22/10/2013 Stormont Today


22/10/2013

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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Transcript


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

:00:25.:00:29.

tonight: The Environment Minister is in feisty

:00:30.:00:32.

form as he pulls the plug on the Planning Bill. The majority of

:00:33.:00:39.

parties in this assembly will certainly be behind me and they will

:00:40.:00:43.

be giving my statement the thumbs-up, not the fingers.

:00:44.:00:50.

Another day and another row between Sinn Fein and the DUP over

:00:51.:01:02.

education. The only two schools you are interested in. Let's dispel this

:01:03.:01:07.

myth. And the News Letter's Sam McBride is

:01:08.:01:11.

with me to look back at today's events.

:01:12.:01:15.

The Environment Minister has withdrawn the Assembly's Planning

:01:16.:01:18.

Bill because of legal concerns. Mark H Durkan said changes to the bill

:01:19.:01:22.

backed by the DUP and Sinn Fein could run counter to the European

:01:23.:01:26.

Convention on Human Rights. The bill was introduced by Mr Durkan's

:01:27.:01:31.

predecessor, Alex Attwood, in June. But today, Mr Durkan pulled the plug

:01:32.:01:36.

on it. Since taking a office, I have had meetings with key stakeholders

:01:37.:01:40.

including representatives of the business community in Northern

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Ireland, Local Government and environmental groups and academics

:01:45.:01:48.

from Queen's and the University of Ulster in order to listen to their

:01:49.:01:53.

thoughts on the planning Bill as amended at consideration stage. I

:01:54.:01:59.

have carefully and fully studied the legal advice obstained by my

:02:00.:02:05.

predecessor and I have made that advice available. It is now clear

:02:06.:02:08.

that the intent of the amendments was not to introduce new planning

:02:09.:02:16.

powers, but to make OFDFM a new planning authority in Northern

:02:17.:02:20.

Ireland. I have grave reservations about the amendments to the Planning

:02:21.:02:26.

Bill and the restriction of the right to judicial review for legal

:02:27.:02:33.

procedural and evidential reasons. Therefore, after very careful and

:02:34.:02:38.

lengthy consideration, I have decided not to move the planning

:02:39.:02:42.

Bill to further consideration stage either now or in the future.

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Has the minister sought or received any advice, any legal advice from

:02:50.:02:53.

the Attorney-General in relation to this matter and can he confirm

:02:54.:02:58.

whether it is consistent with any legal advice he has received?

:02:59.:03:06.

I have not sought advice from the Attorney-General nor have I received

:03:07.:03:10.

advice from the Attorney-General. I have received legal advice from an

:03:11.:03:17.

eminent QC in this field and that is legal advice that I have shared with

:03:18.:03:21.

this House. It is legal advice available to the public. I have not

:03:22.:03:26.

heard any legal opinion contrary to that advice and I have spoken to

:03:27.:03:32.

many lawyers, many academics and many planning experts over the past

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four months. A proposed power grab in terms of economic planning was so

:03:40.:03:46.

ill conceived, so badly thought through, so arrogant that it is

:03:47.:03:55.

actually illegal and can I ask the minister if he will tell and confirm

:03:56.:04:00.

to the House that he will stand firm in continuing to offer responsible

:04:01.:04:04.

leadership because no doubt he will come under various pressures to

:04:05.:04:13.

change his mind? The member used the term power grab. That's not a term

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that I intend to use today. This statement is about planning. It is

:04:20.:04:24.

not about politics. In light of the fact this decision was taken

:04:25.:04:28.

subsequent to the Tracey Ruling which indicated that a minister who

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failed to bring a controversial decision to the full executive was

:04:33.:04:37.

in breach of the Ministerial Code. Why is there minister defying that

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ruling today and breaking that Ministerial Code?

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People will ask when they hear an accusation that I might be breaking

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the Ministerial Code. People, the public will rightly ask what is the

:04:50.:04:56.

Ministerial Code? If someone is deemed not to be in breach of the

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code for denying someone the right to donate blood based on their

:05:02.:05:05.

sexuality or for promoting public disorder, they are not in breach of

:05:06.:05:09.

the court, but for trying to prevent bad law from coming in, I am. I

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don't think so. I can only act on the legal advice that I have seen.

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Given the fact that the minister in the past has described the use of

:05:20.:05:28.

titions of concern as putting up two fingers to other parties. How many

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fingers is he putting up to other parties today? I recall my

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description of the abuse of a abuse of petition of concern. Not the use.

