Operations of the Assembly

Part of Assembly Standing Orders – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 4:30 pm on 8th March 1999.

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Photo of Mr Duncan Dalton Mr Duncan Dalton UUP 4:30 pm, 8th March 1999

My apologies if the Member felt that I was being patronising. I was simply making the point that outside of this place there are a number of people who, for reasons of their work or family commitments, have to work unsociable hours. It is a bit rich for the Assembly to decide that we would rather work more social hours so that we can have the evenings available. If we choose to use them for constituency business, that is fine. Many people do.

However, it does not seem unreasonable for us to consider that we leave the mornings available for work in this House in order that Ministers and those who hold positions can carry out those functions. We work through the day and into the evening on two days of the week and leave ourselves three evenings for constituency business. That seems a perfectly reasonable proposal to me.