Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 13 April 2010

Venue: Room 30

10.38am The meeting commenced in public session

10.38am Mr Elliott, the deputy Chairperson, took the Chair

1. Apologies

As above

2. Minutes

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Minutes of the meeting of 23 March 2010

3. Matters arising
(a) Correspondence issued

The Committee noted the correspondence issued since the meeting of 23 March 2010.

(b) Correspondence received

The Committee noted the correspondence received since the meeting of 23 March 2010.

Agreed: The Committee noted c orrespondence from EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş and agreed to accept his invitation to Brussels at a date to be scheduled by the Committee Clerk.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward correspondence from other Committees directly to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for its response.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in relation to the effects of recent poor weather on hill farmers and ask if the department will be implementing a compensation scheme and what additional support it is providing.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ascertain its performance against the 10 day payment of invoices target.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a presentation from Assembly Research and Library Services on Future Cohesion Policy and Structural Funds

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a presentation from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency in relation to designation of Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI)

Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the Department in relation to the Gangmaster Licensing (Exclusion) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2010 and agreed to request a presentation from Ulster Farmers’ Union and departmental officials on this issue with a view to resolving outstanding issues and progressing the legislation

Agreed: The Committee noted the invitation to attend the National Energy Action Fuel Poverty seminar on 26 th April 2010 and agreed to contact the Committee office if they wish to attend.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to receive a presentation from Mr Alan Young regarding the cockle fishery in Belfast Lough at a date to be scheduled by the Committee Clerk.

4. Presentation: Ulster Bank – Banking and agriculture industry

10.53am The following representatives of the Ulster Bank joined the meeting:

Henry Elvin - Head of Business Banking Northern Ireland

Cormac McKervey – Senior Agricultural Manager

The representatives presented to Committee in respect of the above. Following the presentation, Members put questions.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for further details on withdrawal of the interest subsidy provided to qualifying New Entrant farmers following switching of bank accounts.

11.35am The representatives left the meeting

11.35am Mr Savage left the meeting

11.35am The meeting was inquorate

5. Presentation: DARD – Organic Farming

11.35am The following departmental officials joined the meeting:

Brian Ervine- Grade 7 – Principal Officer

Richard Crowe – Grade 7 – Agriculture Inspector Grade I

Manus McHenry – DP – Agriculture Inspector Grade II

David Garrett – SO – Staff Officer

The officials presented to Committee in respect of the above. Following the presentation, Members put questions

11.37am Mr Savage rejoined the meeting

11.37am Mr Irwin left the meeting

11.55am Mr Molloy entered the meeting

11.55am The meeting was in quorum

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to request that the Organic Farming Bulletin published by the Department three times a year is also forward to the Committee for consideration.

11.58am The officials left the meeting

6. SL1: The Common Agricultural Policy Single Payment and Support Schemes Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2010

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to Ulster Farmers’ Union and the Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers’ Association for their views on the proposed legislation

12.01pm The following departmental official joined the meeting:

Valerie Bell – Grade 7

Members put questions in relation to the proposed regulations.

12.01pm Mr Doherty left the meeting

7. Date of the next meeting

The next Committee meeting will be on Tuesday 20 April at 1.30pm in Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

12.14pm The meeting was adjourned

Mr Ian Paisley Jnr.
Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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