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The abuse of a petition of concern when it was able to be used by one

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party, one party to thwart the wishes of other parties in the

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assembly. Now, as it stands, the majority of parties in this assembly

:05:56.:06:00.

will certainly be behind me and they will be giving my statement the

:06:01.:06:08.

thumbs-up, not the fingers. Mark H Durkan in robust form in the

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chamber today. I'm joined by the News Letter's Political

:06:12.:06:13.

Correspondent Sam McBride. Sam, was the announcement today by the

:06:14.:06:16.

minister a surprise? It was a surprise in that it seemed to appear

:06:17.:06:20.

in the order paper at short notice. There was a ministerial statement to

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be confirmed which is what I saw when I loblegd at it a few days ago.

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Last night it seemed to' merge last night that there was going to be a

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statement. The legal advice which seems to be the basis of what

:06:33.:06:35.

happened today leaked out last week. It was referred to by the m are and

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it emerged and I think it left him in a position where given that his

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party opposed this, it was going to lose power to, it was never going to

:06:47.:06:51.

be popular, it gave him a clear hook on which to hang this decision and

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the fact that that advice came from one of the top five or six planning

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QCs in the UK gave it a certain amount of clout from outside the

:07:01.:07:04.

political system. The statement certainly provoked

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strong, passionate reaction in the chamber, didn't it? Yes. From, it

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was massively noticeable from the press gallery in the Sinn Fein side

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there was silence. I think it was silence. But in the DUP side, there

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was just constant baying. There was the sort of heckling that you get

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when a party is really unhappy about something and that told a real story

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because Sinn Fein are not the people who have been driving this. They

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voted in the same lobbies as the DUP when this came up in June these

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amendments which were controversial at the time, but it is the DUP who

:07:45.:07:47.

really wanted this. What do you think are the

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implications for planning of what happened today? That's what is at

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the heart of this? And it is easy to amid the politicking of it, but the

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planning Bill was one of the Bills that it tied up lots of area of

:07:59.:08:03.

planning law. It tried to put into statute things that had been in

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advice really from the minister. It did things like it increased the

:08:08.:08:13.

fines for people who flout planning laws and tightnd the restrictions of

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tree restriction orders. Lots of practical things like that and

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that's now lost. It maybe resurrected as a private members

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bill. That would take a long time and planning is going to go to

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councils. So it is gone now. Briefly, what did you make of Mark

:08:29.:08:36.

Durkan's performance? It was gutsy. He came of a political age here. He

:08:37.:08:41.

showed he was no weak young minister who is going to be railroaded. Doing

:08:42.:08:47.

this when Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness were out of the country.

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Had a political astuteness. The Social Development Minister

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faced questions today and it was welfare reform that dominated

:09:04.:09:05.

proceedings. Nelson McCausland told MLAs that he hopes to bring more

:09:06.:09:09.

details of the reforms in front of the Assembly soon. I ask the

:09:10.:09:11.

minister to confirm when discussions involving the First Minister, the

:09:12.:09:13.

Deputy First Minister and the Finance Minister were on a Welfare

:09:14.:09:17.

Reform package of getting measures for Northern Ireland concluded? This

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has been a major area of work for myself and for the department over

:09:24.:09:28.

the past year. There were very detailed and lengthy discussions and

:09:29.:09:33.

intense discussions with those at Westminster, with DWP and DFP have

:09:34.:09:40.

an engagement with the Treasury in that regard. We got to the point at

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the end of June where we had the negotiation with Westminster. We

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have had the interm discussions with OFM and with DFM and also

:09:51.:09:58.

discussions with the Finance Ministry as well, Finance Minister

:09:59.:10:03.

and we are at a point where we have put together, I believe we have got

:10:04.:10:06.

a package of measures that will result, if they were implemented in

:10:07.:10:12.

a much better situation for Northern Ireland than if we were to take

:10:13.:10:17.

welfare reform as it is. Is the minister in a position to say

:10:18.:10:21.

when he is going to bring the Bill back to the House? I have indicated

:10:22.:10:25.

in response to that question, that I think it would be good for the

:10:26.:10:29.

general public to be aware of the contents of the particular package

:10:30.:10:35.

for Northern Ireland. For a range of reasons. That's an additional

:10:36.:10:40.

