Area-based Planning: Consultation

Oral Answers to Questions – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:45 pm on 10th December 2012.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Stephen Moutray Stephen Moutray DUP 2:45 pm, 10th December 2012

8. asked the Minister of Education when the results of the area-based planning consultation will be published. (AQO 3056/11-15)

Photo of John O'Dowd John O'Dowd Sinn Féin

Each of the education and library boards has submitted a report to my Department on the key issues raised in the consultation.  They have also outlined how they will address those issues.  I will consider those reports, and I intend to make them public in due course.

Photo of Stephen Moutray Stephen Moutray DUP

I thank the Minister for his response.  Will he use his influence to move things on so that people in my constituency who, like me, support the Dickson plan can have any doubts about its future dispelled?

Photo of John O'Dowd John O'Dowd Sinn Féin

I assure the Member that I am using my influence every day in the Department of Education, as is my role.  We had 47,000 responses to area planning, which is fantastic.  It shows that there has been great community involvement in the response to area planning, and we have to have regard to those responses. 

I have given the boards a bit of time to go through the consultation responses and ensure that the voices of those who have spoken are listened to and reported back to me.  I had hoped to be in a position to report back to the Assembly in January.  However, given the volume of responses, I suspect that it will be February before I report back to the Assembly.  At that stage, I will be in a position to report back on the different aspects of our education system.