03/12/2013 Stormont Today


03/12/2013

A political programme focusing on the day's events at the Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive. Mark Carruthers is the guide through the corridors of power at Stormont.


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Welcome to Stormont Today. Coming up on the programme: After an

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international comparison shows our education standards are being

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overtaken, strong words from John O'Dowd The previous results blew the

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myth we were world class education system. Everyone was telling us we

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were. We were standing up saying, no we are not but we can achieve that.

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And how does the Executive plan to get thousands back to work? To

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develop policy initiatives to help those who are long-term sick and or

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persons with disabilities and those with family commitments to reengage

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with the labour market And I'm joined by the political columnist,

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Brian Feeney. We start tonight with the findings of the Smithwick

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tribunal into the murders of RUC officers Harry Breen and Bob

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Buchanan. The report has found there was collusion between Gardai and the

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IRA, which has been described as a damning indictment by the DUP MLA

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Gregory Campbell. He called on the Taoiseach to issue an apology for

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all wrongdoings by previous Dublin governments. The report has been

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long-anticipated and this afternoon in the chamber, the DUP's Paul Givan

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raised the issue even before the findings were published. Members of

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the House will know that the Smithwick tribunal has been carrying

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out an investigation into the potential collusion between the

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Gardai and the IRA in respect of the murder of RUC officers. That report

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and its publication is imminent. I would want to establish the remit of

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this Assembly in being able to consider it and debate it, is that

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something this party would want to do?

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What we will do, is consult with the business office and we will be

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advised by them on the procedural options.

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Joining me to reflect on the pubcation of the Smithwick report is

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the political commentator Brian Feeney. Should we be surprised,

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first of all by the findings? I don't think so. People were

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surprised at the time when the then Chief Constable Sir jok Herman and

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the Gardai Commissioner both poo-pooed the idea that there was a

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mole and it was difficult to believe because this was not an operation

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set up by the IRA on speck. There were a lot of men involved and cars

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involved and they knew which road the two police officers were

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travelling on. It wasn't something done within half an hour. We have

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seen unionists welcoming the report, a statement from Tom Elliot of the

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Ulster Unionist Party. And we had comments from Gregory Campbell no.

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Surprises there, I suppose of the No. I think unionist also try to use

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this to widen the whole area and look at other occasions when there

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were suspicious activity on both sides of the bored other which may

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have been because of Gardai telling the IRA that something was happening

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and they will ask for more inquiries, I should imagine. And

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some of the unionists will be trying to widen it out to the role of the

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Irish government as far back as 1969. What sort of reaction do you

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expect from the nationalist community? I think there will be a

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more guarded response from the nationalist community. I don't

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expect much from Sinn Fein at all. Their relationship with the Gardai

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was very fraught indeed. Afterall they did kill some Gardai and a lot

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of IRA men ended up in jail and the IRA always sought to intimidate gar

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vaghy Road die who lived among the community and didn't have the sword

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of protection that RUC officers had - to intimidate the Gardai who lived

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among the community. Do you think it'll be difficult for

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Sinn Fein to deal with politically. It is a party that made so much of

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alleged collusion between loyalist paramilitaries and authorities in

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the north. It will be difficult and an added difficulty is that the

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judge rejected the testimony of former IRA men who went to the

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tribunal and gave their version of what happened. Not only did he

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reject their testimony but he accepted the testimony of assistant

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Chief Constable Drew Harris who was strongly criticised by counsel for

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the Gardai Commissioner and Smithwick accepted Drew Harris'

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opinions. It is interesting. It was a fairly lengthy tribunal. That is

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he at first thing to say and judge Smithwick scathing about some of the

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evidence that witnesses gave to the tribunal, not least from the former

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gar guy detective Owen Carrigar. -- Gardai. He said it was he lusive,

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vague and inconsistent. It is damning. Union Unionists politicians

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have always pointed the finger at Corrigan and a couple of other

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figures have been named. Another Gardai Colton who was said to have

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inappropriate relations with the IRA but the judge did not name anyone as

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guilty of collusion. He simply said, on the balance of probabitity there

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was collusion and that these two Gardai had inappropriate relations

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with the IRA. Finally and briefly, what are the implications, do you

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think, of the tribunal for the wider, current political debate?

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Haas goes into the final stage next week? Interesting, judge Smithwick

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actually suggested that in future if there was to be any inquiry, there

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should be documents that could be compelled from both jurisdictions

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which is a dig at the fact that the British Government didn't pass stuff

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over on the Dublin Monaghan bombings. Lots more to come on that

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in the next few days. For the moment, thank you very much.

