18/06/2013 Stormont Today


18/06/2013

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.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 18/06/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Stormont Today. Coming up: The Prime Minister calls Northern

:00:26.:00:30.

Ireland's recent political progress an inspiration. It is a

:00:30.:00:35.

transformation that I believe can be an intir ration to the world -- an

:00:35.:00:41.

spir ration to the world. All of the G8 leaders who came here, commented

:00:41.:00:43.

how remarkable it was to hold this G8 here.

:00:43.:00:48.

We will discuss the G8 and Obama and what it means for Northern Ireland

:00:48.:00:53.

with Stephen McCaffery. A new planning policy to promote tourism

:00:53.:01:03.
:01:03.:01:04.

in Northern Ireland is announced by the Environment Minister. This is a

:01:04.:01:08.

pathway for the provision of sustainable and high quality tourism

:01:08.:01:17.

Well, it has been quite a week so far. We have had the President of

:01:17.:01:21.

the United States urging teenagers in Belfast to keep pushing the peace

:01:21.:01:26.

process forward and for the past 24 hours, the leaders of eight of the

:01:26.:01:29.

most influential countries in the world have been hold up in Fermanagh

:01:29.:01:34.

discussing a host of issues. The leaders have left with a deal on tax

:01:34.:01:39.

evasion in place and a plan to tackle the Civil War in Syria. It

:01:39.:01:45.

has been a remarkable 48 hours, hasn't it? It has. It has been a

:01:45.:01:48.

success from the prospective of the Northern Ireland Executive. If they

:01:48.:01:52.

had written the script, they couldn't have drawn it up better.

:01:52.:01:57.

David Cameron was clearly delighted delighted himself to host the summit

:01:57.:02:01.

in Fermanagh. Let's have a flavour of what had he had to say

:02:01.:02:04.

afterwards. 25 years ago when a terribling bomb

:02:04.:02:09.

attack killed -- terrible bomb attack killed people down the road a

:02:09.:02:15.

G8 in count County Fermanagh would have been unimaginable. Today, the

:02:15.:02:18.

world has seen a new Northern Ireland that is not only beautiful

:02:18.:02:21.

as you can see from the scene behind me, but a Northern Ireland that is

:02:21.:02:26.

open for business. It is a transformation that I believe tb an

:02:26.:02:30.

inspiration to the world. And many of the, I think all of the G8

:02:30.:02:34.

leaders who came here, commented on how remarkable it was to hold this

:02:34.:02:38.

G8 here and what a powerful message it sent and what it meant to them.

:02:39.:02:43.

As you you say, Stephen, the power of pictures there, should not really

:02:43.:02:47.

be under estimated. The weather was kind, but it did look stunning?

:02:47.:02:55.

Yeah. I think if you think of this all of this from the prospect

:02:55.:02:59.

prospective affen an international audience -- of an international

:02:59.:03:02.

audience, people would be used to seeing riots. Now they get to see

:03:02.:03:05.

the place from a different prospective and it is hard to expect

:03:05.:03:09.

that won't have an impact, it is a question of how big or not it will

:03:09.:03:12.

help tourism. You were down there yesterday so you

:03:12.:03:20.

got a sense of what was what it was like. Did you feel removed from the

:03:20.:03:25.

discussion in the resort? The real action was at removed from the local

:03:25.:03:29.

community. There was a really positive atmosphere and I just

:03:29.:03:34.

happened to be from Enniskillen and spoke to people I know locally and I

:03:34.:03:38.

think people are pleased that it happened and they were enjoying the

:03:38.:03:43.

fun of watching the cavalcades pass through the town.

:03:43.:03:47.

It is hard to put your finger on the benefits. There were all sorts of

:03:47.:03:50.

suggestions about hundreds of millions of pounds for the economy.

:03:50.:03:53.

It will take sometime before we see that come through one way or the

:03:53.:03:59.

other? There will be a few pinches of salt taken with the prediction of

:03:59.:04:02.

a multi-million pound benefit. It is hard to see that the benefit

:04:02.:04:08.

couldn't be positive. We had the President here and that is a major

:04:08.:04:15.

benefit not just to tourism but as a further support of the political

:04:15.:04:18.

process. The Environment Minister has

:04:18.:04:22.

introduced a new planning policy allowing developers to build in the

:04:22.:04:29.

countryside if it promotes promotes tourism and helps create jobs.

