In Parliament Buildings

MLAs represent us in plenary meetings in the Chamber by:

  • speaking and voting on issues;
  • putting forward (tabling) motions for debate;
  • suggesting amendments to Bills;
  • questioning Ministers and the First Minister and deputy First Minister;
  • introducing a Private Member’s Bill; and
  • presenting petitions on behalf of groups;

MLAs represent us in Committees by:

  • examining Bills in detail;
  • proposing amendments to improve Bills;
  • conducting inquiries into issues (an individual constituency or constituency group may persuade a committee to hold an inquiry into an issue – this could even result in the committee introducing a new law);
  • discussing and writing committee reports (legislative and inquiry reports);
  • monitoring and asking Questions about the decisions and actions of Ministers and Departments, include how they are spending their budget; and
  • inviting outside groups with specific knowledge and expertise to present evidence and keep Members fully informed about issues.

Joining All Party Groups is another way in which MLAs represent us in the Assembly. These are groups that MLAs join voluntarily because they are looking at issues that are relevant to their constituents. The groups also include members from outside the Assembly, both individuals and representatives from relevant interest groups.