Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Thursday, 24 January 2013

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

The meeting began at 10.05am in public session.

1. Apologies

There were no apologies.

2. Chairperson’s Business

Stephen Moutray joined the meeting at 10.06am

Members considered an invitation from the Chair of the Board of the Utility Regulator to the Chair and Deputy Chair to attend an informal dinner with the Board of the Utility Regulator at their offices on the evening of 13 March.

Agreed: to ask the Utility Regulator to reschedule the date due to diary commitments.

Members considered a request to meet with the Pubs of Ulster to discuss the impact of the flag protests.

Agreed: to receive a briefing from the Pubs of Ulster.

Agreed: to receive a briefing from the Department on the assistance being provided to Belfast as a result of the flag protests.

Agreed: to receive a briefing from Invest NI in relation to the impact of the flag protests.

3. Minutes of meeting held on Thursday 17 January 2013.

Members agreed the draft minutes of the 17 January 2013.

4. Matters Arising

Phil Flanagan joined the meeting at 10.08am

The Chairperson updated the Committee on the meeting with the Minister on 22 January 2013.

Members discussed information relating to ERDF funding.

Agreed: to receive written briefing from the Department on any analysis that has been carried out on why those grants which have been offered have not taken up the fund.

Members considered a response from Derry City Council on the key issues raised with the Committee on the 10 January 2013.

Agreed: to forward to the Committees for OFMDFM and DRD and to seek a response from the Department.

Agreed: to receive further briefing from Invest NI on how it can work with Derry City Council to maximise Foreign Direct Investment.

Agreed: to receive written briefing from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board on support for the relaxation of accommodation legislation in relation to certification.

Agreed: to receive written briefing from the Department on what further cross-departmental work is taking place to assist the city in achieving the best possible legacy for the City of Culture.

Paul Frew joined the meeting at 10.19am

Members considered a draft Committee motion on the renewable sector.

Agreed: the draft motion as amended.

Members considered an update regarding Recommendation 25 of the Renewable Energy Inquiry.

Agreed: to receive a written briefing from the Department on what parts of the recommendation were not accepted.

Members considered an additional invitation to attend the NI Chamber of Commerce event at the Merchant Hotel on Thursday 31st January.

Agreed: to forward the information to Mr. Newton for consideration.

Members noted a reminder to Ofcom’s Annual Plan Event on 6 February 2013 in Parliament Buildings.

5. Irish Congress of Trade Unions: - Oral Briefing

Representatives joined the meeting at 10.23am

Sandra Overend joined the meeting at 10.30am

Members received an oral briefing from Ms Clare Moore, Union Services Officer, Ms Barbara Martin, Chairperson ICTU Health and Safety Committee, Ms Geraldine Alexander, Member ICTU Health and Safety Committee.

Key issues discussed included: Complying with EU Directives, the need for an EQIA, and the impact of changes to employees.

The Committed noted that subject to further clarification from the Department, ICTU ask the Committee to reject the proposals.

Stephen Moutray left the meeting at 11.11am

Agreed: to ask the Department if it has considered the possibility that the proposals may contravene Article 9 of the Framework Directive 89 / 391 / EEC and Regulation EC 1 338 / 2008 on Community Statistics on Public Health and Safety at Work.

Agreed: to receive clarification from the Department on why there were no statistics included on the impact on employees.

Agreed: to ask the Department why an Equality Impact Assessment was not completed and if the legislation was screened under Section 75 Equality of NI Act 1998..

Agreed: to ask the Department for the number of reports received by HSENI in the last 3 years under the 3 day reporting requirements.

Steven Agnew joined the meeting at 11.36am

6. Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents – Oral briefing

Sue Ramsey left the meeting at 11.42am

Representatives joined the meeting at 11.42am

Members received an oral briefing from Dr Karen McDonnell, Head of RoSPA Scotland.

Key issues discussed included: lack of data collection, HSENI developing a relationship with SMEs at grassroots level, Scottish model of working together for health and safety.

Maeve McLaughlin left the meeting at 12.02pm

Agreed: to receive the Department’s views on Professor Lofstedt’s independent review of Health and Safety legislation.

Sue Ramsey returned to the meeting at 12.08pm

Agreed: to receive information from the Department relating to the recording of all accidents, incidents and dangerous occurrence.

Agreed: to receive a booklet by the HSENI on the Health and Safety Incidents 2011/12.

Agreed: to receive from the Department confirmation if recording is required for all accidents/incidents/dangerous occurrences.

7. Legislative Consent Motion

Members noted the draft 2nd Legislative Consent Memorandum Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill Committee Report on the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill Legislative Consent Motion.

Maeve McLaughlin returned to the meeting at 12.11pm

Agreed: the Committee agreed the Report as amended.

Maeve McLaughlin left the meeting at 12.12pm

Agreed: to have the report and its appendices published on the Committee pages of the Assembly website.

Agreed: to receive information from the Department on any action to address the practice known as gazumping in house buying.

8. Subordinate Legislation

Members discussed the Public Bodies (The Office of Fair Trading Transfer of Consumer Advice Scheme Function and Modification of Enforcement Functions) Order 2013.

Agreed: Members was content with the proposal of Assembly Consent Memorandum.

9. Subordinate Legislation

Members discussed the SL1: Proposed Renewables Obligation (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2013.

Maeve McLaughlin returned to the meeting at 12.16

Agreed: to receive an update from the Department regarding the letter from Magherafelt District Council regarding RHI Biomass Installation Exceeding 1MW.

Agreed: the Committee were content with the policy implications of the proposed legislation. 

10. Natural Gas Network Extension Project

Members discussed a written briefing from the Department regarding the natural gas extension project.

Agreed: to receive further information from the Department on this issue.

Agreed: to receive an oral briefing from the Department and the Utility Regulator on the project.

11. Tourism ‘Priorities for Action’ Plan

Members discussed a written briefing from the Department regarding the tourism ‘Priorities for Action’ plan.

Agreed: to receive further information from the Department on this issue.

12. Correspondence 

Members noted the following items of correspondence for action:

i. From the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding prompt payments.

Agreed: to receive further information from the Department regarding the matter of prompt payments.

Robin Newton left the meeting at 12.33pm

ii. From the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding the Ulster Bank.

Agreed: to receive information from Ulster bank regarding branch closures and the funding for lending scheme. 

iii. From the Institute of Directors regarding an invitation to discuss key issues.

Agreed: for Chairperson to meet with the Institute of Directors.

iv. From the Committee for the Environment regarding Make IT Green.

Agreed: to forward to the Department for information the” Make IT Green” papers.

Members noted the following items of correspondence:

v. From the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development regarding the Lough Neagh Partnership.

vi. From the Committee for Employment and Learning regarding opportunities in North/South public service provision.

vii.  From the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding financial forecasting data.

viii.  From the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding EU funding.

13.  Forward Work Programme

Members discussed the Forward Work Programme.

Agreed: to receive an oral briefing from Dr John Bradley and Professor Michael Best on their report entitled Cross-Border Economic Renewal.

14. Any other business

The Committee discussed the review of the Consumer Council.

Agreed: to receive an oral briefing from Paul Simpson on the progress with the review of the Consumer Council.

The Committee noted a suggestion to visit the new development of leisure facilities in North Down.

15. Date, time and place of next meeting       

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on 31 January at 10.00am Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 12.44pm

Mr Patsy McGlone
Chair
Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment
24 January 2013

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