Samantha Kenny - Six Months In
I apologise for the gigantic gap between entries here - I’m sure you were all constantly refreshing your twitter feeds, anxiously awaiting the next instalment! I’m now approaching six months at the Clerk of Tynwald’s office, and beginning to feel like part of the furniture. How's it going? Well, this is one day -
As soon as I arrive in work, a coffee appears on my desk from a kindly colleague (I have finally been introduced to the life-changing joys and wonders of filter coffee.)
I spend the first hour or so working on the Social Affairs Policy Review Committee meeting that took place last Friday. There was a panel of Government representatives attending a public meeting to give evidence for the nursery provision inquiry. The Members had had a discussion after this meeting, so I take the time to incorporate my notes into the draft report – the report belongs to and is written by the Committee, so must say what they want it to say!
I spend a while tidying up loose ends from the recent Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and Provincial Assembly of Balochistan delegation visit to Tynwald. Alongside a colleague, I’d organised and chaperoned the successful visit, including talks and visits to a school and Nobles hospital. Everyone had been very helpful, and thank-you’s needed saying.
You can find more information about the tours for youth groups we offer here.
Later this week, I will show a Scout troop around Legislative Buildings. The Office can arrange tours and visits outside of the normally scheduled tour times - just ask! I print off quizzes for the children, set up the electronic voting system, and review my notes. It is no longer my first week so I am very unlikely to confuse the Speaker with the President, (not that this has ever happened...) but I want to make sure I’m prepared for any question that might be thrown at me. The most difficult usually begin, ‘My Daddy says…’
Post-lunch, I took a look at the publishing software we are using. I’ve been working on a business case (something I’d never done before) for upgrading what we currently have. I assess the quotes, have a look at my decision matrix, and send off my recommendation.
I spend a few minutes drafting this entry, and collecting thoughts for a flying start on tomorrow’s tasks. I'll sign off with some highlights of the past few weeks:
A last-minute rush before a Keys sitting to clear the evidence of a school tour – the electronic voting screen is currently reading ‘Should homework be abolished’, and it would appear that the vast majority of our Members were in favour. (I get away with it, and no one would ever know were I not publishing it here and now.)
Another highlight was over hearing an 8 year old girl leaving said school tour; ‘That was so much fun! I hope we can come back here!’
A dinner at the Clerk’s house to welcome our visitors from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and Balochistan. Wonderful food and excellent company, and a chance to socialise and share with Members of a Parliament in many ways very different to our own.
Following the Legislative Council elections. Five seats will become available in March, and Members of Tynwald will be voting for whom to fill them. Being in this building inevitably means a sneak preview on those who will be standing, and for anyone with any interest in politics, that level of insight is a definite bonus.
Organising and writing the brief for the nursery panel – officers and a Minister from four different departments attended this session to discuss Government’s approach to nursery provision. The Committee used my brief to inform their questioning of the Departments which, for me, was quite special.