Minutes of Proceedings
Date: 07 May 2013
Venue: Room 106, Parliament Buildings
1.1 There were apologies from Mr Stewart Dickson, and the Speaker welcomed Mr Kieran McCarthy as the Alliance substitute.
2. Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 30 April 2013
2.1 The minutes were agreed and signed by the Speaker.
3. Matters arising
3.1 There were no matters arising.
4. Finalisation of the Order Papers for the plenary meetings in week commencing 13 May
4.1 Members noted that there was no change to the Executive business scheduled previously for Monday 13 May; and that an indicative one hour and a half had been allocated to the Further Consideration Stage of the Marine Bill.
4.2 Members noted that, while there was no change to the Executive business previously scheduled for Tuesday 14 May, a Ministerial statement on a recent North South Ministerial Council meeting was possible.
4.3 Members noted that there were still no requests for Committee business.
Private Members’ Business
4.4 Members agreed to schedule the presentation of a public petition on Monday 13 May by Mr Kieran McCarthy, regarding opposition to cuts to Health Service dental care.
4.5 Having deferred its choice of a Private Members’ motion at the last meeting, the SDLP requested further time to consider its selection, due to the unavailability of the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.
4.6 For the same reason, the DUP requested that the motion on ‘Epilepsy Service Provision’, scheduled previously for Monday 13 May, be changed. The following motion was scheduled in its place:
- ‘Energy costs’ (Mr R Newton, Mr P Frew, Mr G Dunne).
4.7 Having deferred its choice of a Private Members’ motion at the last meeting, it was noted that Sinn Féin had selected a motion on a ‘Single All-Island Agreed Rate of Duty on Vehicle Fuel’ for Tuesday 14 May.
Members agreed to schedule the motions with the usual timings.
4.8 Junior Minister McCann confirmed that all relevant Ministers were available to respond to the business selected.
4.9 The draft Order Papers were agreed.
5. Provisional arrangements for the plenary meetings in week commencing 20 May 2013
5.1 Members noted that Question Time to the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, and the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, was scheduled for Monday 20 May.
5.2 Members noted that Question Time to the Minister of Justice and the Minister for Regional Development was scheduled for Tuesday 21 May, along with Final Stage of the Marine Bill.
5.3 Members noted that no Committee business had been requested.
Private Members’ Business
5.4 Members considered a request from Mr Allister to schedule the Further Consideration Stage of the Civil Service (Special Advisers) Bill on Monday 20 May. Ms Ruane sought assurances that the committee could be confident that the stage would be moved, and that plenary business would not fall unexpectedly. The Speaker advised that such assurances had been received from Mr Allister.
Following a request for clarification from Mr Weir about the admissibility of amendments, members noted that, while the Speaker is required to consider the legislative competence of a Bill at Introduction, and before it reaches Final Stage, an amendment either at Consideration or Further Consideration Stage which would take a Bill outside the legislative competence of the Assembly would not be deemed inadmissible on that ground alone.
Members agreed to schedule the Further Consideration Stage of the Civil Service (Special Advisers) Bill on Monday 20 May, and noted that an hour and a half had been shown on the indicative timings.
5.5 Members agreed to schedule one Private Members’ motion on Monday 20 May and two on Tuesday 21 May. Under the system of allocation, the selections lay with Sinn Féin, Alliance and the UUP. The following motion was selected by Sinn Féín:
- ‘Sustainability of Hill Farming’ (Mr I Milne, Mr O McMullan, Mr D McAleer).
Both Alliance and the UUP agreed to notify the Clerk of their selection for Tuesday 21 May after the meeting.
5.6 Members agreed that up to 1 hour 30 minutes should be allocated for each motion, with the usual speaking times.
5.7 Members agreed to schedule an Adjournment Debate on Tuesday 21 May. Under the system of allocation, the selection lay with Sinn Féín. The following topic was selected:
- ‘Lack of economic development in Down District’ (Mr C Hazzard).
Junior Minister McCann advised that the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment would not be available to respond to the adjournment topic. Ms Ruane indicated that she would consider the position.
5.8 Junior Minister McCann advised that, apart from the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment on Monday 20 May and Tuesday 21 May, and the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety on Tuesday 21 May, all other Ministers were available to respond to plenary business that week.
5.9 The provisional Order Papers were agreed.
6. Rota for Oral Questions: September to Christmas Recess
6.1 Members agreed the rota for Oral Questions from September 2013 until the Christmas Recess as presented.
7. Any other business
7.1 The Speaker advised Whips that updated copies of the ‘Speaker’s Ruling and Conventions’ document had been tabled.
8. Date and Time of next meeting
8.1 Members agreed to meet at approximately 12.30pm on Tuesday 14 May 2013 in Room 106.
The Speaker brought the meeting to a close at 12.49pm.