In Parliament Buildings
MLAs represent us in plenary meetings in the Chamber by:
- making speeches 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 and proposing amendments, always keeping in mind the views of constituents;
- conducting inquiries into issues (the views of constituents, as put forward by an MLA, may influence what issues committees decide to investigate);
- monitoring and asking questions about the decisions and actions of Ministers and Departments, including 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 which may affect their constituency.
Joining All Party Groups is another way in which MLAs represent us in the Assembly. These are groups of MLAs from different parties who are interested in the same issue. MLAs join voluntarily and will choose groups dealing with issues elevant to their constituents. The groups also include people from outside the Assembly, both individuals and representatives from relevant interest groups, who have direct experience of an issue or expertise in the area.
For a list of current All Party Groups, go to: http://aims.niassembly.gov.uk/mlas/allpartygroups.aspx