The clerk to committees for the Anguilla House of Assembly has completed a study visit to Tynwald.

Vanisha Proctor described it as ‘an amazing experience’ at the end of her two-week visit, which was organised by the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office.

Her visit forms part of phase two of a UK Overseas Territories Project begun in 2017, led by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) UK, to provide governance support to the Anguilla House of Assembly.

It builds on a two-week secondment to the overseas territory by the deputy clerk of Tynwald Jo Corkish.

Ms Proctor said: ‘These past two weeks have not only helped to strengthen Anguilla’s ties with Tynwald but have also given me new perspectives on the functions of parliament and ideas for how we might develop our committee processes and broaden the range of services we provide to members.

‘What has particularly impressed me is Tynwald’s Hansard operation. This is something we currently don’t have in Anguilla, so to see how Hansard is so readily available on the website was a revelation and something to which we would aspire.’

Ms Proctor also praised the work of the research and scrutiny support team, saying: ‘I saw how valuable it was to have a spreadsheet that all the team could access to keep them updated on progress.

‘That was just one example I’ve witnessed of the effective cohesion and communication that distinguish Tynwald’s support functions.’

Turning to committee processes, she added: ‘For me, what stood out was how Tynwald committees were served not only by a clerk but also by an assistant clerk.

‘I felt that made for seamless communication and helped to ease the pressure on the clerk. I was also struck by the volume of enquiries and questions directed to all government departments.

‘This is something I feel we should consider to broaden our scope and hold our government departments to account.’

A session with the engagement services team was also organised, during which Tynwald’s outreach programmes were outlined.

‘Outreach is something we’ve only just started,’ Ms Proctor said. ‘Looking to the future it’s our aim to increase our presence in schools; to be more proactive and reach out to them to support the curriculum.

‘We would hope to arrange for members to go into schools and for our officers to host school tours on a scheduled basis, in a bid to strengthen young people’s engagement with parliament and the democratic process.’

Looking back on her time here, she continued: ‘I’ve seen how standing orders can be updated to reflect evolving times, witnessed how a tricameral parliament operates and been impressed by the level of detail and ease of access provided by Tynwald’s new website.

‘Throughout my visit I’ve been fully involved and always felt included. It’s been a truly amazing experience.’