:04:29.:04:34.

With the spotlight of the world on us, with the particular tension in

:04:34.:04:39.

Fermanagh -- attention in Fermanagh this new policy is timely and

:04:39.:04:47.

relevant. As we do so, safeguard our great heritage. It deals with

:04:47.:04:52.

tourist development in settlement areas and in rural areas. It

:04:52.:04:58.

protects from inappropriate development. It safeg tour tourism

:04:58.:05:02.

assets, but it creates opportunities at the same time. The targets for

:05:03.:05:09.

achievement by 2020 are to increase visitor numbers to 4. 5 million and

:05:09.:05:16.

to double earnings from tourism to �1 billion. All of that, Mr Speaker

:05:16.:05:22.

will revolve around the scale of our natural and built herltage where six

:05:22.:05:28.

out of ten top visitor attractions in Northern Ireland are built on

:05:28.:05:32.

natural heritage. And the tourist opportunities around them will

:05:32.:05:36.

create jobs and opportunities for many people. This is not a

:05:36.:05:40.

free-for-all of tourist development in settlement areas and rural

:05:40.:05:45.

locations, Mr Deputy Speaker. This is a pathway for the provision of

:05:45.:05:52.

sustainable and high quality tourism developments. Tourism development

:05:52.:05:56.

should preferably revolve around settlements whether defined in terms

:05:56.:06:03.

of being a village or hamlet or a town or a city, clearly because the

:06:03.:06:10.

sin erge that can be created, tour tourism opportunities can arise.

:06:10.:06:17.

That's why PPS 16 has a general presumption in favour of tourism

:06:17.:06:26.

development within settlements. question is a follow on to Ms

:06:27.:06:34.

Lowe's. And will that criteria include issues of natural tourist

:06:34.:06:44.
:06:44.:06:45.

attractions? Like the Mournes like the scausway Coast and would the

:06:45.:06:51.

Lough Erne Golf Resort get planning permission because there wasn't

:06:51.:06:55.

always a golf course or other attractions on that site? I am not

:06:55.:07:02.

saying whether those new standards would apply to Lough Erne Golf

:07:02.:07:07.

Resort. It is safe to say this, in terms of the use of that piece of

:07:07.:07:12.

land for tourism opportunities, matching hotel of a high standard

:07:12.:07:17.

would have a high standard, my judgement is that under previous

:07:17.:07:23.

policy or under this future policy, in my view, it gets over the line.

:07:23.:07:26.

Am I right in thinking that for example, under exceptional

:07:26.:07:32.

circumstances, this new PPS 16 has the worthwhile all to override the

:07:32.:07:38.

restrictions. Otherwise we would still be coming back to the same old

:07:38.:07:42.

arguments that we have had for year to get planning in, especially for

:07:42.:07:48.

the farming community and for the non-farming rural dweller?

:07:49.:07:52.

member is reading the mood of the House wrong and the content of the

:07:52.:07:56.

document wrong. If it ends up that we have the same outcome as we did

:07:56.:07:59.

under the previous needs based test then the member might be justified

:07:59.:08:05.

in drawing that conclusion. But to draw that conclusion this, the same

:08:05.:08:10.

old restriction to borrow his language, in terms of this policy,

:08:10.:08:17.

shaped in that environment reworked since the consul consultation in

:08:17.:08:23.

order to acknowledge there might be a need in the rural location, I

:08:23.:08:25.

don't think you can draw the conclusion based on a document

:08:25.:08:30.

that's just been issued that it will have the same old restriction when

:08:30.:08:34.

the policy contend is about trying to rework all restrictions and to

:08:34.:08:39.

have the right constraints and the right opportunities.

:08:39.:08:42.

The Environment Minister. High level issues were debated during Question

:08:42.:08:46.

