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2019 February to April Emma Gaines

The last few months have been busy and I have spent much of my time on the education and outreach activities here at Tynwald. I have had more primary school tours including one where I kindly asked two of my colleagues to help me show 90 students from Cronk Y Berry round the Chambers. This was a slight challenge but a nice welcome from Mr Peake and Mr Ashford helped. All the students get to use the electronic voting system in the House of Keys… which is usually a highlight for them getting to press all the buttons! 

Our programmes for older students at high schools and UCM have been expanding and developing. I have organised some tours for health and social care UCM students and the most recent included a debate in the House of Keys which the President of Tynwald presided over and some MHKs assisted. As well as organising activities here at Tynwald, I have also taken parts in some visits myself. I got to go back to my old school at Ramsey Grammar and assist Dr Allinson and Mr Cannan in a seminar style discussion class for the a-level politics class. It was great to see the class really engaged with current issues.  

One of my ideas that I have been doing as a trial at CRHS is a series of workshops, each with a different topic. So far I have done two other workshops with Benjamin. Last week I did the third one and assisted Mr Speaker. This was on debating and it was really valuable seeing Mr Speaker co-ordinate and teach the students the roles and procedures of parliamentary debating. I hope that these workshops will demonstrate the value as a parliamentary intern I have had helping to encourage young people to become educated on and interested in Manx politics.  

April marks the 100 year anniversary of the House of Keys Election Act 2019 which gave universal suffrage in the Isle of Man. As part of this, the Chamber and Information team produced an education pack. I was the point of contact organising all the visits to different schools for the MHKs and MLCs. I was happy to see all the visits went to plan, which a large task was dealing with all the schools and all the Members. To celebrate the anniversary there was 12 visits to different schools in the first week of April involving a range of MHKs and MLCs; 9 of which were specifically for the anniversary.  

My main role for the committees has been as assistant clerk to the Economic Policy Review Committee. This Committee works to scrutinise various Government Departments which they all have annual evidence sessions with. I have attended ones with Cabinet Office, FSA and GSC and I have an upcoming one with the Treasury. The annual oral evidence sessions have been a really interesting and valuable experience and I don’t think it is something I would get bored of anytime soon. 

As well as these, I have been doing my routine tasks such as covering the front desk, managing the secondary legislation database and I have also learnt to stream, chop and upload the online audio of Committee hearing and live Sittings.