reason. The information that was passed on by the Finance Minister is

:10:41.:10:44.

information that has been in the public domain for sometime. The

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Prime Minister has spoken about it. The Secretary of State has spoken

:10:48.:10:52.

about it. Other Westminster ministers from DWP have spoken about

:10:53.:10:56.

this and from the Treasury. So there is a concern there that over a

:10:57.:11:00.

period of time, you get into a difficult position there in terms of

:11:01.:11:05.

potential penalties. But this is not a matter that is just for me. It is

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a matter which is for the entire executive and therefore, I believe

:11:10.:11:12.

it is right and proper that as soon as possible we get this into the

:11:13.:11:16.

executive and get it out into the public domain and into the assembly

:11:17.:11:21.

for further discussion. You spoke in broader terms about welfare he

:11:22.:11:29.

reform. I -- Welfare Reform. Which wonder if there is any analysis to

:11:30.:11:36.

the loss of income to families by the welfare reform changes brought

:11:37.:11:40.

in by the Tory Government? There are good parts in Welfare Reform and

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parts which are not so good and you have the Treasury attempt to limit

:11:46.:11:50.

the increase in expenditure on welfare benefits over the next

:11:51.:11:54.

number of years. There are winners and losers in these things. That is

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the case often. But I would just pick up on one point and that's some

:12:00.:12:06.

of the figures that have been quoted in the media about the cost to

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Northern Ireland have been unrealistic. We need to be careful.

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We make people aware of the issues and get accurate information out as

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far as possible and not create situations where people have

:12:22.:12:24.

unnecessary fears. There are concerns. We all share them, but we

:12:25.:12:30.

should not, I think, exaggerate and create unnecessary fears.

:12:31.:12:38.

The Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland. The differing

:12:39.:12:41.

stances of the two main parties over education is well known, and they

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came to the fore today as the Education Minister made a statement

:12:46.:12:47.

on Shared Education. So shared education is not a bolt on or an

:12:48.:12:51.

optional extra. It is fundamental to delivering good schools and central

:12:52.:12:56.

to my vision that every learner should achieve his or her full

:12:57.:13:01.

potential. Good education comes first, but equality and good

:13:02.:13:05.

rerations add to the case for change. Choice can't be at the

:13:06.:13:09.

expense of good education and neither can it be at the cost of

:13:10.:13:15.

separation because of religious belief. Such separation is bad for

:13:16.:13:18.

children and bad for society. Let me turn to the recommendation on

:13:19.:13:24.

academic selection 18 to 20. Would surprise no one when I say I welcome

:13:25.:13:29.

and endorse them. Some people have criticiseted the group for including

:13:30.:13:32.

these recommendations. They claim they are nothing to do with sharing.

:13:33.:13:37.

Those people are missing a very important point. Sharing means

:13:38.:13:42.

education without barriers. Without segregation. The group's advice is

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very clear. Selection discriminates, selection divides, selection is a

:13:51.:13:55.

barrier to children from low income families. It is disappointing that

:13:56.:14:01.

yet again the minister has lit the litmus paper to create more

:14:02.:14:05.

contention and controversy around an issue whereby there shouldn't be

:14:06.:14:08.

controversy and there is a time when the minister is under ex-tensive

:14:09.:14:13.

pressure in relation to the common funding formula. I think he would

:14:14.:14:17.

have been better spending his time addressing that problem rather than

:14:18.:14:21.

putting another problem and other problems on the table today.

:14:22.:14:26.

However, Mr Speaker, can I on behalf of the committee say that

:14:27.:14:30.

recognising the growth of popular and sharing among schools is

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something which we should celebrate in terms of the schools that have

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been successful in relation to that issue... Pressure goes with the job.

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That's how you deal with the pressure with I is the important

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thing. I can assure you that as has been recently evidenced in the media

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when I challenged political parties to come up with alternatives, they

:14:57.:15:02.

are left fumbling to come up with alternatives. You have another three

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days to come forward with alternatives to my proposals around

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the common funding formula and I wish you well.

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The minister does put a heavy emphasis on the education and skills

:15:16.:15:18.

authority. Without stating the obvious, how long can he run that in

:15:19.:15:22.

shadow form and continue to fund that? When is he going to bring the

:15:23.:15:26.

legislation back and how does he hope to get it through the House?

:15:27.:15:32.

