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Minutes of Proceedings

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 03 February 2020

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

1. Prayers

Members observed two minutes' silence.

2. Speaker's Business

2.1 Private Members' Bills

The Speaker outlined the procedures, protocols and timescales associated with the process that will enable Members' to bring forward legislation in the form of a Bill during this mandate of the Assembly.

3. Matter of the Day

3.1 EU Withdrawal

Mr John O'Dowd made a statement, under Standing Order 24, in relation to the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union on 31 January 2020. Other Members were also called to speak on the matter.

4. Assembly Business

4.1 Motion: Nomination of the Acting Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman

Proposed:

That this Assembly, in accordance with paragraph 12(2) of Schedule 1 to the Public Services Ombudsman Act (Northern Ireland) 2016, nominates Paul McFadden for appointment as the Acting Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman.

Mr John Blair
Mr Keith Buchanan
Mr Robbie Butler
Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr John O'Dowd

The Question being put, the Motion was carried.

5. Private Members' Business

5.1 First Stage: Functioning of Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill

Mr Jim Allister introduced a Bill to amend sections 7 and 8 of the Civil Service (Special Advisers) Act (Northern Ireland) 2013 and article 3 of the Civil Service Commissioners (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 in relation to special advisers in the Northern Ireland Civil Service, repeal the Civil Service Commissioners (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2016, amend section 17 of the Assembly Members (Independent Financial Review and Standards) Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 and to make additional provision for the functioning of government in Northern Ireland and connected purposes.

The Functioning of Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill (NIA 01/17-22) passed First Stage and was ordered to be printed.

The Principal Deputy Speaker took the Chair

5.2 Motion: Autism Training in Schools

Proposed:

That this Assembly recognises the specific needs of pupils with autism in our schools; values and supports the role of all educators in ensuring pupils with autism have the best educational outcomes; and calls on the Minister of Education to explore the introduction of mandatory autism training for all teachers and classroom assistants.

Mrs Pam Cameron
Mr David Hilditch

Amendment 1

Proposed:

Leave out all after 'Education' and insert:

'to introduce mandatory autism training for all trainee teachers, teachers and classroom assistants.'

Miss Rachel Woods
Mr Chris Lyttle

Amendment 2

Proposed:

At end insert:

', and for teacher training colleges to introduce a compulsory module which includes this training during the Postgraduate Graduate Certificate in Education.'

Ms Karen Mullan
Ms Catherine Kelly

Debate ensued.

The debate was suspended for Question Time.

The Speaker took the Chair.

6. Question Time

6.1 The Executive Office

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

The Deputy Speaker (Mr McGlone) took the Chair.

6.2 Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs

Questions were put to, and answered by, the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Mr Edwin Poots.

The Speaker took the Chair.

6.3 Communities

Questions were put to, and answered by, the Minister for Communities, Ms Deirdre Hargey.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr McGlone) took the Chair.

6.4 Economy

Questions were put to, and answered by, the Minister for the Economy, Mrs Diane Dodds.

The Principal Deputy Speaker took the Chair.

7. Private Members' Business (cont'd)

7.1 Motion: Autism Training in Schools (cont'd)

Debate resumed.

The Question being put, Amendment 1 was made.

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

The Deputy Speaker (Mr Beggs) took the Chair.

8. Assembly Business

8.1 Extension of Sitting on Monday 3 February 2020 under Standing Order 10(3A)

Proposed:

That, in accordance with Standing Order 10(3A), the sitting on Monday 3 February 2020 be extended to no later than 9pm.

Mr Keith Buchanan
Mr John O'Dowd
Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Robbie Butler
Ms Kellie Armstrong
Ms Clare Bailey

The Question being put, the Motion was carried.

9. Private Members' Business (cont'd)

9.1 Motion: Climate Emergency

Proposed:

That this Assembly recognises that we are facing climate breakdown and a biodiversity crisis which are impacting here and now, and will affect all aspects of our lives in coming years; declares a climate emergency; and calls upon the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the Minister for the Economy to implement urgently the commitments as agreed in the New Decade, New Approach agreement to include reviewing the Executive's strategies to reduce carbon emissions in respect of the Paris Accord and the need to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures by 2100; developing a new energy strategy which will set ambitious targets and actions for a fair and just transition to a zero carbon society; bringing forward a climate change act to give environmental targets a strong legal underpinning; establishing an Independent Environmental Protection Agency to oversee this work and ensure targets are met; developing an economic strategy which will support clean and inclusive growth and create jobs as part of a green new deal; creating a plan to eliminate plastic pollution; and closing down the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme and replacing it with a scheme that cuts carbon emissions effectively.