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Education standards here are not world class - but they could be,

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says the Education Minister, John O'Dowd. His comments come after an

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international comparison of 15-year-old pupils showed Northern

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Ireland's school performance slipping down the league tables.

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It's not that we are necessarily getting worse, though, it's that

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other countries have improved their performance. So, should we have

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expected to do better? Martina Purdy has been talking to the Minister.

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Well, we are involved here in a programme of change. That programme

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has to continue. The previous results blew the myth we are a world

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class education system. Everyone was telling us we were. We were standing

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up on our own saying no we are not but we can achieve that. The

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programmes have -- the programmes of change we have been bringing in need

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to continue and it'll show results in years to come. But maths is a

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major problem. The Chief Inspector has said so. What can be done to

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change things? We've identified through our own Chief Inspectors

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report that maths continues to prove a challenge for us. It is also the

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calibre of new students into maths in terms of the teaching profession

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we want. Those who are highly-motivated when the maths

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subjects are being snapped up in the private sector and industries, etc,

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we want to motivate those and be able to afford to bring those

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students into our system. I'm looking at options around how we

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promote students coming into maths teaching. How we keep them there.

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How we, in terms of around stimulus of pay, etc. But the report shows

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too many 15-year-olds are formering at the lowest level in these key

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areas. That's your quote much it is not good enough. What are you going

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to do? Average is not good enough for our education or our young

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people and we have to learn from world leaders. Whether it is an

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uncomfortable conversation to have or not. What many of the world lead

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remembers showing us, is that academic assessment is unnecessary,

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social division at 11 is unnecessary and those who do not carry out those

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functions are moving ahead. The other reforms will take a number of

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reforms to imbed but I think will pay dividends. If, not next report,

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there isn't an improvement. Will you take responsibility? Of course I

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will, I'm the Education Minister. As with many social policies, whether

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it is through education or health t takes a number of years for those

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policies to bed in and pay dividends. I believe the policies we

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have are the right policies. We have to continue to imbed them in our

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system. Martina Purdy quizzing the Education Minister there. By

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coincidence, a Sinn Fein debate was scheduled for today, questioning

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whether or not school terms, opening hours, holidays and teacher training

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days were delivering for pupils. It also called on the Minister to

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ensure they were in line with international best practice. With me

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now is one of the proposers of that motion, Sinn Fein's Chris Hazzard.

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Thank you for coming in to join us on the programme. What is wrong with

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the current system, first of all? We have a situation where we need to

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look at educational culture of our society. Too often we find different

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parts of the education system not in harmony. They need to be synced. Be

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that the straight-forward issue of school holidays, school starting

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times. Even the subject we touched on today, the school starting age,

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but the wider issues of the effects perhaps of an over-ly long summer

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holiday. International research would show us we need to have a

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conversation - we should talk to all aspects of community and society to

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see what is it we wanted from our education system. A lot of people

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might think about the issues you have talked about, of irritations of

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minor setbacks but mieted not see them as more significant than that.

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You are saying they are. I think they are very significant. When we

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look at, for example, the OEC d. Report that comes out today. We see

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various countries improving by a long way. Poland, for example, in

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the mid-1990s, Poland sat back and zoomed out. They got away from

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tinkering the systems. They said what can they do differently? They

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looked at the school day and looked at how instruction was delivered

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most effectively to the schools. We have seen over the last ten years it

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has made a big difference. You have also talked about the difference of

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socio economic issues as far as a child's performance is concerned.

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What evidence would you point to there? International evidence, there

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is various American reports that have been done that suggest children

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from a more wealthy background have the opportunity to attend summer

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camp and museums, go on holiday, pick up books, whereas kids from

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socially disadvantaged areas don't have the same chances. So when they

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looked at end of June reports compared to end of September, it was

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clear to see that kids from the sociodeprived backgrounds had

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continued to gross. It is hard to do something about that. It is hard to

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put your finger on to what needs to be done to turn that around. It is a

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perennial problem. It is a change to the culture. Not tinkering and

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tweaking of the system or the finer detime of it is the sitting back and

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zooming out progress. We said today - lets a very a conversation,

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parents, families, teachersers trade unions, everybody involved and say -

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what st we sfwhant are the strategic aims of our education system? Let's

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tie them to the economic situation of the country as a whole. -- what

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are the aims? Ulster Bank's latest IT problems

