Regional Development

Office of first minister and deputy first minister – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:00 pm on 18th September 2000.

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Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Speaker 3:00 pm, 18th September 2000

Order. We move on to questions to the Minister for Regional Development. I must inform Members that Question 1 to the Minister for Regional Development, standing in the name of Mr McGrady, should have been directed to the Minister of the Environment. That question will now receive a written answer from that Department.

Similarly, Oral Question 8, again to the Minister for Regional Development, standing in the name of Mr Edwin Poots, should have been directed to the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. That question will now receive a written answer from that Department.

Photo of Eddie McGrady Eddie McGrady Social Democratic and Labour Party

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I am not disputing your ruling, as I am not unduly concerned by it. I would like to point out that planning in its entirety, covering the whole of the south-east of Ulster, to which that question relates, is definitely a regional problem and must be answered in the context of regional planning. Therefore I am puzzled as to why it should be transferred for answer by another Department. Secondly, it would have been courteous of that Department to have advised us that they were transferred questions.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Speaker

I will take up the second point to ensure that this kind of difficulty or embarrassment does not arise again. On the matter of the allocation by the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister of the responsibilities of the Departments, that is well outside my remit. We must simply abide by the rules.

(Madam Deputy Speaker [Ms Morrice] in the Chair)