The saga of Catriona Ruane’s decisions or non decisions on the Capital Building Scheme for schools has been covered by Pete below. The DUP have a typically robust statement on their website from Mervyn Storey which calls for the minister to go.
“Having waited a week following on from her non-attendance at last week’s Assembly the education minister today failed to inform the house of those projects which are ready to move forward to construction stage. Last week she simply didn’t turn up. This week she has turned up with northing to say.
Back in Feb 2010 the Minister informed the Education Committee that her dept would be producing very clear criteria for capital projects and that at the appropriate time she would provide those criteria to the committee. 110 days later the Minister produced a set of criteria that was merely a list of existing departmental policies. I subsequently wrote to the Minister on 1/6/2010 asking her to give more detail on how the process would assess and adjudicate upon a particular school’s eligibility against a clearly defined set of criteria. To date I have not had any response.
On a daily basis I receive complaints from teachers, parents and members of boards of governors from every education sector. The common complaint is about the Minister herself. She is regarded as generating confusion and creating confrontation and chaos where none are necessary.
This particular Minister has become an albatross around the Assembly’s neck. As much as any other outside factor, Caitriona Ruane endangers the stability of the Assembly.
It is now clear to the vast majority of people that she should go.”
It is of course within Sinn Fein’s gift to decide whether or not Ruane does go. However, the TUV have suggested that Sammy Wilson should revoke Ruane’s powers on spending:
“This is a direct challenge to the Assembly, the accountability provisions and the DUP, particularly the Finance Minister. The response of Minister Wilson should be to forthwith revoke Ruane’s discretionary powers over capital spend. He can do this, but will he?”