Operations of the Assembly

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

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Photo of Sammy Wilson Sammy Wilson DUP 4:00 pm, 8th March 1999

That was a point which was made at that time.

I would make one last point about flexibility. What happens if Government business runs on? The Committee has already allowed for this in the Standing Orders. Standing Orders 10(2) and 10(3) provide for an extension of time into Tuesday evening, Wednesday, or both if business cannot be completed in the allocated time. The flexibility is there. We are mindful that there may well be occasions when the pressure of business will require the House to sit that bit longer, and that is a much more sensible way of facilitating that need.

It was also felt that the sitting hours should be as flexible as possible to allow people with families to have some time in the evening with their families. All in all, the kind of compromise we have reached on timing is a reasonable way to order the business of the House and to give Members the flexibility they need to do their duties to their constituents inside and outside the Assembly.