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have caused damage to the organisation's reputation, the

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Finance Minister told the Assembly today. Simon Hamilton was responding

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to a question and told the Assembly he has spoken to bank officials. But

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first the Finance Minister revealed more details about

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It is expected onstruction of the new community training college will

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commence in the new year. This delivery of this new Police Fire and

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Prison training college is a key programme for Government commitment

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and it'll deliver a world class training facility for essential

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public services which have suffered from underinvestment by direct rule

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ministers. Can I thank the minister for that announce am. Obviously this

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has been a project we have been pursuing for a long period of time

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and it has been bedevilled by delays but finally the minister has been

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able to announce that progress has been made. In terms of Her Majesty

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Treasury funding, how much is tied up in this project and when does it

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need to be paid for? I thank the member for his follow-up. I'm very

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glad we are able to announce that we have been able it make gross on this

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scheme. It is - what is proposed and the member will know through his

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chairmanship on the Justice Committee it is a world class

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facility and a facility I'm certain that police forces and Fire Services

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from around the world will want to come and visit and use as a facility

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to train their own staff in. He is right to raise the issue about Her

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Majesty's Treasury funding. Under the devolution of policing and

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justice settlement, Her Majesty Treasury provided some ?70.3 million

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which is in a ring-fenced fund for the Northern Ireland Community

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Safety College. It enjoys end-year fliblingts for these funds and will

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continue to do so until the end of this budget period in 2015. It is my

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understanding of it, if these funds are not utilised by April 2015, then

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there is a possibility that some of this ring-fenced element may be lost

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to the Treasury. I have agreed with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury

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we will continue to closely monitor the delivery of this project but the

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message I want to send to the Department of Justice is they need

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to proceed posthaste. I appreciate there have been delays not all of

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their making by any means whatsoever but they need to ensure that in

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order to access that ?07.3 million of funding that is ring-fenced and

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set aside for this project, that they need to proceed post-Hayes with

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this project. -- ?7 o 0.3. Can I ask the minister if he has had any

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discussions with the Ulster Bank in light of the recent glitches in

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their IT machines and what was the outcome of those discussions and did

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he receive any reassurances? I thank the member for the question, a very

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topical question. Probably the first topical question I have had in

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topical questions, even though this is my fourth go at it. I have had

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discussions, as soon as I became aware there were problems developing

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last night and that customers were expressing concern they couldn't

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make payments and couldn't access their own money out of cash machines

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and the embarrassment it was causing some in stores when they couldn't

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pay or whenever they needed emergency access from to their own

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cash from a hole in the wall they couldn't get it. I made

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communication overnight and early this morning with Ulster bang. I

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have this afternoon spoken to the head of retail banking in the Ulster

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Bank. I think, you know, they accept and understand this that this has

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been bad news for their cows o tomorrow Merse. It is the third time

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-- for their customers. It is the tired time this has happened

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although not as bad nas June of 2012. We can see some solace in the

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fact that I'm told it is not the same IT issue - I'm not sure whether

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that is something to seek solace from, but it is not the same

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problem, so one wouldn't expect the reoccurrence and longevity of the

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last problem. I'm informed all problems have been overcome and that

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the problem, that arose last evening, now seems to be fixed

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although there are some indications in RBS across the water that some

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problems do still exist. Other banks have had similar issues, I know but

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this is the third third ti for Ulster Bank. I don't think they need

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me to tell them it causes damage to their reputation and causes concern

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for their customers. The Tobacco Retailers Bill has been

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making its way through the various stages on its way to eventually

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being signed into law, and today it was back in the chamber for its

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consideration stage. The bill is intended to crack down on

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shopkeepers selling tobacco to young people with a "three strikes and

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you're out of business" policy. Much of today's debate was procedural

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with a series of amendments, mostly based around setting up a central

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registration system and there wasn't a dissenting voice to be heard.

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Here's are some of the contributions. Amendment 1 basically

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creates a registration authority which must maintain a register of

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persons who are carrying on a tobacco business. The original

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clause 1 proposed that there would be 26 separate registers, one for

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each council area. The committee was concerned that a lack of a

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centralised system could result in information not being shared between

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councils as efishtedly as it could be. In particular, members were

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concerned that details of people convicted of or given fixed penalty

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notices for tobacco offences and people convicted of illicit tobacco

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offences would not be routinely shared between the councils. The

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committee, therefore, ask the department to explore having a

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central register. Either as or in place of the 26 council registers.

