Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Monday, 01 October 2012

Venue: Plenary Chamber

The Assembly met at noon, the Speaker in the Chair.

1. Personal Prayer or Meditation

Members observed two minutes’ silence.

2. Assembly Business

2.1 Motion - Committee Membership
Proposed:

That Mr Stephen Moutray, Mrs Brenda Hale and Mr Paul Givan replace Mr William Humphrey, Mr Trevor Clarke and Mr Tom Buchanan as members of the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister; that Mr William Humphrey replace Mrs Brenda Hale as a member of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure; that Mr Alastair Ross replace Mr Gregory Campbell as a member of the Committee for the Environment; that Mr Peter Weir and Mr David McIlveen replace Mr William Humphrey and Mr David Hilditch as members of the Committee for Finance and Personnel; that Mr William Humphrey and Mr Alex Easton replace Mr Peter Weir and Mr Sydney Anderson as members of the Committee for Justice; that Mr Gregory Campbell and Mr Sammy Douglas replace Mr Alex Easton and Mr Alastair Ross as members of the Committee for Social Development; that Mr Alex Easton replace Mr Stephen Moutray as a member of the Committee for Regional Development; that Mr David Hilditch and Mr Sydney Anderson replace Mr Sammy Douglas and Mr David McIlveen as members of the Committee for Employment and Learning; and that Mr Trevor Clarke replace Mr Alex Easton as a member of the Public Accounts Committee.

Mr P Weir
Lord Morrow

The Question being put, the Motion was carried without division.

3 Executive Committee Business

3.1 Statement – Public Consultation on the Reform of Adult Care and Support

The Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Mr Edwin Poots, made a statement regarding the Public Consultation on the reform of Adult Care and Support, following which he replied to questions.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr Dallat) took the Chair.

3.2 Statement - Review of GCSE and A Level Qualifications

The Minister of Education, Mr John O’Dowd, made a statement regarding a review of GCSE and A Level qualifications, following which he replied to questions.

3.3 First Stage - Welfare Reform Bill (NIA 13/11-15)

The Minister for Social Development, Mr Nelson McCausland, introduced a Bill to make provision for universal credit and personal independence payment; to make other provision about social security; to make provision about child support maintenance and the use of jobcentres; and for connected purposes.

Bill passed First Stage and ordered to be printed.

4. Private Members’ Business

4.1 Motion - Marriage Equality

A valid Petition of Concern was presented in relation to this motion under Standing Order 28, on Friday 28 September (Appendix 1).

Proposed:

That this Assembly believes that all couples, including those of the same sex, should have the right to marry in the eyes of the State and that, while the rights of religious institutions to define, observe and practise marriage within their beliefs should be given legal protection, all married couples, including those of the same sex, should have the same legal entitlement to the protections, responsibilities, rights, obligations and benefits afforded by the legal institution of marriage; calls on the Minister of Finance and Personnel to introduce legislation to guarantee that couples of any sex or gender identity receive equal benefit; and further calls on the First Minister and deputy First Minister to ensure that all legislation adheres to the Government’s commitments to protect equality for all.

Mr S Agnew
Ms B McGahan
Ms C Ruane

Debate ensued.

The Speaker took the Chair.

The debate was suspended for Question Time.

5. Question Time

5.1 Environment  

Questions were put to, and answered by, the Minister of the Environment, Mr Alex Attwood.

5.2 Enterprise, Trade and Investment

Questions were put to, and answered by, the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Mrs Arlene Foster.

6. Private Members’ Business (Cont’d)

6.1 Motion - Marriage Equality (Cont’d)

Debate resumed on the Motion.

The Question being put, the Motion was negatived on a cross-community vote (Division 1).

6.2 Motion - GCSE Changes
Proposed:

That this Assembly notes the decision by the Secretary of State for Education to replace the GCSE with the English Baccalaureate Certificate; is concerned about the possible implications of this for students in Northern Ireland; and calls on the Minister of Education to work with his English and Welsh counterparts to ensure that students from Northern Ireland are not disadvantaged by these changes.

Mr M Storey
Miss M McIlveen

6.3 Amendment No.1
Proposed:

Leave out ‘English and Welsh counterparts’ and insert:

‘counterparts across these isles’

Mr C Hazzard
Ms M Boyle
Mr P Sheehan

6.4 Amendment No.2
Proposed:

At end insert:

‘; and further calls on the Minister to consider using this as an opportunity to fundamentally review the effectiveness of GCSEs in Northern Ireland and their ability to improve literacy and numeracy and tackle educational inequality.’

Mr D Kinahan
Mrs J Dobson

Debate ensued.

The Principal Deputy Speaker (Mr Molloy) took the Chair.

The Question being put, Amendment No.1 fell (Division 2).

The Question being put, Amendment No.2 was made without division.

The Question being put, the Motion, as amended, was carried without division.

7. Adjournment

Proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

The Speaker

The Assembly adjourned at 5.24pm.

