Tynwald has hosted the inaugural Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Crown Dependencies network event.
Attendees from Guernsey were Deputy Mark Dorey, Deputy Jennifer Merrett, Deputy Barry Paint, Deputy Robert Prow, Deputy Dawn Tindall and Senior Deputy Greffier Simon Ross. Jersey was represented by Senator Sarah Ferguson, Deputy Gregory Guida, Deputy David Johnson, Deputy Hugh Raymond, Deputy Geoffrey Southern, and Assistant Greffier Tim Oldham.
Tynwald Members were head of delegation Mr Ralph Peake MHK, Mrs Clare Barber (née Bettison) MHK, Mr Martyn Perkins MHK, Mrs Jane Poole-Wilson MLC, Mr Chris Robertshaw MHK and Hon Chris Thomas MHK.
Along with a series of private meetings between Members and officers from the three jurisdictions the three-day programme, organised by the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office, included a plenary session to discuss how the legislatures of the Crown Dependencies could work better together in the future.
Jersey head of delegation Deputy Hugh Raymond said: ‘It’s absolutely brilliant to have a Crown Dependencies network event. Discussions have been really productive and augur well for the future. As a fairly new Member it’s been quite a learning curve and it’s interesting to learn just how much common ground there is between us. We’re all facing similar problems - especially those related to Brexit – and none of us knows what’s around the corner. We’ve got to keep events like this going, though, involve more of our people and work more closely together, if we are to bring about change and achieve some long-term benefit.’
Early in the programme Guernsey head of delegation Deputy Mark Dorey said: ‘This network event is extremely useful as it’s all too easy for Crown Dependencies to operate in their “own little world”. To be able to meet with parliamentarians from Jersey and the Isle of Man provides an opportunity for us to come together and identify the shared problems we face – for example, we’re all small communities that can be vulnerable to economic change - and to discuss in what areas we’re succeeding and where we’re not. There are other occasions in the year when we meet some of our opposite numbers from the Crown Dependencies such as those arranged by the British-Irish Council and CPA but an event such as this is especially beneficial as we can discuss matters in detail, which is of great benefit. Working more closely together could also help to change how Crown Dependencies are perceived, but to achieve this we need to maintain the momentum with more networking events such as this.’
At the conclusion of the event Deputy Dorey added: ‘A big thank you to the Isle of Man for the programme, organisation and hospitality for the excellent inaugural Crown Dependencies network of parliamentarians. The islands do work together but this forum under the auspices of the Commonwealth Parliamentarian Association has brought together groups of parliamentarians from the Crown Dependencies with an organised programme of events as well as time to discuss topics.
‘One of the benefits is that we have all made contacts which us gives us the opportunity to talk about issues in the future. It was also particularly valuable to have dedicated meetings with politicians, civil servants and interested parties working in the same areas that we individually have political responsibility for and to understand and discuss how successful the Isle of Man has been in those areas.’
Ralph Peake MHK said: ‘It was clear that there was a genuine desire to work together; to reach out, celebrate and, importantly, to reinvigorate the relationship between the three Crown Dependencies. There was a realisation that together we’re stronger and that there’s hope for a new future ahead for what are the only three Crown Dependencies in the world.
‘It was interesting to learn of the new hospital planned for Jersey and we were able share our experiences of our own Noble’s Hospital project. Climate change was also discussed and we will be sharing our action plan once it is made public in 2020.
‘For the event to have been delivered with the support of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association underlines the strong “family” element within the Crown Dependencies. All of us are committed to keeping in touch through regular network events, sharing ideas and working towards productive and mutually beneficial outcomes.’
For further information contact:
Deputy Clerk of Tynwald
Legislative Buildings, Douglas, IM1 3PW
Tel: (01624) 685500