This cannot go on forever. Both myself and the executive need to

:15:33.:15:36.

make up its mind whether they want to deliver that programme for

:15:37.:15:39.

Government commitment or they don't and that day is coming to us

:15:40.:15:44.

realisation. I suspect now we are not going to meet the programme for

:15:45.:15:49.

Government commitment. This is the last number of weeks in October. I

:15:50.:15:55.

have a programme for Government signed up to by other executive

:15:56.:15:58.

parties to have it established by 2013. I suspect that is missed. If

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it is missed, the executive will have to make up its mind. Do they

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want to continue with it, but it is coming to make your mind up time.

:16:10.:16:16.

These will be taken forward through area planning. Can he inform the

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House of Such all ability schools are rejected by the majority of

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people will he endeavour to enforce this on a community? There is

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another one defending the Protestant working class. You are not

:16:36.:16:39.

interested in the Dixon Plan. You are interested in two schools in the

:16:40.:16:46.

Dixon Plan. There are only two schools that you are interested in

:16:47.:16:51.

the Dixon Plan. Let's dispel this myth.

:16:52.:16:56.

John O'Dowd challenging the DUP's support for the Dickson Plan. The

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provenance of the eggs we eat and the conditions in which the hens

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that lay them are housed was on the Agriculture Minister's plate at

:17:05.:17:06.

Question Time today that, along with the health of our woodlands and

:17:07.:17:16.

forests. The disease whose scientific name, it is tracked over

:17:17.:17:23.

100 species of plants. This includes ash trees and bilberry, over 600

:17:24.:17:30.

hectors of woodland has been felled. The December is continuing to spread

:17:31.:17:35.

within areas infected in previous years in the Antrim plateau. We

:17:36.:17:46.

found scattered infections in Tyrone and Fermanagh. Once the disease is

:17:47.:17:50.

well established in the woodland environment, it is impossible to

:17:51.:17:53.

eradicate and as this is the case in south-west Scotland and parts of

:17:54.:17:57.

Wales, we are close to that point in the north of Ireland. Since 1st

:17:58.:18:02.

January 2012, it has been illegal to keep laying hens in battery cages. I

:18:03.:18:07.

am pleased to report that all of our producers are compliant with that

:18:08.:18:11.

directive. Can you confirm whether we are

:18:12.:18:14.

imforting eggs into this country now which are being illegally produced

:18:15.:18:19.

in other countries? I can confirm that it is Germany and Italy who are

:18:20.:18:24.

the two member states who are not compliant. There were 11 others, but

:18:25.:18:29.

when legal action was taken against them, they became compliant. We have

:18:30.:18:34.

Italy and Germany that are not compliant. There is free movement of

:18:35.:18:38.

table eggs so we can't stop the movement in, however, I can say that

:18:39.:18:42.

in the past six months inspectors have not encountered any

:18:43.:18:45.

consignments from any of the two member states that are non

:18:46.:18:48.

compliant. The recent announcement of an

:18:49.:18:57.

outbreak of ash dieback in county Leitrim is regrettable, but not

:18:58.:19:02.

unexpected. The disease often spreads from recently planted trees

:19:03.:19:07.

to older trees by the release of spores of ineffected spores.

:19:08.:19:16.

Officials have kept counterparts in Dard and the forest service aware of

:19:17.:19:22.

how they plan to eradicate this outbreak. Our surveillance has been

:19:23.:19:29.

increased and has not found any sources of the disease in older

:19:30.:19:32.

trees. Many constituents have planted out

:19:33.:19:37.

land using ash and using department grants. They had to remove the trees

:19:38.:19:44.

when ash dieback was found. Is there any grants available to replant the

:19:45.:19:50.

areas? In June, I announced grant support for any of the woodland

:19:51.:19:55.

owners affected. If you have had to remove trees, we have put grant

:19:56.:19:58.

support in place that will help you to replant with alternative species

:19:59.:20:01.

because we want to continue to be planting trees. This is something

:20:02.:20:04.

that will scare landowners and they will be careful about what they are

:20:05.:20:08.

planting so what we are doing is, we we have announced grant support that

:20:09.:20:13.

will encourage replanting with species that are less susceptible to

:20:14.:20:23.

these types of December. The Agriculture Minister, Michelle

:20:24.:20:25.