Time today when the roof of Parliament buildings and what flag

:08:46.:08:49.

flies on it were discussed. Members of the Assembly Commission answered

:08:49.:08:54.

questions on both topics with the Alliance MLA making it clear, there

:08:54.:08:58.

is no predetermined outcome for the number of days the Union flag should

:08:58.:09:02.

be flown over Stormont. The commission has not set out to

:09:02.:09:07.

outline the number of days in which the Union flag will fly over

:09:07.:09:11.

Parliament Buildings. The commission tasked officials to bring back a

:09:11.:09:14.

report following consultation with Assembly parties reviewing the

:09:14.:09:24.
:09:24.:09:25.

number of days upon which the Union flag flies from Parliament Buildings

:09:25.:09:30.

and arrangements for carrying out an EQUIA.

:09:30.:09:37.

Parties were invited to submit written statements and the responses

:09:37.:09:45.

have been analysed. Why is there feet dragging on this important

:09:45.:09:52.

issue? Well, I thank the member for his question. What the commission

:09:52.:09:57.

agreed to was to detail a range of options and to set out how a preses

:09:57.:10:00.

of public consultation -- process of public consultation would be carried

:10:00.:10:03.

out, not to go ahead and proceed with that. There will be a number of

:10:03.:10:06.

options which we will look at in the report when it is brought to us next

:10:06.:10:10.

week. Would she agree with me that the

:10:10.:10:19.

commission took the wise position in June 2002 when it decided ra that

:10:19.:10:26.

rather the contentious the issues of flags, it would be the issue of the

:10:26.:10:36.
:10:36.:10:37.

parties. .s .s. The commission did agree back in 2000 that the flags

:10:37.:10:41.

issue is a political issue. The procedures of the commission do

:10:41.:10:45.

allow members to bring a motion forward at any time. When the

:10:45.:10:48.

commission member brought that motion forward, options have been

:10:48.:10:52.

looked at and again, one of the options maybe, I have not seen the

:10:52.:10:55.

paper yet, we will see it next Wednesday, but one of the options

:10:55.:10:58.

maybe to ask for the assembly working group to look at this and

:10:58.:11:01.

take it forward. To clarify that point, will the

:11:01.:11:05.

commission leave it until the deliberations of the working group

:11:05.:11:10.

on flags and symbols commissioned commissioned has completed this

:11:10.:11:15.

work? As I have said already, the commission will look at the way

:11:15.:11:18.

forward on Wednesday. We will look at the options detailed there. I

:11:18.:11:22.

would imagine that one of the options outlined would be to await

:11:22.:11:26.

the outcome of the working group, but I can't comment on what the

:11:26.:11:31.

commission will decide to do. The commission has confirmed that no

:11:31.:11:36.

noise and disruption to plenary sittings will be toll ratedz during

:11:36.:11:40.

the construction period and it is looking at options to mitigate

:11:40.:11:45.

disruption to committee meetings. Is it likely that committee meetings

:11:45.:11:49.

will be held outside Parliament buildings? Clearly, the assembly

:11:49.:11:55.

commission looked at a variety of options including holding the

:11:55.:12:03.

meetings here and we have some staff in the building that will be leaving

:12:03.:12:13.
:12:13.:12:14.

the building due to the seriousness of the boshing. There is an option

:12:14.:12:18.

to -- seriousness of the work. There is the option of retaining the

:12:18.:12:21.

integrity of the committee meetings within Parliament buildings, but

:12:21.:12:27.

both that comes with restrictions on the contractor, we have to ensure

:12:27.:12:30.

there will be no disruption and noise levels when the committees are

:12:30.:12:35.

taking a place as well due to a number of matters including the

:12:35.:12:40.

Hansard and the television recordings of those meetings. We are

:12:40.:12:46.

intending holding a further meeting. This is an issue we need to resolve

:12:46.:12:50.

before the surmer to get the best -- summer to get the best deal for this

:12:50.:12:54.

