ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

1.35 p.m. The meeting commenced in Open Session

1. Ministerial Briefing on the formal response to the Committee Report on Bovine TB

The Minister and the following departmental officials joined the meeting at 1.36 p.m.

Michelle O’Neill MLA, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development

Gerry Lavery, Permanent Secretary

Colette McMaster, Assistant Secretary

Dr Mark Browne, Deputy Secretary

Bert Houston, Chief Veterinary Officer

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

1.43 p.m. Mr Swann joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to request details on the timescale and costs associated with the research DARD has commissioned from AFBI on a review of the potential application of molecular strain typing in the fight to eradicate Bovine TB.

Agreed:  The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to request a copy of the FERA report in connection with a badger sett survey in the County Down area and the TVR Programme.

2.00 p.m. Mr Hazard and Mr Irwin left the meeting.

2.07 p.m. Mr Swann left the meeting.

2.10 p.m. Mr Irwin rejoined the meeting.

2. Ministerial Briefing – Priorities for 2013

The Minister and the following departmental officials joined the meeting at 2.15 p.m.

Michelle O’Neill MLA, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development

Gerry Lavery, Permanent Secretary

Dr Mark Browne, Deputy Secretary

David Small, Deputy Secretary

Bert Houston, Chief Veterinary Officer

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

2.20 p.m. Mr Hazzard rejoined the meeting.

2.27 p.m. Mr Swann rejoined the meeting.

2.40 p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting.

2.45 p.m. Mr Buchanan left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request the detail on successful wind turbine and solar panel projects which have been funded via the Rural Development Programme.

2.55 p.m. The meeting was suspended.

4.34 p.m. The meeting resumed.

The following Members were in attendance;

Mr P Frew, Mr J Byrne, Mrs J Dobson, Mr D McAleer, Mr O McMullan and

Mr R Swann.

3. Apologies

There were no apologies.

4. Chairperson’s Business

The Chairperson advised the Committee that the Assembly Research Officer has produced a map to demonstrate the size of the area referred to by the Minister for the badger sett survey.

Agreed:The Committee agreed to consider all available information at the next meeting on the Department’s proposal on the badger sett survey.

5. Minutes of the meeting 22 January 2013

Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the meeting held on 22 January 2013.

4.36 p.m. Mr Buchanan and Mr Irwin rejoined the meeting.

6.    Matters arising

Agreed: The Committee noted the weekly update from the Department on Ash Dieback and agreed to write to the Department to ask if premises already inspected will be re-inspected.

7. Correspondence

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ask what the volume of queries to DARD Direct Offices has been in relation to the introduction of the New Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS) Maps and an analysis of the issues raised.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Minister to the Chairperson following a written question on her Ministerial Statement: European Commission Financial Corrections.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding a briefing it received on the Special EU Programmes Body on EU funding issues.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel on the Financial Forecasting outturns.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Assembly’s European Project Manager on forthcoming events during the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister regarding the Investment Strategy for NI Investing Activity – Report for DARD January 2013.

8. Forward Work Programme

Agreed: The Committee agreed the format for the Stakeholder event on Tree Disease on 19 February 2013 and agreed that five Members would each facilitate a themed workshop group.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to attend an Effective Questioning and Scrutiny Workshop on Tuesday 5 March 2013 in conjunction with the Education Committee.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme.

9. AOB

There was no other business.

10. Date and time of the next meeting

Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 5 February January 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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