Dr Caoimhe Archibald
Mr Philip McGuigan
Mr Declan McAleer

Amendment 1

Proposed:

Leave out all after 'crisis' and insert:

'declares a climate emergency; and calls on the Executive to fulfil the climate action and environmental commitments agreed in the New Decade, New Approach agreement by commencing, as a matter of urgency, a review of the Executive's strategies to reduce carbon emissions in respect of the Paris Accord and the need to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures by 2100 and to ensure that targets are met; and further calls upon the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to begin immediately work to establish an Independent Environmental Protection Agency based on models of best practice, that will be appointed within 12 months.'

Dr Caoimhe Archibald
Miss Rachel Woods

Amendment 2

Proposed:

Leave out all after 'years' and insert:

'notes that the New Decade New Approach paper was tabled by HM Government, in conjunction, where relevant, with the Government of the Republic of Ireland and contained within Appendix 2, a possible outline of a Programme for Government which listed a number of potential measures on the subject of climate change but which have not been agreed as a final Programme of Government by the parties within the Executive; and calls on the Executive to use an evidence based approach, to balance the demands of our growing population whilst ensuring the protection of our natural resources for future generations, as they work to construct a final Programme for Government.'

Mr William Irwin
Mr Gary Middleton

Debate ensued.

The Question being put, Amendment 1 was made (Division 1).

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

10. Adjournment

Proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

The Speaker

The Assembly adjourned at 7.40pm.

Mr Alex Maskey
The Speaker

3 February 2020

 

Northern Ireland Assembly

3 February 2020
Division 1

Climate Emergency (Amendment 1)

Proposed:

Leave out all after 'crisis' and insert:

'declares a climate emergency; and calls on the Executive to fulfil the climate action and environmental commitments agreed in the New Decade, New Approach agreement by commencing, as a matter of urgency, a review of the Executive's strategies to reduce carbon emissions in respect of the Paris Accord and the need to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures by 2100 and to ensure that targets are met; and further calls upon the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to begin immediately work to establish an Independent Environmental Protection Agency based on models of best practice, that will be appointed within 12 months.'

Dr Caoimhe Archibald
Miss Rachel Woods

The Question was put and the Assembly divided.

Ayes: 48
Noes: 27

AYES

Dr Aiken, Dr Archibald, Ms Armstrong, Ms Bailey, Mrs Barton, Mr Beattie, Mr Blair, Mr Boylan, Ms S Bradley, Mr Butler, Mr Carroll, Mr Catney, Mr Chambers, 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, Ms McLaughlin, Ms Mallon, Mr Muir, Ms Mullan, Mr Murphy, Mr Nesbitt, Ms Ní Chuilín, Mr O'Dowd, Mrs O'Neill, Mr O'Toole, Mr Sheehan, Ms Sheerin, Mr Stewart, Miss Woods.

Tellers for the Ayes: Dr Archibald, Miss Woods.

NOES

Mr Allister, Mr M Bradley, Ms P Bradley, Mr K Buchanan, Mr T Buchanan, Mr Buckley, Ms Bunting, Mrs Cameron, Mr Clarke, Mrs Dodds, 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 Newton, Mr Poots, Mr Robinson, Mr Stalford, Mr Storey.

Tellers for the Noes: Mr M Bradley, Mr Robinson

The Amendment 1 was made.

Northern Ireland Assembly

Papers Presented to the Assembly on
28 January 2020 – 3 February 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

Annual Report on the Social Fund 2018/19 (Department for Communities).

5. Assembly Reports

6. Statutory Rules

SR 2020/16 The Food Safety (Information and Compositional Requirements) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (Department of Health).

SR 2020/17 The Mental Capacity (Research) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (Department of Health).

7. Written Ministerial Statements

Minister of Health - Response to the Emergence of Coronavirus (2019 NCoV) – 29 Jan Update.

Minister of Health - Response to the Emergence of Coronavirus (2019 NCoV) – 3 Feb Update.

8. Consultation Documents

Draft Update to Nutritional Standards for School Food January 2020 (Department of Education).

9. Departmental Publications

10. Agency Publications

11. Westminster Publications

12. Miscellaneous Publications

  

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