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We were pleased, therefore, that the department accepted the committee's

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point of view and a registration authority is now to be established.

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The fundamental ten at of the legislation is a "three strikes and

:16:59.:17:03.

you're out principle" that's as a result of a mystery shopper, a young

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person being sent by the environmental health department of

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the local council. If in three occasions the person within five

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years is discovered to be selling tobacco products to young people, he

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or she loses their licence to sell tobacco. I think that's a very, very

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powerful deterrent. Tobacco retail in Northern Ireland is not so much

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the profit made in the cigarettes or tobacco sold but tobacco attracts

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people in to buy other products, more profitable products within the

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retail situation, be it newspapers or grossries or sweets or whatever.

:17:35.:17:38.

So, therefore, the right to say tobacco is absolutely crucial to the

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small retailer. They could never survive alone on simply selling

:17:44.:17:48.

tobacco products. 2,300 people die each year in Northern Ireland as a

:17:49.:17:53.

result of smoking. It is too many. And of course many more suffer very

:17:54.:17:57.

long-term illnesses as a result. The bill is timely and welcome and with

:17:58.:18:03.

amendment, will help regulate smoking and curb the growing trend

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in young people and that's the particular direction of this, that

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it attempts to prevent younger people gaining access to

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cigarette-smoking. It does strike me that if someone was convicted of

:18:16.:18:20.

serious offence of smuggling, they obviously would have no regard for

:18:21.:18:25.

the law. They were willing to profit by smuggling in illegal cigarettes.

:18:26.:18:31.

Many of those cigarettes may even be counterfeit cigarettes, so they

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would have no regard f individual's health and as such, I would say

:18:36.:18:39.

there would be a high risk of those individuals having no regard to

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whether they sold cigarettes to young people. Every Dee attempt to

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deter our young people from starting such a filthy habit in the first

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place and warn them of the deadly dangers must be strongly supported

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and this Assembly is, as our deputy Chair of the committee has said, is

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leading on this very important issue.

:19:03.:19:09.

Kieran mar Karthi making his feelings clear. That has moved

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another step closer to becoming law. The Stormont Executive has unveiled

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a strategy to get 30,000 more people into work over the next ten years.

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The plans are targeted at what's known as "the economically inactive"

:19:29.:19:32.

- that is people who are not in work or claiming benefit. The rate of

:19:33.:19:35.

economic inactivity is higher here than in other parts of the UK.

:19:36.:19:38.

Here's the Employment and Learning Minister outlining the aims of the

:19:39.:19:41.

scheme. To develop policy initiatives to spe specificically

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help those who are long-term sick and/or persons with disabilities and

:19:44.:19:45.

those with family commitments to reedge gauge with the labour market

:19:46.:19:47.

to. Help older workers back into work through dabbingling

:19:48.:19:48.

discrimination barriers, increasing opportunities and addressing issues

:19:49.:19:52.

of self-confidence and skill levels. To utilise the outcomes of in-depth

:19:53.:19:56.

analysis in order to pinpoint specific policy areas for

:19:57.:19:59.

intervention. To develop initiatives with key stakeholders, including

:20:00.:20:03.

health professionals, that will motivate the economically enactive

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to adopt a positive approach to work and to help women and lone parents

:20:07.:20:12.

to move into employment. The over-arching goal is to

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contribute towards a stable and competitive employment rate of over

:20:16.:20:21.

7 0% by 2023 through a reduction in the proportion of the working-aged

:20:22.:20:25.

population classified as "economically enactive." This

:20:26.:20:28.

reflects our assessment of what constitutes a more balanced labour

:20:29.:20:32.

market in terms of more fully engaging people and utilised their

:20:33.:20:34.

skills and talents. That all sounds good in theory from

:20:35.:20:48.

Stephen Farry, but how will it translate into real life? With me is

:20:49.:20:52.

Susan Russam from GEMS NI, an organisation which helps get people

:20:53.:20:54.

back into work. Welcome to the programme. Thank you for ginning us.

:20:55.:20:57.

Let's be clear. Who precisely are "economically enactive" people? They

:20:58.:20:59.

can be students, they can be people who have caring responsibilities.

:21:00.:21:01.

They can be people who are sick, unwell, who are not actively seeking

:21:02.:21:06.

work. They are mot mandated by the current benefit they have, be that

:21:07.:21:14.

