18/11/2013 Stormont Today


18/11/2013

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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Hello and welcome to Stormont Today. Coming up on the programme tonight:

:00:24.:00:27.

As Richard Haass returns to Belfast,

:00:28.:00:30.

the First Minister says he and his party are committed to the process,

:00:31.:00:36.

but there will be challenges. It will be more likely to get agreement

:00:37.:00:42.

around issues relating to parades than it is to flags and more easy to

:00:43.:00:49.

get it on flags than in the past. A debate about the Police Ombudsman

:00:50.:00:52.

sees old divisions resurface. I would like to ask the member while

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he is on his feet about the organisation that he belonged to and

:00:56.:01:00.

how many of his colleagues have dual membership or was he colonel blimp

:01:01.:01:06.

who didn't realise they were out killing Catholics while he was doing

:01:07.:01:11.

his duty? I'm joined by our political

:01:12.:01:14.

correspondent, Martina Purdy. Richard Haass is back. The former US

:01:15.:01:18.

envoy to Northern Ireland, who's chairing all-party talks on flags,

:01:19.:01:22.

parades and the past returned to Belfast today. Dr Haass and his

:01:23.:01:25.

assistant, Megan O'Sullivan, will meet all the parties this week

:01:26.:01:30.

before round table talks on Friday. The American is still confident of a

:01:31.:01:33.

resolution before Christmas and the major parties are also hopeful that

:01:34.:01:37.

a deal can be struck in the next six weeks. From experience of previous

:01:38.:01:43.

negotiations, the real negotiations as you will remember because a lot

:01:44.:01:47.

of you were involved in watching it and questioning it, actually

:01:48.:01:52.

occurred in a tight process. I don't think it is too tight. I think we

:01:53.:01:57.

are down to the nitty-gritty and if the will is there, we will be able

:01:58.:02:01.

to advance and we will be able to come to a conclusion before that. I

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don't want to deal with extending. Richard Haass said he doesn't want

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this extended. He thinks it is long enough. I think it is long enough,

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but it needs the political will. If there is going to be a positive

:02:15.:02:18.

outcome, it will be because the executives parties who are on that

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panel reach a conclusion and that depends very largely on whether they

:02:22.:02:27.

are going to retreat into old ways because there is an election or two

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coming up next year or whether they are prepared to look at what is in

:02:31.:02:33.

the best long-term interests of the people of Northern Ireland. I hope

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it is the latter. My party is certainly up for attempting to

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resolve differences in these matters. I think it will be more

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likely to get agreement around issues relating to parades than it

:02:50.:02:53.

is to flags and more easy to get it on flags than in the past. Our goal

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was, our goal is and our goal will be to complete this work before the

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end of the year. That is to reach agreement and to make a full report

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to the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and soon after to the

:03:09.:03:14.

public. Imwe continue to believe that this goal and this schedule are

:03:15.:03:22.

equal parts do-able and desirable. Richard Haass. Our political

:03:23.:03:24.

correspondent, Martina Purdy, is with me. It will be an intensive

:03:25.:03:29.

week for Richard Haass and the parties. What do you think we can

:03:30.:03:31.

expect? Well, I think this is the point in the talks where we step up

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a gear or as Richard Haass would say, it is time for the he pivot. It

:03:37.:03:43.

will be intensive. We heard Gerry Kelly say it is time to get down to

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the nitty gritty, Richard Haass is to hold two hour sessions with two

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main parties this week. He is going to hold a separate session with the

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First Minister and Deputy First Minister. The main point of

:03:59.:04:02.

consensus is that the past will be the most difficult to crack. The

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First Minister said if he had to rank them, I suppose, parading is

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the least contentious followed by flags, followed by the past and

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Richard Haass said this was because of the complexity of the past, but

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because it has not had the same attention as the other issues.

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Sinn Fein published its proposals on the key issues today. How likely is

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it that these will form part of the solution? Sinn Fein is the only

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party to publish its submissions. Some of the proposals are likely to

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be rather contentious. One commentator suggested parading won't

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be easy to crack after all. The party has resolved from that

:04:44.:04:47.

position of being in favour of, or at least willing to compromise on

:04:48.:04:50.

scrapping the Parades Commission. It wants to keep the Parades Commission

:04:51.:04:54.

and give it more powers. That will would include rules around what

:04:55.:04:59.

flags or emblems can be displayed on a parade and wants monitors to

:05:00.:05:03.

examine parades and to report back to a post parade review and it talks

:05:04.:05:08.

about a Scottish model whereby those organising the parade would pay the

:05:09.:05:11.

costs and be liable for any damage done through public disorder. The

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party not happy to have the flag flying on main routes or have kerb

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stones painted. It wants two flags or no flags and no surprise that

:05:24.:05:28.

