Sean Lynch: I declare an interest as a member of the Policing Board. As other Members have outlined, we support going back to the 7,500 officers envisaged by Patten. I welcome the renewed focus on strengthening the approaches to and support mechanisms for policing in the community. That needs to be complemented by an increase in resources — human and financial — for neighbourhood policing teams. If...
Sean Lynch: 5. Mr Lynch asked the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs for an update on his Department's work to ensure that essential resources and infrastructure are in place to guarantee minimum disruption to supply chains at the end of the transition period. (AQO 867/17-22)
Sean Lynch: Go raibh maith agat, a Aire as an fhreagra sin. The Minister answered the part of my question about engagement with ports and ferries, but what engagement is his Department having with the haulage industry in order to minimise the disruption before the end of the transition period?
Sean Lynch: 1. Mr Lynch asked the Minister of Justice for an update on the review of care of vulnerable people in prison. (AQO 833/17-22)
Sean Lynch: I thank the Minister for her answer. As the Minister said, she indicated at the beginning of the year that her intention was to discuss the care of vulnerable people in prison. Can she now commit to taking that important work forward as a priority with her counterpart, the Minister of Health?
Sean Lynch: Will the Minister give us an indication of the scale of the EU funding and the parts that he is trying to protect?
Sean Lynch: 2. Mr Lynch asked the Minister of Finance for an update on the business case for the proposed new health centre in Lisnaskea. (AQO 789/17-22)
Sean Lynch: I welcome the fact that the healthcare centre business case has finally arrived on the Minister's desk. I visited the current health centre on Friday afternoon. It is not fit for purpose. The roof leaks like a sieve, and, at night, computers are covered in plastic to prevent water getting into them. Does the Minister agree that the delivery of the new healthcare centre in Lisnaskea will help...
Sean Lynch: Just when we thought the issue of Brexit was sorted, with the withdrawal agreement and the protocol, the British Government announce that they are going to break an agreement that was made only last January. Their announcement to break international law was not surprising, although, this time, they did it publicly. As a result, we are in the midst of another British-inspired Brexit crisis:...
Sean Lynch: No, I will not. We will work with those who share those priorities in the Assembly, the Dáil, Europe and the United States Congress, in addition to standing firmly against the British Government's intention to tear up what was an international agreement. I support the motion.
Sean Lynch: Will the Minister provide us with an update on whether the Department is exploring biannual testing for certain vehicles, as happens in the Twenty-six Counties?
Sean Lynch: The Minister will be aware that my party colleague Fra McCann is bringing forward a private Member's Bill. Doe he agree that car parking charges for staff disproportionately affect those living in rural areas, because of lack of transport?
Sean Lynch: 5. Mr Lynch asked the Minister for the Economy for her assessment of whether remote working within the Civil Service can contribute positively to the development of a regionally balanced economy. (AQO 640/17-22)
Sean Lynch: The Minister mentioned Belfast city centre and returning to work to boost the local economy, but, in my constituency, local small businesses have seen a reduction in footfall, trading and numbers. Will the Minister commission a report to identify how remote working can impact on local economies?
Sean Lynch: Does the Minister have any clarity from the British Treasury that it will cover the costs of the additional infrastructure required at our ports to carry out sanitary and phytosanitary checks?
Sean Lynch: 7. Mr Lynch asked the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs whether he will change the arrangements for funding environmental non-governmental organisations, from funding in arrears to prime funding, with the aim of making funding more stable and beneficial for these organisations. (AQO 458/17-22)
Sean Lynch: Like all groups, Minister, during COVID-19, NGOs have been struggling with cash flow. What other means has the Minister taken to assist environmental NGOs, not just in the current crisis but to make financial support more certain going forward?
Sean Lynch: I rise as a member of the Committee and to support the Bill. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we face an unprecedented public expenditure situation. The scale, timing and pace of the COVID crisis did not allow for the normal Budget processes to be carried out and meant that Standing Orders had to be suspended to allow for accelerated passage of the Budget to take place. The reality is...
Sean Lynch: I am glad that the Member who has just spoken said that it was not the Minister's fault that we were in the COVID situation. He usually blames him for everything else. I want to make a few points rather than repeat what I said this morning. I commend the Minister for getting tens of millions out the door in these unique circumstances to save and protect livelihoods, wages and businesses. In...
Sean Lynch: I thank the Minister for his statement. As Members have outlined, we are faced with a unique situation, therefore the normal budgetary process cannot happen at this moment. The accelerated passage outlined is complex in nature, however, to be fair to the officials who came to the Committee, they did simplify it for us. This Budget Bill is basically to avoid the Departments running out of cash...