Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Thursday, 08 March 2012

Venue: Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The meeting began in public session at 10:06am.

1.  Apologies

There were no apologies.

Mr McGlone joined the meeting at 10:08am.

Mr Boylan joined the meeting at 10:09am.

2.  Chairperson’s Business

The Committee gave a cautious welcome to proposals in a briefing paper provided by the Performance and Delivery Efficiency Unit to the Committee for Finance and Personnel on the monitoring and reporting arrangements in relation to the Programme for Government 2011-2015.

3.  Minutes

The minutes of the meeting on 1 March 2012 were agreed.

4.  Matters Arising

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

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department to request a copy of the minutes of the package meeting that took place with the European Commission. 

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with an e mail from the Public Hire Coalition in relation to the Chairperson’s recent meeting with Value Cabs/fonacabs.

Agreed: That the Committee accepted the email as evidence formally submitted to it and that a letter is sent to the Public Hire Coalition to address the issues raised in their correspondence.

Agreed: That a meeting is set up between members of the Committee (one member per party) and the Public Hire Coalition.

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the taxi fare consultation.

Mr Clarke joined the meeting at 10:24am.

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the Draft Code of Practice on Litter and Guidance on Fixed Penalty Notices.

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on enabling legislation for national parks.

The Chairperson informed members that it is proposed that the Committee hold an event at the Balmoral Show on the afternoon of Thursday 17 May.

Agreed: That the Committee will hold a stakeholder event focusing on national park legislation at the Balmoral Show on the afternoon of Thursday 17 May.

Members noted a Departmental letter informing the Committee of a fee increase for Reduced Pollution Certificates.

5.  Consultations

Synopsis of responses to the consultation on EC Regulations 1071/2009, 1072/2009 and 1073/2009 on Road Transport Operations and on New Fitness and Finance Requirements for Own Account Operators.

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

Consultation on draft marine position paper.

Agreed: That a copy of the synopsis of responses is requested. 

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking if they are willing to extend the closing date of the consultation to take into account Easter holidays.

6.  Proposals for Secondary Legislation

SL1 – The Waste (Fees and Charges) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012

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

7.  Statutory Rules

SR 2012/52 – The Removal and Disposal of Vehicles (Prescribed Periods) Regulations (NI) 2012

Question put and agreed: That the Committee for the Environment has considered SR 2012/52 – The Removal and Disposal of Vehicles (Prescribed Periods) Regulations (NI) 2012 and has no objection to the rule subject to the Examiner of Statutory Rules report.

SR 2012/61 – The Statutory Nuisances (Appeals) Regulations (NI) 2012

Question put and agreed: That the Committee for the Environment has considered SR 2012/61 – The Statutory Nuisances (Appeals) Regulations (NI) 2012 and has no objection to the rule subject to the Examiner of Statutory Rules report.

Draft Statutory Rule – The Dog Control Orders (Prescribed Offences and Penalties, etc.) Regulations (NI) 2012

Agreed: Members content to recommend that the Rule is affirmed by the Assembly.

8.  Marine Bill

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Draft Committee motion to extend the Committee Stage of the Bill until 6 July 2012.

Agreed: That the Committee motion is signed by the Chairperson and forwarded to the Business Office.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Draft timeline for Committee Stage of the Bill.

Agreed: That the timeline is accepted and a letter is sent to the Department to inform them that members have agreed the extended Committee stage of the Bill.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Draft Stakeholder list.

Agreed: That all the stakeholders listed are invited to submit written evidence on the Marine Bill and that a number of groups/individuals are added to the list.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Draft signposting advert.

Agreed: To inform the NI Assembly Communication Office that this advert can be published.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Delegated powers memorandum.

Agreed: That the Delegated powers memorandum is forwarded to the Examiner of Statutory Rules for comment.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with an editorial on the Marine Bill.

Agreed: That the editorial is amended as instructed and forwarded to the NI Assembly Communications Office for circulation.

9.  Departmental briefing on review of North South Interconnector planning application

Departmental Officials briefed the Committee and answered members’    questions on the review of the North South Interconnector planning application.

The main areas of discussion were the Report by the Compliance Improvement and Review Team into the planning application file for the North South Interconnector and the subsequent action plan.

Mr Hamilton left the meeting at 11:09am.

10.  Departmental briefing on PPS 6

Departmental Officials briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on PPS 6.

The main areas of discussion were the planning policies for the protection and conservation of archaeological remains and features of the built heritage.

Mr Hamilton rejoined the meeting at 11:28am.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking for a copy of publications of the work it has done in relation to archaeology.

Agreed: To inform the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure that two members of the Committee are interested in attending the stakeholder forum on Planning Led Archaeology on Monday 12 March.

Mr McGlone left the meeting at 11:43am.

Mr Molloy left the meeting at 11:44am.

11.  Northern Ireland Environment Link (NIEL) briefing on the Northern Ireland Chapter of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment.

A representative from NIEL briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on the Northern Ireland Chapter of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment.

The main area of discussion was the Ecosystems Services and how these can integrate with existing government policies.

Lord Morrow left the meeting at 11:50am.

Mr Campbell left the meeting at 11:59am.

The Chairperson left the meeting at 12:25pm. The Deputy Chairperson assumed the Chair.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking what work it is doing on this issue and to what extent the Department has liaised with DEFRA.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department for Regional Development asking if an ecosystem services approach will be taken into account in the implementation of the Regional Development Strategy.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with The Report of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Wildfires.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department requesting a briefing on this issue at a future meeting and asking if the Department of Justice was represented on the interdepartmental group, as it was recognised that there were criminal elements to some of the fires.

12.  Correspondence

Email of response from NI Constituency Labour Party in relation to the Departments response on its use of LIFE, LIFE+ programmes.

Agreed: That a copy of this correspondence is forwarded to the Department for comment on the issues raised.

Members noted the following correspondence:

Note of Chairpersons; Liaison Group meeting

Thank you letter from NILGA for the Committee’s participation in the NILGA Annual Conference ‘Energising Positive Local Government in 2012’

Invitation to attend launch of Sustainable Food Communities

13.  Any other business

A Member raised the issue of unfinished roads in Northern Ireland.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking how many unfinished roads there are and what actions the Department are taking to address the issue through planning regulations.

14.  Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 15 March 2012 at 10:00am in the Senate Chamber.

The Deputy Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12:44pm.

Anna Lo, MLA
Chairperson, Committee for the Environment
15 March 2012

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