Sinn Fein is seeking an independent commission, but the party has got to

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go in hard and what Richard Haass said, what counts is not where the

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parties are now, but where they will be at the end of the process.

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Richard Haass says a deal by Christmas is desirable and do-able.

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Is it? Well, I think it is a tall order, but it is not impossible. It

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comes down to whether the parties are willing to make the hard

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decisions, you know, Peter Robinson said if the process fails, it is not

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down to Richard Haass, it is down to the parties. But he is going home at

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the end of the week for Thanksgiving. So he will get at

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least one holiday meal in peace! Earlier we saw the First Minister

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talking about the Haass talks during Question Time. But Peter Robinson

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also answered questions about the planned loyalist flag protests

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before Christmas and, first of all, the Planning Bill which has been

:06:15.:06:18.

dropped by the Environment Minister. Yes, we will be meeting with the

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Minister for The Department of the Environment in the near future to

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discuss the position, the executive should take on this matter. It would

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be better if the minister had had this meeting before he made his

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announcement. The issue of planning remains a key element in the

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development of our local economy. It is still the case that many of the

:06:39.:06:42.

potential investors that we speak with throughout the world, who are

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looking to invest in Northern Ireland have been put off by our

:06:46.:06:49.

planning system. It is internationally recognised that

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Northern Ireland has a poor planning outcome and an example of this is

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Sainsbury's Chief Executive, Justin King's remarks when he said a lack

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of speed and logic and joined up thinking when came to issues

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planning permissions makes Northern Ireland a challenging place in which

:07:06.:07:09.

to invest. If we are serious about getting jobs into Northern Ireland,

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we need to look at our planning system and ensure that it delivers

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the right outcomes. It seems to me, that the right thing

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to do would have been to put the legislation through the assembly and

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allow it to be tested in the courts if necessary. I hope that we can

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reach some agreement as to how we should go forward. There are a

:07:31.:07:34.

number of options available to us and I know that the member would be

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aware this forms part of the economic pack that we signed on

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behalf of the executive with the Prime Minister. It is therefore,

:07:45.:07:49.

executive policy, the ministers are required to, of course, meet all the

:07:50.:07:55.

decisions that are taken by the executive and uphold them. So I hope

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we can get a way through this particular problem. Thank you, Mr

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Deputy principal speaker. Can I ask the First Minister to clarify as he

:08:10.:08:14.

mentioned the that these were agreed with the Prime Minister and the

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planning Bill passed by the assembly at consideration stage, whether he

:08:17.:08:19.

believes the environmental minister is in breach of the pledge of

:08:20.:08:22.

office? Well, clearly, the pledge of office

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does require every minister to act in awe cordance with decisions taken

:08:27.:08:30.

by the executive. The executive took a clear decision on these matters.

:08:31.:08:36.

It is recorded in the minutes of the executive meeting. Yes, he is in

:08:37.:08:40.

breach of the pledge of office. However, without going into his

:08:41.:08:44.

position, I think it is important that we resolve the issue and move

:08:45.:08:48.

forward on planning. Planning continues to be a significant

:08:49.:08:52.

problem in Northern Ireland. We have to address that. And it will require

:08:53.:08:55.

new legislation to address some of the weaknesses in the planning

:08:56.:08:59.

system at present. As is so often the case in Northern

:09:00.:09:03.

Ireland, we are dealing with competing rights. I have to say that

:09:04.:09:07.

it seems to me that in relation to this matter, as the actual

:09:08.:09:14.

anniversary of the decision by Belfast City Council comes early in

:09:15.:09:21.

the week than the Saturday, and also that the decision led to the flag

:09:22.:09:25.

being lowered which occurred other than on the Saturday, it appears to

:09:26.:09:30.

me that a lunch time protest would do less violence to trade in

:09:31.:09:35.

