ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Thursday, 11 April 2013

Venue: Room 30

The meeting began at 10.08am in public session.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Chairperson’s Business

Members considered the Standing Order on Declaration of Interestx. 

Agreed: Members had no further interests to declare.

Members considered the issue of Corporation Tax.

Agreed: Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson to meet with the Secretary of State to discuss.

Members considered the opportunity in Brussels to meet with Irish MEPs on issues such as cross-border economy.

Agreed: to include meetings with Irish MEPs during the visit.

3. Minutes of meetings held on 19 March 2013.

Members considered the draft minutes 19 March 2013.

Minutes were agreed.

4. Matters Arising

Members considered the information from the Committee for Employment and Learning regarding a Financial Capability Strategy for Northern Ireland.

Agreed: to receive a written briefing by the Department on the impact of the closure of EGSA on the delivery of the relevant objectives.

Members considered the response by the Department regarding the SL1 in relation to RIDDOR.

Agreed: to inform relevant stakeholders of the decision by the Department.

Agreed: to ask the Department for any reasons why the written response can not be forwarded to stakeholders.

Phil Flanagan joined the meeting at 10.14am

Members considered a briefing by the Department regarding the Renewable Heat Incentive.

Agreed: to receive 6 monthly updates by the Department.

Members noted the response by the Department regarding RoI Airports’ impact on NI Economy.

Members considered the response by the Department regarding the Third Sector Mapping exercise.

Agreed: to ask the Department for the timescale for completion.

Agreed: to receive the final report when available.

Members noted the response by the Department regarding 1.8 million higher education EU support fund.

Members considered a paper from the Consumer Council regarding supermarket pricing.

Agreed: to write to the Supermarkets to ask for the rationale behind the price variations between outlets.

Steven Agnew joined the meeting at 10.25am

Members considered the response by Invest NI regarding PfG Commitments.

Agreed: to ask the Department for the figures for actual jobs created.

Agreed: to ask the Department if the unit of measurement is in millions.

Members considered the response by the Department regarding Backin’ Belfast Campaign.

Agreed: to ask the Department if any evaluation has been carried out on the impact on other businesses, including hospitality but excluding hotels, outside of Belfast.

5. Cross-Border Economic Renewal Report - Oral Briefing from the Centre for Cross Border Studies

Representatives joined the meeting at 10.36am

Members received an oral briefing from John Bradley, Economic Modelling and Development Strategies, Centre for Cross Border Studies.

Key issues discussed included: corporation tax, regional disparity and data collection.

Steven Moutray joined the meeting at 11.03am

Sue Ramsey left the meeting at 11.20am

Phil Flanagan left the meeting at 11.24am

Agreed: to request retrospective a copy of the briefing from Hansard for future consideration.

6. Oral Briefing from the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce

Representatives joined the meeting at 11.56am

Members received an oral briefing from Philip Gilliland, President of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, Sinead McLaughlin, Chief Executive of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce and Mark Nagurski, Chief Executive of Culture Tech Company.

Key issues discussed included: Expansion of the site at University of Ulster Magee Campus, creation of SME clusters and trade missions.

Phil Flanagan rejoined the meeting at 12.05pm

Steven Moutray left the meeting at 12.21pm

Paul Frew joined the meeting at 12.31pm

Alban Maginness left the meeting at 12.35pm

Sue Ramsey rejoined the meeting at 12.35pm

Steven Agnew left the meeting at 12.36pm

Sue Ramsey left the meeting at 12.58pm

Agreed: to asked the Department if it is developing a sub-regional strategy with a creative/digital/ICT cluster for the North West.

Agreed: to receive an update from the Department on actions being taken to increase the student numbers in the University of Ulster Magee Campus as per the Economic Strategy.

Agreed: receive details from the Department on the amount of land is available in the region for industrial development.

7. Subordinate Legislation: SR: Draft SR The Renewables Obligation (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2013

Members considered the following subordinate legislation:-

Agreed: the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment has considered Draft SR The Renewables Obligation (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2013 and, subject to the report of the Examiner of Statutory Rules, recommends that it be affirmed by the Assembly.

Agreed: Members recommend that it be affirmed by the Assembly.

8. Subordinate Legislation: SR: 2013/92 The Gas and Electricity (Internal Markets) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013

Members considered the following subordinate legislation:-

Agreed: the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment has considered SR 2013/92 The Gas and Electricity (Internal Markets) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013 and, subject to the report of the Examiner of Statutory Rules, has no objection to the rule.

Agreed: members had no objection to the rule.

9. EU Roaming Charges - Written Briefing from Assembly Research

Members considered an Assembly Research paper regarding EU Roaming Charges.

Agreed: to commission further research on non-EU Roaming Charges.

10. Report on Electricity Pricing - Written Briefing from the Utility Regulator

Members considered a Utility Regulator Report on Electricity Pricing.

Maeve McLaughlin left the meeting at 1.12pm

Agreed: to receive an oral briefing from the Utility Regulator.

 11. Correspondence

Members noted the following items of correspondence for action:

i. Members considered information from Danske Bank, the Bank of Ireland and the Ulster Bank regarding the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme.

Agreed: to ask the Department what sectors are excluded from the scheme and why.

ii. Members noted information the Committee for Employment and Learning regarding Skills Deficit in the Renewables sector.

Maeve McLaughlin rejoined the meeting at 1.14pm

iii. Members considered an invitation from CBI Northern Ireland to a high level energy event in Belfast.

Agreed: members to contact the Committee Office if attending.

iv. Members noted information from the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister regarding the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse 1922-1995.

Members noted the following items of correspondence

v. Members noted information from Social Enterprise NI regarding showcase days.

vi. Members noted information from the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding EU Competiveness Programme.

Paul Frew left the meeting at 1.17pm

12. Forward Work Programme

Members considered the draft Forward Work Programme and agreed to include the following:

  • members to meet with Shaun Kingsbury from Green Investment Bank on 23 April
  • to receive an oral briefing from Green Investment Bank officials
  • to receive an oral briefing from officials on the Economic Advisory Group’s Access to finance report
  • to receive written briefing from the Trade Unions which represent employees in Kilroot and Ballylumford power station
  • to receive written briefing from the Irish League of Credit Unions on providing current accounts to members

13. Any other business

Members considered the release of Petroleum Licenses.

Agreed: to receive an oral briefing from the Department on the issue.

Members considered an invitation to the Meeting of the Chairpersons of Employment, Enterprise, Innovation and Social Affairs Committees, 28-29 April, 2013.

Agreed: the Deputy Chairperson to attend the event on behalf of the Chairperson who is unable to attend.

14. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on 18 April 2013 at 10.00am in Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 1.31pm

Mr Patsy McGlone
Chair, Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment
18 April 2013

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