I also thank Michael McGimpsey for securing the debate. Like others, I welcome the presence of the Minister. I know that he has given a lot of time to the issue, and he attended the debate that we had on East Belfast issues. I also thank Mervyn Storey, because, as Chair of the Education Committee, he also has concerns in this regard.
Equal Pay Settlement: PSNI And NIO Staff 4/6/2013
I support the motion and thank my party colleagues Mr McCrea and Mr Weir for bringing the motion. It is, as was said, a timely motion. It is regrettable that we are having to debate the issue.
Post Primary Education: East Belfast 28/05/2013
I thank the Minister and my colleague Mr Storey, the Chair of the Education Committee, for attending the debate. This issue has raised some concerns throughout East Belfast over the past number of months. Those concerns are largely about secondary level education across the constituency of East Belfast. It also has some implications for South Belfast, but it is my intention to concentrate only on the east of the city.
Economic Initiativies And Sustainable Employment 23/4/2013
I certainly welcome this type of debate on the basis of the value that our young people are to us and to our economy.
EU Regional Aid Motion 9/4/2013
I beg to move
That this Assembly recognises the positive effect that Northern Ireland's 100% coverage for EU regional aid has had on the economy; believes that it has been significant in aiding economic growth and inward investment; is concerned that removing this automatic coverage would have a detrimental impact on the economy, jobs and growth; and calls on the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment to continue to lobby the Government at Westminster and the European Commission to ensure that EU regional aid is retained for all of Northern Ireland.
Sustainable Energy Motion 18/02/2013
I welcome the motion. When it was first drafted, the word "further" did not appear in the first line. That is a small but important point, because we need to recognise the work and growth that has been happening in the area. The inclusion of "further" was critical. I say that because we need to recognise that the Minister has already done some good work. I note that the Committee Chairman paid tribute to her for that. That work has taken place in a holistic way that has seen a range of renewable technology initiatives taking place. The strategic energy framework (SEF) has been put in place. Invest Northern Ireland identified wind, marine, bioenergy and resource efficiency as areas in which there could be major growth.
Unemployment Motion 22/10/2012
I oppose the motion and the amendment. I find it difficult to understand what has motivated some of the comments that we have heard in the Chamber today.
Business Exports And Finance Motion 2/10/2012
In supporting the motion, I pay tribute to the Minister for her recognition of the problem, particularly in SMEs, and for her initiatives and willingness to look beyond the current banking structures and examine ways in which small businesses might access non-bank sources to stimulate their activity and market.
Animal Cruelty Motion 24/9/2012
Thank you Mr Principal Deputy Speaker
I support the motion. In doing so, I commend the work of the PSNI and the USPCA in tackling animal cruelty. Many cases have been and highlighted, not least that which my colleague has just referred to.
East Belfast Flooding Adjournment Debate Speech 11/9/2012
Thank you Mr Speaker / Deputy Speaker
I would like to thank the Minister for Regional Development for being in attendance today. I did write to you on this matter and I have also written to the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, whose department has responsibility for the Rivers Agency. The Minister has not had the time to meet with my constituents – the flood victims - but indicated her officials would be in touch with me. I am still waiting.
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