ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Tuesday, 05 March 2013

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

1.32 p.m. The meeting commenced in Open Session

1. Apologies

The apologies are recorded above.

2. Chairperson's business

Agreed: The Chairperson advised the Committee that he had received correspondence from the National Trust following their briefing at the meeting on 12 February 2013. The Committee agreed to schedule a meeting at Mount Stewart in June 2013.

1.34 p.m. Mr McAleer joined the meeting.

Noted: The Committee noted that the Department has received a request for information under the Environmental Information Regulations from the Belfast Telegraph regarding a letter which issued from the Committee to the Minister regarding the horsemeat issue.

3. Minutes of the meeting 26 February 2013

Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the meeting held on 26 February 2013.

4. Matters arising

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Minister in which she provided clarification on the date on which she became aware of imported horsemeat passing through Freeza Meats.

Noted: The Committee noted the copied correspondence from the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety in relation to the contamination of beef burgers with horsemeat.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Minister regarding her meeting with FASTA and agreed to forward it to the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure for information.

Agreed: The Committee noted the copied correspondence from the Minister to the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding access to CAFRE sporting facilities and agreed to write to the Minister to urge that a meeting with the IFA takes place to discuss the options available.

Noted: The Committee noted the weekly update from the Department regarding ash dieback.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the correspondence from the Department regarding issues raised at the meeting on 12 February 2013. The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence on the forthcoming changes in education and rural communities to the Education Committee and the Rural Community Network.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department of the Environment to seek clarification on how unlikely it will be for T5 tractors, used for agricultural purposes, will require periodic testing under the proposed roadworthiness tests.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the University of Ulster on the Northern Ireland Agri-Food Supply Chain. The Committee agreed to forward the report to the Minister and to ask if the Department will consider the recommendations within the report.

5. Committee Visits

Agreed: The Committee agreed the details of the visit AFBI on 14 March 2013.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to visit Belfast Port and Woodburn Forest on 11 April 2013 and to travel to both locations by mini bus.

1.49 p.m. Mr Irwin joined the meeting.

The Committee discussed the proposed visit to Brussels on 24-25 April 2013.

1.53 p.m. The meeting was suspended.

1.58 p.m. The meeting resumed.

The Chairperson proposed that the Committee agrees that at least one Member from each party has the opportunity to attend the visit to Brussels.

Mr McMullan proposed an amendment that the Committee agrees that only the Chair and Deputy Chair attend the visit to Brussels.

The Committee voted on the proposed amendment.

The Committee divided:

Ayes – Mr McMullan and Mr McAleer.

Noes – Mr Frew, Mr Byrne, Mrs Dobson, Mr Irwin, and Mr McCarthy.

The proposal fell.

The Committee voted on the proposal that at least one Member from each party has the opportunity to attend the visit to Brussels.

The Committee voted on the proposal.

The Committee divided:

Ayes – Mr Frew, Mr Byrne, Mrs Dobson, Mr Irwin and Mr McCarthy.

Noes – Mr McMullan and Mr McAleer

The proposal was carried.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Assembly Research Officer should accompany the Committee to Brussels.

1.59 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.

2.00 p.m. Mr McAleer and Mr McMullan left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to defer consideration of participation in the Balmoral Show and agenda items 6 and 7 until the meeting resumed.

2.05 p.m. The Committee suspended.

3.06 p.m. The Committee resumed.

The following Members were present;

Mr Frew, Mr Byrne, Mrs Dobson, Mr McCarthy and Mr Swann.

Agenda Item 5 continued – Committee visits

Agreed: The Committee agreed to participate in the Balmoral Show in a "meet and greet" capacity.

6. SR 2013/30 The Forestry Land Byelaws (NI) 2013

Question put and agreed:

That the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development has considered the Forestry Land Byelaws (NI) 2013 and, subject to comment from the Examiner of Statutory Rules, has no objections to the rule.

7. Committee discussion on the EFRA Inquiry Bovine TB

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward a copy of its report into Bovine TB along with the Dairy UK submission to the EFRA Committee.

8. Oral Briefing DARD: Progress report to 31 December 2012: Business Plan Targets

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 3.10 p.m.

Graeme Wilkinson, Assistant Secretary

Pauline Keegan, Assistant Secretary

Robert Huey, Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer

Valerie Bell, Principal Officer

The officials briefed the Committee and this was followed by a question and answer session.

3.11 p.m. Mr Irwin rejoined the meeting.

3.19 p.m. Mr Hazzard joined the meeting.

3.20 p.m. Mr McMullan rejoined the meeting.

3.50 p.m. Mr Hazzard left the meeting.

3.55 p.m. Mr Hazzard rejoined the meeting.

4.08 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.

4.11 p.m. Mr Swann left the meeting.

4.25 p.m. Mr McMullan left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek clarification on a number of issues relating to the progress report on DARD Business Plan Targets.

9. Correspondence

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel on the Monitoring of Post Project Evaluations (PPEs). The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ask why there are five outstanding PPEs.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Integrated Education Fund (IEF) regarding its report Integrated Education: A Review of Policy and Research. The Committee agreed to write to the IEF to seek clarification on how their report interacts with rural issues

10. Forward Work Programme

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme.

11. AOB

There was no other business.

12. Date of the next meeting

Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 12 March 2013 at

1.30 p.m. in Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The meeting adjourned at 4.42 p.m.

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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