Councillors Lawson Henry and Tony Duncan (pictured) returned from London shortly before Christmas, with Lawson having attended the annual Joint Ministerial Conference (JMC), and Tony Duncan the 64th Westminster Seminar.
Lawson, who has now attended the JMC three times, thought this conference by far the best as it was more focused, shorter and sharper and the topics covered were more relevant to Overseas Territories. Once again, the SHG delegation – Councillor Henry and Governor Capes – had the opportunity of meeting Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Department for International Development (DFID) Ministers for discussions covering a wide range of issues, including Airport readiness and Safeguarding.
Lawson led the JMC intervention on Sustainable Healthcare Systems in Small Jurisdictions, with SHG’s Director of Health, Darren Clarke, having provided prior briefing, particularly in relation to the training of Nurses.
“I am grateful to Darren Clarke for providing me with the information that allowed me to make positive interventions on health, and will be following up on the support St Helena was offered in relation to the training of nurses, and on other issues such as pensions and sport.
“The conference allowed me to speak on issues relating to St Helena at a higher level, including with UK Ministers, and to network as usual with colleagues from other Territories.”
The 64th Westminster Seminar, attended by Councillor Duncan, aims to strengthen the knowledge, skills and confidence of first term members of Parliament and newly-appointed clerks and councillors in the core aspects of parliamentary practice and procedure within a Westminster framework.
Sessions that Tony attended included an Introduction to the Westminster System, an Overview of the Legislative Process, the Role of the Speaker and Parliamentary Administration, Finance and Governance. Other subjects covered included Committee Work, Parliamentary Questions, Engagement with the Public, Media and other Stakeholders.
“I found the seminar very interesting and it gave me an insight into how Parliament really works, and made me more confident. I would urge all first term members of Legislative Council, if given the opportunity, to attend.”
15 January 2016