Packed agenda for this week’s House of Keys sitting

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

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Tree felling, school laptops, town centre parking, coastal erosion and bank closures will be among the topics raised during House of Keys question time this week.

And later in the sitting MHKs will debate proposed changes to work permit rules.

There are 17 questions for oral answer and a further 13 for written reply.

Bill Henderson (Douglas North) will quiz the Chief Minister over the recent announcement by Britannia International that it is pulling out of the island over the course of this year, with the closure of its three branches here and the loss of 31 jobs.

Howard Quayle (Middle) will question Environment Minister Phil Gawne on the decision to fell all larch trees in the island’s plantations in a bid to stop the spread of phytophthora ramorum disease.

Michael MHK Alfred Cannan will continue to press for action to tackle coastal erosion in Kirk Michael constituency and will call on Mr Gawne to convene a working group to ‘proactively seek solutions’.

Member for Douglas West Chris Thomas will ask Infrastructure Minister David Cretney to make a statement on his department’s policy for parking in Douglas town centre the recommendations in the recently published study and consultancy report.

Education Minister Tim Crookall will be pressed by John Houghton (Douglas North) to give details on how many new laptops have been issued to pupils and teachers recently, what is the cost of the replacement programme and whether the old laptops will be made available to charitable causes.

Mr Houghton has also tabled a question for Social Care Minister Chris Robertshaw about the need for child benefit claim forms.

A new Control of Employment Bill - which will make a number of changes to existing work permit controls – is due to go for its second reading. The bill will modernise the existing system but will tighten up controls in some areas such as rules on family members, criminal convictions and the ability to speak English.

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