Minutes of Proceedings
Date: Thursday, 11 April 2013
Venue: Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings
The meeting began in public session at 10:13am.
Apologies are listed above.
The Chairperson noted the Committee's shock and sadness at the sudden death of Stanley Duncan, Chief Executive of the DVA. The Chairperson informed the Committee that she had written to the family conveying the Committee's condolences.
The minutes of the meetings on 21 March 2013 were agreed.
4. Matters Arising
The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with council responses to the Committee's request for a breakdown of actual spending on training.
Agreed: That a response be issued to those councils who had not responded, expressing the Committee's disappointment and requesting the information again.
Agreed: That further information should be provided from all councils on the training underspends, what happens to the unused money and why the overall training budgets for councillors are so low.
Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the cost of repairs to lighting on Derry City Walls.
Mr Boylan joined the meeting at 10:20am
The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the Safe Storage of Metallic Mercury Wastes.
Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the Community Planning Partnership and the development of the community planning process.
Agreed: That further information on this issue be requested from the Department.
Mr Elliott left the meeting at 10:29am
Mr Elliott re-joined the meeting at 10:30am
Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on River Basin Management Plans.
Agreed: That the Department is requested to provide a briefing on this issue.
The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on financial forecasting.
Agreed: That a copy of the response is forwarded to Assembly Research.
The Chairperson informed members of the financial scrutiny unit under development within Research and that CLG will discuss the issue of financial scrutiny at its next meeting.
Members noted a leaflet on Assembly Scrutiny of Public Finance Workshops.
The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on Drumclay Crannog.
Agreed: To ask the Department to keep the Committee updated on the outcome of the investigation into the destruction of parts of the crannog and progress on the logging of artefacts.
Mr Boylan left the meeting at 10:34am
Mr Hamilton joined the meeting at 10:35am
Mr Boylan re-joined the meeting at 10:36am
Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the climate change adaption strategy.
The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Draft EC Explanatory Memorandum establishing a framework for maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal management.
Agreed: That a copy of the document is forwarded to the Department for its comments.
Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the Invasive Alien Species Strategy.
Mr Ross joined the meeting at 10:39am
Consultation on a Strategy for Marine Protected Areas in Northern Ireland Inshore Region.
Agreed: That a copy of the synopsis of responses is requested.
Consultation on Severance Arrangements for Councillors.
Agreed: That a briefing is requested from the Department on this issue before considering a Committee response.
6. Departmental Updates
The Chairperson informed members that they had received a Departmental update on MOT pass/fail rates.
Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department to ask if they are aware of targeted spot checks by VOSA on Northern Ireland registered goods vehicles. and how this can be resolved.
The Chairperson informed members that they had received an Article 31 quarterly update.
Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department for clarification on the current position regarding the waste to energy site identified for Mallusk.
7. Statutory Rules
SR 2013/71 – Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013.
Question put and agreed: That the Committee for the Environment has considered Statutory Rule 2013/71 – Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013 and has no objection to the rule subject to the next report of the Examiner of Statutory Rules.
8. Marine Bill
The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with replies from ANIFPO and the Marine Taskforce on the proposed Departmental amendments to the Marine Bill.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to accept the Department's proposed amendments to Clauses 12, 18, 36 & 38.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to withdraw the Committee amendment to Clause 12 prior to Consideration Stage of the Bill.
The Committee noted the delay between its report on the Marine Bill and the Bill's Consideration Stage.
Agreed: The Chairperson should explore with CLG what might be done to prevent future instances of substantial delay between the committee stage and consideration stage of a bill.
Invitation to attend a briefing on roadside drug driving legislation
Agreed: Some members shall attend the event.
Departmental response to correspondence regarding the threat to the shoreline sand environs of Strangford Lough by builders and developers.
Agreed: That a copy of the response is forwarded to the original correspondent.
Departmental response to queries forwarded by the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development in relation to the proposed Roadworthiness tests for Motor Vehicles and their trailers.
Agreed: That a copy of the response is forwarded to the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development.
Copy of Explanatory Memorandum concerning a Green Paper on a European Strategy on Plastic Waste in the Environment.
Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department to ask what specific issues it will be including in the EM from a Northern Ireland perspective.
Departmental response to correspondence regarding archaeological archives.
Agreed: That a copy of the response is forwarded to the Chairperson of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure.
Email regarding Home-Start NI joining with Giveacar.
Agreed: That a copy of the correspondence is forwarded to the Department for comment.
Departmental response in relation to correspondence from the Mooreland & Owenvarragh Residents' Association regarding the redevelopment of Casement Park.
Agreed: That copies of the correspondence are forwarded to the Committee for Culture Arts & Leisure and the Residents' Association for information.
Members noted the following correspondence:
Letter from NILGA thanking the Committee for their participation at the NILGA annual conference.
Copy of NIEL News March 2013
Information regarding the proposed comprehensive EU strategy on serious road injuries.
Copy of the Explanatory Memorandum for a proposal for the listing of additional chemicals in Annex A to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
Copy of News Release – EU Environment Ministers debate Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC).
Memo regarding correspondence from the Mooreland and Owenvarragh Residents' Group regarding their concern over the proposed redevelopment of Casement Park.
Copy of the Historic Buildings Council for Northern Ireland 2010/2013 18th Report.
Departmental response to Committee queries in relation to the synopsis of responses to the consultation on the continuing need for the Local Government Staff Commission.
Copy of March 2013 (DOE) Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland Investing Activity Report.
Departmental response to Committee queries regarding the "Review of EU waste legislation".
Copy of Departmental advance notices of consultations and lists of policies screened for EQIA
10. Briefing by the District Electoral Area Commissioner
The District Electoral Area Commissioner and representatives briefed the Committee and answered members' questions regarding their role and responsibilities.
The main areas of discussion were the factors in determining the boundaries of the District Electoral Areas, the resources required and the timetable for carrying out this work.
The Committee emphasised the importance of this work being completed on time and offered to support the Commissioner if it became necessary for him to bid for additional resources in order to do so.
Mr Weir left the meeting at 11:27am
11. Assembly Research Briefing on the Planning Bill
An Assembly Research official briefed the Committee and answered members' questions in relation to the Planning Bill.
12. CNCC Briefing on the Planning Bill
Representatives of CNCC briefed the Committee and answered members' questions in relation to the Planning Bill.
The main areas of discussion were the group's concerns regarding Clauses 2,6 & 10 of the Bill as currently drafted.
Mr Ross left the meeting at 11:59am
Mrs Kelly left the meeting at 12:06pm
Mr Elliot left the meeting at 12:24pm
Lord Morrow left the meeting at 12:28pm
13. Any other business
The Chairperson informed members that she would write to Mr Francie Molloy and the former Committee Clerk, Alex McGarel, to thank them for their contribution to the Committee.
14. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting will be the Committee's Stakeholder Event on the Planning Bill which will be held on Thursday 18 April 2013 at 10:00am in the Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12:43pm.
Anna Lo, MLA
Chairperson, Committee for the Environment
25 April 2013