Minutes of Proceedings
Date: Thursday, 17 January 2013
Venue: The Senate Chamber
The meeting began in public session at 10:05am.
There were no apologies.
The minutes of the meeting on 10 January 2013 were agreed.
Mrs Kelly joined the meeting at 10:08am.
3. Chairperson’s business
The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a note of a recent meeting with Make IT Green.
Agreed: That a copy of the note of the meeting is forwarded to the Department for comment on the action points.
Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking for more information on the rationale behind the Department’s policy of only providing funding for one year for a project that runs for three years. Also ask if there is an overall strategy or other programme to address recycling/reuse of this type of waste.
4. Matters Arising
The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a table of Council responses to the Committee’s query on training budgets for elected members.
Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Local Councils that responded to the original query asking for their actual spend on training for Elected Members, excluding conference attendance, for the years 2010/11 and 2011/12.
Agreed: That a letter is sent to the two Local Councils which failed to respond to the original query expressing the Committees disappointment at a lack of response and requesting further information on their actual spend on training for Elected Members.
Agreed: That a letter is sent to NILGA highlighting the Committee’s actions in relation to Local Councils’ training for Elected Members and asking them to encourage Councils to maximize their spend on capacity building ahead of Local Government Reform.
Mr Ross joined the meeting at 10:18am.
Members welcomed a Departmental update on the Strangford Lough Restoration Plan.
Members noted a Departmental reply on EU Roadworthiness Proposals.
The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a draft letter from the Committee to the EU Committees in the House of Lords and House of Commons outlining members’ concerns about the proposals to amend the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.
Agreed: That a copy of the letter is forwarded to the EU Committees in the House of Lords and House of Commons.
Members noted a copy of a draft letter from the House of Lords EU Committee to the Department for Communities and Local Government.
The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a copy of the Examiner of Statutory Rules report on SR 2012/453 – Pollution Prevention and Control (Industrial Emissions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012.
Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking when it intends to revoke and re-enact these Regulations.
The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with an email in relation to Local Councils and the Late Payment Directive 2011/7/EU.
Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking them to answer this in addition to the issues raised last week about the Local Government Audit Report.
Synopsis of responses to consultation on simplification proposals for the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme.
The Chairperson informed members that they had also been provided with a copy of the Quarry Products Association Northern Ireland response to the consultation, a copy of a letter from Northern Ireland Affairs Committee to QPANI and a joint QPANI and Manufacturing NI press release.
Agreed: That a copy of the QPANI letter and joint press release is forwarded to the Department for comment. Also ask the Department to keep the Committee updated on the progress of the discussions with the Department of Finance and Personnel and the Treasury.
6. Departmental Update
Members noted a Departmental update on advance notice of consultations.
Mr Elliott joined the meeting at 10:29am.
Letter from Committee for Education in relation to Road Safety Education.
Agreed: That a copy of the letter is forwarded to the Department for comment.
Members noted the following correspondence:
Copy of two reports on EU proposals for roadworthiness and environmental impact assessments included in the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee 25th Report of Session 2012/13.
Copy of European Parliament Infrastructure for Renewable Energies: A Factor of Local and Regional Development study.
Copy of the Pollution Prevention and Control (Industrial Emissions – NIEA) Charging Scheme (NI) 2013.
Article 31 – letter to advise the Minister’s intention to approve planning application I/2012/0240/F – Joint Services Training College, Cookstown.
Departmental letter informing the Committee of the publication of the retail section of the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP).
Copy of correspondence between the House of Lords EU Scrutiny Committee and the Department of Transport on Indirect Land Use Change proposals relating to the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources.
8. Assembly Research Briefing on European Priorities
An Assembly Research Official briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on European Priorities.
The main areas of discussion were the six initiatives contained in the European Commission’s Work Programme which are potentially of greatest interest to the Committee for the Environment.
Mr McElduff left the meeting at 10:43am.
Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking for comment on the six initiatives which are of greatest interest to the Committee.
Agreed: That a draft response is prepared for discussion at a future Committee meeting.
Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking what standards exist for the fitting of wood burning stoves in residential properties.
Mrs Kelly left the meeting at 11:03am.
9. Assembly Research Paper on George Best Belfast City Airport Planning Agreement
Members noted an Assembly Research paper on George Best Belfast City Airport Planning Agreement.
10. Any other business
A member raised the issue of staffing in a Divisional Planning Office in County Down.
Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking for further information on a staffing issue in a Divisional Planning Office in County Down.
11. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting will be held on Thursday 24 January 2013 at 10:00am in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 11:21am.
Anna Lo, MLA
Chairperson, Committee for the Environment
24 January 2013