Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Thursday, 24 May 2012

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

The meeting began at 10.05am in closed session.

1.  Closed Session: Inquiry into Research & Development

Members considered the draft Inquiry report.

Agreed: to arrange a press pre-briefing for the morning of Monday 11 June prior to the debate on the Inquiry and to invite press representatives and key stakeholders.

Sandra Overend joined the meeting at 10.07am.

The meeting moved into public session at 10.13am.

2.  Apologies 

Apologies are detailed above.

3.  Inquiry into Research & Development

Members considered the draft report of the Inquiry into Research and Development.

Agreed: That the list of Abbreviations and Table of Contents stands part of the report

Agreed: That the Executive Summary at paragraphs 1–33 stands part of the report

Jennifer McCann joined the meeting at 10.15 am

Agreed: That that the Summary of Recommendations at paragraphs 1-15 stands part of the report

Agreed: That the Introduction at paragraphs 16-27 stands part of the report

Agreed: That the Key Issues and Findings at paragraphs 28-214 stands part of the report

Agreed: That the Conclusions and Recommendations at paragraphs 215-252 stands part of the report.

Agreed: That the extract of the Minutes of Proceedings at Appendix 1 stands part of the report

Agreed: That the Minutes of Evidence (Hansards) at Appendix 2 stands part of the report

Agreed: That the Rapporteurs Meetings at Appendix 3 stands part of the report

Agreed: That the Written Submissions at Appendix 4 stands part of the report

Agreed: That the Assembly Research Papers at Appendix 5 stands part of the report

Agreed: For the Chairperson to approve an extract from today’s minutes which reflect the read-through of the Report.  These are needed for inclusion at Appendix 1, minutes of proceedings. 

Agreed: The appendices 2 to 5 of the report will be included in the CD ROM in the public version of the report.

Agreed: To order 50 reports with a CD ROM and 15 full reports for printing. 

Agreed:  To write to the following Committees - Agriculture and Rural Development, Employment and Learning, Finance and Personnel and the First and Deputy First Minister - to inform them that some of the recommendations in the report concern their departments.

4.  Minutes of meeting held on 17 May 2012

Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting on 17 May were agreed.

5.  Chairperson’s Business

Members noted an invitation to the Chairperson from the Events office to a photocall with the Olympic Torch on 3 June.

Members discussed changes to the Forward Work Programme.

Agreed: for the written briefing on the Energy Bill consultation document to be deferred to the meeting on 31 May.

Agreed: to defer the oral briefing on Electricity Market Reform and the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligations consultation to 14 June.

Agreed: to schedule an oral briefing from Trading Standards on pay day loans on 28 June.

6.  Matters Arising

Members noted a request from Invest NI seeking clarification on a previous Committee query on the work being done by Invest NI to increase inward investment through overseas trade missions.

Jennifer McCann left the meeting at 10.22am.

Agreed: to ask Invest NI for an update on the benefits that have resulted from recent international visits and any resulting projects in relation to tourism and business. 

7.  George Best Belfast City Airport

Mark Beattie joined the meeting at 10.24am.

Members received an oral briefing from Mark Beattie, Operations Director, George Best Belfast City Airport.

Key issues discussed included the overall economic situation at the airport and the potential for abolishing the ‘seats for sale’ limit.

Gordon Dunne left the meeting at 10.28am.

Patsy McGlone joined the meeting at 10.30am.

Jennifer McCann returned to the meeting at 10.48am.

Representatives left the meeting at 11.31am.

8.  Reform of the NI Credit Unions: Financial Service Bill

Members discussed the draft report on the Legislative Consent Motion.

Agreed: to receive an oral briefing from Departmental officials after summer recess.

Agreed: to support the Legislative Consent Motion which will be debated in plenary on 11 June.

Agreed: to make the suggested changes to the draft report.

Agreed: the Report was agreed as amended.

Agreed: to Publish on the Committee website.

