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Minutes of Proceedings

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 11 October 2021

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

1. Prayers

Members observed two minutes' silence.

2. Speaker's Business

James Brokenshire

The Speaker put on record the Assembly's condolences on the passing of the Rt Hon James Brokenshire.

Member Resignation

The Speaker informed Members that he had received a letter of resignation from Mrs Arlene Foster as a Member of the Assembly for the Fermanagh and South Tyrone constituency with effect from 6.00pm on 6 October 2021. The Speaker advised that he had notified the Chief Electoral Officer, in accordance with Section 35 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

New Member

The Speaker informed Members of notification from the Chief Electoral Officer that Mrs Deborah Erskine had been returned as a Member for the Fermanagh and South Tyrone constituency.

Mrs Erskine gave the undertaking, signed the Roll of Membership and entered her designation in the presence of the Speaker and the Clerk/Chief Executive at 11.00am this morning.

Minister for Communities

The Speaker informed Members of correspondence from the Minister for Communities indicating that, owing to illness, she was unable to attend the Chamber to take forward her Department's business today. The Speaker also conveyed the Minister's apologies to the Assembly and advised that the Business Committee would be asked to reschedule questions to the Minister for Communities when it next meets.

3. Members' Statements

Under Standing Order 24A, the following Members made a statement to the Assembly;

Ms Ciara Ferguson

Mr Christopher Stalford

Ms Nichola Mallon

Ms Kellie Armstrong

Mr Philip McGuigan

Mrs Pam Cameron

Mr Thomas Buchanan

Mr Matthew O'Toole

Ms Paula Bradshaw

Mr Gerry Carroll

Ms Jemma Dolan

Mr Paul Frew

The Principal Deputy Speaker took the Chair.

4. Ministerial Statement

4.1 North South Ministerial Council Plenary

The deputy First Minister, Mrs Michelle O'Neill, made a statement regarding the recent North South Ministerial Council Plenary meeting, following which she replied to questions.

5. Private Members' Business

5.1 First Stage: Period Products (Free Provision) Bill (NIA Bill 39/17-22)

Mr Pat Catney introduced a bill to secure the provision throughout Northern Ireland of free period products; and for connected purposes.

The Period Products (Free Provision) Bill (NIA Bill 39/17-22) passed First Stage and was ordered to be printed.

5.2 Motion: The Arts and Creative Industries

Proposed:

That this Assembly acknowledges the importance of the arts and creative industries sectors, both to life in Northern Ireland and to our local economy; recognises that an estimated 8,000 people are employed within the arts and creative industries sectors, many of whom are self-employed; further recognises the pressure that has been felt by the sectors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; and calls on the Minister for Communities to work in collaboration with other Executive Ministers to deliver a ten-year strategy for the arts and creative industries, which sets out cross-cutting priorities, develops excellence and delivers long-term allocation of funding.

Mr Mike Nesbitt
Mr John Stewart

Amendment:

Proposed:

Insert after 'priorities,':

'recognises explicitly the existence of regional inequalities in relation to funding allocations from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and addresses existing regional disparity as an aim in the strategy,'

Mr Mark Durkan
Mr Daniel McCrossan

Debate ensued.

The debate stood 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, Mr Paul Givan. The junior Minister, Mr Gary Middleton, also answered a number of questions.

6.2 Communities

As announced by the Speaker, this item of Business did not take place.

The Deputy Speaker, Mr Beggs, took the Chair.

7. Private Members' Business (cont'd)

7.1 Motion: The Arts and Creative Industries (cont'd)

Debate resumed.

The Question being put, the amendment was made.

The Question being put, the motion as amended, was carried.

The Speaker took the Chair.

7.2 Motion: Labour Shortages

Proposed:

That this Assembly notes with concern the impact that labour shortages are having in the agri-food and haulage sectors locally and in Britain; acknowledges that these sectors relied on EU labour; recognises that these labour shortages are a direct consequence of Brexit and the end to freedom of movement for EU workers; believes that the British Government needs to act urgently to address labour shortages and enable EU citizens to come here to work and live; and calls on the Minister for the Economy to make clear to the British Government the significant impact labour shortages are having on the local economy and the need to rectify the situation.

