Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Venue: Room 21

The meeting opened in closed session at 1.30pm.

1. Apologies

Mr Samuel Gardiner

2. Minutes of the meeting held on 26 May 2011

Mr Lyttleconfirmed that he had voted in favour of the motion proposed by 
Mr Clarke, and that he had not abstained. Subject to this amendment, members agreed the minutes of the meeting held on 26 May 2011.

3. Declaration of Interests

The Chairperson asked if members had any financial or other interests which are relevant to the work of the Committee to declare. 

George Robinson declared that he was a member of Limavady Borough Council.

4. Inquiry into Standing Orders for Principal Deputy Speaker

1.32pm Mr Maginness joined the meeting.

The Committee considered an issues paper prepared by the Clerk, and agreed to consider each issue from the paper in turn. Members also considered a first draft of the revised/new Standing Orders prepared by Assembly Legal Services. Jonathan McMillen from Legal Services explained the draft amendments to Standing Orders and answered members’ questions as required.

Issue 1 – Protocol for addressing the Principal Deputy Speaker

The Chairperson proposed that in the revised Standing Orders, the Principal Deputy Speaker should be addressed as either Mr Principal Deputy Speaker, Madam Principal Deputy Speaker, or Principal Deputy Speaker.

The Committee divided. Ayes 7; Noes 2.

Ayes Noes
Trevor Clarke Jim Allister
Gerry Kelly Alban Maginness
Chris Lyttle  
Oliver McMullan  
Sue Ramsey  
George Robinson  
Mervyn Storey  
The proposal accordingly was agreed to.

Issue 2 – Number of Deputy Speakers

Agreed: Members agreed that thenumber of Deputy Speakers should 
remain unchanged at three.

Issue 3 – Filling the post of Principal Deputy Speaker

It was proposed by Mr Allister that the post of Principal Deputy Speaker be filled by rotation among the existing Deputy Speakers on an annual basis. 

The Committee divided. Ayes 2; Noes 3; Abstentions 4.

Ayes Noes Abstentions
Jim Allister Gerry Kelly Trevor Clarke
Alban Maginness Oliver McMullan Chris Lyttle
  Sue Ramsey George Robinson
    Mervyn Storey

The proposal accordingly fell.

It was proposed by Mr Clarke that the Principal Deputy Speaker be selected from among the three elected Deputy Speakers.

The Committee divided. Ayes 7; Noes 2.

Ayes Noes
Trevor Clarke Jim Allister
Gerry Kelly Alban Maginness
Chris Lyttle  

Oliver McMullan
 
Sue Ramsey  
George Robinson  
Mervyn Storey  


The proposal accordingly was agreed to.

Issue 4 – Codifying the role of Principal Deputy Speaker

Agreed: Members agreed that no codification of the role of Principal Deputy Speaker be written into Standing Orders, but that this should be left to the discretion of the Speaker.

Issue 5 – Functions - the extent to which the functions of the Principal Deputy Speaker need to be spelled out in Standing Orders

Mr Clarke proposed Option A – 
“Say nothing in Standing Orders and rely on the discretion of the Speaker.”

The Committee divided. Ayes 4; Noes 4.

Ayes Noes
Trevor Clarke Gerry Kelly
Chris Lyttle Alban Maginness
George Robinson Oliver McMullan
Mervyn Storey Sue Ramsey

The proposal accordingly fell.

Mr Kelly proposed Options B and C together –
“Specifythat when delegating duties the Principal Deputy Speaker will have first refusal.” (Option B) and;
“Specify responsibility of the Principal Deputy Speaker as Deputy Chairperson of the Business Committee.” (Option C)

The Committee divided. Ayes 3; Noes 6.

Ayes Noes
Gerry Kelly Jim Allister
Oliver McMullan Trevor Clarke
Sue Ramsey Chris Lyttle
  Alban Maginness
  George Robinson
  Mervyn Storey

The proposal accordingly fell.

The Chairperson suspended the meeting for five minutes in order to marshal a further proposal.

1.56pm Meeting suspended.

2.00pm Meeting reconvened in closed session with the same members present.

Mr Kelly proposed Option C –
“Specify responsibility of the Principal Deputy Speaker as Deputy Chairperson of the Business Committee.”

The Committee divided. Ayes 3; Noes 6.

Ayes Noes
Gerry Kelly Jim Allister
Oliver McMullan Trevor Clarke
Sue Ramsey Chris Lyttle
  Alban Maginness
  George Robinson
  Mervyn Storey

The proposal accordingly fell.

Issue 6 – Remuneration

Agreed: Members agreed that the office holder allowance/salary for the Principal Deputy Speaker should be the same as that of Deputy Speaker.

The Committee requested further related information be provided by Legal services for the next meeting.

5. Forward Work Programme

Agreed: It was agreed that the next meeting would proceed as set out in
the Forward Work Programme.

6. Any other Business

None.

7. Date, time and place of next meeting

It was agreed that the next meeting of the Committee would take place on Thursday, 2 June 2011 at 4.00pm in Room 21, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 2.20pm.

Sue Ramsey
Chairperson, Committee on Procedures
2 June 2011

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