House. The Regional Development Minister

:12:54.:12:57.

outlined his hopes to cut a deal to finance new road projects following

:12:57.:13:04.

delays to the A 5 scheme. But when he took to his feet, Danny Kennedy

:13:05.:13:11.

wanted to recognise the historical days just past. Can I, as it is the

:13:11.:13:15.

first opportunity I had, to pay tribute I think and place on record

:13:15.:13:20.

on behalf of myself and indeed my party and I hope the whole House for

:13:20.:13:24.

the iconic images that Northern Ireland has benefited from as a

:13:24.:13:33.

result of the G8. I think the whole House will share that. You made

:13:33.:13:36.

reference to the iconic scenes within the last two hours but some

:13:36.:13:42.

of those are marked by illegal flags another emblem is being flown from

:13:42.:13:46.

lamp posts and other buildings that are part of your responsible to you.

:13:46.:13:50.

What actions are you going to take, Minister, to attempt to have these

:13:50.:13:59.

flags removed? My department has signed up to the joint protocol and

:13:59.:14:06.

is generally not perceived to be the lead agency. The Housing executive

:14:06.:14:12.

and DST are better placed to assume that lead role. My department's main

:14:12.:14:18.

role under the protocol is to provide the access equipment and the

:14:18.:14:22.

resources to remove unwanted flags once agreement has been reached that

:14:22.:14:29.

they should be taken down and the local community is unable to easily

:14:29.:14:37.

gain access to them. So the onus is working with local communities, as

:14:37.:14:43.

the member will understand. Following the recent ruling on the

:14:43.:14:49.

scheme, I wrote to the Finance mist on the 9th of May 2013 to declare a

:14:49.:14:54.

reduced Budget requirement in relation to the 2013-14 year. It is

:14:54.:15:01.

essential we quickly be deployed this reduced requirement to apply to

:15:01.:15:08.

the construction sector and the economy at this time. How many of

:15:08.:15:18.
:15:18.:15:18.

those projects are pretty much ready -- our procurement ready? It was a

:15:18.:15:23.

situation I inherited as roads Minister and to deal with that very

:15:24.:15:29.

issue and looking forward in terms of financial allocations, there are

:15:29.:15:34.

schemes that I want to bring forward. They might be described

:15:34.:15:43.

currently as procurement ready but not otherwise ready and they include

:15:43.:15:53.
:15:53.:15:59.

the Asix and indeed the bypass and the A55 and the A26 scheme, so those

:15:59.:16:04.

schemes that are in the next wave, if you like, of strategic schemes to

:16:04.:16:11.

be carried out. And I hope it much that both he and his party, at an

:16:11.:16:17.

executive level particularly, will give me the necessary reassurance to

:16:17.:16:21.

bring forward other schemes so that we're not in a situation where this

:16:21.:16:24.

executive has two had money back to the Treasury. The Regional

:16:24.:16:31.

Development Minister. Access to broadband in rural areas is an issue

:16:31.:16:41.
:16:41.:16:43.

brought forward frequently to the House. A Sinn Fein motion called on

:16:43.:16:49.

targeting areas with greatest need. This is an important issue. This

:16:49.:16:52.

does not just affect people who are working at home, who have

:16:52.:16:56.

businesses, but it also affects regular people, just like you and

:16:56.:17:03.

me, there I said -- dare I say it. It is exhume the frustrating

:17:03.:17:09.

whenever speeds are so slow at times. There is something that is

:17:09.:17:13.

more frustrating and I think it is the fact that the broadband

:17:13.:17:18.

providers almost do treat everyone the same, regardless of the speed of

:17:18.:17:27.

Internet that they are receiving. All rural consumers should have the

:17:27.:17:37.
:17:37.:17:39.

Saints beat as their urban counterparts. Our schools need a

:17:39.:17:42.

good service. This was one of the problems we had with computer-based

:17:42.:17:48.

assessment. I have heard concerns raised recently, indeed by the first

:17:48.:17:54.

Minister, about the displacement of jobs should enterprise areas be set

:17:54.:17:57.

up in Northern Ireland. The reality is that such poor broadband

:17:57.:18:04.

provision is having a similar effect in rural areas because it is leading

:18:04.:18:08.

businesses to relocate elsewhere. Some of the reports that have been

:18:08.:18:16.

brought forward by Ofcom, be of the structure report, looks at broadband

:18:16.:18:23.

figures. I do think it is important to reflect on the north-west only

:18:23.:18:32.

compare Derry as a connected city to the likes of others, were me look at

:18:33.:18:41.

figures of 12.7% receiving less than two megabytes in Derry. I am afraid

:18:41.:18:50.