Dr Caoimhe Archibald
Mr Declan McAleer
Ms Áine Murphy
Ms Jemma Dolan

The Question being put, the motion was carried (Division).

8. Adjournment

Proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

The Speaker

The Assembly adjourned at 5.27pm.

Mr Alex Maskey
The Speaker
11 October 2021

Northern Ireland Assembly

11 October 2021 - Division

Motion: Labour Shortages

Proposed:

That this Assembly notes with concern the impact that labour shortages are having in the agri-food and haulage sectors locally and in Britain; acknowledges that these sectors relied on EU labour; recognises that these labour shortages are a direct consequence of Brexit and the end to freedom of movement for EU workers; believes that the British Government needs to act urgently to address labour shortages and enable EU citizens to come here to work and live; and calls on the Minister for the Economy to make clear to the British Government the significant impact labour shortages are having on the local economy and the need to rectify the situation.

Dr Caoimhe Archibald
Mr Declan McAleer
Ms Áine Murphy
Ms Jemma Dolan

The Question was put and the Assembly divided.

Ayes: 48
Noes: 37

AYES

Dr Archibald, Ms Armstrong, Ms Bailey, Mr Blair, Mr Boylan, Ms S Bradley, Ms Bradshaw, Ms Brogan, Mr Carroll, Mr Catney, Mr Delargy, Mr Dickson, Ms Dillon, Ms Dolan, Mr Durkan, Ms Ennis, Ms Ferguson, Ms Flynn, Mr Gildernew, Ms Hargey, Ms Hunter, Mr Kearney, Mrs D Kelly, Mr G Kelly, Ms Kimmins, Mrs Long, Mr Lyttle, Mr McAleer, Mr McCann, Mr McCrossan, Mr McGlone, Mr McGrath, Mr McGuigan, Mr McHugh, Ms McLaughlin, Mr McNulty, Ms Mallon, Mr Muir, Ms Á Murphy, Mr C Murphy, Ms Ní Chuilín, Mr O'Dowd, Mrs O'Neill, Mr O'Toole, Ms Rogan, Mr Sheehan, Ms Sheerin, Miss Woods.

Tellers for the Ayes: Mr Delargy, Ms Kimmins.

NOES

Dr Aiken, Mr Allen, Mr Allister, Mrs Barton, Mr M Bradley, Ms P Bradley, Mr K Buchanan, Mr T Buchanan, Mr Buckley, Ms Bunting, Mr Butler, Mrs Cameron, Mr Chambers, Mr Clarke, Mrs Dodds, Mr Dunne, Mr Easton, Mrs Erskine, Mr Frew, Mr Givan, Mr Harvey, Mr Hilditch, Mr Humphrey, Mr Irwin, Mr Lyons, Miss McIlveen, Mr Middleton, Mr Nesbitt, Mr Newton, Mr Poots, Mr Robinson, Mr Stalford, Mr Stewart, Mr Storey, Mr Swann, Mr Weir, Mr Wells.

Tellers for the Noes: Mr K Buchanan, Mr Clarke.

The motion was carried.

The following Members' votes were cast by their notified proxy in this division:

Mr Lyttle voted for Ms Armstrong, Ms Bradshaw, Mr Blair, Mr Dickson, Mrs Long and Mr Muir.

Mr Clarke voted for Mr M Bradley, Ms P Bradley, Mr K Buchanan [Teller, Noes], Mr T Buchanan, Mr Buckley, Ms Bunting, Mrs Cameron, Mrs Dodds, Mr Dunne, Mr Easton, Mr Frew, Mr Givan, Mr Harvey, Mr Hilditch, Mr Humphrey, Mr Irwin, Mr Lyons, Mr Middleton, Miss McIlveen, Mr Newton, Mr Poots, Mr Robinson, Mr Stalford, Mr Storey, Mr Weir and Mr Wells.

Mr Butler voted for Mr Aiken, Mr Allen, Mrs Barton, Mr Chambers, Mr Nesbitt, Mr Stewart and Mr Swann.

