Assembly’s tribal designation system should be removed

In his speech on a UUP motion on the reform of government structures, East Antrim Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has said it is vital that the Assembly’s tribal designation system is removed. He said that to build a shared society it is essential that institutionalised division is removed at the Assembly.

Stewart Dickson MLA said: “It is absolutely vital that Assembly’s tribal designation system is removed. This is an issue of massive importance and reform of government structures should not be addressed without tackling the designations issue.

“We need to create a shared future and it is disgraceful that division is institutionalised in the system of government here. We need to be able to move forward positively at the Assembly so that segregation can be tackled right across the community. To enable us to tackle the £1billion annual cost of division it is vital that we address division within the institutions of government.

“We would also like see a Governance Bill put forward to ensure more co-operation between departments. This would greatly help to tackle the silo mentality amongst Departments. Departments should have a duty placed upon them to co-operate on key themes like promoting public health, combating crime, community safety sustainable development and promoting a shared future.

“Reform of the institutions at Stormont is vital. We want to see a reduction in the number of MLAs to 80. This reduction would be more in keeping with the size of Northern Ireland and would help deliver significant savings and help streamline the institutions.

“We also advocate a reduction in the number of government departments to 8. These changes are vital to ensure greater joined-up government, help in strategic decision-making, and could deliver a saving of £10m-£20m annually.

“Alliance believes that having a powersharing Executive formed through negotiation would be a positive change. We believe it is possible for parties to negotiate, build consensus and agree on a programme for government ahead of the formation of an Executive which works through collective responsibility. This style of government would deliver greater co-operation and would better promote the concept of powersharing.”


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