Agreed: to seek clarification from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on the impact of the reform on Credit Unions and the rural Development Fund.

Agreed: to furnish Members with a full copy of the Committee’s report and its appendices.

Jennifer McCann left the meeting at 11.40am.

9.  The Crown Estate – Northern Ireland Offshore Renewable Energy Leasing Round

Officials joined the meeting at 11.41am.

Members received an oral briefing from Dermot Grimson, Head of External Affairs and Stuart Curry, Offshore Wind Manager and NI Leasing Round Manager.

Key issues discussed included the function of the Crown Estate, the tender process for wind development and the potential impact on the local economy.

Gordon Dunne returned to the meeting at 11.45am.

Stephen Moutray joined the meeting at 12.13pm.

Robin left the meeting at 12.25pm.

Officials left the meeting at 12.30pm.

Sandra Overend left the meeting at 12.31pm.

10.  SL1 Renewable Heat Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 

Officials joined the meeting at 12.32pm.

Members received an oral briefing from Joanne McCutcheon, Principal Officer and Peter Hutchinson, Deputy Principal, DETI Energy Division.

Key issues discussed included Phase I and Phase II of the scheme, State Aid approval and proposed tariff levels for the Renewable Heat Incentive.

Steven Agnew left the meeting at 12.44pm.

Agreed: to defer the decision on the subordinate legislation until the figures have been obtained from the EU.

Officials left the meeting at 1.04pm.

11.  SR 2012/179 The Control of Asbestos Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012

The Committee considered the following subordinate legislation:

SR 2012/179 The Control of Asbestos Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012

Agreed: That the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment has considered SR 2012/179 The Control of Asbestos Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 and has no objection to the Rule.

Agreed: to seek clarification from the Department on how the cost figures presented at paragraph 2 of Annex C were determined.

12.  Sustainable Energy Action Plan

Members discussed the written briefing.

Agreed: to defer this item until next week’s meeting.

13.  Consultation on the Implementation of the EU Third Energy Package

Members discussed the written briefing.

Agreed: to receive a further briefing on the proposals following the end of the consultation.

14.  Correspondence

Members noted the following items of correspondence:

i.  Correspondence to the Chairperson from the Department regarding Electricity Market Reform.

Agreed: to include the letter in papers for the meeting with the Department officials on 14th June.

ii. Response by the Department to the Committee regarding the correspondence received from the Mount Business and Conference Centre and the NI Civil Service policy on managing seminars and conferences.

Agreed: to ask the Department the reason for the delay in the letter being dated 25 February being received by the Committee.

iii.  Copy of response to the Chairperson of the Employment and Learning Committee from the Department regarding the EU Framework Programme and Horizon 2020.

iv.  Correspondence from Phoenix Gas regarding the sale of its gas supply to Airtricity.

v.  Correspondence from the Department regarding 2011/12 Provisional Outturn figures.

vi.  Correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding Air Passenger Duty.

Agreed: for the Chair to speak on behalf of the Committee on the Legislative Consent Motion.

vii.  Correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation.

Agreed: to request a copy of the original letter sent by the Committee for Finance and Personnel.

viii. Copy of a written submission to the Environment Committee from the Department regarding the Marine Bill.

ix.  Invitation from the Utility Regulator to a stakeholder workshop on the current consultation on the NIE Transmission and Distribution Price Control (RP5) on Thursday 7 June.

Agreed: for an Assembly Research Officer to attend and report back to the Committee.

x.  Briefing note from Ansons regarding the introduction of “Patent Box” to reduce corporation tax to 10% from April 2013.

Agreed: to seek a written briefing from Ansons.

xi.  Press release from Manufacturing NI regarding the Carbon Levy.

15.  Any other business

There were no other items of business.

16.  Date, time and place of next meeting 

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday 31 May at 10.30am, Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 1.15pm.

Mr Alban Maginness
Chair
Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment
31 May 2012

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