ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Venue: Room 30

1.31 p.m. The meeting commenced in Open Session

1. Apologies

There are no apologies.

2. Chairperson’s Business

The Chairperson reminded the Committee that an Effective Questioning and Scrutiny session has been arranged for Tuesday 4 June 2013 at 1.30 p.m. in Room 30.

The Chairperson advised the Committee that an evening reception has been organized for the RUAS on 25 June 2013 at 6.00 p.m. in Parliament Buildings.

3. Minutes of the meetings 14 and 16 May 2013

Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the meetings held on 14 and 16 May 2013.

4. Matters Arising

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward correspondence from the Forest Service on the draft Felling of Trees Regulations to the Woodlands Trust.

Noted: The Committee noted the severe weather update from the Department.

Noted: The Committee noted the weekly update from the Department on Ash Dieback.

5. Agri-Food Strategy Board Report – Oral Briefing

The following officials joined the Committee meeting at 1.35 p.m.

Colette McMaster, Assistant Secretary

Tony O’Neill, Chairperson AFSB

David Thompson, Deputy Secretary, DETI

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

1.36 p.m. Mr Milne joined the meeting.

1.40 p.m. Mr McAleer joined the meeting.

1.43 p.m. Mr Buchanan joined the meeting.

1.54 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.

Mrs Dobson declared an interest that her husband is a farmer.

2.03 p.m. Mr Swann joined the meeting.

2.04 p.m. Mr Buchanan left the meeting.

2.05 p.m. Mr Milne left the meeting.

Mr Irwin declared an interest as a farmer.

2.13 p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting.

2.14 p.m. Mr Clarke joined the meeting.

2.28 p.m. Mr Byrne and Mr McAleer left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request research on similar reports produced in other jurisdictions, including an analysis of the crossover from other reports on Agri-Food produced in N.I.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the Hansard from the AFSB briefing to the ETI Committee.

 6. The Agriculture (Hardship Payment) Scheme (NI) 2013 – Oral Briefing DARD

The following Departmental officials joined the Committee meeting at 2.39 p.m.

Michael Hatch, Senior Principal Veterinary Officer

Colette McMaster, Assistant Secretary

Peter Toner, Grade 7

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

2.52 p.m. Mr Byrne re-joined the meeting.

2.53 p.m. Mr Swann left the meeting.

2.55 p.m. Mr McAleer re-joined the meeting.

2.56 p.m. Mr Milne re-joined the meeting.

3.00 p.m. Mr McAleer left the meeting.

3.05 p.m. Mr Buchanan and Mr McAleer re-joined the meeting.

3.06 p.m. Mrs Dobson re-joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request information on what other options were considered regarding payments to farmers affected by the severe weather.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request an explanation on how the value of animals was worked out.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request figures on how many animals DARD lost due to the severe weather.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request information on how many farmers availed of the force majeure provision as a result of the severe weather.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request research on current market valuations for farm animals.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content with the merits of the Hardship Scheme policy.           

7. 2013 Fodder Transport Scheme – Oral Briefing DARD

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 3.07 p.m.

David Small, Deputy Secretary

Joseph Kerr, Grade 7

Ian McCluggage, Grade 7

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

3.11 p.m. Mr McMullan re-joined the meeting.

Mr Irwin declared an interest as a farmer.

3.38 p.m. Mr Clarke left the meeting.

3.46 p.m. Mr McAleer left the meeting.

8. Pre-consultation on The Sea Fishing (Licences and Notices) Regulations 2013

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Department should provide a written brief to the Committee on the outcome of the consultation on the Sea Fishing (Licences and Notices) Regulations 2013.

9. SR 2013/118: The Scrapie (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2013

Question put and agreed:

That the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development has considered SR 2013/118: The Scrapie (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2013 and has no objections to the rule.

10. Correspondence

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward correspondence from Mr Dunlop on the Castlewellan Arboretum to the Minister for comment.

Agreed: The Committee noted copied correspondence from Mr and Mrs Simpson on LPIS Maps and SFP and agreed to request that the Minister copies the Committee into her response to the Simpsons.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward Explanatory Memorandum on the EU legislation on transitional arrangements for CAP, to the Department for analysis.

Noted: The Committee noted the Explanatory Memorandum on EU legislation on imports of big-eye tuna.

Noted: The Committee noted the Explanatory Memorandum on EU legislation on the Fishing Protocol between the EU and Ivory Coast.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department dated 16 May 2013 on the EU decision on the use of processed Animal Proteins.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence which issued to DARD from the ETI Committee on Third Sector Mapping.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the ETI Committee regarding a review of the Consumer Council NI.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Big Lottery Fund regarding a new Space and Place Programme.

Noted: The Committee noted the invitation from RSPB to their monthly conservation meeting on 23 May 2013 in Parliament Buildings.

11. Forward Work Programme

The Chairperson advised the Committee that a lunch meeting with the Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly has been organised for 12 September 2013, followed by a seminar on Reviewing the EU Rural Development Programme in Parliament Buildings.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the draft Forward Work Programme.

12. AOB

There was no further business.

13. Date and time of the next meeting

Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 28 May 2013 at 1.30p.m. in Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The meeting adjourned at 3.55 p.m.

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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