the future, alongside developing what amounts to “the fabric” of the island, our hospitals and schools, for example.’
Mrs Baker said: ‘I found the Tynwald Information Service of particular interest. The team were extremely helpful and it was interesting to observe the voice recognition system in action and also to see how technology, such as the website and Twitter, is making Tynwald more accessible to the people, something we are keen to take forward in Montserrat.’
Echoing Mrs Baker’s sentiments Madam Speaker added: ‘For me my goal is to engage with people; to introduce initiatives that will be of very real value to the community, and parliamentary accessibility will be central to this.
‘During our time in Westminster and the Isle of Man we have received many offers of help, which demonstrates the power of the Commonwealth “family”. Thanks to that level of support there is potential for Montserrat to become a model for other small jurisdictions and we very much look forward to deepening this emerging, positive relationship.’
Hon Shirley Osborne, second left, and Mrs Judith Baker are pictured with the Speaker of the House of Keys the Hon Steve Rodan SHK and the Deputy Clerk of Tynwald Jonathan King at Tynwald Hill, St John’s. Picture Paul Dougherty, Tynwald Seneschal.
For further information:
Deputy Clerk of Tynwald
Legislative Buildings, Douglas, IM1 3PW
Tel: (01624) 685500