ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

1.34 p.m.       The meeting commenced in Open Session

1. Apologies

Apologies are noted above.

2. Chairperson's Business

The Chairperson welcomed Mr Joe Byrne to the Committee as Deputy Chairperson.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write a letter to Mrs Dolores Kelly to acknowledge her role as Deputy Chairperson of the Committee.

Noted: The Committee noted that an updated Committee photograph has been scheduled for 12 June 2012.

There was no Chairperson's Business to report.

3. Minutes of the meeting 17 and 22 May 2012

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Minutes of the meetings held on 17 May and 22 May 2012.

4. Matters arising

Noted: The Committee noted the Declaration of Interests for Mr Joe Byrne.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department regarding issues raised at the Committee meeting on 1 May 2012.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from Mr Jim Nicholson MEP on the EU Pig Welfare Legislation.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Environment Committee regarding the impending decision on Rose Energy and agreed to request that it is kept appraised of any developments.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment regarding the Agri-Food Sector Trade Mission to China and agreed to write to Minister Foster to ask what support has been given by that Department to the agri-food industry within the last financial year.

Noted: The Committee noted the BBC report advising that the spread of animal parasite may aid cattle TB spread.

Noted: The Committee noted that the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson will be meeting the Minister on 11 June 2012 to discuss Single Farm Payments.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider agenda items 8, 9, 10 and 11 next.

5. SL1: The Conservation of Seabass Regulations (NI) 2012

Agreed: The Committee considered the SL1: The Conservation of Seabass Regulations (NI) 2012 and were content with the merits of the policy.

6. SR 2012/185: The Potatoes Originating in Egypt (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012

Question put and agreed;

That the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development has considered the Potatoes Originating in Egypt (Amendment0 Regulations (NI) 2012 and, subject to comment from the Examiner of Statutory Rules, has no objection to the laying of the Rule.

7. Correspondence 

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from DEFRA regarding the scrutiny of the European Commission’s Common Agricultural Policy reform by the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Minister which provided an update on the Rivers Agency’s progress in meeting recommendations as outlined in the Pat Doherty report.

Noted: The Committee noted the third monthly update from the Department on Schmallenberg Virus.

Noted: The Committee noted the invitation from Rural Network NI to a seminar in June 2012.

8. Forward Work Programme

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a visit on the Single Farm Payment Process and an Inspection Centre on the morning of 18 September 2012.

1.42 p.m. Mr Buchanan joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to hear evidence from the UFU/NIAPA, the Agricultural Consultants Association and the Department on the Single Farm Payment issue on 25 September 2012.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a visit to a fishing port, in October 2012.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme.

1.58 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.

9. Bovine TB Review – Oral Briefing NI Badger Association & the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

The following representatives joined the meeting;

Mike Rendell, Coordinator NI Badger Group

Dr Pól Mac Cana, NI Badger Group

David Wilson, Information Officer, USPCA

The representatives briefed the Committee and this was followed by a Question and Answer session.

Mr Irwin declared an interest as a farmer.

2.31 p.m. Ms Boyle left the meeting.

2.32 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.

2.34 p.m. Mr Irwin rejoined the meeting.

2.34 p.m. Ms Boyle rejoined the meeting.

2.58 p.m. Mr Buchanan left the meeting.

2.58 p.m. Ms Boyle left the meeting.

3.03 p.m. Mr McCarthy rejoined the meeting.                                                                                                                                                     

10. June Monitoring Round – Oral Briefing DARD

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting;

Graeme Wilkinson, Assistant Secretary

Jim McGuinness, Accountant

The officials briefed the Committee and this was followed by a Question and Answer session.

Agreed: The Department agreed to provide additional information on the provisional outturn.

Agreed: The Department agreed to provide information on the increased cost of compensation due to increased stock value.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to support the Department in their proposal to bid to DFP for an additional £6.3m.

3.15 p.m. Mr McMullan left the meeting.

3.21 p.m. Mr McMullan rejoined the meeting.

11. Forest Service Business Plan 2012/13 – Oral Briefing

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting;

Malcolm Beatty, Chief Executive

John Joe O’Boyle, Director of Forestry

3.35 p.m. Mr McMullan left the meeting.

The officials briefed the Committee and this was followed by a Question and Answer session.

12. AOB 

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Clerk would seek advice on whether an issue raised, may be more appropriately dealt with as a constituency matter. 

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 12 June 2012, at 1.30pm, Room 30, Parliament Buildings

The meeting was adjourned at 3.48 p.m.

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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