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Minutes of Proceedings

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 02 March 2020

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

1.   Prayers

Members observed two minutes’ silence.

2.   Executive Committee Business

2.1     Statement – Inter-Ministerial Group

The Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Mr Edwin Poots, made a statement regarding the Inter-Ministerial Group, following which he replied to questions.

Deputy Speaker McGlone took the Chair.

2.2     Statement – Afforestation Programme

The Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Mr Edwin Poots, made a statement regarding the Afforestation Programme, following which he replied to questions.

2.3     Consideration Stage: Budget Bill (NIA Bill 02/17-22)

The Minister of Finance, Mr Conor Murphy, moved the Consideration Stage of the Budget Bill (NIA Bill 2/17-22).

No amendments were tabled to the Bill.

Clauses

The question being put, it was agreed without division that Clauses 1 to 8 stand part of the Bill.

Schedules

The question being put, it was agreed without division that Schedules 1 to 4 stand part of the Bill.

Long Title

The question being put, the Long Title was agreed without division.

 The Budget Bill NIA 02/17-22 stood referred to the Speaker.
    

2.4     Motion: Legislative Programme

Proposed:

That this Assembly notes the Executive’s Legislative Programme as presented by the First Minister and deputy First Minister in their statement of 11 February 2020.

The Executive Office

The Assembly was suspended for Question Time.

The Speaker took the Chair.

3.   Question Time

3.1     Executive Office

Questions were put to, and answered by, the First Minister, the Rt Hon Arlene Foster.

3.2     Infrastructure

Questions were put to, and answered by, the Minister for Infrastructure, Ms Nichola Mallon.

The Principal Deputy Speaker took the Chair.

4.   Executive Committee Business (cont’d)

4.1     Statement – Novel Coronavirus COVID-19

The Minister of Health, Mr Robin Swann, made a statement regarding the novel Coronavirus COVID-19, following which he replied to questions.

The Speaker took the Chair.

4.2     Motion: Legislative Programme (cont’d)

Debate resumed

The Question being put, the motion was carried.

Deputy Speaker Beggs took the Chair
 

5.   Private Members’ Business

5.1     Motion: Violent Crime

Proposed:

That this Assembly expresses concern about increasing levels of violent crime; recognises that this has been accompanied by a similar rise in alcohol and drug related offences; notes the effect of such crime on victims and on communities across Northern Ireland; further notes that comprehensive legislation protecting victims of domestic violence has yet to be passed; and calls on the Minister of Justice to work collaboratively with the Minister of Health to bring forward an action plan and a resourced implementation plan to reduce violent offending and the risk of reoffending.

Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Patsy McGlone
Mr Colin McGrath

Amendment 1

Proposed:

Leave out all after ‘crime’ and insert:

‘highlights that in 2018-19 violence against the person accounted for more than one third of all recorded crime in Northern Ireland; notes with concern the assessment by the Police Service of Northern Ireland that crime against women and children is increasing and the resulting harm becoming more severe; further notes the effect of such crime on victims and on communities across Northern Ireland; regrets that comprehensive legislation protecting victims of domestic violence has yet to be passed; notes that the public consultation on the Sentencing Review Northern Ireland, which sought views specifically on sentencing in respect of deaths by dangerous driving, attacks on elderly people and attacks on blue light services, closed on 3 February 2020; and calls on the Minister of Justice to bring forward legislation for tougher sentencing for violent crimes and to work collaboratively with the Minister of Health and victims’ advocates to introduce an action plan and a resourced implementation plan to reduce violent offending and the risk of reoffending.’

Mr Mervyn Storey
Mr Paul Givan

Amendment 2

Proposed:

Leave out all after ‘collaboratively’ and insert:

‘with Executive Ministers to bring forward an action plan and a resourced implementation plan to reduce violent offending and the risk of reoffending, including by addressing the root causes of offending behaviour such as addiction, mental illness, and poverty.’

Ms Linda Dillon
Ms Martina Anderson
Mr Pat Sheehan

Debate ensued.

The Question being put, Amendment 1 fell (Division).
The Question being put, Amendment 2 was made.
The Question being put, the motion, as amended, was carried without division.

 The Speaker took the Chair.

5.2     Motion: Ongoing Paramilitarism in Northern Ireland

Proposed:

That this Assembly recognises that many communities across Northern Ireland are still living under siege from paramilitary gangs; reiterates its total rejection of those who continue to engage in criminality, intimidation and coercive control; gives its full support to the agencies working to close down criminal networks and activity; and calls on the Minister of Justice to ensure that the Police Service of Northern Ireland and other agencies are properly resourced to allow them to increase their efforts in addressing ongoing paramilitarism.

