1. Introduction and Apologies
1.1 Apologies were noted from Mrs K McKevitt and Mr Pat Ramsey. The Speaker welcomed Mr Joe Byrne as the SDLP substitute member.
2. Minutes of the meeting held on 22 November 2011
2.1 The minutes of the meeting held on 22 November were agreed and signed by the Speaker.
3. Matters arising
3.1 There were no matters arising.
4. Finalisation of Order Papers for Week Commencing 5 December 2011
4.1 Members noted that in addition to the Executive business already scheduled, a second Statement from the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development on the NSMC Meeting in Agriculture sectoral format had been scheduled for Monday 5 December 2011.
4.2 Members noted that, in addition to the Executive business already scheduled, two Ministerial Statements had been scheduled for Tuesday 6 December 2011; the first from the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety on “Connected Health” issues, and the second from the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment on the launch of the Health and Wealth Memorandum of Understanding.
4.3 Members noted that no Committee business had been requested.
Private Members’ Business
4.4 Members confirmed the following Private Members’ motions for Monday 5 December with the usual timings:
- ‘Community Transport Scheme’; and
- ‘Public Sector Pensions’.
4.5 Members agreed to schedule the presentation of a public petition by Mr Steven Agnew on Hydraulic Fracturing on Tuesday 6 December 2011.
4.6 The UUP requested that their motion ‘Call for a Legislative Programme’, which had been scheduled for Tuesday 6 December, be replaced by a motion on the ‘Impact of the Introduction of the Welfare of Laying Hens Directive’.
4.7 Members confirmed the following Private Members’ motions for Tuesday 6 December with the usual times:
- ‘Hydraulic Fracturing’; and
- ‘Impact of the Introduction of the Welfare of Laying Hens Directive’.
Members also confirmed the Adjournment topic:
- ‘The regeneration of Portavogie’.
4.7 Junior Minister Bell confirmed that all relevant Ministers were available to respond.
5. Provisional arrangements for Plenary meetings in week commencing 12 December 2011
5.1 Members noted that, in addition to Question Time to the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister and the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, no further Executive business had been scheduled for Monday 12 December 2011 .
5.2 Members noted that, apart from Question Time to the Minister of Education and Minister of Justice, no further Executive business had been scheduled for Tuesday 5 December.
5.3 Members agreed to schedule a motion from the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety on ‘Fractures resulting from osteoporosis’ for Tuesday 13 December, with the usual speaking times.
Private Members’ Business
5.4 Members agreed to schedule two Private Members’ Motions on Monday 12 December and one on Tuesday 13 December.
Under the system of allocation for Private Members’ motions the selections lay with the DUP, Sinn Féin, and DUP.
The following motions were proposed:
- ‘Cancer Drugs Fund’ (Mr A Ross, Mr P Weir); and
- ‘Fuel Payments for Cancer Patients’ (Ms M Gildernew, Ms M Boyle, Mr M Brady).
DUP deferred its second selection, and undertook to inform the Clerk as soon as possible.
5.5 Members agreed that up to 1 hour 30 minutes should be allocated for all the debates, with the usual speaking times.
5.6 Members agreed to schedule an Adjournment Debate on Tuesday 13 December. Under the system for allocating Adjournment Debates, the selection lay with the UUP.
The UUP selected the following topic:
- ‘The amalgamation of the three Inner-South Belfast primary schools (Blythefield, Donegall Road and Fane Street) on a new site at the City Hospital ’.
Members agreed to schedule the topic as the Adjournment Debate on Tuesday 13 December.
5.8 Junior Minister Bell advised that all relevant Members were available to respond.
6. Oral Question Rota January 2012 – Easter Recess 2012
6.1 Members agreed the rota for Oral Questions from January 2012 until Easter Recess (week commencing 26 March 2012), as presented.
7. Any Other Business
7.1 The Speaker advised that, as he would be unavailable, Mr Weir would chair the next meeting of the Business Committee.
7.2 The Speaker and members wished the Assistant Clerk well in her temporary transfer to the Engagement Directorate.
8. Date and Time of Next Meeting
8.1 Members agreed to meet at approximately 12.30pm on Tuesday 6 December 2011 in Room 106.
The Speaker brought the meeting to a close at 12.39pm.
Mr Peter Weir