A rare treat for Tynwald members next week as they have a captive audience of about 85,000 members of the Great Manx Public and boy have they come prepared as they deliver a whopping 64 questions, 33 of which are due an oral (not giggling, this is serious parliamentary business) response. You can see our preview of the Order Pay (creatively named Order! Order! Here)
Oral (stop it)
First in to bat for the backbench is Onchan MHK Julie Edge who will ask Chief Min HQ if he will publish the Council of Ministers’ strategy for dealing with mutation of the Covid-19 virus?
Arbory, Castletown, and Malew MHK Jason Moorhouse will ask the Chief if plans are being developed to produce additional travel documentation for those who have the vaccination?
Darting around the houses slight, Speaker Juan Watterson will ask How many people have been placed under the Manx Restart Scheme; and what the total cost of the scheme has been thus far, Garff MHK Daphne Caine will go on How much of the Island Community Fund established to support the Isle of Man’s UNESCO Biosphere status has been issued and Middle MHK Bill Shimmins will ask about bed capacity at Nobles.
Other bill topping questions include Liberal Vannin leader Lawrie Hooper asking Justice and Home Affairs Minister Graham Cregeen what he’s responsible for, MLC Tanya August-Hanson asking for an update from DHSC Minister David Ashford on the development of a Sexual Assault Referral Centre and Douglas Central Chris Thomas will ask his successor as Policy and Reform Minister Ray Harmer If he will make a statement on a) the finalisation of the proposed Regulatory Agreement with Manx Gas Limited and b) the amount, timing and calculation methodology for the 2020 gas regulatory adjustment and promised gas customer refund?
However, the best oral (I said stop it) question of the day goes to Ms Edge who is to ask the Department for Enterprise, why the Laxey Wheel is not turning, turning, turning?
Meanwhile, in the written questions, Mr Watterson is putting the media in the spotlight as he asks Treasury Minister Alf Cannan How much the Treasury has paid to each news organisation on the Island in total in each of the last three years? Mr Thomas is to ask Mr Harmer Whether any person has questioned the validity of the Area Plan for the East in the High Court pursuant to section 5 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1999; and, if so, which parts they have questioned? And MLC Rob Mercer is seeking further info on the number of people who came to the island since March 2020.
There are also a wide range of questions focussed on Covid issues including vaccine roll out, genome testing and the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) priority categories.
Other questions focus on the 2019 AGM of The Friends of Manx National Heritage, planning approval or a telecoms mast at the Masonic Hall and what recent assessment has been made of the height of the Douglas Promenade beach relative to the sea wall, the changes that have occurred in that height over the past 80 years, and options to change the level of sand/rocks?