Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland)


Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland)
Northern Ireland

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The Department of the Environment (DOE, Irish: An Roinn Comhshaoil[1]) is a devolved Northern Ireland government department in the Northern Ireland Executive. The minister with overall responsibility for the department is the Minister for the Environment.

Contents

Aim

The DOE’s overall aim is to “work in partnership" with the public, private and voluntary sectors to promote the "economic and social welfare of the community" through "promoting sustainable development and seeking to secure a better and safer environment for everyone". [2]

The incumbent Minister is Alex Attwood (Social Democratic and Labour Party).[3]

Responsibilities

The main policy responsibilities of the department are:[4]

  • the natural environment
  • the built environment
  • land use planning
  • road safety
  • regulation of drivers, vehicles and vehicle operators
  • local government

The DOE’s main counterparts in the United Kingdom Government are:

In the Irish Government, its main counterparts are:

History

Following a referendum on the Belfast Agreement on 23 May 1998 and the granting of Royal Assent to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 on 19 November 1998, a Northern Ireland Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive were established by the United Kingdom government under Prime Minister Tony Blair. The process was known as devolution and was set up to return devolved legislative powers to Northern Ireland. DoE is one of 11 devolved Northern Ireland departments created in December 1999 by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and The Departments (Northern Ireland) Order 1999.

A devolved minister first took office on 2 December 1999. Devolution was suspended for four periods, during which the department came under the responsibility of direct rule ministers from the Northern Ireland Office:

Since 8 May 2007, devolution has operated without interruption.

Ministers of the Environment

Minister Party Took office Left office
    Sam Foster Ulster Unionist 2 December 1999 11 February 2000
Office suspended
    Sam Foster Ulster Unionist 30 May 2000 20 February 2002[19]
    Dermot Nesbitt Ulster Unionist 20 February 2002 14 October 2002
Office suspended
    Arlene Foster Democratic Unionist 8 May 2007 9 June 2008
    Sammy Wilson Democratic Unionist 9 June 2008 1 July 2009
    Edwin Poots Democratic Unionist 1 July 2009 5 May 2011
    Alex Attwood SDLP 16 May 2011

Direct rule ministers

During the periods of suspension, the following ministers of the Northern Ireland Office were responsible for the department:

References

  1. ^ "Annual Report 2003" (in Irish). North/South Ministerial Council. http://www.northsouthministerialcouncil.org/nsmc_annual_report_-_irish_version_(pdf_3.06mb).pdf. Retrieved 2009-03-03.  (page 30)
  2. ^ Northern Ireland Budget 2011-15, page 80
  3. ^ http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/index/work-of-the-executive/ministers-and-their-departments.htm Northern Ireland Executive
  4. ^ DOE: About us
  5. ^ Defra: About Defra
  6. ^ Communities and Local Government: About us
  7. ^ Department for Transport: About us
  8. ^ DCMS: Historic environment
  9. ^ Environment, Community and Local Government: Mission Statement
  10. ^ Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: Roads
  11. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Commencement) Order 2000
  12. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2000
  13. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) Order 2001
  14. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2001
  15. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) (No.2) Order 2001
  16. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) (No.2) Order 2001
  17. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) Order 2002
  18. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2007
  19. ^ Office suspended for 24 hours on 11 August 2001 and 22 September 2001

See also

External links


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