Incapacity Benefit another range of benefits, so they are not mandated

:21:15.:21:20.

as if they would be on Jobseeker's Allowance which means they must

:21:21.:21:23.

report to the jobs and benefits office and explain they are actively

:21:24.:21:27.

seeking work. Is the point is that this is an untapped well of talent,

:21:28.:21:31.

potentially? Absolutely. It is very welcome and very heart-warming to

:21:32.:21:35.

hear the minister announce this. I think, as you intimated there that

:21:36.:21:39.

the devil will very much be in the detail. It's interesting to note

:21:40.:21:43.

that the minister places employers at the central tenant of this and

:21:44.:21:48.

looks at things such as inSeptemberives for employers. We

:21:49.:21:50.

need to have a balanced incentive for people who are currently

:21:51.:21:54.

economically enactive. If you are going to hit that target of 30,000

:21:55.:21:58.

more people into work in the next ten years, you need to be doing

:21:59.:22:01.

something and you need to be doing it quite quickly. Quite an ambitious

:22:02.:22:05.

target, do you think? It is. It makes we wonder whether or not

:22:06.:22:10.

that's 30,000, less the 25,000 targeted for new new jobs that the

:22:11.:22:14.

Assembly has already set. So are we really talking about 5,000 or is it

:22:15.:22:19.

going to be a 55,000? What is your hunch? Those two figures are pretty

:22:20.:22:22.

different, aren't they? Well, I think that all of us have spooblt,

:22:23.:22:26.

Mark, to do all we can to help people to get into work. We know the

:22:27.:22:30.

damage that being economically enactive and long-term unemployed

:22:31.:22:34.

can do to a person's health and well-being and to their lf-esteem

:22:35.:22:40.

and to their ability to access work and to their ability to think that

:22:41.:22:43.

work can actually be for them. What is your answer? What is your

:22:44.:22:47.

organisation's approach to it? We start where the person is at. We use

:22:48.:22:51.

our skills and our knowledge and our networks and community grassroots'

:22:52.:22:57.

work to ensure that we can help that person to, first of all feel that

:22:58.:23:01.

they can become employable. To lack at the barriers that are actually

:23:02.:23:05.

preventing them to become employable. To look at the skills.

:23:06.:23:08.

To look at opportunities and one thing that I would say is that one

:23:09.:23:13.

of the opportunities that this Government, this administration must

:23:14.:23:16.

look at is what opportunities are there in the public sector for

:23:17.:23:20.

people who are economically enactive? Particularly our young

:23:21.:23:24.

people but not exclusively as well. Well a very interesting question.

:23:25.:23:28.

Perhaps we will return to that in the future. For now, thank you very

:23:29.:23:30.

much. The Health Minister says he hopes to

:23:31.:23:34.

reveal the future of Northern Ireland children's heart surgery

:23:35.:23:37.

later this week. He told question time he is still in

:23:38.:23:41.

talks with health officials on both sides of the border as he seeks a

:23:42.:23:44.

resolution to the issue. He was expected to announce his decision in

:23:45.:23:49.

the July but it has been postponed sefshl occasions. I'm continuing my

:23:50.:23:53.

discussions with the Republic of Ireland's minister for both Dr James

:23:54.:23:58.

Riley TD to establish whether it'll be possible to establish a

:23:59.:24:03.

two-centre model within the island of Ireland to be located in Belfast

:24:04.:24:08.

and Dublin. My overriding concern is the safety of the children and

:24:09.:24:10.

obtaining the best-possible care for them. I am iming to make my final

:24:11.:24:16.

decisions on this as soon as possible.

:24:17.:24:22.

I thank the minister for that. Can I ask the minister, given the real

:24:23.:24:26.

public concern around the timeline on this issue, can he confirm that

:24:27.:24:31.

there will be a decision that will involve surgery being maintained in

:24:32.:24:35.

Belfast, and can he confirm the timeline on that decision? I would

:24:36.:24:42.

hope to be in a position to do it this week and to make my

:24:43.:24:45.

announcement. But discussions are industrial ongoing. I think that

:24:46.:24:49.

people should nted underestimate how difficult this process has been. The

:24:50.:24:55.

challenges that have been involved in it. And we need everybody singing

:24:56.:25:01.

off the same hymn sheet, working very hard on achieving that,

:25:02.:25:05.

hopefully quite close to getting that. And, as soon as I can, I will

:25:06.:25:10.

bring the information to the House and to the public. And I trust that

:25:11.:25:15.

that will be very, very soon, as I indicated, I had hoped to do it this

:25:16.:25:19.

week but I don't believe that of it should be necessarily much longer

:25:20.:25:25.

and we will need to be getting that message out to the people who have

:25:26.:25:28.

real and genuine concerns and obviously real needs.