O'Neill. Poverty, deprivation and mental

:20:26.:20:28.

health - all serious social issues affecting people here, but what's

:20:29.:20:31.

the best way to deal with them? Earlier today MLAs supported a

:20:32.:20:34.

motion backing social investment programmes. John McMullan from the

:20:35.:20:37.

Bryson Charitable Group joins me. Thank you very much for joining us

:20:38.:20:40.

on the programme. Let me ask you to explain what the social enterprise

:20:41.:20:44.

model is? OK, Mark. It is really not that complicated, but it may sound

:20:45.:20:48.

that. It is when a charity changes the way it does business rather than

:20:49.:20:50.

looking for grants, it looks for contracts. So for an organisation

:20:51.:20:56.

like Bryon, instead of getting a grant and doing 100 homes helping

:20:57.:21:02.

people to keep warm, we can do 6,500 or 7,000 homes. It allows you to

:21:03.:21:06.

scale up. It is a different way to do business.

:21:07.:21:11.

And Bryson Group is at the forefront of developing that notion of

:21:12.:21:15.

thinking? We have developed our social enterprise model over 15

:21:16.:21:20.

years. It allowed us to grow over 15 years and we are employing 693

:21:21.:21:26.

people today. Turnover is at ?34 million. A year? Per year. It is a

:21:27.:21:30.

lot of money and you employ a lot of people? It is a big part of the

:21:31.:21:34.

economy. That's why we are glad to see the assembly debating this issue

:21:35.:21:38.

of investing for social good and social investment.

:21:39.:21:42.

It is because we are a big part of the real economy.

:21:43.:21:45.

When you talk about, not using grants, but bidding forcrats. Give

:21:46.:21:50.

us some sense of the contracts that you are bidding for and winning? In

:21:51.:21:55.

Northern Ireland, we hold about 60% of the domestic recycling programmes

:21:56.:22:02.

which councils. So we have to bid and keep our costs right and win the

:22:03.:22:05.

business and we take a different way of doing business. We are driven by

:22:06.:22:09.

maximising the quality of materials and recycling them in Northern

:22:10.:22:14.

Ireland. 35% of our materials go into local companies for

:22:15.:22:18.

remanufacturer. There is a further 1,000 jobs supported in Northern

:22:19.:22:22.

Ireland as a result of that. It is about being clever how you deliver

:22:23.:22:25.

services. Bhaes your definition of profit?

:22:26.:22:28.

Profit is really interesting. We require a profit. We need the profit

:22:29.:22:31.

to reinvest, but our profits are locked in because we are a charity,

:22:32.:22:35.

our money is all used for social purposes. The profit we make allows

:22:36.:22:39.

us to invest in people and invest in services and develop new services.

:22:40.:22:45.

You have ex-ended d extended that model outside Northern Ireland which

:22:46.:22:48.

is a good model for other companies and other charities in Northern

:22:49.:22:51.

Ireland perhaps to look to? Well, absolutely. We have doubled our size

:22:52.:22:56.

in the Republic of Ireland and we have had our first contracts in

:22:57.:23:03.

North Wales in Conway. For us, it is good for Northern Ireland. It is

:23:04.:23:05.

good for jobs in Northern Ireland. We bring back our profits and we

:23:06.:23:10.

reuse them in services here. Is it letting Government off the hook? No,

:23:11.:23:13.

it is working in partnership with Government and helping Government to

:23:14.:23:17.

deliver its services, deliver better services. That are better targeted

:23:18.:23:27.

and delivering better outcomes. The consultation on proposals to

:23:28.:23:30.

change how schools budgets are allocated is to end this week. The

:23:31.:23:33.

proposals were under discussion at last week's session of the Education

:23:34.:23:37.

Committee and there was little support for them around the table.

:23:38.:23:42.

This is disappointing to say the least. I have to say that we have

:23:43.:23:48.

had what can only be described as the most shambolic attempt by the

:23:49.:23:55.

