Minutes of Proceedings
Date: 19 February 2013
Venue: Room 106
1.1 The Speaker thanked Mr Weir for taking the Chair at the last meeting. Apologies were noted from Mr Gerry Kelly, Mrs Sandra Overend and Mr Robin Swann. The Speaker welcomed Mr Raymond McCartney as the Sinn Féin substitute and Mr Danny Kinahan as the UUP substitute.
2. Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 12 February 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 Order Papers for plenary meetings in week commencing 25 February 2013
4.1 Members agreed to schedule a UUP motion to change Committee Membership on Monday 25 February.
4.2 Members noted that, in addition to Executive Business agreed previously, the conclusion of the Consideration Stage of the Criminal Justice Bill would also be scheduled for Monday 25 February to allow the votes affected by the Petition of Concern to take place. Members also noted that motions to affirm the following draft Regulations were also scheduled for that day:
- Rates (Exemption for Automatic Telling Machines in Rural Areas) Order (Northern Ireland) 2013;
- Rates (Regional Rates) Order (Northern Ireland) 2013; and
- Rates (Temporary Rebate) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2013.
4.3 Members noted that a motion to extend the sitting on Monday 25 February may be necessary, should other business be scheduled on that day.
4.4 Members noted that, in addition to Executive Business agreed previously, a statement from the Minister for Social Development on Social Housing Reform, and a motion to approve the Draft Companies (Public Sector Audit) Order had been scheduled for Tuesday 26 February.
4.5 Members noted that there was no change to the Committee Business already scheduled.
Private Members’ Business
4.6 Following notification at last week’s meeting that the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment would not be available to respond to the Private Members’ motion on ‘Local Meat Products’ scheduled for Tuesday 26 February, the DUP requested that the motion be changed to ‘Entitlement Framework Funding and Strategy for 14 - 19 year olds’ (Mr M Storey, Miss M McIlveen, Mr J Craig). Members agreed to schedule the motion with the usual timings.
4.7 Junior Minister Bell confirmed that all relevant Ministers were available to respond to business. Following a query from Ms Ruane it was clarified that that there would be no Ministerial response to the Private Members’ motion ‘Establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee’ scheduled for Tuesday 26 February.
4.8 The draft Order Papers were agreed.
5. Provisional arrangements for plenary meetings in week commencing 04 March 2013
5.1 Members noted that an Assembly Consent Motion on the Public Bodies (The Office of Fair Trading Transfer of Consumer Advice Scheme Function and Modification of Enforcement Functions) Order 2013 had been scheduled for Monday 4 March, along with Question Time to the Minister of Justice and the Minister of the Environment.
5.2 Members noted that the Final Stage of the Water and Sewerage Services (Amendment) Bill and the Further Consideration Stage of the Criminal Justice Bill had been scheduled for Tuesday 5 March, along with Question Time to the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
5.3 Members noted that no Committee Business had been requested.
Private Members’ Business
5.4 Members agreed to schedule three Private Members’ motions on Monday 25 February. Under the system of allocation, the selections lay with the SDLP, UUP and DUP. The UUP asked to defer its choice until the next meeting. The following motions were selected:
- ‘Benefits Advice and Awareness’ (Mr M Durkan, Mrs K McKevitt, Mr C Eastwood, Mr D Bradley);
- ‘Local Meat Products’ (Mr P Frew, Mr G Dunne, Mr W Irwin).
It was noted that procedural advice was being provided on the ‘Benefits Advice and Awareness’ motion and that the wording may be revised. The usual timings were agreed for the motions.
Members agreed to schedule an Adjournment Debate on Tuesday 5 March. Under the system of allocation, the selection lay with the SDLP. The following adjournment topic was selected:
- ‘Woodlands Speech and Language Unit in Derry City Council Area’
(Mr P Ramsey).
5.5 Junior Minister Bell confirmed that all relevant Ministers were available to respond to the business selected.
5.6 The provisional Order Papers were agreed.
6. Any other business
6.1 The Speaker reminded Whips that the Business Committee would need to review party representation on Statutory and Standing Committees following changes to the membership of the UUP. However, as only one letter had been received indicating that a Member wished to sit as an Independent Unionist, and another was expected, it was agreed to review representation once all formal notifications had been received.
7. Date and Time of next meeting
7.1 Members agreed to meet at approximately 12.30pm on Tuesday 26 February 2013 in Room 106.
The Speaker brought the meeting to a close at 12.40pm.