Belfast. It would more accurately be able to protest against the people

:09:36.:09:39.

who took the decision because I suspect very few of them are going

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to be in the City Hall on Saturday. While, it is not ideal for anybody,

:09:44.:09:49.

it would be a worthwhile compromise. The First Minister talking about the

:09:50.:09:52.

planned loyalist flag protests. There were heated exchanges in the

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Assembly today as the future of the Police Ombudsman's Office was

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debated. A DUP motion calling for changes to the organisation was

:09:59.:10:01.

passed, but not before nationalists and unionists locked horns over one

:10:02.:10:04.

of the Assembly's most divisive topics. The original consultation in

:10:05.:10:13.

2012 centred on the individual skills of the ombudsman. Issues

:10:14.:10:17.

regarding their appointment and the structure of the office. But this

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latest consultation looks nothing less than a last minute attempt to

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add even more powers to a body that has far from proved its ability to

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fulfil the purpose it has at present. We are back to the old

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blame the Brits mentity which does nothing to help us deal with the

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past. I think it is a disgrace. A disgrace members that former police

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officers whose duty it was to uphold the law, to enforce the law, are now

:10:51.:10:55.

refusing to comply. What other profession or organisation would get

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away with that? Would nurses get away with that? Would sworningers

:11:00.:11:05.

get away -- social workers get away with that? No, they would not. Yet

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we are about to stand here and say that it is OK for some of them

:11:13.:11:16.

actually not to comply with the standards that are required. Dealing

:11:17.:11:23.

with the past is a toxic mix for not only the ombudsman, but for the

:11:24.:11:27.

politician, for this chamber and for the wider society in Northern

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Ireland. We all have a duty and responsibility, whether it is

:11:33.:11:37.

through the Richard Haass talks or other mechanisms that are going on

:11:38.:11:40.

throughout our community dealing with the past. It has to be dealt

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with in a much wider context and to place the whole responsibility of

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dealing with the past entirely on the ombudsman is unfair and

:11:50.:11:57.

unreasonable. The lack of accountability was o poison at the

:11:58.:12:01.

heart of policing for many years. And so it is in the interests of

:12:02.:12:06.

everyone in society here that we have a fully accountable policing

:12:07.:12:13.

service. The office of the Police Ombudsman plays a crucial and

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indispensable role in all of that. But why doesn't Mr Sheehan ask his

:12:21.:12:27.

own members to be open and honest and co-operate with other bodies

:12:28.:12:33.

here instead of his Deputy First Minister here saying at the Saville

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Inquiry that he was bound by some code of honour and he couldn't give

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anymore information... Our position is quite clear, if there is an

:12:45.:12:49.

independent truth recovery process, Republicans will co-operate with it.

:12:50.:12:54.

I would like to ask the member while he is on his feet about the

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organisation that he belonged to, how many of his colleagues had dual

:12:59.:13:03.

membership or was he some sort of Colonel Blimp and didn't realise

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they were out killing Catholics while he was doing his duty? Order.

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Order. I would ask the members to have good temper and regard for what

:13:14.:13:19.

they are saying. You have an extra minute.

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Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker. Those remarks of someone

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who is a convicted terrorist in this province, it is shameful against

:13:29.:13:32.

people who are upholding law and order. Why doesn't he go to Mr

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McGuinness and tell him to come and give the evidence that he should? If

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I am going to be shouted down, Mr Deputy Speaker, he hasn't the

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courage the way he sneaked behind ditches when he was in the

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profissional ra. Is that -- IRA, is that what he wants to continue to

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do? This is a democratic process here. Something you may not be

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overly au fait with, but it is something we have here. I didn't go

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out and murder people in the streets of Northern Ireland like he and his

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colleagues did. The code of practise issued under part two of the krill

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national procedure and investigations act sets out the

:14:14.:14:15.

manner in which police officers are to record, retain and reveal to the

:14:16.:14:21.

prosecutor material obtained in a criminal investigation which maybe

:14:22.:14:24.

relevant to an investigation and related matters. It is not clear

:14:25.:14:29.

that these provisions are inadequate. As has been well

:14:30.:14:33.

hoimented, former officers cannot be compelled to co-operate with the

:14:34.:14:38.

Police Ombudsman's investigations, the only exception if a criminal

:14:39.:14:46.

investigation is being conducted, there would be sufficient grounds to

:14:47.:14:51.

arrest an officer. I would urge anyone who has information to

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co-operate with the Police Ombudsman in all respects.

:14:55.:14:59.

