The Northern Ireland Assembly is in Recess. The Business Committee will meet on the 1st of September and the First Plenary Sitting is the 7th of September.

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 21 February 2012

Venue: Room 106, Parliament Buildings

Introduction and Apologies

1.1       There were no apologies noted.

2.         Minutes of the meeting held on 14 February 2012

2.1       The minutes of the meeting held on 14 February were agreed and signed by the Speaker.  

3.         Matters arising

3.1       There were no matters arising.

4.         Finalisation of Order Papers for Week Commencing 27 February 2012

Executive Business

4.1      Members noted that there were no changes to Executive Business previously agreed for Monday 27 February. However, members noted the possibility that two NSMC statements may be made.

4.2      Members noted that, in addition to the business already agreed, a motion from OFMDFM ‘To continue operation of the Department of Justice from 1 May 2012’ was scheduled for 28 February 2012.  Members agreed the usual speaking times for the debate on the motion.

Committee Business

4.3      Members noted that no Committee Business had been requested.

Private Members’ Business

4.4      Members agreed that the Sinn Féin motion previously scheduled for Tuesday 28 February could be changed and that the party could advise the clerk of its selection after the meeting.  The party duly advised that the replacement motion would be:

  • ‘Car-jacking Crimes’ (Mr P Maskey, Mr P Sheehan, Ms J McCann).


Other Business

4.5      Members also agreed to schedule a DUP motion to change committee membership.

4.6      The Order Papers were agreed.

5          Provisional arrangements for Plenary meetings in week commencing 5 March 2012

Executive Business

5.1       Members noted that the following Executive Business was scheduled for Monday 5 March:

  • Question Time to the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, and to the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety;
  • the Second Stage of the Marine Bill;
  • a motion to approve the Draft High Hedges (Fee Transfer) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012; and
  • a motion relating to the Public Bodies (Abolition of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) Order 2012.


5.2       Members noted that in addition to Question Time to the Minister of Justice and the Minister for Regional Development, a motion on the ‘Draft Labour Relations Agency Code of Practice on Time Off for Trade Union Duties and Activities’ had been scheduled for Tuesday 6 March 2012.

Committee Business

5.3       Members noted that no Committee Business had been requested.  

Private Members’ Business

5.4      Members agreed to schedule no Private Members’ motions on Monday 5, but two on Tuesday 6 March 2012.

Under the system of allocation for Private Members’ motions the selections lay with DUP and UUP. However, before these selections were made, Mr Ramsey proposed, and members agreed, that a cross-party motion on ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’ be scheduled for Tuesday 6 March.  The UUP agreed to defer its selection until the following meeting.

Members agreed that the DUP could advise the clerk of its selection for Tuesday 6 March after the meeting.  The party duly advised that it had selected the motion on ‘Educational Assistance for Young People’.

5.6      Members agreed that up to 1 hour 30 minutes should be allocated for each of the debates, with the usual speaking times.

5.7      Members agreed to schedule an Adjournment Debate on Tuesday 6 March 2012. Under the system for allocating Adjournment Debates, the selection lay with the UUP.

The following topic was proposed and selected:

  • ‘Plans for Parkgate Quarry, County Antrim’ (Mr D Kinahan).


5.8       The Junior Ministers advised about Ministerial availability.

6.         Any Other Business  

6.1       The Speaker referred members to a letter from the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development requesting an exchange of her Question Time slot on 12 March with the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister on 20 March. Members approved the exchange.

7.         Date and Time of next meeting

7.1       Members agreed to meet at approximately 12.30pm on Tuesday 28 February 2012 in Room 106.

The Speaker brought the meeting to a close at 12.43.

Mr William Hay

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