ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Venue: Room 30

1.38 p.m. The meeting commenced in Closed Session

1. Committee review on Tree Disease – Consideration of Issues

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider a position paper with recommendations and a motion for debate.

1.54 p.m. The meeting moved into Open Session.

2. Apologies

There were no apologies.

3. Financial Crisis in Farming – Oral Briefing Farmers for Action

The following representatives from Farmers for Action joined the meeting at 1.55 p.m.

Sean McAuley, Committee Members

William Taylor, NI Co-ordinator

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

1.59 p.m. Mr Clarke left the meeting.

2.07 p.m. Mr Milne left the meeting.

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

2.21 p.m. Mr McAleer left the meeting.

2.23 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.

2.28 p.m. Mr Byrne left the meeting.

2.30 p.m. The meeting was suspended.

3.12 p.m. The meeting resumed with the following Members present: Mr Frew, Mr Byrne, Mr Buchanan, Mrs Dobson and Mr McMullan.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request research on new equipment available in the USA and Australia to detect the presence of Bovine TB in badger setts.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a written brief from Research on some of the issues raised by the submission by Farmers for Action on Fairness for Farmers in Europe.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request oral briefings from the banks in relation to the financial assistance they may be able to offer farmers.

4. Chairperson’s Business

The Chairperson reminded Members that the Committee meeting on 13 June 2013 will be held in Mount Stewart, Newtownards, followed by a visit to Kiltonga Reservoir.

5. Minutes of the meeting on 21 May 2013 

Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the meeting held on 21 May 2013

6. Matters arising

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence dated 22 May 2013 from DARD regarding issues raised at the Committee meeting on 30 April 2013.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence dated 22 May 2013 from DRD regarding damage to fencing during the recent snow clearance operation.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence dated 22 May 2013 from Minister Poots regarding initiatives to assist farmers with mental health issues.

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

7. June Monitoring Round and 2012/13 Provisional Outturn Report – Oral Briefing DARD

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 3.23 p.m.

Graeme Wilkinson, Grade 5

Lynda Lowe, Deputy Principal

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

3.24 p.m. Mr Irwin re-joined the meeting.

3.45 p.m. Mr Milne left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to DARD to request an update on all the projects funded under the NIRDP Axis 3.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to DARD to request information on the total quantum spend for LPIS.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to DARD to ask if the continuing pressure of Ash Dieback has been accounted for and what impact it may have.

Agreed: The Committee agreed with the DARD proposals for the June Monitoring Round.

8. 2012/13 Business Plan Outturn Report – Oral Briefing DARD

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 3.46 p.m.

Graeme Wilkinson, Grade 5

Pauline Keegan, Grade 5

Andrew Elliott, Grade 5

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

3.46 p.m. Mr Swann re-joined the meeting.

3.52 p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting.

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

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

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

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to DARD to request the Better Regulation figures as at 31 March 2013.

4.30 p.m. Mr McMullan left the meeting.

4.31 p.m. Mr Buchanan left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to DARD to request an update on the Sustainable Development of the Fisheries Area – Axis 4.

4.34 p.m. Mr McAleer left the meeting.

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

9. The African Horse Sickness Regulations (NI) 2013: Written Briefing DARD

Agreed: The Committee agreed with the merits of the policy.

4.46 p.m. Mr Bynre left the meeting.

10. Correspondence

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel on the Financial Provisions Bill 2013 to the Department for comment.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the Explanatory Memorandum on the transitional arrangements for CAP to the Department for comment.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department advising that a vaccine for Schmallenberg Virus will be available in the summer 2013.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Horticulture Forum which provides an addendum to their Strategy Report.

Agreed: The committee noted the correspondence from the Health Committee advising that it had written to DARD to ascertain what actions they are taking in relation to suicide prevention. The Committee agreed to request that DARD copies it into the response.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Finance and Personnel Committee on the current position for Post Project Evaluations.

11. Forward Work Programme

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 4 June 2013 at

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

The meeting adjourned at 4.50 p.m.

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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