The Justice Minister, David Ford. Now, do you remember the Civic Forum

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set-up in 2000, its aim was to address pressing social, economic

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and cultural matters, but it hasn't met since 2002. The SDLP is now

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trying to have it recalled. Today was the second time in eight months

:15:11.:15:14.

the party has brought the issue to the floor of the house and it met

:15:15.:15:20.

with a mixed reaction. To be honest, Mr Speaker, I couldn't care if the

:15:21.:15:24.

Civic Forum was never recalled because let's be honest, it was a

:15:25.:15:27.

product of the Belfast agreement. Something that our party opposed and

:15:28.:15:33.

still do. It was operationally ineffective with not one of its

:15:34.:15:37.

original recommendations being accepted or implemented by the

:15:38.:15:41.

executive of the day and I have no reason to believe that if recalled,

:15:42.:15:47.

it would change. We do not want another unelected Parliamentary

:15:48.:15:52.

organisation. Our existing assembly committees already perform a similar

:15:53.:15:57.

function in taking evidence from the public, various bodies and society

:15:58.:16:01.

in general. Much more could be done to develop this system and improve

:16:02.:16:05.

the context between the Government and the public. The establishment of

:16:06.:16:10.

a Civic Forum is a requirement of the Northern Ireland Act on which

:16:11.:16:14.

these institutions and this society is founded whether some people like

:16:15.:16:21.

that or not. It is an opportunity to enhance the representativeness and

:16:22.:16:25.

effectiveness of our political process, but I believe that the

:16:26.:16:32.

Civic Forum is one way to include the creativity and expertise that we

:16:33.:16:36.

have in civic society in the political process and to encourage,

:16:37.:16:41.

enhanced democratic par peus tation in Northern Ireland. I would argue

:16:42.:16:46.

had we had a Civic Forum operational for the last number of years, we

:16:47.:16:52.

would not have needed to have a Haass process because we would have

:16:53.:16:56.

had the benefit of people out there who have views and the fact that we

:16:57.:17:00.

have not been able to resolve the difficulties tells us there is a

:17:01.:17:05.

deficit in the dialogue that is required to reach agreement on these

:17:06.:17:10.

matters. The reason for the motion isn't that we are a broken record or

:17:11.:17:14.

anything else, we got this motion passed last April and nothing

:17:15.:17:17.

happened. Unfortunately, we don't want to use our time to discuss

:17:18.:17:20.

things that we have already got passed through this House, but

:17:21.:17:24.

sometimes you have to do that. Colum Eastwood. The SDLP's Alban

:17:25.:17:29.

Maginness is with me now. We have managed without the Civic Forum

:17:30.:17:36.

since 2002, why bring it back? Well, as John McAllister said today, we

:17:37.:17:43.

need a critical friend in civic society to tell us where we are

:17:44.:17:47.

going wrong, where we are going right and there is an added value in

:17:48.:17:51.

civic society making its contribution, think of people in the

:17:52.:17:54.

arts, think of people in trade unions, think of people in the

:17:55.:17:58.

churches all making their voices heard, or particular lating concerns

:17:59.:18:03.

within the community. For example, the flags controversy could well

:18:04.:18:07.

have been articulated in a timely fashion within the Civic Forum. Alex

:18:08.:18:14.

at wood made the point yesterday that several hupd submissions have

:18:15.:18:26.

been made by Civic society to the Haass talks? Well, there is an

:18:27.:18:31.

appetite out there amongst people who are not politically involved,

:18:32.:18:35.

who want a say in the shaping of our future, who want to contribute

:18:36.:18:39.

something to the political process without entering the formal

:18:40.:18:43.

political process such as the assembly or councils and therefore,

:18:44.:18:46.

this is a vehicle, this is a method in which they can express their

:18:47.:18:53.

views. What do you make of Lesley Cree, we need another elected,

:18:54.:19:00.

Parliamentary organisation, like we need a hole in the head. He wasn't

:19:01.:19:10.

enthusiastic. Stephen M outrey pretends that the DUP aren't working

:19:11.:19:20.

under the Good Friday agreement. As for the Ulster Unionists, shame upon

:19:21.:19:25.

them for going back on the Good Friday agreement and saying that the

:19:26.:19:30.

