North West MLAs to get down to business as office holders and scrutineers

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The headline North Western office holders in the new Executive are Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Justice Minister Claire Sugden, however, with the composition of the various Stormont Committees now finalised there will be important scrutiny roles for almost all of our local MLAs.

Londonderry DUP MLA Gary Middleton, for example, will serve as Deputy Chairperson of the Health Committee on which fellow citizen Mark H. Durkan will also sit.

Mr Durkan’s colleague, the SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, will chair the new Communities Committee upon which East Londonderry DUP MLA Adrian McQuillan will sit.

Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald will be an exceptionally well qualified Deputy Chairperson of the Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee: she has a degree in Molecular Biology and holds a doctorate on the back of research completed under sponsorship of the former Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Her constituency colleagues, DUP MLAs George Robinson and Maurice Bradley will also serve on the Agriculture Committee.

Ms Archibald will also sit on the new Stormont Economy Committee.

East Londonderry SDLP MLA Gerry Mullan will serve on the Finance Committee.

New People Before Profit MLA Eamonn McCann will have the opportunity of pursuing his concerns regarding the development of rail links to the North West on the new Infrastructure Committee.

SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan will also serve on that committee.

Strabane-based Sinn Féin MLA Michaela Boyle and South Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Declan Kearney, who is a resident of the Craigbane area, will both sit on the Justice Committee.

Outside the statutory committees, which will have the job of holding Ministers, civil servants and arms length officials, and recipients of the people’s money amongst others to account, several local MLAs will also serve on several permanent standing committees, which will look after Stormont house-keepingg and book-keeping.

Michaela Boyle will be Deputy Chair of the Assembly and Executive Review Committee.

Daniel McCrossan will serve as Deputy Chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), on which Declan Kearney will also sit.

Adrian McQuillan will serve as the Deputy Chair of the Standards and Privileges Committee.

There are no North West MLAs on the Stormont Business Committee.

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney, who, during the previous mandate served prominently as Deputy Chair of the Justice Committee, has not been named on any of the new committees.