Department of Consultation. Hear. Hear. We are four out of the five

:23:56.:23:59.

education and library boards potentially losing 80% of funding

:24:00.:24:06.

and we had two consultation events. One in Omagh which was advertised on

:24:07.:24:12.

a Friday for a Wednesday at which four parents arrived. We had another

:24:13.:24:21.

one in Belfast which ends up being the beneficiary of which 40 people

:24:22.:24:27.

attended. Most of the people there, were people who were losing as a

:24:28.:24:31.

result of this consultation. The message has to go out, please

:24:32.:24:35.

listen. You know, the Prince pals that I have spoken -- principals

:24:36.:24:38.

that I have spoken to, the parents that I have spoken to are very, very

:24:39.:24:43.

concerned. I declare an interest here as a chair of a board of

:24:44.:24:46.

governors. It is within budget, etcetera, etcetera, I can't see how

:24:47.:24:53.

our schools can make cuts any further. We can't switch the heat

:24:54.:24:57.

off. That's the stage. There is no maintenance being done. The question

:24:58.:25:04.

about the use of children. I have no problem if the minister wants to

:25:05.:25:08.

sort of consult children in something like this, but it depends

:25:09.:25:12.

how much weight you give it. There is adults that don't understand this

:25:13.:25:16.

formula, so there is not much hope for the kids. I accept the

:25:17.:25:21.

criticisms around the public meetings that have been organised

:25:22.:25:24.

and I know nothing about the one in Omagh, but I do know the one in

:25:25.:25:28.

Belfast was well publicised. There is no doubt about that. But it is a

:25:29.:25:35.

feature of these consultations that most people prefer to make written

:25:36.:25:40.

submissions. The issue is those who already face obstacles. They are in

:25:41.:25:47.

a situation where there is no parental expectations in terms of

:25:48.:25:52.

educational achievement and that has to be addressed by the education

:25:53.:25:56.

system and you know, I think some people are getting too exercised

:25:57.:26:03.

about the issue. The minister said he will listen and I believe he

:26:04.:26:22.

will. Sinn Fein's Pat Sheehan standing up

:26:23.:26:25.

for his colleague, John O'Dowd. Sam McBride has rejoined me. Is there

:26:26.:26:34.

fractured relations? The office of the First Minister and Deputy First

:26:35.:26:40.

Minister sent an e-mail to Mark Durkan if he was planning to do what

:26:41.:26:47.

he was going to do, he would be in breach of the Ministerial Code.

:26:48.:26:50.

There is open disagreement between the two main parties. Peter Robinson

:26:51.:26:54.

and Martin McGuinness are out of the country. It doesn't seem to make

:26:55.:26:57.

much difference whether they are here or whether they are away. The

:26:58.:27:01.

relations are very strained. They don't really trust each other at the

:27:02.:27:10.

moment. The Maze decision was a big issue for Sinn Fein. And Welfare

:27:11.:27:13.

Reform which we have talked about tonight. A huge unresolved issue? It

:27:14.:27:17.

is a huge issue which comes up to the foreand it dips away, but it has

:27:18.:27:21.

been there the whole time. Nelson McCausland had a plan since before

:27:22.:27:26.

the summer which he thinks can get around the concerns that there are

:27:27.:27:29.

about the Welfare Reforms which he supports, but has not been able to

:27:30.:27:32.

bring it to the executive let alone get it on to the floor of the

:27:33.:27:36.

assembly and have a vote. That's a massive issue about ?5 million a

:27:37.:27:42.

month the Treasury said they will start take from the block grant from

:27:43.:27:46.

January if they can't agree this. He could bring something to the

:27:47.:27:50.

floor of the chamber and it could be blocked by one of the other parties?

:27:51.:27:54.

Which would be disastrous for him. Some people criticised the DUP for

:27:55.:28:00.

not selling the Maze Peace Centre strong enough. Nelson McCausland

:28:01.:28:06.

supports the ethos of what has been proposed by Iain Duncan Smith and by

:28:07.:28:10.

the coalition Government. I think there is really an onus on him to go

:28:11.:28:13.

out and sell it and say this is a good deal if he is going to get

:28:14.:28:17.

people behind him. What have you made of the row over

:28:18.:28:26.

the forthcoming Miss Ulster putty pageant? It -- beauty pageant? It

:28:27.:28:33.

caused me to look at the rules. Delores Kelly seem to be the people

:28:34.:28:36.

who are down as the spondors of this. Today we had Joanne Dobson

:28:37.:28:42.

pull out. It is a throw back to another age. It is not politically

:28:43.:28:47.

correct, but there are all sorts of controversial things going on up

:28:48.:28:49.

here. It will be interesting to see how it

:28:50.:28:57.

ends up. That's it for tonight, but don't

:28:58.:29:01.

forget to join me for The View on Thursday night at 10.35pm on BBC

:29:02.:29:03.

One.

:29:04.:29:04.

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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