Mr William Hay
The Speaker
01 October 2012

 

Appendix 1

Northern Ireland Assembly

The undersigned Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly presented a petition of concern, in accordance with Standing Order 28, on Friday 28 September in relation to the following motion.  

Marriage Equality

That this Assembly believes that all couples, including those of the same sex, should have the right to marry in the eyes of the State and that, while the rights of religious institutions to define, observe and practise marriage within their beliefs should be given legal protection, all married couples, including those of the same sex, should have the same legal entitlement to the protections, responsibilities, rights, obligations and benefits afforded by the legal institution of marriage; calls on the Minister of Finance and Personnel to introduce legislation to guarantee that couples of any sex or gender identity receive equal benefit; and further calls on the First Minister and deputy First Minister to ensure that all legislation adheres to the Government’s commitments to protect equality for all.

MR SYDNEY ANDERSON

MS PAULA BRADLEY

MS PAM BROWN

MR THOMAS BUCHANAN

MR GREGORY CAMPBELL

MR TREVOR CLARKE

MR JONATHAN CRAIG

MR SAMMY DOUGLAS

MR GORDON DUNNE

MR ALEX EASTON

MR PAUL FREW

MR PAUL GIRVAN

MR PAUL GIVAN

MRS BRENDA HALE

MR SIMON HAMILTON

MR DAVID HILDITCH

MR WILLIAM HUMPHREY

MR WILLIAM IRWIN

MR IAN MCCREA

MR DAVID MCILVEEN

MISS MICHELLE MCILVEEN

MR ADRIAN MCQUILLAN

LORD MORROW

MR STEPHEN MOUTRAY

MR ROBIN NEWTON

MR GEORGE ROBINSON

MR ALASTAIR ROSS

MR JIMMY SPRATT

MR MERVYN STOREY

MR PETER WEIR

MR JIM WELLS

Northern Ireland Assembly

01 October 2012
Division 1

Marriage Equality - Motion

Proposed:

That this Assembly believes that all couples, including those of the same sex, should have the right to marry in the eyes of the State and that, while the rights of religious institutions to define, observe and practise marriage within their beliefs should be given legal protection, all married couples, including those of the same sex, should have the same legal entitlement to the protections, responsibilities, rights, obligations and benefits afforded by the legal institution of marriage; calls on the Minister of Finance and Personnel to introduce legislation to guarantee that couples of any sex or gender identity receive equal benefit; and further calls on the First Minister and deputy First Minister to ensure that all legislation adheres to the Government’s commitments to protect equality for all.

Mr S Agnew
Ms B McGahan
Ms C Ruane

The Question was put and the Assembly divided.

Ayes: 45
Noes: 50
Ayes
Nationalist

Mr Attwood, Mr Boylan, Ms Boyle, Mr D Bradley, Mr Brady, Mr Durkan, Mr Eastwood, Ms Fearon, Mr Flanagan, Mr Hazzard, Mrs D Kelly, Mr G Kelly, Mr Lynch, Mr McAleer, Mr F McCann, Mr McCartney, Ms McCorley, Mr McDevitt, Mr McElduff, Ms McGahan, Mr McGlone, Mr M McGuinness, Mr McKay, Mrs McKevitt, Ms Maeve McLaughlin, Mr Mitchel McLaughlin, Mr McMullan, Mr Maskey, Mr Molloy, Ms Ní Chuilín, Mr Ó hOisín, Mr O'Dowd, Mrs O'Neill, Mr P Ramsey, Ms S Ramsey, Ms Ruane, Mr Sheehan.

Unionist

Mr Copeland, Mr Kinahan, Mr B McCrea.

Other

Mr Agnew, Mr Dickson, Dr Farry, Mr Ford, Ms Lo.

Tellers for the Ayes: Mr Agnew and Ms Ruane.

Noes
Unionist

Mr Allister, Mr Anderson, Mr Beggs, Mr Bell, Ms P Bradley, Ms Brown, Mr Buchanan, Mr Campbell, Mr Clarke, Mr Craig, Mr Cree, Mrs Dobson, Mr Douglas, Mr Dunne, Mr Easton, Mr Elliott, Mrs Foster, Mr Frew, Mr Gardiner, Mr Girvan, Mr Givan, Mrs Hale, Mr Hamilton, Mr Hilditch, Mr Humphrey, Mr Irwin, Mr Kennedy, Mr McCausland, Mr McClarty, Mr I McCrea, Mr McGimpsey, Mr D McIlveen, Miss M McIlveen, Mr McNarry, Mr McQuillan, Lord Morrow, Mr Moutray, Mr Newton, Mrs Overend, Mr Poots, Mr G Robinson, Rt Hon P Robinson, Mr Ross, Mr Spratt, Mr Storey, Mr Swann, Mr Weir, Mr Wells, Mr Wilson.

Other

Mr Lunn.

Tellers for the Noes: Mr Givan and Mr D McIlveen.

