ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Thursday, 14 June 2012

Venue: Room 29, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened in public session at 10:00am.

1. Apologies

Apologies were as indicated above.

2. Draft Minutes of Meeting 7 June 2012         

Agreed:  The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 7 June 2012 were agreed.

3. Chairperson’s Business

The deputy Chairperson provided Members with an overview of the National Building Council event which was held on 7 June 2012 in the Long Gallery.

4. Matters Arising

The deputy Chairperson provided Members with an overview of the meeting held with the Chairperson and Chief Executive of the Housing Executive on the review of the double-glazing programme.  The Committee noted an email highlighting concerns from an organisation regarding the review. 

The Committee considered a discussion paper from the Department of Finance and Personnel on Maximising the Assembly’s Contribution to the Northern Ireland Budget Process.

Agreed:  The Committee agreed for the Clerk to bring a paper on this issue to next week’s meeting.

The Committee discussed the proposed trip to meet the Welfare Committee of the Scottish Parliament.

Agreed:  The Committee agreed for the Clerk to rearrange this visit for the autumn to

give all Members an opportunity to attend.

5. Social Enterprise Growth – Departmental Briefing

The following officials from the Department joined the meeting at 10:21am:

  •    Mr Michael Daly,  Urban Regeneration Strategy Directorate;
  •    Mr Roy McGivern, Voluntary and Community Unit; and
  •    Ms Bébhinn Ni Bhriain, DSD.

The officials briefed the Committee on Social Enterprise Growth. 

A detailed question and answer session followed covering a range of issues including the forthcoming introduction of a Social Enterprise Qualification and what support the Department could offer in raising awareness of such a qualification; the Government Funders’ Database and the on-going pilot schemes with local council clusters; and the recent masterclass event on the theme of ‘Transition from Voluntary and Community to Social Economy’.

Members acknowledged the Department’s support for Social Enterprise growth.

The Chairperson thanked the officials for the briefing.

The officials left the meeting at 10:48am. 

Agreed:  The Committee agreed to request a briefing from the Department on the outcome of the mapping exercise by PwC when it is finalised.

6. Supporting People Strategy – Briefing from the Committee Representing           Independent Supporting People Service Providers (CRISPP)

The following representatives from CRISPP joined the meeting at 10:49am

  •    Ms Ricky Rowledge, CRISPP (Council for the Homeless);
  •    Mr Bryan Meldrum, CRISPP (Home Care Independent Living);
  •    Ms Marie Kerr, CRISPP (NIFHA); and
  • Mr Raymond Nicholl, CRISPP (Triangle Housing Association).

The representatives briefed the Committee on its main concerns regarding the future of the Supporting People programme and answered questions on a range of issues including the current commissioning process and the    review of the Commissioning Body; the withdrawal of Special Needs Management Allowance to 34 homes; the role of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority in assessing housing support services; and the transfer of the Supporting People Budget to the Department of Health, Social Services & Public Safety.

Mr Michael Copeland declared an interest as a local councillor

Mr Alex Easton declared an interest as the Assembly’s Private Secretary to the Minister      for Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

Mr Michael Copeland left the meeting at 11:15am

Mr Michael Copeland re-joined the meeting 11:19am

Mr Fra McCann left the meeting at 11:24am

Mr Fra McCann re-joined the meeting at 11:28am

Mr Alex Easton left the meeting at 11:28am

Members acknowledged the work carried out by CRISPP and the affiliated bodies in supporting vulnerable people to live as independently as possible and thereby improving their quality of life.

The Chairperson thanked the officials for their briefing.

The officials left the meeting at 11:33am.

Agreed:  The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek clarification on the possible transfer of the Supporting People budget to the DHSSPS, updates on the review of the Commissioning Body and the development of the new Supporting People Strategy.

7. Proposed Subordinate Legislation

The Committee considered The Landlord Registration Scheme Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012.

Mr Alex Easton re-joined the meeting at 11:36am

Agreed:  The Committee agreed to defer consideration of the Regulations and to write to the Department expressing the Committee’s concerns about the proposed registration scheme and seeking specific clarification on the following:

  •    the Department’s plans for monitoring the registration process;
  •    why the requirement to include a tenant’s information pack cannot be included in the regulations; and
  • calling on landlords to be required to present their registration number in all dealings            with regard to the management and administration of a tenancy. 

8. Statutory Rules

The Committee noted the following commencement orders:

  • The Pensions (2008 Act) (Commencement No. 4) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012;
  • The Pensions (2008 No. 2 Act) (Commencement No. 8) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012

The Committee considered The Automatic Enrolment (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012.

Question put and agreed:

That the Committee for Social Development has considered Statutory Rule SR232/2012 The Automatic Enrolment (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 and, subject to the Examiner of Statutory Rules Report has no objection to the Rule.

Mr Alex Maskey joined the meeting at 11:44am

9. Correspondence

The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister in relation to the UK Government’s proposals to introduce a Small Charitable Donations Bill at Westminster that will provide for a Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Department regarding the 2011-2012 Provisional Outturn. 

The Committee considered the Sustainable Energy Action Plan.

Agreed:  The Committee were content with the ETI Committee’s approach and agreed to respond accordingly to that Committee.

The Committee considered a recent press release from the Minister regarding proposals for a science park at Fort George Derry/Londonderry.

Agreed:  The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek clarification if the funding being received is time bound and how much of this is going towards the decontamination of the site.

Agreed:  The Committee agreed for the remaining items of correspondence to be dealt with as per the Correspondence Memo.

10. Forward Work Programme

Agreed:  The Committee agreed to note the draft Forward Work Programme.

11. Any Other Business        

A Member raised the issue of a recent motion which was debated in the Assembly on mixed housing and the Girdwood Conceptual Master Plan. The Committee noted that shared housing would be an issue it would be returning to when it considered the Housing Strategy in the autumn and also noted that it would be receiving a briefing from the Department on the Girdwood plans on 5 July.

12. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will take place at 10.00am on Thursday 21 June 2012 in Room 29 Parliament Buildings.  

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 11:57am

Mr Alex Maskey
Chairperson, Committee for Social Development.
21 June 2012

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