Are members of the Legislative Council going to again test the patience of MHKs by once more demonstrating they have minds of their own?

With the branches of Tynwald swinging back into action today after the Easter recess, that’s the question on the lips of everyone - well, it might have been what two pensioners sat on a park bench were talking about when I walked by on Sunday.

The upper chamber, which is not elected by the public - but, to be honest, MHKs should not forget they are responsible for putting the MLCs there in the first place - is due to consider the Communications Bill.

One Legislative Council member, Kerry Sharpe, has already signalled her intention to bring forward an amendment that would change the definition of public service broadcaster so it could be extended to beyond just meaning Manx Radio.

That wasn’t something MHKs appeared to think of when they considered the Bill.

Not only that, Kate Lord-Brennan is due to make a renewed attempt to change the rules so that the chairman of the Communications Commission is a non-political appointment.

Now, if successful, this could be a real quandary for some MHKs - having to balance their annoyance at Legislative Council appearing to think it knows better than them against the fact this was actually something they attempted to do, unsuccessfully, when the bill was before the Keys.

Two other Bills are before the upper chamber, the Council of Ministers (Amendment) Bill, which puts into statute the independence of judiciary, and the Town and Country Planning (Amendment) Bill.

The latter has already had a bumpy ride with concern over a lack of consultation at the top of the agenda. Even the MLC in charge of guiding the bill through the Legislative Council, David Cretney, has admitted he wasn’t impressed with the original version.

Turning to the House of Keys, bookmakers have stopped taking bets on the likelihood of either Health Minister David Ashford seeking permission to make a statement about the departure of the top two civil servants in his department or, if he decides not to, a backbench MHK seeking permission to table an emergency question asking for a statement on it.

But if permission is not granted - talk about specific government employees on the floor of parliament is not always welcome - we could also see how the issue shoehorned in somewhere else.

There are plenty of questions tabled already for Mr Ashford, during which the speaker’s patience may well be tested by such attempts via the medium of supplementary queries. The tabled questions cover measles vaccinations, the budget for myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) services, the matters concerning both Noble’s and Ramsey Cottage hospitals.

Whether or not we get to hear about what has gone on at DHSC head office, there will be plenty of other updates and statements heard, due to the questions tabled today.

They include the sale of Manx Telecom to Basalt Investment Partners, the island’s first graduate fair, the 2018 Isle of Man Passenger Survey, and the undoubted boost to local business that is the promenade redevelopment - perhaps including an update on dry cleaning deliveries.

In all, there are 16 questions tabled for oral answer. Lucky for the MHKs, then, that they haven’t got any legislation to deal with, because otherwise we’d be concerned about them grandstanding rather than getting on with proper business.

In addition, there are 18 questions for written answer, covering rates and housing system, public sector pensions, the travel arrangements of Manx National Heritage director Edmund Southworth and matters at the Post Office.

Rob Callister (Onchan) will also ask why the cost of running the horse trams has increased from £231,174 in 2016/17 to £411,532 last year. The nags must have the same agent as Alexis Sanchez.