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Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2000/2001

Date: 15 March 2016

In attendance for a presentation at 11:00am:- Old Museum Arts centre:- Ms Anne McReynolds, Director and Dr Bill Smith, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees.

In attendance to discuss the proposal to make a Statutory Rule entitled 'Assistance of Fish Farming Scheme (Revocation) Order (NI) 2001' at 12:00noon:- Mr Jim Prentice, DARD Official and Mr Dick Leitch, DCAL Official.

The meeting opened, in public at, 10.25am.

1. Chairperson's business

1.1 Members were referred to correspondence from Percy Johnston, Assembly Legal Adviser, in relation to advice about the scope and operation of privilege.

1.2 The Chairperson advised members that 58 submissions had been received in respect of the Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry.

1.3 Agreed - that members would start looking at the submissions in terms of considering whom the Committee might invite to give oral evidence and that the issue would go on the agenda for discussion next week. It was also agreed that cross-border organisations could contribute to the inquiry.

1.4 The Chairperson referred members to the reply from Gerry Loughran, the Head of the Civil Service, in which he acknowledged and accepted the Committee position with regard to the PRONI case and regretted any embarrassment that the leaked memo may have caused the Committee.

Mr Agnew joined the meeting at 10:33am.

1.5 Agreed - that the Committee would invite Percy Johnston to discuss, in general terms, the powers and remit of Committees.

Mr McElduff joined the meeting at 10:35am.

1.6 Agreed - that the Committee would write to Paul Burns and the Department to conclude the Committee's consideration of this matter.

1.7 The Chairperson referred members to the Minister's letter of 7 March 2001 in which he agreed to take the matter of the current fishing licensing system up with the Fisheries Conservancy Board with a view to producing a more simplified system. The Minister also related the stance he had taken over an approach that had been made from a cross community youth club who wished to take fish in Lough Ash where officials were asked to sponsor the event by purchasing day tickets for the juvenile fishermen wishing to take part.

Mr Shannon joined the meeting at 10:47am.

1.8 Agreed - that the Committee would write to the Minister to thank him for his letter of 7 March and for his Department's co-operation in these issues.

1.9 The Chairperson referred members to the Minister's very positive letter of 5 March 2001 in which he advised of the launch of an angling development programme later this year under the Peace ll Programme, the appointment of consultants to undertake an economic appraisal of the cessation of commercial netting and also provided a breakdown of funding under the sports ground safety scheme.

1.10 The Chairperson advised members that the Minister had written to apologise for the oversight in not inviting the Committee to the reception for the NI Schoolboys' Football Team on having won the Victory Shield. The Department has agreed that, in future, members will be invited to all functions hosted by the Minister in that capacity.

1.11 The Chairperson advised members that the Minister's reply to the Committee's query about the non-availability of the minutes of MAGNI meetings to staff and the public advised that the Board can avail of the exemption for public bodies under the Freedom of Information Act 1997.

1.12 Agreed - that the Committee would ask the Minister to urge MAGNI, as a publicly funded and appointed body, to reconsider its decision not to make the minutes of its meetings available to the public.

Mr McElduff left the meeting at 10:50am.

2. Minutes of the last meeting

2.1 The minutes of the meeting of 8 March were agreed.

3. Matters arising

3.1 The Chairperson referred members to the document 'Shaping Our Future - Draft regional development Strategy for NI 2025' and advised that a response would be drafted for consideration at next week's meeting. If members have any comments for inclusion these should be forwarded to the Committee Clerk by Tuesday 20 March.

3.2 The Committee discussed the issue of the DFP Committee's inquiry into Public Private partnerships and agreed in principle that the DFP Committee could write directly to the Department.

4. Committee Report into Inland Fisheries

4.1 Agreed - that briefing material on specific topics would be distributed to members in preparation for the debate on Tuesday 20 March.

4.2 Agreed - that Kim Hewitt from the Newsletter should be advised to deal directly with Mr Owens and that Mr Owens' papers should be returned to him.

4.3 The Chairperson reminded members to return papers issued on 19 December re 'Status of Salmon Stocks in NI'.

5. Draft letter re 'Investing for Health'

5.1 Agreed - that the Committee should issue the draft response.

6. Screening of the NIMC Policies

6.1 Agreed - that members would forward any additional comments for inclusion in the Committee's reply on 'Screening of the NIMC Policies' to the Committee Clerk by Tuesday 20 March.

7. Presentation by the Old Museum Arts Centre at 11:00am

7.1 The delegation gave a presentation and answered questions on the work of the organisation and described how they complimented the work of other bodies such as the Grand Opera House and the Lyric Theatre. They also outlined the future plans and how they saw themselves linking into the work of the Department in 'Unlocking Creativity'.

7.2 Agreed - that the Committee would visit the Old Museum Arts Centre.

8. Officials from DARD and DCAL - Draft statutory Rule - Assistance of Fish Farming Scheme (Revocation) Order 2001

8.1 The Department officials discussed the policy implications and answered questions on the proposal to make this Statutory Rule.

8.2 Agreed - that the Committee was content with the proposal for the Statutory Rule.

Mr McMenamin left the meeting at 11:50am.

9. Any other business

9.1 Agreed - that the Committee would take on the scrutiny of three further fisheries related Statutory Rules which have been referred by the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. Ms Hagan and Mr Anderson will attend the meeting on Thursday 22 March to discuss the policy implications of the proposals.

9.2 Agreed - that the Committee would invite the Minister or Departmental officials to next weeks meeting to discuss the outcome of the bids in relation to DFP/EPU Executive Programme Funds.

10. Date of next meeting

10.1 The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday 5 April 2001 at 10:15am in Room 152.

The meeting closed at 12:15pm.

E ONeill

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