The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s (CPA) Small Branches committee workshops have been hailed a success.
That the Isle of Man be the host nation was proposed to the CPA Secretariat in London by the Clerk of Tynwald Roger Phillips, whose office arranged the programme which focused on common problems and potential solutions in relation to committee scrutiny in small jurisdictions.
The Legislative Buildings’ Barrool Suite was the setting for the sessions attended by some 16 delegates from small jurisdictions. CPA Assistant Director of Programmes Arlene Bussette explained that the event was the first of a body of work driven by the CPA that was designed to strengthen links and share experience between Small Branches.
‘It was a fantastic start,’ said Ms Bussette. ‘To have the Isle of Man willing to serve as the setting made the event all the easier to bring together. The success of any event of this kind has a lot to do with the host. Roger and his team understand the value of Small Branch networking opportunities. Tynwald’s expertise most definitely helped develop the programme’s content and has also set the tone for future Small Branch conferences and workshops. Everyone contributed to the sessions and now we are keen to learn from Members what they would wish to see on the agenda for future events.’
CPA Isle of Man Branch chairman Hon Juan Watterson MHK said: ‘It is great to share parliamentary practice across smaller jurisdictions from across the Commonwealth with this CPA International-funded initiative. I was also privileged to be asked to talk on financial scrutiny of the executive, something of a pet topic of mine during my time in Tynwald and share experiences from the public and private sector, Isle of Man and elsewhere. Being a parliamentarian is a difficult job, generally with inadequate training, a hostile media and all mistakes being public. The CPA is a vital strand in educating people in bringing them new skill sets, contacts and experiences from elsewhere that benefit the individuals and the people we represent.’
Acting CPA Secretary-General Mr Joe Omorodion said: ‘I offer my sincere thanks to everyone at Tynwald for organising such an excellent two days of workshops. The combination of the Isle of Man as the setting, a programme which resonated so compellingly with Small Branches and the warmth of welcome extended to us made for a highly successful event which will lead to valuable outcomes and reinforce the spirit of partnership and cooperation central to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Small Branches face unique challenges; workshop sessions tailored to examine those challenges provide a forum to discuss matters of common concern that can only but help strengthen the institution of Parliament.’
For further information:
Clerk of Tynwald
Legislative Buildings, Douglas, IM1 3PW
Tel: (01624) 685500