Total votes                               95                           Total Ayes                            45           [47.4%]

Nationalist Votes                    37                           Nationalist Ayes                  37           [100%]

Unionist Votes                         52                           Unionist Ayes                        3            [5.8%]

Other Votes                              6                            Other Ayes                            5            [83.3%]

The following Member voted in both Lobbies and is therefore not counted in the result:
Mr A Maginness.

The Motion was negatived on a cross-community vote.  

Northern Ireland Assembly

01 October 2012
Division 2

GCSE Changes - Amendment 1
Proposed:

Leave out ‘English and Welsh counterparts’ and insert:

‘counterparts across these isles’

Mr C Hazzard
Ms M Boyle
Mr P Sheehan

The Question was put and the Assembly divided.

Ayes: 45
Noes: 47
Ayes

Mr Attwood, Mr Boylan, Ms Boyle, Mr D Bradley, Mr Brady, Mr Byrne, Mrs Cochrane, Mr Dallat, Mr Dickson, Mr Durkan, Mr Eastwood, Dr Farry, Ms Fearon, Mr Flanagan, Mr Ford, Mr Hazzard, Mrs D Kelly, Ms Lo, Mr Lunn, Mr Lynch, Mr McAleer, Mr F McCann, Mr McCarthy, Mr McCartney, Ms McCorley, Mr McDevitt, Mr McElduff, Ms McGahan, Mr McGlone, Mr M McGuinness, Mr McKay, Mrs McKevitt, Ms Maeve McLaughlin, Mr Mitchel McLaughlin, Mr McMullan, Mr A Maginness, Mr Maskey, Ms Ní Chuilín, Mr Ó hOisín, Mr O'Dowd, Mrs O'Neill, Ms S Ramsey, Mr Rogers, Ms Ruane, Mr Sheehan.

Tellers for the Ayes: Mr Hazzard and Ms Ruane.

Noes

Mr Agnew, Mr Allister, Mr Anderson, Mr Beggs, Ms P Bradley, Ms Brown, Mr Buchanan, Mr Campbell, Mr Clarke, Mr Craig, Mrs Dobson, Mr Douglas, Mr Dunne, Mr Easton, Mr Elliott, Mr Frew, Mr Gardiner, Mr Girvan, Mr Givan, Mrs Hale, Mr Hamilton, Mr Hilditch, Mr Humphrey, Mr Irwin, Mr Kennedy, Mr Kinahan, Mr McCallister, Mr McCausland, Mr B McCrea, Mr I McCrea, Mr D McIlveen, Miss M McIlveen, Mr McQuillan, Lord Morrow, Mr Moutray, Mr Newton, Mrs Overend, Mr Poots, Mr G Robinson, Rt Hon P Robinson, Mr Ross, Mr Spratt, Mr Storey, Mr Swann, Mr Weir, Mr Wells, Mr Wilson.

Tellers for the Noes: Mr Kinahan and Mr G Robinson.

The amendment fell.

Northern Ireland Assembly

Papers Presented to the Assembly on
26 September - 01 October 2012

1. Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly
2. Bills of the Northern Ireland Assembly
3. Orders in Council
4. Publications Laid in the Northern Ireland Assembly

Safefood 2011 Annual Report (DHSSPS)

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland Disposal and Retention Schedule (PRONI)

Department of Education Resource Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2012 (DFP)

Public Income and Expenditure Account for the year ended 31 March 2012 (DFP)

The Ulster Supported Employment Ltd Retention and Disposal Schedule (PRONI)

IntertradeIreland - Annual Review of Activities and Annual Accounts 2011 (DETI)

5. Assembly Reports

Report on the Superannuation Bill (NIA 73/11-15) (Committee for Finance and Personnel)

6. Statutory Rules

(The department identified after each rule is for reference purposes only)

  • S.R. 2012/359 The Tullynacross Road, Lisburn (Abandonment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012 (DRD)
  • S.R. 2012/360 The Templemore Street, Belfast (Abandonment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012 (DRD)
  • S.R. 2012/361 The C156 (Unnamed road), Moyraverty, Craigavon (Abandonment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012 (DRD)
  • S.R. 2012/365 The Scheme for Construction Contracts in Northern Ireland (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 (DFP)

For Information Only:

  • S.R. 2012/336 (C.31) The Foyle and Carlingford Fisheries (2007 Order) (Commencement No.2) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012
  • S.R. 2012/349 (C.33) The Mental Health (1986 Order) (Commencement No.5) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012 (DHSSPS)
  • S.R. 2012/355 The Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Amendment No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 (DOE)
  • S.R. 2012/357 The Loading Bays on Roads (Amendment No.3) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012 (DRD)
  • S.R. 2012/362 The Waiting Restrictions (Lisburn) (No.2) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012 (DRD)
  • S.R. 2012/363 The Loading Bays on Roads (Amendment No.4) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012 (DRD)
7. Written Ministerial Statements
8. Consultation Documents

Consultation on the draft Northern Ireland Marine Litter Strategy (DOE)

9. Departmental Publications
10 Agency Publications
11. Westminster Publications
12. Miscellaneous Publications

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