Did you mean Edwin roots?
Edwin Poots: Did the Orange Order make nominations to the Civic Forum? Were any of its nominations taken up? It seems strange to me that, in spite of the fact that there was to be equality in the Civic Forum and a cross-community element, one of the largest — probably the largest — organisation in the Protestant community has been snubbed.
Edwin Poots: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Several weeks ago I raised the question of statements being made in the House in Irish which were not fully translated into English. You were to give a ruling on the matter. We received a rather inadequate excuse from the Minister involved, but we did not receive a ruling from you.
Edwin Poots: I beg leave to introduce to the Assembly a Bill [NIA 5/07] to provide for the establishment and functions of the Northern Ireland Library Authority; to enable the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to make grants in connection with the provision of library services; and for connected purposes. Bill passed First Stage and ordered to be printed.
Edwin Poots: Will the deputy First Minister confirm that the matter under discussion is cross-cutting and requires the agreement of various Ministers? Therefore, an Executive meeting must be held in order to move the issue forward. Will he confirm that an Executive meeting will take place on Thursday at which the cost of living issue will be dealt with?
Edwin Poots: I am not holding the process up; rather, I am driving it forward. If others wish to hold up the process by holding back Bills or local government orders, that is up to them. However, I wish to push the process forward, and I am surprised that the Member does not know that and has not acknowledged it.
Edwin Poots: That is a matter for the trusts to deal with. It is important that the trusts have nurses with the necessary skills to take on that responsibility. I am sure that discussions will be had between the trusts and the nurses' representative bodies to ensure that they are appropriately paid for the responsible job that they carry out.
Edwin Poots: Again, all these species are, first and foremost, the responsibility of those who have ownership of properties. The zebra mussel issue has been going on for some time, I understand, particularly in Lough Erne. It is a big problem for boat owners, and it is certainly something on which I am happy to correspond further with the Member.
Edwin Poots: Personally, I have not had contact with them as that is not my task. That is a matter between the Irish League and the television companies. I understand that the Irish League negotiated a successful contract with Sky TV to the tune of £10 million over four years, which will lead to a significant cash injection into local football.
Edwin Poots: Those targets remain achievable across the UK. I am interested in a proposal that the UK Government are considering. That proposal is to guarantee that anyone who is coming off benefits and going into employment receive at least £50 a week more than they did while on benefits. That would assist a considerable number of people living on benefits.
Edwin Poots: I beg to introduce the Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill [NIA 5/09], which is a Bill to make provision about biodiversity; to amend the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 and Part 4 of the Environment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002; to abolish game licences and game dealers’ licences; and for connected purposes. Bill passed First Stage and ordered to be printed.
Edwin Poots: As the Minister is aware, the only shopping centre in the region is at Sprucefield, in the Lagan Valley constituency. The Minister’s predecessor granted planning permission for further development at Sprucefield. Will the Minister look further at the reserved matters, as the proposed development has substantially changed? It probably does not now meet the regional criterion as originally...
Edwin Poots: Pages 349 to 351 of the report set out the DUP’s position on parades and its analysis of where we need to go. We went to the bother of providing a written submission and making our position clear in Committee. Perhaps, in order to assist Mr McNarry, Lord Morrow can identify where the Ulster Unionist Party’s submission on parades is.
Edwin Poots: That is the case: senior officials met last week on that issue. All the top departmental economists participated in the meeting, and those meetings are continuing. I cannot predetermine the outcome of the meetings — I have not got the insight into other people’s minds that Mr Burnside has. When those outcomes are determined, I will advise this House thereafter.
Edwin Poots: I thank the Minister for giving way and for raising that valid point. Does he agree that prisons have insufficient reform measures, such as training and preparing prisoners for returning to society? Does he agree that a drugs culture should not be tolerated in prison? Those who enter prison without a drugs habit leave with one; that is unacceptable.
Edwin Poots: To be perfectly honest, Mr Speaker, at this stage, I am not convinced that the trusts responded quickly enough. That is why I am going down this route and why I will have an independent investigation. It will be an independent investigation. Irrespective of how we get them, we will get the answers, and we will make them public.
Edwin Poots: The Member got it right in the first instance, when he said that the needs of children are paramount. I will always ensure that the needs of children remain paramount. The only human rights involved here are those of the child. No one has a human right to adopt. The human right exists with the child who requires adoption.
Edwin Poots: I thank the Member for his question. The Southern Health and Social Care Trust directly recruited three junior doctors in 2009-2010; six in 2010-11; three in 2011-12; six in 2012-13; and two in 2013-14. The Southern Trust has approximately 225 junior doctor posts, and the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA) has filled over 90% of those posts.
Edwin Poots: The Environment Fund strategic strand supports the delivery of priority environmental outcomes across Northern Ireland. The strategic strand is a three- to four-year programme that began in 2019-2020. Its scope cannot be widened. Additional Environment Fund challenge fund competitions may be operated throughout the year to support environmental priorities being delivered by not-for-profit...
Alex Maskey: ..., Environment and Rural Affairs and that Mr Gary Middleton has resigned the office of junior Minister. I have also been informed by the nominating officer for the Democratic Unionist Party that Mr Edwin Poots has been nominated as Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs. Mr Poots accepted the nomination and affirmed the Pledge of Office in my presence and that of the...
Edwin Poots: Their success was demonstrated in last year’s world cricket finals when Ireland beat Pakistan; several players from Northern Ireland participated in that team. Members should, therefore, recognise the success enjoyed by the cricket team on the world stage in the past year, and the work that has been done in the development of the sport since 2006 contributed to that.