Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2013/2014

Date: 02 July 2013

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

1.40 p.m. The meeting commenced in Open Session

1. Apologies

Apologies are noted above.

2. Chairperson's Business

Agreed: The Committee agreed to delegated authority to the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson to submit views/withhold information on any non-routine/contentious Freedom of Information requests to the Committee during the period of summer recess.

3. Minutes of the meetings held on 25 and 27 June 2013

Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the meetings held on 25 and 27 June 2013.

4. Matters arising

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department dated 21 June 2013 regarding issues raised at the meeting on 4 June 2013. The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request a full assessment of the Fodder Scheme.

Noted: The Committee noted the emailed correspondence dated 26 June 2013 from the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee of the Scottish Parliament regarding TB free status.

Noted: The Committee noted the weekly update from the Department on Ash Dieback.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department dated 28 June 2013 regarding an update on the Single Farm Payment position.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department dated 27 June 2013 regarding issues raised at the meeting on 13 June 2013.

Noted: The Committee noted the Department's Closure Report on the 2013 Fodder Transport Scheme.

1.45 p.m. Mr Milne joined the meeting.

5. CAP Reform – Oral Briefing DARD

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 1.47 p.m.

Seamus McErlean, Principal Agricultural Economist
Mark McLean, Senior Agricultural Economist

The officials briefed the Committee and this was followed by a question and answer session.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request details on the potential impact of the main points, as outlined in the briefing paper, that the CAP Reform Agreement will have on Northern Ireland.

2.10 p.m. Mr Frew left the meeting and Mr Byrne took the chair.
2.11 p.m. Mr Buchanan joined the meeting.
2.19 p.m. Mr McMullan left the meeting.
2.29 p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting.

6. NI Food Animal Information System – Oral Briefing DARD

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 2.35 p.m.

Robert Huey, Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer
Maurice McCoy, Veterinary Officer
Garry Corscadden, NIFAIS Programme Manager
Esther McMaster, Senior Systems Analyst

The officials briefed the Committee and this was followed by a question and answer session.

2.42 p.m. Mrs Dobson re-joined the meeting.
2.45 p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting.
3.04 p.m. Mr McMullan re-joined the meeting.
3.04 p.m. Mr Swann left the meeting.
3.07 p.m. Mr McCarthy joined the meeting.

7. Hardship Scheme – DARD Written Brief

Noted: The Committee noted the update from the Department on the Hardship Scheme.

8. DARD Estate Framework and Asset Management Plan – DARD Written Brief

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a copy of the Capital Investment Plan.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request further information on the potential investment at the Maze site as referred to in DARD's written brief.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek clarification on the budget of £13m for the DARD HQ move; to ask if this covers the costs associated with the moves for Fisheries, Forest Service and Rivers Agency.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek clarification on the estimated costs for the move of DARD HQ and to ask when the Outline Business Case will be made available to the Committee. The Committee also agreed to ask if decontamination costs have been factored into the Ballykelly site.

3.11 p.m. Mr Buchanan left the meeting.

9. Draft Legislation on Bovine Viral Disease – DARD Oral Brief

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 3.13 p.m.

Kate Davey, Assistant Secretary (Acting)
Carol McKibben, Accountant

The officials answered a specific query regarding late papers.

Noted: The Committee noted the objection raised by Mrs Dobson that the public consultation should not proceed until an oral briefing has been given by the Department.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the public consultation should issue and that the Department will provide an oral briefing in early September before the consultation is completed.

3.20 p.m. Mr Swann re-joined the meeting.

10. The Fishing Boats (Satellite Tracking Devices) Scheme (NI) 2013 – DARD Written Brief

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Fishing Boats (Satellite Tracking Devices) Scheme (NI) 2013 should move to the next legislative stage.

11. Correspondence

Agreed: The Committee noted the copied correspondence from
Mr B Thompson on the use of trained Bovine TB detection dogs and agreed to forward it to the Department for comment.

Agreed: The Committee noted the copied correspondence from the Committee for the Environment to the Department on Wind Energy and agreed to request that the Department copies it into their response to the Committee for the Environment.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Agri-Food Board to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment on the "Going for Growth" report.

Noted: The Committee noted the Investing Activity Report June 2013 for the Department.

12. Forward Work Programme

Agreed: The Committee agreed the hotel and transport arrangements for attendance at the National Ploughing Championships on 24-25 September 2013.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme.

13. AOB

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward correspondence received by the Deputy Chairperson from Mr E Logan regarding various issues on bovine TB and agreed to forward it to DARD for comment.

14. Date, time and place of the next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural
Development will take place on Tuesday 10 September 2013 at 2.00 p.m. in Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The meeting adjourned at 3.30 p.m

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