I cannot rise and support the general goodwill on this issue. I am

:18:50.:18:55.

rather disappointed by the progress that we have actually made in the

:18:55.:19:05.
:19:05.:19:06.

process. The four of the top local authorities survey by Ofcom for the

:19:06.:19:16.
:19:16.:19:21.

broadband blackspots were Omar and three others , . We have had many

:19:22.:19:30.

opportunities to discuss this, even though I have said previously that I

:19:31.:19:34.

was not available. I have made myself available and I'm happy to do

:19:34.:19:39.

that. I am very happy to agree that there is a continuing need for

:19:39.:19:43.

further improvement of broadband. That is what we are looking at at

:19:43.:19:49.

present in its infrastructure, both in roll and urban areas -- in rural

:19:49.:19:59.
:19:59.:20:00.

and urban areas. Telecommunications matters are reserved immolation to a

:20:00.:20:04.

lot of the areas and my department really only has limited powers to

:20:04.:20:13.

intervene in what is a privatised and regulated market, regulated by

:20:13.:20:22.

Ofcom. Your party put this motion forward but as we had the minister

:20:22.:20:25.

say that, it is not a devolved issue. There is not a great deal

:20:25.:20:31.

more she can do. In terms of rewarding licences and the

:20:31.:20:41.
:20:41.:20:42.

regulation of broadband, there is that she can do. It is the private

:20:42.:20:47.

companies who invest. She can encourage further investment into

:20:47.:20:57.
:20:57.:21:01.

those areas. Is she doing a good job or do you think she can do more?

:21:01.:21:06.

Compared with England, Scotland, Wales and the rest of Ireland, the

:21:06.:21:11.

percentage of superfast broadband is higher than we have. There are still

:21:11.:21:20.

do many gaps. We heard about some of the blackspots, if you like,

:21:20.:21:25.

particularly in the West. Your view is that they are outstripped by

:21:25.:21:30.

parts of the manor. Places like Fermanagh would be the worst

:21:30.:21:35.

affected areas because they are the most sparsely populated areas. It is

:21:35.:21:40.

less attractive for commercial operators to go into those areas.

:21:40.:21:46.

The view we put forward as MLAs was we need encouragement for these

:21:46.:21:49.

commercial providers to go into these areas and provide services to

:21:49.:21:58.

the citizens. Did some businesses not do well out of G8 because

:21:58.:22:04.

telecommunications got a shot in the arm over the last weekend. Will that

:22:04.:22:14.
:22:14.:22:18.

be a lasting thing? There were a few temporary masts put up in

:22:18.:22:24.

Enniskillen and Lough Erne, so it is not a lasting impact. We are hoping

:22:24.:22:30.

to see a lasting impact in the long-term. On the G8, you have been

:22:30.:22:35.

a critic about it in the run-up to it happening. Now it has happened

:22:36.:22:41.

peaceably, now that mobile man the other leaders have said what they

:22:41.:22:46.

said as we saw David Cameron saying how wonderful it had been, a great

:22:46.:22:52.

backdrop to the summit, al you any more positively disposed towards it?

:22:52.:22:58.

In terms of the actual G8 that took place, I'm happy that there was no

:22:58.:23:03.

trouble. Fermanagh's image has been promoted around the world as a

:23:03.:23:06.

friendly place where people are welcome and thankfully the good

:23:06.:23:10.

weather was there. I'm delighted that the positive image has been

:23:11.:23:19.

said around the world. Thank you. The Culture Minister today rejected

:23:19.:23:25.

a suggestion that she should help fund uniforms for marching bands.

:23:25.:23:33.

She was asked to fund the 600 bands in Ireland. We offer funding to

:23:33.:23:39.

marching bands from all communities to maintain music making. We're

:23:39.:23:44.

