Did you mean Edwin roots?
Edwin Poots: Responsibility for policing our roads rests with the PSNI, and it is exclusive to the PSNI. Responsibility for carrying out road engineering works rests with DRD. Responsibility for the educational aspect, getting the messages across and developing road safety strategies and schemes rests with the DOE. Therefore, it is a joint effort, although regulation enforcement is very clearly a task for...
Edwin Poots: Is the inquiry currently operating within budget, and is it expected to be completed within budget? Secondly, in other jurisdictions where redress has been made to victims, it has, more often than not, been the perpetrators rather than the state who have paid it. I assume that anything that is done will look at those who have been the perpetrators of the abuse.
Edwin Poots: I indicated the meetings that have taken place. We are in regular contact with Michael Gove, Brandon Lewis and George Eustice on a range of issues. I assure the Member that pet travel has been brought up regularly, and everybody recognises the madness of it. We need people who have the authority to deal with the madness and not just to recognise it.
Edwin Poots: The Member is absolutely right: the value of the tourism sector and of angling in that sector is phenomenal. We need to look after it and ensure that those incidents do not take place. Sadly, they do, but we need to do everything in our power to stop them and ensure that individuals recognise their responsibilities in ensuring that they do not happen.
Edwin Poots: That is absolutely no problem. There is a series of pieces of work, and I illustrated three of those. There are more than that, but I illustrated those three to demonstrate that we are taking it seriously. I am happy to correspond with the Member in order to give her the full detail in a written format so that she can study that.
Edwin Poots: Does my Colleague agree that a clear lack of strategic planning by the Department — and certainly in the case of Lisburn, where a strategic plan that was to be produced for 1993 is still at a hearing in 1999 — has led to urban sprawl and to major traffic congestion because housing developments have been permitted here, there and everywhere, and not in any strategic way?
Edwin Poots: It is interesting that the Deputy Chairperson of the Committee does not read the letters that he receives. Can the Minister confirm that in the current year’s proposals there is enough provision to start these roadworks? Can he also confirm that unless the budget is cut drastically by the Executive, there will be sufficient finance to complete these roads in years two and three?
Edwin Poots: I am not aware that any bids by the GAA have been affected by what has taken place thus far. The Department has dealt with applications as they have come in. Those and future applications will be dealt with after the completion of the 2008-11 comprehensive spending review. DCAL will be able to make decisions based on the outcome of the Northern Ireland Budget.
Edwin Poots: Midnight soccer has been a useful tool in reaching out to younger people in the community. It has helped to reduce antisocial behaviour in some areas, and the PSNI have been closely involved in its delivery. Part of the sports strategy is to identify funding streams to provide more coaches. That may be one way of ensuring that midnight soccer plays a greater role.
Edwin Poots: I remain committed to funding non-governmental organisations. Those organisations will be the subject of bids, which we will assess as they come in. I assure the House that we will continue to offer fairly extensive funding to NGOs. I also recognise what the Member said about those organisations being able to leverage money that the Department would not be able to gain otherwise.
David Ford: ...the UK. I have no specific knowledge of the issue of those who are under age and are in the care of health and social care trusts. Therefore, I fear that I would have to pass that one over to Edwin Poots.
Edwin Poots: The Environment Bill is necessary to ensure that we do not leave gaps after we leave the European Union. I do not believe that it stops with the Environment Bill. We need to be looking at the green growth strategy, and giving it resource and legislative cover. All those things will be applied as we develop and understand the direction that we are taking.
Edwin Poots: I do not get too hung up on politics when it comes to these types of things. Whether as Health Minister, or previously as Environment Minister, I have always worked well with colleagues from south of the border on interests that align mutually to both parties. Other people sometimes want to play politics with the North/South stuff; I just get on with it.
Edwin Poots: Yes, I have plans to visit the site in the near future. I recognise that there have been a substantial number of complaints from the residents in that area. I believe that it is not a tolerable situation, so I want to ensure that either we get on top of the odour problem or we look at the suspension of activities at the site.
Edwin Poots: We need to pull all those strategies together. They need to have connectivity. The strategy on green growth and the environment strategy, which I hope to talk about tomorrow, will all help us to pull together the various areas we need to address here in Northern Ireland and ensure that we go forward on our best foot. That is ultimately very important to us.
Edwin Poots: I have received a portfolio of documents on the Islandmagee gas storage proposals. My Department is the competent authority on the marine licence, and I am also considering review documentation for the other two DAERA licences that were issued back in 2014 — a water discharge consent and a water abstraction licence. The documentation is comprehensive and will therefore take some time to be...
Edwin Poots: There has been dumping of BSE-infected carcasses close to rivers in the Irish Republic, and that has been supported by the Government. Will the standards that apply in Northern Ireland be applied to animals in the Irish Republic, and will the Minister take steps to stop the importation of animals that do not meet the standards that are required of farmers in Northern Ireland?
Edwin Poots: From its development until March 2010, the plan will have cost £7Î971 million. A huge amount of money has been spent on the process so far. Without doubt, more than £8 million has now been spent on BMAP. A flawed decision has left us without up-to-date area plans. We have spent huge amounts of money on it, to the detriment of the public purse.
Edwin Poots: Both agencies that were mentioned and others have considerably improved, but, in my opinion, they can improve further. So, yes, I will seek to put further pressure on those agencies to respond quicker. To turn the economy around and get the appropriate planning decisions out at an appropriate time, everyone will have to pull their weight including the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and...
Edwin Poots: I thank the Member for elevating me. I am just the Environment Minister; I am neither the First Minister nor the deputy First Minister and, therefore, do not have that responsibility. However, since I have responsibility for local government, I sought to ensure that local government was well prepared to respond. It is for OFMDFM to lead on those issues and to deal with DRD.