Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.Donate to our crowdfunder
Naomi Long: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I apologise for not being in the Chamber earlier when the Minister for Communities responded to the debate on housing, which I had participated in. Unfortunately, I was detained in another meeting. I meant no discourtesy, and I would like to pass that on.
Naomi Long: I thank the Member for giving way. As Kellie has already mentioned, we have reservations about the detail of the motion but not the general thrust. Whilst I accept the point he is making, does he agree that, for those women who are referred, whether it be for a cyst, benign growths or cancer, there is a huge amount of stress for the period of time that they wait? Therefore, it is relevant...
Naomi Long: T4. Mrs Long asked the Minister for Infrastructure, in the light of Brexit, what recommendations his Department is bringing forward to guide future waste water treatment directives, given that he will be aware that EU directives have driven much of the investment and improvement in waste water discharges into the environment. (AQT 369/16-21)
Naomi Long: I thank the Minister for his response. In Westminster, a "Great Repeal Bill" will replace legislation that currently governs such issues with locally agreed legislation. Will there be a similar process in the Assembly to go through the legislation that currently governs issues such as waste water treatment?
Naomi Long: 1. Mrs Long asked the Minister of Health when she will publish the report of the working group on fatal foetal abnormality. (AQO 489/16-21)
Naomi Long: I thank the Health Minister for the attention that she, I know, has given to this difficult and sensitive issue. She said that she wanted time to consider the report and to take it to the Executive. Why cannot the report be published now so that the public are at least aware of the basis on which the Justice Minister and the Health Minister will approach their Executive colleagues and what...
Naomi Long: I would certainly welcome any update that the Minister could provide.
Naomi Long: Thank you. It is important that the financial flexibility that housing associations have be deployed to address housing need. The Minister has informed the Committee and the House of his intention already to build 1,600 homes next year using the £106 million allocated by the social housing development programme. It was noted at his initial meeting with the Committee that the figure was...
Naomi Long: I will.
Naomi Long: Yes, we do have to subsidise, but the house sales scheme is good for building viable, sustainable and vibrant communities. It is important that people be able to get a foot on the housing ladder in the communities in which they have grown up and be able to contribute back to those communities. A broad-brush approach to stopping the house sales scheme is not the way forward. That will...
Naomi Long: I will, Mr Speaker. I was disappointed, I have to say, in the Minister's response that this is social engineering. Quite the opposite. It is about maximising the choice —
Naomi Long: — so that any person can live in any home, in any place, in safety.
Naomi Long: I thank the Member for giving way. Does he not think that it is ridiculous for the Member for South Belfast to demean his colleagues in Westminster by suggesting that opposition is merely an irrelevance?
Naomi Long: On behalf of the Alliance Party, I welcome the opportunity to speak on the motion and the amendments. Social housing is an absolutely crucial part of our infrastructure and is a key public service. In my constituency of East Belfast, I have seen at first hand the impact that housing stress and homelessness have on individuals and families in terms of their health and well-being, and I am...
Naomi Long: I thank the Member for giving way. Will he agree with me that it is a shame that the Minister could not provide reassurance and that, whilst we accept that the full nature of the ONS comments are not available, the Executive could, at least, be working on legislation at this point based on the initial response of the ONS?
Naomi Long: T6. Mrs Long asked the Minister of Health, following on from Mr Kennedy's question, what will happen if that panel recommends legislation and how that will be taken forward in a timely manner, given that the Justice Minister has already indicated that her intention is not to bring forward legislation this year. (AQT 301/16-21)
Naomi Long: I thank the Minister for the openness of her response on the issue. She will be aware that it is three years since Sarah Ewart was diagnosed and Ella Ewart very sadly passed away. She will be aware that women who are faced with that diagnosis do not have time on their side in making their decisions. Can she confirm that she will treat this as a matter of urgency to ensure that the...
Naomi Long: I thank the Member for giving way. There seems to be much kerfuffle in the corner because people dared to amend the motion. Does the Member agree that that is largely to do with timing and when the wording of motions has to be set down, which is much further in advance of what would be expected in any other Chamber in these islands?
Naomi Long: — what clarity can the Minister provide with respect to the likely effectiveness of the measures proposed in meeting those requirements? I support the motion and the amendment, and I look forward to supporting the Ministers in what they do to ensure that the issues are adequately addressed.
Naomi Long: Do the Executive have legislation for us?