Premier League concerned with the funding of musical as rents and

:23:44.:23:51.

tuition to ensure that characters in can be maintained. That does not

:23:51.:24:01.
:24:01.:24:04.

covered uniforms. Can we explore further the possibilities that the

:24:04.:24:10.

marching bands have? I'm happy to meet any minister at a time about

:24:10.:24:17.

any subject and the test that all ministers are charged with is public

:24:17.:24:21.

interest. There is an interest here in providing musical as rents and

:24:21.:24:31.
:24:31.:24:32.

tuition because that is a skill and talent. The area of uniforms is a

:24:32.:24:37.

private things for the bands themselves. I'm happy to see any

:24:37.:24:40.

minister to see what can come forward from that. As of June, the

:24:40.:24:46.

total number of athletes registered for the games is 5815 with an

:24:46.:24:56.
:24:56.:25:04.

expectation of reaching over 7000. This will provide a compressor set

:25:04.:25:07.

of education resources to inform people about the The World Police

:25:07.:25:12.

and Fire Games. Just in response to some of the negativity going around

:25:12.:25:17.

especially from one journalistic source in terms of the reduced

:25:17.:25:23.

numbers that were predicted. Can the Minister give us any indication of

:25:23.:25:28.

the results of the spin-off from the competitors and the further spin-off

:25:28.:25:35.

from those who come with the competitors? It is a good economic

:25:35.:25:39.

situation and will the Minister ensure that the parliament be

:25:39.:25:45.

positive in terms of the figures we have? I share the members concerns.

:25:45.:25:49.

Like spirit as last year around the Olympic and Paralympic Games,

:25:49.:25:55.

particularly around the torch relay. Not to be petty but there was a

:25:55.:26:01.

degree of eating humble pie from certain sections of the media. I

:26:01.:26:07.

expect people, although it is mainly based in Belfast, people will come

:26:07.:26:12.

out to support the athletes and their families. We will welcome

:26:12.:26:19.

them. There will be a cultural event around this. The work from the

:26:19.:26:25.

schools is excellent. The volunteering has been

:26:25.:26:35.
:26:35.:26:39.

oversubscribed. That is the -- that is an important aspect. We all

:26:39.:26:43.

recall the success of the Olympic torch relay and the enthusiasm of

:26:43.:26:48.

the Minister to be seen to be present when the torch arrived. Will

:26:48.:26:54.

we have the same enthusiasm and presence when the Queen's Batten

:26:54.:27:02.

arrives in the run-up to the edges, mother games? -- the Commonwealth

:27:03.:27:11.

Games? Organisers, coaches and athletes that are taking part in the

:27:11.:27:17.

Commonwealth Games in 2014, they will be welcome. To suggest anything

:27:17.:27:23.

else would be churlish. We have had a lot of talk about big

:27:23.:27:29.

politics over the last 48 hours. Now the focus will be remarked back to

:27:29.:27:33.

day-to-day politics in Northern Ireland, isn't it? We are back to

:27:33.:27:37.

business now. In the rap to the and the president 's speech and the

:27:37.:27:42.

knowledge he was arriving, we had a lot of action with the negotiation

:27:42.:27:48.

between the parties. What we have seen now is that the welfare

:27:48.:27:51.

legislation has not been settled so that is a bit of a hangover from

:27:51.:27:56.

that negotiation ways. That is something that has to be dealt with

:27:56.:27:59.

as soon as possible and will affect a huge amount of people who are all

:27:59.:28:03.

be under pressure because of the recession. The clock is really

:28:03.:28:07.

taking on that because the House breaks up in the first week of July.

:28:07.:28:10.

It is not act until the start of September. This is indeed be made

:28:10.:28:15.

now. If people aren't going to lose outdoorsy end of the year. It does

:28:15.:28:19.

come down to that, doesn't it? were one or two deadlines that could

:28:19.:28:25.

not be passed and we have passed them. It shows how difficult a topic

:28:25.:28:30.

it is it affects modern peeping directly than some future projects

:28:30.:28:34.

because when these cuts to hit, they will hit the people who are already

:28:34.:28:39.

feeling the pinch from the economic problems. There is obviously a high

:28:39.:28:41.

degree of nervousness between the parties about how they will be all

:28:42.:28:46.

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.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS