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Minutes of Proceedings

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 19 October 2021

The Assembly met at 10.30am, the Speaker in the Chair.

1. Prayers

Members observed two minutes' silence.

2. Speaker's Business

Member Resignation

The Speaker informed Members that he had received a letter of resignation from Mr Fra McCann as a Member of the Assembly for the West Belfast constituency with effect from 9.00am on 19 October 2021.

New Member

The Speaker informed Members he had received notification from the Chief Electoral Officer that Miss Aisling Reilly had been returned as a Member of the Assembly for the West Belfast constituency.

Miss Reilly gave the undertaking, signed the Roll of Membership and entered her designation in the presence of the Speaker and the Clerk/Chief Executive this morning.

3. Matter of the Day

3.1 Death of Dennis Hutchings

Mr Doug Beattie, under Standing Order 24, made a statement on the Death of Dennis Hutchings. Other Members were also called to speak on the matter.

3.2 Waiting Times for Children's Red Flag Cancer Referrals

Mr Colin McGrath, under Standing Order 24, made a statement on Waiting Times for Children's Red Flag Cancer Referrals. Other Members were also called to speak on the matter.

4. Ministerial Statement

4.1 Autumn / Winter Contingency Plan

The First Minister, Mr Paul Givan, made a statement regarding the Autumn / Winter Contingency Plan, following which he replied to questions.

5. Committee Business

5.1 Motion: Extension of Committee Stage – Defamation Bill (NIA Bill 25/17-22)

Proposed:

That, in accordance with Standing Order 33(4), the period referred to in Standing Order 33(2) be extended to 28 January 2022, in relation to the Committee Stage of the Defamation Bill.

Chairperson, Committee for Finance

Debate ensued.

The Deputy Speaker, Mr Beggs, took the Chair.

The Question being put, the motion was carried.

5.2 Motion: Extension of Committee Stage – Private Tenancies Bill (NIA Bill 32/17-22)

Proposed:

That, in accordance with Standing Order 33(4), the period referred to in Standing Order 33(2) be extended to 14 January 2022, in relation to the Committee Stage of the Private Tenancies Bill.

Chairperson, Committee for Communities

Debate ensued.

The Question being put, the motion was carried.

5.3 Motion: Extension of Committee Stage – Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Amendment) Bill (NIA Bill 36/17-22)

Proposed:

That, in accordance with Standing Order 33(4), the period referred to in Standing Order 33(2) be extended to 28 January 2022, in relation to the Committee Stage of the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Amendment) Bill.

Chairperson, Committee for Communities

Debate ensued.

The Question being put, the motion was carried.

5.4 Motion: Extension of Committee Stage - Justice (Sexual Offences and Trafficking Victims) Bill (NIA Bill 29/17-22)

Proposed:

That, in accordance with Standing Order 33(4), the period referred to in Standing Order 33(2) be extended to 28 January 2022, in relation to the Committee Stage of the Justice (Sexual Offences and Trafficking Victims) Bill.

Chairperson, Committee for Justice

Debate ensued.

The Question being put, the motion was carried.

6. Private Members' Business

6.1 First Stage: Domestic Abuse (Safe Leave) Bill (NIA Bill 41/17-22)

Miss Rachel Woods introduced a Bill to make provision for an entitlement to paid safe leave for victims of domestic abuse; and for connected purposes.

The Domestic Abuse (Safe Leave) Bill (NIA Bill 41/17-22) passed First Stage and was ordered to be printed.

6.2 Motion: Stability of Institutions and Referral to the Assembly and Executive Review
Committee

Proposed:

That this Assembly affirms the importance of the stability of these institutions in order to deliver for the people of Northern Ireland; refers to the Assembly and Executive Review Committee under Standing Order 59(3)(b) consideration of the matter of replacing the current cross-community voting system, which is based on community designations, with a weighted majority system free from designations, to be used in place of cross-community voting in the circumstances specified in the Northern Ireland Act 1998 or when a reformed Petition of Concern is invoked; and agrees that the Committee should report on the outcome of this consideration to the Assembly before the end of this mandate.

