Keys Sitting
Some 20 questions in total, of which 16 were tabled by Mr Karran.

He did raise some important issues around Social Services and Foster Children and I got my knuckles rapped by the Clerk for asking a supplementary question which referred to our ongoing inquiry through the Social Affairs Policy Review Committee on the subject. Apparently as a member of that committee I am not allowed to raise issues therein until the report has been laid before Tynwald.

A further interesting question about how many Government employees take a pension pay out then continue to work for the Government, although actual figures were not available. Instances quoted at least one individual retired that has now been working for Government for a further 7 years. This is obviously bad succession planning and needs revising.

A further question on zero hour contracts, apparently Government at present employs 108 people on the same although Mr Karran did explore the negatives of these contracts rather than some of the positives. Some people don’t want fixed, full or part time work and of course there is a reduced burden in terms of employment contract liability from a Government prospective. I have to agree that this needs to be carefully monitored so we are not exploiting individuals.

The final item on the order paper was to address drafting errors in the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Amendment) Bill 2016 which were passed unanimously.

Lunchtime presentation from Culture Vannin an excellent organisation dedicated to the preservation of Manx culture. It was quite appropriate as we had parliamentary visitors from both Kenya and Falkland islands who also attended and they were exposed to our culture – in the nicest possible way.

A bit of news locally, many will have seen work going on to what was I believe Fairfield House in St Johns which was reputedly bought by Government. This is factually incorrect, it has been purchased by Culture Vannin using the bequest monies and will open as a Visitor Centre and base for Culture Vannin, hopefully for Tynwald Day. This is a much needed asset to compliment the cultural experience of Tynwald Hill, The Royal Chapel, Fairfield Arboretum etc which has until now lacked a dedicated manned explanatory visitor experience.

Culture Vannin

An afternoon visit to the Clothworkers Primary School in Peel. Mrs Jackson, the Headmistress, explained the rationale of the School and kindly showed me around. It is the largest primary school within the St Johns/Foxdale area and caters for a diverse social demographic in the Peel area and is probably the oldest school building in the area (apart for the Bunscoill Ghaelgagh School in St Johns). However, whilst there are building works required the Head and Staff are certainly making the best of the space available and I left with the feeling that the school is being well run by an enthusiastic and successful team with happy pupils.

Clothworkers 2

Clothworkers 1