Mr Doug Beattie
Mr Andy Alan
Mr Alan Chambers


Amendment 1

Proposed:

Leave out all after ‘activity’ and insert:

‘acknowledges that paramilitarism is being used as a cover for profiteering criminal gangs; further recognises that addressing the pervasive influences of poverty, deprivation and lack of opportunity in working class communities across Northern Ireland is critical to releasing the grip of criminals; and calls on the Minister of Justice to introduce Unexplained Wealth Orders to allow the PSNI to disrupt and dismantle these gangs and to work with her Executive colleagues to fully resource the PSNI and other agencies to eradicate the influence of paramilitarism.’

Mr Patsy McGlone
Mrs Dolores Kelly

Debate ensued.

The Question being put, Amendment 1 was made.

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

6.   Adjournment

Proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

The Speaker

The Assembly adjourned at 9.04pm.        

Mr Alex Maskey
The Speaker
2 March 2020

 

Northern Ireland Assembly

2 March 2020
Division

Violent Crime (Amendment 1)
Proposed:


Leave out all after ‘crime’ and insert:

‘highlights that in 2018-19 violence against the person accounted for more than one third of all recorded crime in Northern Ireland; notes with concern the assessment by the Police Service of Northern Ireland that crime against women and children is increasing and the resulting harm becoming more severe; further notes the effect of such crime on victims and on communities across Northern Ireland; regrets that comprehensive legislation protecting victims of domestic violence has yet to be passed; notes that the public consultation on the Sentencing Review Northern Ireland, which sought views specifically on sentencing in respect of deaths by dangerous driving, attacks on elderly people and attacks on blue light services, closed on 3 February 2020; and calls on the Minister of Justice to bring forward legislation for tougher sentencing for violent crimes and to work collaboratively with the Minister of Health and victims’ advocates to introduce an action plan and a resourced implementation plan to reduce violent offending and the risk of reoffending.’

Mr Mervyn Storey
Mr Paul Givan


The Question was put and the Assembly divided.

Ayes: 32
Noes: 42

AYES

Mr Allen, Mr Allister, Mr Beattie, Mr M Bradley, Ms P Bradley, Mr K Buchanan, Mr Buckley, Ms Bunting, Mr Butler, Mrs Cameron, Mr Chambers, Mr Clarke, Mr Dunne, Mr Easton, Mrs Foster, Mr Frew, Mr Givan, Mr Harvey, Mr Hilditch, Mr Humphrey, Mr Irwin, Mr Lyons, Miss McIlveen, Mr Middleton, Mr Nesbitt, Mr Newton, Mr Robinson, Mr Stalford, Mr Stewart, Mr Storey, Mr Swann, Mr Weir

Tellers for the Ayes: Mr M Bradley, Mr Robinson.

NOES

Ms Anderson, Dr Archibald, Ms Armstrong, Ms Bailey, Mr Blair, Mr Boylan, Ms S Bradley, Ms Bradshaw, Mr Carroll, Mr Catney, Ms Dillon, Ms Dolan, Mr Durkan, Ms Ennis, Ms Flynn, Mr Gildernew, Ms Hargey, Mr Kearney, Ms C Kelly, Mrs D Kelly, Mr G Kelly, Ms Kimmins, Mrs Long, Mr Lynch, Mr Lyttle, Mr McAleer, Mr McCann, Mr McGlone, Mr McGrath, Mr McGuigan, Mr McHugh, Mr McNulty, Mr Muir, Ms Mullan, Mr Murphy, Ms Ní Chuilín, Mr O'Dowd, Mrs O'Neill, Mr O'Toole, Ms Rogan, Mr Sheehan, Ms Sheerin.

Tellers for the Noes: Ms Dillon, Mr McGrath

Amendment 1 fell.

Northern Ireland Assembly

Papers Presented to the Assembly on
26 February 2020 – 2 March 2020

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

Autism Strategy 2013-2020 - Second Progress Report 2018 (Department of Health)

Agriculture Bill – Legislative Consent Memorandum (Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs)

5. Assembly Reports

6. Statutory Rules

SR 2020/23 - The Public Health Notifiable Diseases Order (Northern Ireland) 2020 (Department of Health)

7. Written Ministerial Statements

The Minister of Health – Response to the Emergence of Coronavirus (2019 NCoV) – Update 26 February 2020

The Minister for Infrastructure – Vehicle Testing Services Update

The Minister of Health – Response to the Emergence of Coronavirus (2019 NCoV) – Update 28 February 2020

8. Consultation Documents

9. Departmental Publications

Executive Sub-Committee – EU Exit – Terms of Reference (The Executive Office)

10. Agency Publications

11. Westminster Publications

12. Miscellaneous Publications

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