Mr O'Dowd voted for Dr Archibald, Mr Boylan, Ms Brogan, Mr Delargy [Teller, Ayes], Ms Dillon, Ms Dolan, Ms Ennis, Ms Ferguson, Ms Flynn, Mr Gildernew, Ms Hargey, Mr Kearney, Mr G Kelly, Ms Kimmins [Teller, Ayes], Mr McAleer, Mr McCann, Mr McGuigan, Mr McHugh, Ms A Murphy, Mr C Murphy, Ms Ní Chuilín, Mrs O'Neill, Ms Rogan, Mr Sheehan and Ms Sheerin.

Mr O'Toole voted for Ms Bradley, Mr Catney, Mr Durkan, Ms Hunter, Mrs Kelly, Ms Mallon, Mr McCrossan, Mr McGlone, Mr McGrath, Ms McLaughlin and Mr McNulty.

Northern Ireland Assembly

Papers Presented to the Assembly on 6 October 2021 to 11 October 2021.

1. Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly

2. Bills of the Northern Ireland Assembly

Period Products (Free Provision) Bill (NIA Bill 39/17-22)

3. Orders in Council

4. Publications Laid in the Northern Ireland Assembly

5. Assembly Reports

Report on the Legislative Consent Motion on the Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill (NIA 126/17-22) (Committee for Finance)

6. Statutory Rules

SR 2021/281 The Social Security (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department for Communities)

SR 2021/282 The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel, Operator Liability and Information to Passengers) (Amendment No. 8) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department of Health)

SR 2021/283 The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Amendment No. 17) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department of Health)

7. Written Ministerial Statements

Executive RHI Inquiry Report (Minister of Finance)

Muckamore Abbey Public Inquiry (Minister of Health)

Decisions of the Executive on COVID-19, 7 October 2021 (First Minister and deputy First Minister)

8. Consultation Documents

Consultation on the draft Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2022 (Department for Communities)

Consultation Proposals for Amendment of Technical Booklet Guidance to Part F (Conservation of Fuel and Power) (Department of Finance)

9. Departmental Publications

10. Agency Publications

11. Westminster Publications

12. Miscellaneous Publications

PROXY VOTING NOTICES – MONDAY 11 OCTOBER 2021

The following Members notified the Speaker, under Standing Order 112, that they wished to avail of proxy voting arrangements for the sitting on Monday 11 October 2021:

Steve Aiken

Cara Hunter

Andy Allen

William Irwin

Caoimhe   Archibald

Declan   Kearney

Kellie   Armstrong

Dolores Kelly

Rosemary   Barton

Gerry Kelly

Roy Beggs

Liz Kimmins

John Blair

Naomi Long

Cathal Boylan

Gordon Lyons

Maurice   Bradley

Nichola   Mallon

Paula Bradley

Declan   McAleer

Sinead   Bradley

Fra McCann

Paula   Bradshaw

Daniel   McCrossan

Nicola Brogan

Patsy McGlone

Keith   Buchanan

Colin McGrath

Thomas   Buchanan

Philip   McGuigan

Jonathan   Buckley

Maolíosa   McHugh

Joanne   Bunting

Michelle   McIlveen

Pam Cameron

Sinead   McLaughlin

Pat Catney

Justin   McNulty

Alan Chambers

Gary   Middleton

Pádraig   Delargy

Andrew Muir

Stewart   Dickson

Áine Murphy

Linda Dillon

Conor Murphy

Diane Dodds

Mike Nesbitt

Jemma Dolan

Robin Newton

Stephen Dunne

Carál Ní   Chuilín

Mark Durkan

Michelle   O’Neill

Alex Easton

Edwin Poots

Sinead Ennis

George   Robinson

Ciara   Ferguson

Emma Rogan

Órlaithí   Flynn

Pat Sheehan

Paul Frew

Emma Sheerin

Colm   Gildernew

Christopher   Stalford

Paul Givan

John Stewart

Deirdre   Hargey

Mervyn Storey

Harry Harvey

Robin Swann

David Hilditch

Peter Weir

William   Humphrey

Jim Wells

 

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