Civic Forum is not part of the agreement. Do we need another level

:19:31.:19:38.

of expensive bureaucracy? The cost in 2001/2002 was ?425,000, the

:19:39.:19:44.

following year it was ?328,000, that was ten years ago, so today the

:19:45.:19:47.

costs would be that and more. There is a limit to the amount of public

:19:48.:19:51.

money that's available? Of course, there is a limit and you can

:19:52.:19:55.

introduce economies in relation to any institution, but I think it is

:19:56.:20:00.

money well spent whenever you are giving a voice to people in civic

:20:01.:20:07.

society and it is not a disproportionate cost particularly

:20:08.:20:10.

if you compare it to the money that we are throwing away on flag

:20:11.:20:15.

protests, and on policing generally and this could well have avoided

:20:16.:20:20.

that situation arising in the first instance. In a sentence, can it

:20:21.:20:25.

happen? Will it happen? Well, it can happen and there is an appetite

:20:26.:20:29.

there in civic society for an institution such as this.

:20:30.:20:32.

Well, we will see. .

:20:33.:20:35.

There were several violent incidents over the weekend. A 15-year-old boy

:20:36.:20:39.

was shot in the legs in Coleraine, a pipe bomb thrown at police in

:20:40.:20:42.

Strabane and the Alliance Party's office in East Belfast attacked with

:20:43.:20:45.

petrol bombs. This morning the Assembly united in condemning the

:20:46.:20:51.

attacks. A combination of those events make it very clear to all of

:20:52.:20:55.

us that across the community there are people whether they be loyalist

:20:56.:21:00.

or Republican or people not affiliated in such a way that they

:21:01.:21:03.

want to try and drive us back to the past. This community has to be

:21:04.:21:09.

absolutely clear, not just in its unity of opposition to such attacks,

:21:10.:21:13.

which of corks we will demonstrate today, but to take that unity

:21:14.:21:17.

further to ensure that those people who have carried out these attacks

:21:18.:21:21.

cannot do so again because they are ap rehelpeded by the police, they

:21:22.:21:25.

are brought before the courts and they are convicted and put in

:21:26.:21:30.

prison. One thing all these attacks have in common is the fact they were

:21:31.:21:38.

committed cowards. People who are not prepared to stand for election,

:21:39.:21:43.

but done in the shadows. The attack on the Alliesance Paefrt in east

:21:44.:21:54.

Belfast was reprehensible. The language and actions of some elected

:21:55.:21:59.

representatives in our community have in my opinion fallen short of

:22:00.:22:03.

what is required from them with regards to the support for PSNI and

:22:04.:22:10.

the rule of law and democracy. Anyone who is harbouring any

:22:11.:22:13.

individuals in relation to any of these incidents need to realise

:22:14.:22:17.

very, very clearly that until people who are involved and are behind

:22:18.:22:22.

these attacks are taken of the our streets that it could be any member

:22:23.:22:25.

of our community, any member of any family in our community that could

:22:26.:22:31.

fall victim to these attacks. We are disappointed what happened over the

:22:32.:22:33.

weekend. It is very, very important that the community knows that there

:22:34.:22:38.

is no support for this type of activity out there in the community.

:22:39.:22:43.

These people are not presenting any alternatives. They are, the people

:22:44.:22:48.

want to live in peace and they want to move on. The people car cing out

:22:49.:22:52.

the attacks have nothing to offer the people of this kunl. Role rain

:22:53.:22:56.

this morning -- Coleraine this morning, certainly was a wake up

:22:57.:23:03.

call. A 15-year-old child, whose house entered at 5am by hooded men

:23:04.:23:08.

with revolvers and baseball bats at a time when grown men should have

:23:09.:23:13.

been in their beds preparing for a day's work. If as politicians and

:23:14.:23:20.

many in this House did, you support the undermining of the rule of law

:23:21.:23:24.

by the early release of prisoners and you diminish the status of the

:23:25.:23:31.

rule of law, then you cannot be entirely surprised that subsequently

:23:32.:23:37.

others follow in that mode of diminishing and discrediting the

:23:38.:23:41.

rule of law. The TUV leader, Jim Allister. Well

:23:42.:23:50.

the winter has begun to bite with temperatures set to drop tonight

:23:51.:23:53.

