Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 12 February 2013

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

3.11  p.m. The meeting commenced in Open Session

1. Apologies

The apologies are recorded above.

2. Chairperson’s business

The Chairperson advised the Committee that Forest Service has advised that Chalara has been found on Departmental land at CAFRE’s Greenmount Campus. The Department are now tracing the source of the infection.

The Committee offered its congratulations to Mr Swann on the birth of his son.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider agenda item 5 next.

3. Committee Review of Tree Disease

The Assembly Research Officer briefed the Committee on Tree Disease and this was followed by a question and answer session.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request further research on tree disease.

3.17 p.m. Mr Clarke and Mr Irwin joined the meeting.

3.25 p.m. Mr Hazzard joined the meeting.

3.35 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.

The following representatives from the National Trust joined the meeting at 3.50 p.m.

Heather Thompson, Director

John Baird, Head of Conservation

Ian McCurley, Conservation Manager and Forestry Advisor

Frank Devlin, Maintenance Manager

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

3.55 p.m. Mr Buchanan joined the meeting.

3.57 p.m. Mr Clarke left the meeting.

4.00 p.m. Mr Hazzard left the meeting.

4.15 p.m. Mrs Dobson joined the meeting.

4.29 p.m. Mr McCartney left the meeting.

4.30 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.

4.39 p.m. Mr McCartney rejoined the meeting.

4.40 p.m. Mr McMullan left the meeting.

The following representatives from the Woodland Trust joined the meeting at 4.40 p.m.

Patrick Cregg, Director

Steve Mulligan, Government Affairs Officer

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

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Woodland Trust to request their view on pre-contracts and what it should contain and how it would work.

Agreed:  The Committee agreed to write to the Department for Regional Development and the Department of the Environment to ask for details of their procedures for the procurement of trees for works undertaken. It also agreed to ask if either department has considered contract growing of trees.

5.02 p.m. Mr Irwin rejoined the meeting.

5.15 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.

5.15 p.m. Mr Buchanan left the meeting.

4. Minutes of the meeting on 5 February 2013

Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the meeting held on 5 February 2013.

5. Matters arising

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department regarding issues raised at the Committee meeting on 22 January 2013. The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request a definitive list of which T5 tractors will be exempted by Members States from periodic testing.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from Mr Jim Nicolson MEP on the EC Proposals – Roadworthiness Package.

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

Agreed: The Committee noted the completed EC Work Programme 2013 – Committee Priorities Template and agreed that it should be submitted to the Committee for OFMdFM.

6. SR 2013/7: The Plant Health (Amendment) Order (NI) 2013

Question put and agreed;

That the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development has considered the Plant Health (Amendment) Order (NI) 2013 and has no objections to the rule.

7. Correspondence

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence copied from the Committee for the Environment regarding a response it received from the Department of the Environment regarding a procurement process undertaken by them when leasing land.

Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the Rural Community Network regarding the potential closure of rural primary schools and requesting that the Committee work in tandem with the Education Committee to develop a Small Schools Policy. The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to the Committee for Education.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Rural Community Network to ask for further information on the issues raised in their correspondence and to request a copy of their map highlighting areas of concern.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to ask if she has discussion with the Minister for Education on this issue. The Committee also agreed to seek clarification on the development of rural proofing by DARD and how this could affect this issue.

Noted: The noted the correspondence from Mr Robin Swann MLA advising that he has lodged a Private Members Bill to amend Section 46 of the Justice (NI) Act 2022 to include DARD’s Central Investigation Service among the list of organisations that the Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice must inspect.

8. Forward Work Programme

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme.

9. AOB 

There was no other business.

10. Date and time of the next meeting

Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 19 February 2013 at

1.30 p.m. in Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The meeting adjourned at 5.27 p.m.

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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