Houses of Parliament outreach officer Liz Price has completed a two-day study visit to Tynwald.
Ms Price, whose outreach work in Wales and the South West of England is aimed primarily at adults with learning difficulties and marginalised groups, attended sittings of the House of Keys and the Legislative Council, visited St John’s and met with senior officers and the Clerk of Tynwald and Juan Watterson MHK.
The visit also provided the opportunity for Ms Price to witness Tynwald’s voice recognition technology in operation and learn of the important contribution made by the Isle of Man branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in advancing parliamentary democracy.
Ms Price said: ‘Coming from Westminster I was particularly struck by the more “intimate” scale of Tynwald and the ease of access to Members and officers, also the breadth of information available to the public through the Information Service and website. Attending sittings of the House of Keys and Legislative Council was enlightening in that I saw how visitors are able to be in such close proximity to the proceedings – a very different dynamic from that of Westminster.
‘My visit has been extremely valuable and, in just two days, it became clear to me that heritage and history continue to shape much of the Manx way of life and identity, not least the institution of parliament and its links with the community.’
Mr Watterson said: ‘It is always good to meet colleagues from other parliaments visiting the Island to compare notes on where we can improve. It is also very satisfying when we can send someone away with a positive impression of the Island and some good ideas to take back to their own jurisdiction.’