Ms Kellie Armstrong
Mr Andrew Muir
Ms Paula Bradshaw
Mr Chris Lyttle

Amendment 1

Proposed:

Leave out all after the 'Northern Ireland;' and insert:

'recognises the growing numbers of people in our community who do not primarily identify as unionist or nationalist; acknowledges that the votes of those they elect are not currently treated equally within these institutions; further acknowledges that the system of designations perpetuates division, inequality, and instability; welcomes work initiated by the Assembly and Executive Review Committee to consider of the matter of replacing the current cross-community voting system, which is based on community designations, with a weighted majority system free from designations, to be used in place of cross-community voting in the circumstances specified in the Northern Ireland Act 1998 or when a reformed Petition of Concern is invoked; calls on the Committee to report on the outcome of this consideration to the Assembly before the end of this mandate; and further calls on the UK Government to legislate to make provision for such alternative arrangements at the earliest opportunity.'

Ms Kellie Armstrong
Mr Andrew Muir
Mr John Blair

Amendment 2

Proposed:

Leave out all after 'Northern Ireland;' and insert:

'notes the strong case for reviewing and supplementing designation-related voting, elections and appointments in the Northern Ireland Assembly with additional measures commensurate with wide community support; refers to the Assembly and Executive Review Committee under Standing Order 59(3)(b) consideration of additional voting procedures which maintain the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement while establishing options for weighted majority voting beyond designations; further refers for consideration the restoration of joint election of the First Minister and deputy First Minister in line with the Good Friday Agreement; and agrees that the Committee should report on the outcome of this consideration to the Assembly before the end of this mandate.'

Mr Colin McGrath
Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Mark Durkan

Debate ensued.

The sitting was suspended at 12.59pm.

The sitting resumed at 2.00pm, with the Speaker in the Chair.

7. Question Time

7.1 Health

Questions were put to, and answered by, the Minister of Health, Mr Robin Swann.

The Deputy Speaker, Mr Beggs, took the Chair.

7.2 Communities

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

8. Private Members' Business (cont'd)

8.1 Motion: Stability of Institutions and Referral to the Assembly and Executive Review Committee (cont'd)

Debate resumed.

The Speaker took the Chair.

The Question being put, amendment 1 was made.

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

8.2 Motion: Impact of Department for Infrastructure Planning Guidance on Rural Communities

Proposed:

That this Assembly acknowledges that the planning system must be sustainable while also working for our rural communities; notes with concern the recent publication by the Department for Infrastructure of Planning Advice Note: Implementation of Strategic Planning Policy on Development in the Countryside; further notes the concerns expressed by the Ulster Farmers' Union regarding the new planning guidance; recognises that the new guidance could have a significant negative impact for many people hoping to live in the countryside; and calls on the Minister for Infrastructure to withdraw, immediately, the Planning Advice Note and to engage meaningfully with local councils regarding the very real concerns of people in our rural communities.

Ms Emma Sheerin
Ms Linda Dillon
Mr Philip McGuigan
Mr Declan McAleer

Debate ensued.

The Deputy Speaker, Mr McGlone, took the Chair.

The Question being put, the motion was carried.

The Speaker took the Chair.

9. Adjournment

Proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

The Speaker

Ms Joanne Bunting spoke to her topic regarding Social Housing Need in East Belfast.

The Assembly adjourned at 6.33pm.

 

Mr Alex Maskey
The Speaker
19 October 2021

 

Northern Ireland Assembly

Papers Presented to the Assembly on 19 October 2021

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

Continuous Improvement Arrangements in Policing (Northern Ireland Audit Office)

5. Assembly Reports

6. Statutory Rules

7. Written Ministerial Statements

8. Consultation Documents

9. Departmental Publications

10. Agency Publications

Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council for Nursing and Midwifery Annual Report and Accounts 2020/21 (Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council for Nursing and Midwifery)

11. Westminster Publications

12. Miscellaneous Publications

Northern Ireland Assembly Legislation:

Stages in Consideration of Public Bills

First Stage: Introduction of Bill.

Second Stage: General debate of the Bill with an opportunity for Members to vote on its general principles.

Committee Stage (Comm. Stage): Detailed investigation by a Committee which concludes with the publication of a report for consideration by the Assembly.

Consideration Stage (CS): Consideration by the Assembly of, and an opportunity for Members to vote on, the details of the Bill including amendments proposed to the Bill.

Further Consideration Stage (FCS): Consideration by the Assembly of, and an opportunity for Members to vote on, further amendments to the Bill.

Final Stage: Passing or rejecting of Bill by the Assembly, without further amendment.

Royal Assent.

Proceedings as 19 October 2021

2017-2022 Mandate
Executive Bills           

  

Title &
   NIA Bill Number

  
  

First
   Stage

  
  

Second Stage

  
  

Comm. Stage to Conclude

  
  

Report Ordered to be Printed

  
  

CS

  
  

FCS

  
  

Final Stage

  
  

Royal Assent

  

Budget   Bill (NIA Bill 02/17-22)

24/02/20

25/02/20

/

/

02/03/20

03/03/20

09/03/20

26/03/20

Domestic   Abuse and Civil Proceedings Bill (NIA Bill 03/17-22)

31/03/20

28/04/20

15/10/20

15/10/20

17/11/20

15/12/20

18/01/21

01/03/21

Private   Tenancies (Coronavirus Modifications) Bill (NIA Bill 04/17-22)

21/04/20

21/04/20

/

/

28/04/20

/

28/04/20

04/05/20

Budget   (No. 2) Bill (NIA Bill 05/17-22)

26/05/20

26/05/20

/

/

01/06/20

02/06/20

02/06/20

17/06/20

Housing   Amendment Bill (NIA Bill 06/17-22)

26/05/20

01/06/20

/

/

16/06/20

23/06/20

30/06/20

28/08/20

Pension   Schemes Bill (NIA Bill 07/17-22)

23/06/20

07/07/20

29/01/21

19/11/20

04/05/21

17/05/21

01/06/21

09/08/21

Executive   Committee (Functions) Bill (NIA Bill 08/17-22)

06/07/20

06/07/20

/

/

21/07/20

27/07/20

28/07/20

25/08/20

Budget   (No. 3) Bill

(NIA   Bill 09/17-22)

19/10/20

20/10/20

/

/

02/11/20

09/11/20

10/11/20

25/11/20

The   Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Bill

(NIA   Bill 10/17-22)

19/10/20

03/11/20

15/05/21

13/05/21

08/06/21

21/06/21

29/06/21

26/08/21

The   Criminal Justice (Committal Reform) Bill (NIA Bill 11/17-22)

03/11/20

16/11/20

11/06/21

 

 

 

 

 

The   Harbours (Grants and Loans Limit) Bill (NIA Bill 12/17-22)

23/11/20

01/12/20

/

/

14/12/20

19/01/21

25/01/21

01/03/21

Protection from Stalking Bill (NIA Bill   14/17-22)

18/01/20

08/02/21

10/12/21

 

 

 

 

 

The Damages (Return on Investment) Bill (NIA   Bill 16/17-22)

01/03/21

09/03/21

28/10/21

 

 

 

 

 

Budget Bill (NIA Bill 17/17-22)

01/03/21

02/03/21

/

/

08/03/21

09/03/21

09/03/21

23/03/21

Health and Social Care Bill (NIA Bill   18/17/22)


  08/03/21

 

16/03/21

01/10/21

30/09/21

 

 

 

 

Horse Racing (Amendment) Bill (NIA Bill   20/17-22)

13/04/21

26/04/21

28/01/22

14/10/21

 

 

 

 

The Financial Reporting (Departments and   Public Bodies) Bill (NIA Bill 21/17-22)

01/06/21

14/06/21

17/12/21

 

 

 

 

 

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill   (NIA Bill 22/17-22)

01/06/21

14/06/21

15/11/21

 

 

 

 

 

Budget (No.2) Bill (NIA Bill 24/17-22)

07/06/21

08/06/21

/

/

14/06/21

21/06/21

22/06/21

04/08/21

Local Government (Meetings and Performance)   Bill (NIA Bill 26/17-22)

14/06/21

22/06/21

/

/

28/06/21

05/07/21

06/07/21

26/08/21

Charities Bill (NIA Bill 27/17-22)

21/06/21

29/06/21

10/12/21

 

 

 

 

 

Climate Change (No. 2) Bill (NIA Bill   28/17-22)

05/07/21

27/09/21

15/11/21

 

 

 

 

 

Justice (Sexual Offences and Trafficking   Victims)  Bill (NIA Bill 29/17-22)

05/07/21

13/09/21

28/01/22

 

 

 

 

 

Organ and Tissue (Deemed Consent) Bill (NIA   Bill 30/17-22)

05/07/21

20/09/21

08/11/21

 

 

 

 

 

