Operations of the Assembly

Part of Assembly Standing Orders – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 4:00 pm on 8th March 1999.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Ms Jane Morrice Ms Jane Morrice NIWC 4:00 pm, 8th March 1999

I endorse what Mrs Bell has said, and I thank the First Minister (Designate) for deciding not to push this point. The fact that we have agreed to suspend sittings at 6.00 pm is of great importance to a number of us. This is not just of benefit to people with families — men as well as women — but also more suitable for Members who have to travel considerable distances. Those with journeys of one-and-a-half to two hours will not get home until after midnight if we do not stop until 10.30 pm.

As Mrs Bell said, we can be friendly with our colleagues during daylight hours, not just in the evening. It is important that we move into the modern world. I said earlier that the Scottish Parliament would be following our lead. These old-fashioned times are for the dinosaurs.