-and the response of the Roads Service to the challenge of

:23:54.:23:55.

maintaining key transport arteries was on the agenda during questions

:23:56.:23:58.

to the Minister for Regional Development. But given that snow is

:23:59.:24:01.

forecast, would the minister agree with me that there must be many

:24:02.:24:03.

dairy farmers wondering how they are going to get their milk tankers on

:24:04.:24:08.

to the main roads? And how they are going to get feeding stuffs in? My

:24:09.:24:14.

department is on alert for the winter preparations and my

:24:15.:24:17.

understanding is a yellow warning has been issued by the Met Office

:24:18.:24:21.

for later this evening and into tomorrow. And it is also indicating

:24:22.:24:26.

strong winds or gales for potentially Wednesday. So we are

:24:27.:24:33.

into the winter season very much and in general, road service will

:24:34.:24:37.

continue to provide the services that it can. I can tell you that we

:24:38.:24:42.

have resources of something in the region of over 100,000 tonnes of

:24:43.:24:49.

salt. We have 300 operatives. It is a major operation. We don't have the

:24:50.:24:55.

resources to salt every road and I know that that is an issue even in

:24:56.:25:00.

my own constituency as we have heard, but the resources are there

:25:01.:25:04.

for financially not unlimited to us and we make the best use of them and

:25:05.:25:10.

I think, I want to thank and encourage all of the operatives who

:25:11.:25:14.

will undertake this important work on behalf of the entire community in

:25:15.:25:20.

this winter season. Can the minister tell us what consideration he has

:25:21.:25:27.

given to extending free car parking charges to places like Enniskillen?

:25:28.:25:34.

Where a town wishes to avail of a special period of free parking, the

:25:35.:25:37.

council in that area can negotiate with my department to provide such a

:25:38.:25:44.

facility to the benefit of rate payers and the member has cshl

:25:45.:25:51.

influence at Fermanagh District Council and he will want to bring

:25:52.:25:56.

that to bear so it happens in Enniskillen and other areas. It

:25:57.:26:01.

happened in Newtownabbey Council made similar arrangements for

:26:02.:26:07.

Ballyclare. Christmas shoppers will use their car, it is the preferred

:26:08.:26:10.

means of transport rather than buses, rather than bicycles or

:26:11.:26:21.

walking. Is it not sensible to extend the moratorium on

:26:22.:26:26.

restrictions to the motorist in Belfast city centre in the run-up to

:26:27.:26:30.

Christmas and particularly at weekends, can I suggest abandoning

:26:31.:26:35.

the bus lanes? The evidence of increased bus usage in the centre of

:26:36.:26:44.

Belfast carrying even more passengers consistently over one

:26:45.:26:51.

million-and-a-half more journeys made last year. The increased level

:26:52.:26:57.

of train journeys, and I think a great many people do indeed access

:26:58.:27:02.

the centre of Belfast by using public transport and I welcome that

:27:03.:27:06.

and I had the opportunity not last weekend, but the previous weekend to

:27:07.:27:10.

be shopping with my wife and family in the centre of Belfast and I found

:27:11.:27:16.

it a very good experience. I think there is a buzz and hopefully a

:27:17.:27:22.

Christmas buzz. Danny Kennedy, outing himself as a

:27:23.:27:25.

keen Belfast seasonal shopper. Just before we go, I'm joined again by

:27:26.:27:28.

our political correspondent, Martina Purdy. You were keeping a close eye

:27:29.:27:33.

on First Minister's Question Time today. Were there any hints that we

:27:34.:27:37.

might see the Welfare Reform Bill soon? Well, the DUP asked that

:27:38.:27:41.

question today and Peter Robinson said he wasn't able to say when the

:27:42.:27:46.

Bill was coming back. He said it would require cross party support.

:27:47.:27:52.

The Bill, he said, isn't what is contentious, it is the draft

:27:53.:27:56.

regulations that accompany it and he doesn't understand why the Bill

:27:57.:28:02.

can't proceed. He did confirm that the elements of the deal that are in

:28:03.:28:06.

place include a concession that those already on housing benefit

:28:07.:28:11.

will not be penalised for having a he spare bedroom. That's good news.

:28:12.:28:19.

The Speaker is very fond of asking MLAs to move on, but it seems he'll

:28:20.:28:23.

be taking his own advice next year. Yes, the political editor at the

:28:24.:28:26.

BBC, Mark Devon port reported that William hey will be stepping out

:28:27.:28:31.

from the assembly and he has been in the Speaker's post since 2007 and

:28:32.:28:38.

the expectation is that Sinn Fein's Mitchell McLoughlin will be stepping

:28:39.:28:42.

into that role. No confirmation yet about who will be replacing William

:28:43.:28:47.

Hay though. That's it for tonight. I will be

:28:48.:28:51.

back at the same time tomorrow night. Do join me then. 11. 20pm on

:28:52.:28:57.

BBC Two. Bye.

:28:58.:29:00.

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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