Private Tenancies Bill (NIA Bill 32/17-22)

06/07/21

13/09/21

14/01/22

 

 

 

 

 

Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements   (Amendment) Bill (NIA Bill 36/17-22)

14/09/21

27/09/21

28/01/22

 

 

 

 

 

Adoption and Children Bill (NIA Bill 37/17-22)

20/09/21

05/10/21

23/11/21

 

 

 

 

 

2017-2022 Mandate
Non-Executive Bills          

  

Title &
   NIA Bill Number

  
  

First
   Stage

  
  

Second Stage

  
  

Comm. Stage to Conclude

  
  

Report Ordered to be Printed

  
  

CS

  
  

FCS

  
  

Final Stage

  
  

Royal Assent

  

Functioning   of Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill (NIA Bill 01/17-22)

03/02/20

16/03/20

02/12/20

11/11/20

24/11/20

19/01/21

02/02/20

22/03/21

Assembly   Members (Remuneration Board) Bill

(NIA   Bill 13/17-22)

14/12/20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The   Severe Fetal Impairment Abortion (Amendment) Bill

(NIA   Bill 15/17-22)

16/02/21

15/03/21

19/11/21

 

 

 

 

 

Climate   Change Bill (NIA Bill 19/17-22)

22/03/21

10/05/21

17/12/21

 

 

 

 

 

The   Integrated Education Bill (NIA Bill 23/17-22)

01/06/21

06/07/21

24/11/21

 

 

 

 

 

Defamation   Bill (NIA Bill 25/17-22)

07/06/21

14/09/21

28/01/22

 

 

 

 

 

Autism   (Amendment) Bill (NIA Bill 31/17-22)

05/07/21

21/09/21

09/11/21

 

 

 

 

 

Small   Scale Green Energy Bill (NIA Bill 33/17-22)

06/07/21

28/09/21

16/11/21

 

 

 

 

 

Political   Appointments Bill (NIA Bill 34/17-22)

06/07/21

Bill fell at Second   Stage on 21/09/21

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abortion   Services (Safe Access Zones) Bill (NIA Bill 35/17-22)

13/09/21

12/10/21

30/11/21

 

 

 

 

 

Education   (Curriculum) (CPR and AED) Bill (NIA Bill 38/17-22)

04/10/21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

11/10/21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hospital   Parking Charges Bill (NIA Bill 40/17-‘22)

18/10/21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Domestic   Abuse (Safe Leave) Bill

NIA   Bill 41/17-22

19/01/21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/ Bills progressing by accelerated passage

PROXY VOTING NOTICES – TUESDAY 19 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 Tuesday 19 October 2021:

Steve Aiken

William   Humphrey

Andy Allen

Cara Hunter

Caoimhe Archibald

William Irwin

Kellie   Armstrong

Declan   Kearney

Rosemary   Barton

Dolores Kelly

Roy Beggs

Gerry Kelly

John Blair

Liz Kimmins

Cathal Boylan

Naomi Long

Maurice   Bradley

Gordon Lyons

Paula Bradley

Nichola   Mallon

Sinead   Bradley

Declan   McAleer

Paula   Bradshaw

Daniel   McCrossan

Nicola Brogan

Patsy McGlone

Keith   Buchanan

Philip   McGuigan

Thomas   Buchanan

Maolíosa   McHugh

Jonathan   Buckley

Michelle   McIlveen

Pam Cameron

Sinead   McLaughlin

Pat Catney

Justin   McNulty

Alan Chambers

Gary   Middleton

Trevor Clarke

Andrew Muir

Pádraig   Delargy

Áine Murphy

Stewart   Dickson

Conor Murphy

Linda Dillon

Mike Nesbitt

Diane Dodds

Robin Newton

Jemma Dolan

Carál Ní   Chuilín

Stephen Dunne

Michelle   O’Neill

Mark Durkan

Matthew   O’Toole

Alex Easton

Edwin Poots

Sinead Ennis

George   Robinson

Deborah   Erskine

Emma Rogan

Ciara   Ferguson

Pat Sheehan

Órlaithí   Flynn

Emma Sheerin

Paul Frew

Christopher   Stalford

Colm   Gildernew

John Stewart

Paul Givan

Mervyn Storey

Deirdre   Hargey

Clare Sugden

Harry Harvey

Robin Swann

David   Hilditch

Peter Weir

 

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