Minutes of Proceedings
Date: Wednesday, 16 May 2012
Venue: Balmoral Show
The meeting opened in public session at 2.03 p.m.
1. Royal Ulster Agricultural Society
Mr Colin McDonald joined the meeting at 2.04 p.m.
Mr Clarke joined the meeting at 2.10 p.m.
Mr Robinson joined the meeting at 2.10 p.m.
Mr Humphrey joined the meeting at 2.20 p.m.
Mr Kinahan joined the meeting at 2.28 p.m.
Mr Colin McDonald, Chief Executive of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society briefed the Committee on proposals being considered by the Society to relocate to the Maze/Long Kesh site. A question and answer session followed.
Mr Colin McDonald left the meeting at 2.32 p.m.
2. Regeneration of Maze/Long Kesh and Other Sites
Departmental officials joined the meeting at 2.33 p.m.
Departmental officials, Mr Tim Losty, Mrs June Wilkinson, Mr Kyle Alexander and Mrs Mary McKee briefed the Committee on the regeneration of the Maze/Long Kesh site and other sites. A question and answer session followed.
Mr Humphrey left the meeting at 3.06 p.m.
Mr Clarke left the meeting at 3.06 p.m.
Departmental officials left the meeting at 3.23 p.m.
3. Chairperson’s Business
Electronic Vote Counting Demonstration
The Committee noted the invite from the Chief Electoral Officer to the demonstrations of the E-counting system at Belfast City Hall on 31 May 2012.
Belfast City Council
The Committee noted an invitation from Belfast City Council to attend a workshop in relation to the future of EU Structural funding.
Basque Country Delegation
The Committee considered an invitation to attend a lunch with a delegation from the Basque Country in the Members Dining Room on Tuesday 22 May. A number of Members indicated their availability to attend.
The Committee noted the list of current invitations. The Committee also noted invitations to an event held by the Ex-prisoners Working Group on 23 May 2012 and to a briefing from Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn on Europe 20/20 on 7 June 2012.
Peace Monitoring Report
The Committee considered an extract from the Community Relations Council Report on Peace Monitoring.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing on the report on 6 June 2012.
4. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 9 May 2012
Agreed: The draft minutes of proceedings of 9 May 2012 was agreed by the Committee.
5. Matters Arising
Proposals to Abolish the Department for Employment and Learning
The Committee noted the Executive Summary of the Committee for Employment and Learning’s Report in relation to its consultation on the proposals to abolish the Department for Employment and Learning and re-distribute its functions.
Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities
The Committee considered a response from the Department on the issues raised by NI Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM) in its briefing to the Committee on 18 April 2012, including further information on the Department’s meeting with NICEM in relation to racial equality.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek clarification on the issues falling within its and other departments’ responsibility and any over-arching responsibility of the Department.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the NICEM to seek its view on the meeting that it held with the Department.
List of Outstanding Issues
The Committee considered the list of outstanding issues.
Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety
The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety in relation to the approach taken to encourage groups to apply for funding under the EU Drug Strategy.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to the Department for information.
The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety to the Department in relation to Equality Impact Assessments (EIA) and the number of policies which are screened out as not requiring an EIA.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to the Department for information. The Committee also agreed to request further information from the Department in relation to the methodology for screening, who makes the decision and whether the same methodology is applied across all departments.
Cathedral Quarter Steering Group
The Committee noted a response from the Department in relation to the Cathedral Quarter Steering Group.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the response to the Committee for Social Development.
The Committee noted correspondence from the Consumer Council providing a copy of an Independent Report by Lord Whitty entitled “Energising Northern Ireland”.
6. Northern Ireland Local Government Association
Representatives from the Northern Ireland Local Government Association joined the meeting at 3.35 p.m.
Mr Lyttle left the meeting at 3.41 p.m.
Mr Derek McCallan and Mrs Karine McGuckin from the Northern Ireland Local Government Association briefed the Committee on its work in Europe. A question and answer session followed.
Representatives from the Northern Ireland Local Government Association left the meeting at 4.14 p.m.
7. Any Other Business
Forward Work Programme
The Committee noted the updated Forward Work Programme.
8. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting will be held in Room 30, Parliament Buildings on Wednesday 23 May 2012 at 2 p.m.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.01 p.m.
Mr Mike Nesbitt MLA
Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister