Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Thursday, 16 February 2012

Venue: Malone Suite, Greenmount Campus

The meeting began in public session at 12:40pm.

1. Apologies
Apologies are listed above.

2. Minutes
The minutes of the meeting on 9 February 2011 were agreed.

Ms Bradley joined the meeting at 12:47pm

Mr Hamilton joined the meeting at 12:49pm

3. Chairpersons Business
The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a note of a meeting held with the Oil Firing Technical Association.
Agreed: That the note is forwarded to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment as this will be relevant to their Department.

Agreed: That the note is forwarded to the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development as this will be of interest to their Department.

Agreed: That the note is forwarded to the Committee for Social Development as this will be relevant to their Department in reference to the Green New Deal.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a memo from the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development in relation to 'Greening the Cap' presentation by Michael Hammell, and a draft list of stakeholders to invite to the presentation.

Agreed: That the Secretariat issue invitations to those on the stakeholder list.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with an RSPB paper on CAP Reform proposals.

4. Matters Arising
A Member raised the issue of alcohol being consumed on private hire buses.

Agreed: That the Committee seeks clarification from the Department for Justice on any legislation that might relate to this and on which organisations have responsibility for enforcing it.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking what impact this has on the bus operator license.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety informing them the Committee are looking into this issue and are seeking further information from both the Department of the Environment and the Department of Justice.

Mr McGlone left the meeting at 12:51pm.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Department for Transport reply to Committee queries on car tax renewal and a Departmental reply to Committee queries on DVA services in Coleraine.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department welcoming both the Minister's stance on jobs in Coleraine and any moves to enhance Post Office services.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries following the recent meeting with the Oireachtas Committee.

Agreed: That a copy of the reply is forwarded to the Oireachtas Committee.

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on continuous insurance enforcement.

Mr Dallat left the meeting at 12:57pm.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on funding under Life and Life plus.

Agreed: That a copy of the reply is forwarded to the Labour Party, who originally raised queries on this issue.

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the Genmar Companion.

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on savings delivery plans.

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on post project evaluations.

Members welcomed a Departmental reply to queries on the planning application process and staffing issues.

Agreed: That a press release is issued stating that the Committee welcomes the improvements to the protocol and urging their implementation in practice.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the CJI follow-up review of inspection recommendations into enforcement within the Department.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department seeking further clarification on this matter.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the Compulsory Basic Training for motorcyclists.

Agreed: That a copy of the reply is forwarded to Mr Burns, who originally raised queries on this issue.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on road safety funding.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking if councils can apply directly to the Intermediary Funding Body for road safety funding.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on NIEA's progress in introducing risk based charging.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking that the Committee is kept informed of progress on this issue.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the Rose Energy planning application.

Agreed: That a copy of the reply is forwarded to the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development for information.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Department letter regarding research on Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Northern Ireland.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department requesting a copy of the report as soon as possible.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee questions on the waste management procurement process.

Agreed: That the Committee considers its response on this issue when all of its questions have been answered.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on a proposed byelaw for Strangford Lough.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking what has been done to improve integration of the management of the Lough.

The Chairperson informed members they had been provided with a briefing note for the Committee's participation in NILGA's conference on local government on 23 February.

Agreed: That a member from each party on the Committee is nominated to form a 5-person panel for the NILGA debate.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a draft code of practice on litter and draft guidance on fixed penalty notices.

Agreed: That this paper is re-tabled at the meeting on 23 February.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a request from the Committee for Culture Arts and Leisure to participate and ask the Department to participate in a stakeholder event looking at the treatment of artefacts.

Agreed: That the event goes ahead as planned and that the Historic Houses Association and the Built Heritage Trust are invited to participate.

5. Consultations
Synopsis of responses to the consultation on draft Local Government Best Value (Exclusion of Non-Commercial Considerations) Order (Northern Ireland) and Associated Guidance.

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the Department to proceed with the policy.

Synopsis of responses to the consultation on identification of bathing waters.

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the Department to proceed with the policy.

6. Proposals for Secondary Legislation
SL1 – Spring Traps Approval Order

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the Department to proceed with the policy.

SL1 – The Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (NI) 2012

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the Department to proceed with the policy.

SL1 – Proposed changes to the roadworthiness (MOT) testing to implement EC Directive 2009/40/EC.

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the Department to proceed with the policy.

SL1 – Removal and Disposal of Vehicles (Prescribed Periods) Regulations.

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the Department to proceed with the policy.

7. Statutory Rules
Members noted SR 2012/21 – Wildlife and Natural Environment Act (Commencement No 3) Order (NI) 2012

SR 2012/19 – The Road Traffic (Immobilisation, removal and Disposal of Vehicles) Regulations (NI) 2012. The Chairperson informed members that The Examiner of Statutory Rules reported that this Rule was defectively drafted in one respect which has been acknowledged by the Department.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking when the Committee will be receiving an SL1 on the amending SR and when it intends to lay the amending SR with the Business Office.

8. Correspondence
Letter to the Minister from the Chairperson of the Education Committee regarding school buses found unfit for purpose in Londonderry.

Agreed: That the letter is forwarded to the Department for comment.

Member's noted the following correspondence:

Letter from HM Treasury regarding the cost of car insurance in Northern Ireland.

Copy of Ballymena Borough Council's positive Community Planning experiences briefing paper.

Press release detailing the 'Life of the Lough' an environmental photographic exhibition.

Copy of Risky Business: An Analysis of Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling Violations in Pennsylvania 2008/2011.

Invitation to attend Energy Ireland Conference 2012.

9. Any other business
A Member raised the issue of the implementation of the Taxis Act.

Agreed: That a note of the meeting between the Chairperson and Value Cabs and FonaCab will be provided in the meeting pack for 23 February.
10. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting will be held on Thursday 23 February 2012 at 10:00am in the
Lylehill Suite, Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 1:37pm.

Anna Lo, MLA
Chairperson, Committee for the Environment
23 February 2012

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