:25:29.:25:33.

I would also remind the member that there is not and never has been a

:25:34.:25:41.

been on donations from gay pain, and the restriction relates to

:25:42.:25:45.

behaviour, as opposed orientation. A number of other categories of

:25:46.:25:49.

individuals are excluded from do donating. The judge included any

:25:50.:25:56.

change in Northern Ireland to the donation of men having sex with

:25:57.:26:03.

other men, was not my responsibility. Unfortunately I did

:26:04.:26:08.

not have the confidence, of having to make findings against the highest

:26:09.:26:11.

judicial figures in the land. I did not feel confident I would succeed,

:26:12.:26:17.

nor did my skilled QCs, David Schofield QC and Mick Hannah QC.

:26:18.:26:25.

Those aren't the words of Edwin Putts, they are the words of his

:26:26.:26:29.

honour. Does the minister think an

:26:30.:26:34.

investigation by the IQIA is independent or objective? Well, I

:26:35.:26:40.

could comment further on that happening in other places, but I'll

:26:41.:26:47.

refrain. In terms of independence regulation of health care, it

:26:48.:26:51.

certainly is a big issue. I'm very happy for independent regulation of

:26:52.:26:56.

health care. I think it is important that there is independent regulation

:26:57.:27:03.

and we fund RQIA. But RQIA are responsible for their own actions

:27:04.:27:06.

and activities, so we don't give them direction as to what to do. I

:27:07.:27:11.

have to admit, it is a challenge to get aed abouty which is wholly

:27:12.:27:14.

independent of Government because the truth is - who is going to pay

:27:15.:27:19.

for it? You know, people will always be of the opinion, he who pays the

:27:20.:27:23.

Piper calls the tune. I genuinely want independent regulation because

:27:24.:27:28.

I think that it is good to keep everybody aware that that can be

:27:29.:27:32.

carried out and to keep people on top of their game. The Health

:27:33.:27:35.

Minister. Now, flooding, frozen pipes and

:27:36.:27:39.

faulty heating. All potential problems in the winter. But would

:27:40.:27:43.

you know what to do? Well our MLAs should, after being shown today how

:27:44.:27:46.

to winter had of proof their homes by NI Water. Our Political

:27:47.:27:51.

Correspondent Gareth Jordan spoke to Jimmy Spratt about being prepared

:27:52.:27:56.

for winter. Since three years ago #2340r8d Water have been very good

:27:57.:28:03.

in terms of actually promoting an educational spoeous -- Northern

:28:04.:28:05.

Ireland Water have been very good in terms of promoting an educational

:28:06.:28:09.

influence to their warnings. And indeed the bus is here today so that

:28:10.:28:14.

MLAs from all the various areas around the province can come on and

:28:15.:28:18.

get some literature so that they and their staff and assembly staff are

:28:19.:28:24.

aware of the preparings being made. I feel they were slightly unfairly

:28:25.:28:28.

vilified for what happened three years ago, do you think they have a

:28:29.:28:31.

point? I think there were serious issues three years ago. I think

:28:32.:28:36.

those issues have now been addressed and since three years ago, Northern

:28:37.:28:41.

Ireland Water, the staff of Northern Ireland Water and the senior

:28:42.:28:44.

management team of Northern Ireland Water have made major advances in

:28:45.:28:48.

terms of making sure the same mistake didn't happen twice and I

:28:49.:28:51.

think they need to be applauded. What has prompted that change? I

:28:52.:28:54.

think that change was prompted through the work of the Department,

:28:55.:28:58.

through the work of the Minister and, indeed, through the work of the

:28:59.:29:01.

committee, because the committee took the issues very seriously, as

:29:02.:29:06.

did the Executive at that particular period of time and it shows you,

:29:07.:29:11.

that local people, local democracy actually pays in situations such as

:29:12.:29:15.

this. Jimmy Spratt talking to Gareth

:29:16.:29:20.

Gordon. That's it for Stormont Today this week. Join me on Thursday

:29:21.:29:25.

evening for the View on BBC One at 10.35pm. Until then, from all of us,

:29:26.:29:27.

goodbye.

:29:28.:29:31.

A political programme focusing on the day's events at the Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive. Mark Carruthers is the guide through the corridors of power at Stormont, and is joined by key people from decision makers to opinion formers to make the experience enlightening and entertaining.


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