9th February 2022

20220209 Draft Minutes.pdf (150.74 kb)

Committee for the Economy

Minutes of Proceedings

9th February 2022

Meeting Location: Room 29



In Attendance:      

Dr Caoímhe Archibald (MLA (Chairperson)

Mr Stewart Dickson MLA

Mr Mike Nesbitt MLA

Mr John O’Dowd MLA       

Mr Stephen Dunne MLA

Mr Peter Weir MLA  

Mr Keith Buchanan MLA


In Attendance by Video or Teleconference:      

Ms Claire Sugden MLA     



Mr Matthew O’Toole


In Attendance:      

Mr Peter Hall (Assembly Clerk)

Mr Thomas Armstrong (Assistant Assembly Clerk)

Mr Aaron Pakenham (Clerical Officer)


In Attendance by Video or Teleconference: 

Ms Sinead Kelly (Assistant Assembly Clerk)

Mr Michael Greer (Clerical Supervisor)


The meeting commenced at 10:05am in open session.


 1.     Apologies


As above.


 2.     Draft Minutes


Agreed: The Committee agreed the Minutes from 2nd February 2022.


 3.     Chairperson’s Business


Members discussed concerns around the time available for scrutiny of the two Bills currently at Committee Stage.


Agreed: Members discussed the Onshore Fracking (Prohibition) Bill which passed its 2nd stage on 8th February 2022 and has been referred to the Committee and agreed to invite the Bill sponsor to provide a briefing.


Agreed: Members noted correspondence from the Department in relation to the granting of two prospecting licences and agreed to write to the Department for further clarification on a number of issues.



 4.     Departmental Briefing – Common Frameworks  


Members received a briefing from:


  • Glyn Roberts      Chief Executive, Retail NI


  • Joel Neill            Operations Director, Hospitality Ulster


Issues discussed included initiatives by both bodies to promote and protect workers’ rights; the prevalence of zero hour contracts; the use of exclusivity clauses; the impact of the Covid pandemic on employment law and practice; challenges faced by both the hospitality and retail sectors; and the time available for scrutiny of this Bill.


The witness left the meeting at 11.18am 



5.     Matters Arising


Noted: Members noted correspondence from the Chair of Invest NI regarding the recruitment of a new CEO.


Noted: Members noted correspondence from the Managing Director of City of Derry Airport regarding airport issues.


Noted: Members noted the Spring Supplementary Updates Memorandum 2021-22.


Noted: Members noted correspondence from Linsey Gibson, UUP Spokesperson for West Belfast regarding ESF funding for Job Assist Centres Greater Shankill.



 6.     Levelling Up


Members noted a number of the Levelling Up documents published by the UK Government including the specifics relating to Northern Ireland and the City and Growth deals.


Agreed: Members agreed to write to the Department of Finance and the Finance Committee to seek clarification in relation to the specific funding for Northern Ireland.


 7.     Correspondence


Members agreed to deal with Agenda item 7 via correspondence due to time constraints.


8.     Any Other Business


There were no items of business.



9.     Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting


The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Wednesday 16th February 2022 in Room 30, Parliament Buildings at 10am.


The meeting was adjourned at 11.58am.




Dr Caoímhe Archibald MLA

Chairperson, Committee for the Economy

16th February 2022   

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