Adequate Provision of Services to the Voluntary Sector

How do you see the roles of MLAs as engaging with organisations in the voluntary sector when we are campaigning on behalf of our members in local areas to ensure there is adequate provision of services and how you can help us achieve our goal?

Willie Clarke: The most useful mechanism is the Committee structure, which will scrutinise the Department and the Minister.
Roy Beggs: Go to your local MLAs who have a responsibility to you and to the statutory committees of the Assembly.
Declan O’Loan: These are the areas that local politicians do make a difference. Don’t forget about the Parties themselves.
Alastair Ross: The Committee structure is very powerful. MLAs rely on those who are prepared to lobby on behalf of a particular interest.
Sean Neeson: Lobbying can be a very powerful movement.

Justify Devolving Policing and Justice

What difference will devolving policing and justice mean to the man on the street? Can you justify the cost involved in transferring the powers?

Declan O’Loan: We want a police service that will more respond to the needs of the people. It matters a lot in the terms of the actual delivery of policing and justice.
Alastair Ross: The Chief Constable will be independent and so no politician can interfere with how the police service is being run or how the judicial system is being run.

Fines for Missed Hospital Appointments

Do the MLAs agree that charges should be brought in for missed GP appointments?

Alastair Ross: I would support this. Someone who persistently misses hospital appointments should be fined.
Willie Clarke: There are many underlying factors which could mean someone misses appointments and this shouldn’t be brought in.
Roy Beggs: The Health Service can improve its appointments system which could mean that appointments are not missed.
Sean Neeson: Nobody knows the reason why people miss appointments.
Declan O’Loan: This is a potential minefield.

Antisocial Behaviour and Police Resources

How would you fight the growing level of anti-social behaviour in Carrickfergus without a police force in the town?


How would you fight the growing level of anti-social behaviour in Carrickfergus without a police force in the town?
Sean Neeson: In order to create a peaceful society you need police resources.
Alastair Ross: He meets with members of the Youth Council who tell him there is a growing gang culture.
Roy Beggs: Suspects this is a widespread problem and not just local to Carrickfergus. Parents have a responsibility to know where their children are and what they are doing.
Declan O’Loan: Anti social behaviour is worse now than what it was and it’s not helped by the police service not being able to get officers onto the street efficiently. There is also a shift in policing towards the suspected dissident threat which consumes limited resources.
Willie Clarke: We need to devote more resources to youth outreach projects and develop a multi agency approach to tackling these issues.

Equality Impact Assessment

A review of a policy decision in Northern Ireland is subject to an equality impact assessment.

Why do Unionists have a difficulty over a future Sinn Fein Justice Minister?

Roy Beggs: Those who have been actively engaged in terrorism should not now be in charge of policing and justice.

PPS 21

Do you only need to have one horse or a goat in order to build a house under PPS 21?