Minutes of Proceedings
Date: Tuesday, 08 November 2011
Venue: Room 106
1. Introduction and Apologies
1.1 Apologies were noted from Mr Pat Ramsey.
2. Minutes of the meeting held on 25 October 2011
2.1 The minutes of the meeting held on 25 October 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 14 November 2011
4.1 Members noted that no additional Executive Business had been scheduled.
4.2 Members noted that the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development had requested that a motion on “EU Financial Corrections to be levied against the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development” be debated on Monday 14 November. Members also noted that the Committee was aware, informally, that the Minister would not be available on Monday 14 November or Tuesday 15 November.
4.3 Junior Minister Anderson confirmed that the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development would be unavailable to respond to the debate as she would be in Brussels on Monday 14 November and Tuesday 15 November. Junior Minister Anderson also advised that the Minister had given notice of her intention to make a statement on this matter on Monday 21 November and requested that this information be taken into consideration.
4.4 Members noted that the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development would be meeting at 1.30pm to confirm if it wished to proceed with the motion without a Ministerial response.
4.5 The Clerk recommended that Members could consider scheduling the motion for Monday 14 November on the understanding that, should the Agriculture Committee decide not to proceed, it would be taken off the Order Paper before it goes for printing.
4.6 Following a discussion, the DUP, UUP, SDLP and Alliance agreed to schedule the motion for Monday 14 November, with the usual times,on the basis that the Agriculture Committee is minded to proceed. Sinn Féin requested that its opposition to this approach be recorded.
Private Members’ Business
4.7 Members agreed to schedule the presentation of a public petition by Mr Paul Givan, relating to the future of Knockmore Primary School, Lisburn.
4.8 Members noted that there were no changes to the other Private Members’ Business previously agreed.
4.9 Members confirmed the following Private Members’ motions for Monday 14 November with the usual times:
- ‘Banning Smoking in Cars with Children’; and
- ‘Prison Review Team Final Report’.
4.10 Members confirmed the following Private Members’ motions for Tuesday 15 November with the usual times:
- ‘Disparity in Community Background in Students Attending University’; and
- ‘Roaming Charges’.
Members also confirmed the Adjournment topic:
- ‘Housing at the Girdwood Barracks site in North Belfast.’
4.11 Junior Minister Anderson confirmed that, aside from the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, all relevant Ministers were available to respond.
5. Provisional arrangements for Plenary meetings in week commencing 21 November 2011
5.1 Members noted that, in addition to Question Time to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Minister of Education, a statement by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development on the European Commission Disallowance of Single Farm Payments had been scheduled on Monday 21 November,
5.2 Members noted that, in addition to Question Time to the Minister for Employment and Learning and the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, a motion to approve the Employment and Support Allowance (Work-related Activity) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011 had been scheduled for Tuesday 22 November.
5.3 Members noted that there was the possibility of further Executive business to be scheduled on Tuesday 22 November.
5.4 Members noted that no Committee Business had been requested.
Private Members’ Business
5.5 Members agreed to schedule two Private Members’ Motions on Monday 21 November and one on Tuesday 22 November.
Under the system of allocation for Private Members’ motions the selections lay with the DUP, SDLP, and the UUP.
The following motions were proposed:
- ‘River Cleaning Strategy’ (Mr S Hamilton, Lord Morrow);
- ‘Community Libraries’ (Mrs K McKevitt, Mr D Bradley); and
- ‘Rate Relief for Community and Amateur Sports Clubs’ (Mr R Swann, Mr L Cree).
5.6 Members agreed that up to 1 hour 30 minutes should be allocated for all the debates, with the usual speaking times.
5.7 Members agreed to schedule an Adjournment Debate on Tuesday 22 November. Under the system for allocating Adjournment Debates, the selection lay with the DUP.
The DUP selected the following topic:
- ‘Flooding in the Clogher Valley’.
Members agreed to schedule the topic as the Adjournment Debate on Tuesday 22 November.
5.8 Junior Minister Anderson advised that all relevant Members were available to respond.
6. Any Other Business
6.1 Members agreed to the Minister for Employment and Learning’s request to exchange his Question Time slot on Tuesday 13 December with the Minister of Justice on Monday 5 December.
7. Date and Time of next meeting
7.1 Members agreed to meet at approximately 12.30pm on Tuesday 15 November 2011 in Room 106.
The Speaker brought the meeting to a close at 12.47pm.
Mr William Hay