Minutes of Proceedings
Date: 24 April 2012
Venue: Room 21, Parliament Buildings
The meeting opened at 11.05 am. in public session.
Apologies are detailed above.
2. Minutes of the last meeting
Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the Committee meeting held on 17th April 2012.
3. Matters Arising
There were no matters arising.
4. Review of Parts III and IV of the Northern Ireland Act in the Context of Reviewing the Size of the NI Assembly and the Number of NI Departments.
The Chairperson advised Members that the purpose of this agenda item was for the Committee to consider the written submissions received to date on the Committee’s Review and, in particular the submissions received from the Political Parties of the Assembly.
Mr Simon Hamilton joined the meeting at 11.08am.
The Clerk briefed the Committee on the papers before Members.
Mr Gregory Campbell joined the meeting at 11.11am.
Mr Stewart Dickson joined the meeting at 11.13am.
The Chair called upon Members to summarise their Party’s views on the key issues on the Committee’s Review – in alphabetical order Alliance, DUP, SDLP, Sinn Féin and UUP.
The Clerk summarised the Alliance Party’s written submission, as the representative was not present.
Mr Simon Hamilton summarised the DUP’s views.
Mr Conall McDevitt summarised the SDLP’s views.
Mr Raymond McCartney summarised Sinn Féin’s views.
Mr Roy Beggs summarised the UUP’s views.
The Chair proposed that the Committee move into closed session to allow the Members to consider and discuss in more detail the written evidence received on the Review and in particular the five key issues set out in the ‘Call for Evidence’ paper.
Mr Roy Beggs and Mr John McCallister opposed the proposal for the Committee to move into closed session, as they believed this item of business should be considered in public session.
Mr Paul Givan, Mr Simon Hamiltion and Mr Gregory Campbell spoke in favour of the proposal for the Committee to move into closed session, as they believed it would be a useful and contructive discussion for Members to deliberate and seek an agreed Committee position.
Agreed: To move into closed session.
The Committee moved into closed session at 11.35am.
Members commenced a discussion on their views on the key issues of the Review, as set out in the Committee’s ‘Call for Evidence’ Paper.
Mr Stewart Dickson left the meeting at 12.08am.
Mr Simon Hamilton left the meeting at 12.16pm.
Mr Roy Beggs left the meeting at 12.18pm
Agreed: To commission further Assembly Research on issues arising from the Committee’s discussion on the statutory link between Westminster and NI Assembly constituencies.
Agreed: To continue the closed session discussion on the Review at the next Committee meeting.
The Committee moved into public session at 12.20pm.
5. Any Other Business
There were no other items of business.
6. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting of the Assembly and Executive Review Committee will be held on 8 May 2012, at 11.00 am in Room 21, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.21pm.
Mr Stephen Moutray
Assembly and Executive Review Committee