ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Thursday, 15 November 2012

Venue: Room 30

The meeting began at 10.06 am in public session.

1. Apologies

There were no apologies.

2. Chairperson’s Business

Members discussed the Long Gallery event on Research & Development that the Committee hosted on 12 November.

Agreed: to receive an oral briefing from 4G mobile providers in the new year.

3. Minutes of meeting held on 8 November 2012

Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting on 8 November 2012 were agreed.

4. Matters Arising

Members considered a response from the Centre for Cross Border Studies on the development of the report “Delivering a Prosperity Process: Opportunities in North/South Public Service Provision.

Agreed: to ask the Centre for Cross Border Studies to keep the Committee informed on future progress of the project.

Members noted a clarification response from NITB on tourism statistics arising from the oral briefing on 18 October 2012.

Members noted a copy of a response from the Department to the Committee for Employment and Learning regarding a change of focus from Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Members considered a response from the Department regarding the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme.

Agreed: to write to the banks to determine the reasons why there has been a poor up take of the scheme in Northern Ireland.

Agreed: to receive from the Department, a breakdown of the £1.9m loans offered across the regions of the UK.

Alban Maginness joined the meeting at 10.16am.

Members considered a response from the Department regarding the redundancy scheme at FG Wilson.

Agreed: to receive a copy of the response from the Barroso Taskforce on what further measures may be available.

Agreed: to receive an update on progress with discussions regarding the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund.

Members considered a response from the Department regarding tackling social deprivation and poverty.

Agreed: Invest NI to provide information, at its oral briefing on the 6 December to provide information on new jobs being created and an explanation of the difference between promoting and creating jobs.

Agreed: to receive information from the Department on what it is doing to tackle social deprivation through its energy remit.

Agreed: to receive from the Department, more detail on plans and initiatives being taken forward with other departments.

Agreed: to receive from the Department, information on further measures being considered by the Executive in relation to the economy and jobs

Members considered a response from the Department regarding payday lending and school uniform grants.

Agreed: to forward a photograph of payday loan advertisements for school uniform grants to Trading Standards Service.

Members discussed a response from the Department regarding Telecoms.

Agreed: Chair to raise the issue of the release to the Committee of confidential information with the Permanent Secretary.

Members noted a response from the Department regarding the Mount Business and Conference Centre.

Members considered a response from the Department regarding the report on “Delivering a Prosperity Process: Opportunities in North/South Public Service Provision”.

Agreed: to forward the response to Michael D’Arcy and the Centre for Cross Border Studies.

Members considered a paper on the Executive’s £200 million Jobs and Economy Initiative.

Agreed: to receive an oral briefing from the Department.

Members discussed a draft motion for plenary debate on the Small Business Research Initiative for the 26 November.

Agreed: to amend the motion and lay in the Business Office.

Agreed: to commission Assembly Research on the Small Business Research Initiative.

Paul Frew joined the meeting at 10.30am.

Agreed: to forward the research to Statutory Committees when it is available.

Agreed: to issue the letter to the Chairs of all Statutory Committees to request their participation in the debate.

Members noted the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) would provide an oral briefing on RIDDOR on 29 November.     

5. (10.15 am): Tariff setting for gas and electricity: Oral Briefing from The Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation

Representatives joined the meeting at 10.32am.

Members received an oral briefing from Shane Lynch, Chief Executive and Kevin Shiels, Director of Retail & Social Policy.

Key issues discussed included tariff setting for electricity and gas, single electricity market and the North/South Interconnector.

Stephen Moutray left the meeting at 10.54am.

Agreed: NIAUR to provide an explanation on the trend on electricity and domestic gas prices.

Gordon Dunne left the meeting at 11.19am.

Stephen Moutray returned to the meeting at 11.20am.

Sandra Overend left the meeting 11.24am.

Steven Agnew left the meeting at 11.30am.

Alban Maginness left the meeting at 11.55am.

Agreed: NIAUR to provide clarification on the actual figure for extending the gas network to the West.

Agreed: At the next briefing by the Department on gas extension to include consideration of the extension of the gas network to other towns in the East.

Representatives left the meeting at 11.57 am

Patsy McGlone left the meeting at 11.58 am.

Phil Flanagan took the Chair at 11.58am.

Sandra Overend returned to the meeting at 11.59am.

6. (11.00 am): Energy Bill: Oral Briefing from DETI

Officials joined the meeting at 11.59 am.

Members received an oral briefing from Olivia Martin, Principal Officer, Sustainable Energy; Fred Frazer, Principal Officer, Energy Markets, Domestic; Alison Clydesdale, Principal Officer, Renewable Electricity Policy & Legislation; and Helen Vaughan, Deputy Principal Officer, Energy Markets Domestic.

Key issues discussed included the consultation process, fuel poverty, one stop shop energy efficiency and the Green Deal.

Patsy McGlone returned to the meeting at 12.08pm and resumed the role as Chair.

Agreed: to receive information on how the responsibilities are divided on energy efficiency between the Department and DSD.

Agreed: To receive the correspondence between the Minister and the Social Development Minister in setting up the cross-departmental group on energy.

Gordon Dunne returned to the meeting at 12.28pm.

Agreed: To receive further information, if available, on the role of the Green Investment Bank regarding energy.

Agreed: To receive the responses from the five respondents not in favour of the introduction of the energy efficiency obligation.

Agreed: to receive copies of all responses from the consultation.

Maeve McLaughlin returned to the meeting at 12.35pm.

Officials left the meeting at 12.40pm.

7. Subordinate Legislation

The Committee considered the following subordinate legislation:

SR 2012/381 The Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012

Agreed: That the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment has considered SR 2012/381 The Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 and has no objection to the rule.

8. Subordinate Legislation

The Committee considered the following subordinate legislation:

SR 2012/385 The Electricity (Priority Dispatch) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012

Agreed: That the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment has considered SR 2012/385 The Electricity (Priority Dispatch) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 and has no objection to the rule.

9. Subordinate Legislation

Members considered a proposal for subordinate legislation from the Department.

Agreed: that the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment has considered the Department’s proposal for subordinate legislation under the Gas (Metering Standing and Testing) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 and has no objection to the policy implications of the proposed legislation at this stage. 

10. Update on DETI Support for the Social Economy Sector: Written briefing from DETI

Members considered the written briefing.

Agreed: to receive an oral briefing from the Social Enterprise NI Consortium.

11. Better Regulation Annual Report 2011/12: Written briefing from DETI

Members noted the written briefing,

12. Correspondence

Members considered the following items of correspondence:

i. From the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding a joint meeting with the banks.

Agreed: to write to the Committee for Finance and Personnel to suggest that both Committees work together with the banks as and when issues of joint concern arise.

ii. From the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding a Joint Approach on a Decade of Centenary Commemorations.

Agreed: to forward to the Department for a response.

Members noted the following item of correspondence.

iii. From the Minister regarding the Draft UK Oil Stocking Order.

13. Any Other Business

Members discussed the recent news regarding the difficulties caused to sub-contractors arising from the financial difficulties of the Patton Group.

Sue Ramsey left the meeting at 12.49pm.

Agreed: to receive information from the FSB, CEF and the retail sector regarding the scale of the issues being suffered by these sub-contractors.

14. Date, time and place of next meeting       

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday 22 November 2012 at 10.00am, BT Riverside Tower, Belfast.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 1.00pm.

Mr Patsy McGlone
Chair
Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment
22 November 2012

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