Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Thursday, 19 April 2012

Venue: Room 30

The meeting began at 10.36am in public session.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Minutes of meeting held on 29 March 2012

Agreed:  The draft minutes of the meeting on 29 March were agreed.

3. Chairperson’s Business

Members were updated on the concerns raised by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board regarding draft PPS16 and noted these concerns have been largely addressed.

Agreed: To cancel the Committee’s request for an an oral briefing from the Department of Environment.

Members noted an update on the Single Electricity Market (SEM) Committee’s decision on the treatment of curtailment in tie-break situations.

Members noted a news article regarding the referral of Phoenix Gas to the Competition Commission by the Utility Regulator.

Members noted a news article regarding a statement by the Consumer Council on the growing differences in oil and gas prices in Northern Ireland.

Jennifer McCann joined the meeting at 10.41am.

Members noted the Chair’s attendance at a dinner on the 12 April hosted by the First and deputy First Ministers in honour of Chinese State Councillor Madame Liu Yangdong.

Members noted the Chair’s attendance at Educational Guidance Service for Adults, Money for Life Challenge regional final on the 17 April 2012. 

Members noted an invitation to the Chair to attend the Annual CBI Northern Ireland Economic Briefing and Lunch in May.

4. Matters Arising

Members noted a response from the Minister to the Committee’s concerns regarding late papers.

Agreed: To reserve the right to ask officials for the date the papers were forwarded to the Private Office for consideration by the Minister when papers are received late to the Committee Department.

Paul Frew joined the meeting at 10.44am.

Daithí McKay left the meeting at 10.44am.

Members noted the response from the Department to a request from the Committee to receive a copy of the administrators report on the Presbyterian Mutual Society.

Agreed: To seek legal advice on the issue.

Members noted a response from the Department regarding support for small retail businesses.

Agreed: To welcome the initiative and wish it success.

Members noted an Assembly Question Written (AQW) regarding details of Invest NI’s support for Independent News Media.

Members noted a response from the Department on the draft Community Safety Strategy for Northern Ireland.

Agreed: To forward the response to the Committee for Justice.

Members noted an update from the Department on the progress of the Draft Tourism Strategy.

Agreed: To ask the Department to identify the 9 proposed key tourism areas referred to in the response.

5. FSA Regulation of Northern Ireland Credit Unions

Members received an oral briefing from Assembly Research. Key issues discussed related to the recommendations made by the previous on its inquiry into Credit Union Services Committee, progress to date and legislation required by the Assembly.

Stephen Moutray left the meeting at 10.55am.

Agreed: To receive an oral briefing from Department on progress and timescales.

Agreed: To commission further research on alternative funding streams available to credit unions.

Agreed: To write to the Minister regarding Credit Union legislation.

Stephen Moutray returned to the meeting at 11.03am.

6. SL1 The Renewable Heat Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012

Members considered a proposal for subordinate legislation from the Department. 

Agreed: To receive more detail from the Department on incentives for domestic installations (Regulation 15 (1) (a) and 15 (2))  and on payments to participants, levels of tariffs and how these will be calculated (Regulation 37).

Agreed: To receive a timeline for the legislation and a summary of the consultation responses from the Department.

7. SL1 The Control of Asbestos Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012

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 Control of Asbestos Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 and has no objection to the policy implications of the proposed legislation at this stage.

8. Vires Cost Benefit Analysis and Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP)

Members noted the written briefing.

9. Draft DETI Research Agenda 2012-15

Members discussed the written briefing.

Agreed: To receive a comparison of the number of tourism visits since 2008 between the RoI and Northern Ireland.

10. Draft Forward Work Programme

Members noted a news article relating to the RoI’s carbon levy and its impact on business consumers in the North.

Agreed: To receive an oral briefing from Manufacturing NI at next week’s meeting.

Members noted a news article from Trading Standards warning payday lenders to raise standards or face enforcement.

Agreed: to schedule an oral briefing from Trading Standards for a future date.

Agreed: to schedule an oral briefing from the Consumer Council on 17 May regarding the report on Energy by Lord Whitty.

Agreed: to schedule an oral briefing from Invest NI on 31 May regarding a Year End Performance Review.

Agreed: to publish the Forward Work Programme on the Committee’s website.

11. Correspondence

Members noted the following items of correspondence:

i. Letter from the Minister to the Chair regarding Electricity Market Reform.

Agreed: To schedule an oral briefing at a later date.

Daithí McKay returned to the meeting at 11.26am.

ii. Letter from the Department to the Clerk regarding public appointments to the board of the Health & Safety Executive Northern Ireland.

iii. Correspondence from the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding a query on reduction in funding for National Museums Northern Ireland.

Agreed: To write to the Minister requesting that the issue is raised with the Executive.

iv. Follow up from the Department in relation to January Monitoring 2012.

v. Letter from the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding Air Passenger Duty.

Agreed: To consider the issue at next week’s meeting with a view to responding to the Committee for Finance and Personnel.

12. Any other business

There were no other items of business.

13. Date, time and place of next meeting 

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday 26 April at 10.30am, Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The meeting moved into closed session at 11.36am.

14. Closed Session: Inquiry into Research & Development

Members discussed a draft report of the Inquiry into Research & Development.

Agreed: For the Chair and Deputy Chair to meet with MATRIX representatives

Agreed:  For the Chair and Deputy Chair to meet with Mr Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board.

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 11.45am.

Mr Alban Maginness
Chair, Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment
26 April 2012

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