Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 13 September 2011

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

2.04pmThe meeting commenced in Open Session

1. Apologies

None

2. Minutes

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Minutes of the meeting of 28 June 2011.

3. Matters Arising and Correspondence
(a) Correspondence issued

The Committee noted correspondence issued since the meeting of 28 June 2011.

2:06pm Mr Irwin joined the meeting.

(b) Correspondence received

Noted: The Committee noted a letter from Minister O’Neill (30 June) – in relation to Pet Movement Control.

Agreed: The Committee notedthe letter from Minister O’Neill (22 August) – Committee Priorities and Forward Work Programme 2011/2012 and agreed to include a briefing from Professor Elliot from Queens University on the Research Challenge Fund in its Forward Work Plan. The Committee further agreed to write to the Business Innovation and Skills Minister to convey its support for the appointment of a Grocery Code Adjudicator.

2:09pm Mr Murphy joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from Minister O’Neill (6 September) and a letter to the Clerk (1September) – in relation to the Countryside Management Scheme. The Committee agreed to request a presentation from the Department.

Agreed: The Committee considered correspondence from Robin Swann MLA and Jo-Anne Dobson MLA (10 August) regarding rural crime. The Committee agreed that this was an important issue which needed to be addressed. The Committee Clerk was asked to draft a letter to the Minister, in the first instance, requesting that she make representations on the matter to the Justice Minister, the Chief Constable and the Policing Board for consideration at the meeting on 20 September 2011. The Committee Clerk was also asked to obtain details of the extent of rural crime in other European Regions.

2:25pm Mr Murphy left the meeting.

Noted: The Committee noted the Memo from Finance and Personnel Committee (27 June and 8 and 9 September) on the End Year Flexibility replacement scheme and plans for a briefing on 27 September 2011.

Agreed: The Committee noted the Memo from Committee for the Environment (1 July) regarding Gorse Fires andagreed that it be forwarded to DARD for response. The Committee further agreed to raise some additional and associated concerns with the Department.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to request more information on how the key aims of the Innovation and Technology section from the EU issues event on the 20 June 2011 can be applied to DARD.

2:32pm Mr Murphy re-joined the meeting.

Noted: The Committee noted Reports from OFMDFM Committee regarding DARD investment strategy (July & August).

Noted: The Committee noted a memo from ETI Committee (6 July) regarding the Social Economy Enterprise Strategy.

Noted: The Committee noted a memo from ETI Committee (6 July) regarding its Renewable Energy Inquiry .

Noted: The Committee noted a Paper from RaLSe, (19 July) regarding conference report – future of the dairy industry.

Agreed: The Committee noted the DALO letter (7 July) regarding its meeting on 21 June and agreed to seek further information from the Rivers Agency.

2:39pm Mr W Clarke left the meeting.

Noted: The Committee noted the DALO letter (21 July) regarding its meeting on 28 June - Poultry Meat Regulations, Forestry Bye-laws and HQ re-location.

Agreed: The Committee noted the DALO Letter (5 August) – regarding its meeting of 28 June – Departmental Business Plan, LFAs and Poultry Litter and agreed to write to the Minister for Environment requesting a timescale for a decision on the Rose Energy planning application.

Noted: The Committee noted the DALO Letter (31 August) – regarding its meeting of 28 June – Single Farm Payments, TB/Brucellosis, Forest Service charging policy, Research Challenge Fund.

Noted: The Committee noted the DALO Letter (29 June) regarding Review of support arrangements for LFAs.

Noted: The Committee noted the DALO letter (29 June) regarding The Welfare of Animals (2011) Act (Commencement and Transitional Provisions No1) Order (Northern Ireland) 2011.

Agreed: The Committee noted the DALO Letter (2 August) regarding Dog Licensing and Identification – Review of Coloured Collar Identification Tagging of Dogs . The Committee agreed to ask the Department to clarify that consultation will be with elected councillors.

Agreed: The Committee noted the DALO Letter (25 August) regarding the outcome of consultation on the Seabass Regulations 2011 and agreed that this proceeds to the next legislative stage, provided the Department returns to the Committee.

Agreed: The Committee noted the DALO Letter (25 August) regarding Single Farm Payments – entitlements and payment position. The Committee agreed to request further details from the Department on outstanding applications and appeals.

Noted: The Committee noted the DALO letter (26 August) regarding Forward Work Programme September- December.

Agreed: The Committee noted the Bluetongue updates from 30 June – 1 September and agreed that they should receive further updates on an exception only basis.

Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence about the storage of Category 3 Animal By-Products and requested details of the arrangements in the Republic of Ireland. The Committee further agreed to write to the Department on the issue of ‘gold plating’ regulations.

Noted: The Committee noted the Letter from Renewal Integration Development Project (4 July) .

Noted: The Committee noted the E-mail from RSPB (21 July) .

Agreed: The Committee noted the Letter from NICCY about the 2011 Participation awards and agreed to forward it to the Department.

4. Presentation: Food Standards Agency (FSA) – Role and Remit in Northern Ireland

The following Officials joined the meeting:

Gerry McCurdy – FSA NI Director;

Maria Jennings – FSA NI Head of Dietary Health, Standards and Incidents; &

Michael Jackson – FSA NI Head of Food Safety and Operations.

Officials briefed the Committee on the role and remit of the FSA in Northern Ireland and this was followed by a question and answer session.

3:02pm Mr Clarke re-joined the meeting, Mr McCarthy left the meeting.

3:40pm Mr T Clarke left the meeting.

3:44pm Mr McMullan left the meeting.

5. SL1: Poultry Meat Regulations (NI) 2011

Agreed: Members agreed that The Poultry Meat Regulations (NI) 2011 should progress to the next legislative stage.

6. CAP Reform Engagement

The Committee considered a position paper on the CAP Reform.

Agreed: The Committee agreed its position paper subject to two amendments.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the terms of letters to the EFRA Committee, E&S Committee, RACCE Committee.

Agreed: The Committee further agreed to publish its position paper and to keep the matter under review.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to ask the Minister to detail the representations she is making on CAP Reform.

4:04pm Mr Murphy left the meeting.

4:11pm Mr Irwin left the meeting.

4:16pm Mr T Clarke re-joined the meeting.

4:30pm Mr Irwin re-joined the meeting.

During this item Mr Irwin declared an interest

7. Committee Forward Work Programme and Visits

The Committee discussed the draft Forward Work Programme from September 2011 to December 2011.

Agreed: The Committee agreed its Forward Work Programme but requested that the Committee Clerk bring forward proposals to include Rural Development Issues.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to accept the invitation to the National Ploughing Championships on 21 September. The Committee further agreed on the necessary travel and accommodation costs.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule visits to AFBI and CAFRE on the Committee Forward Work Programme.

8. Chairpersons Business

Agreed: Members agreed they were content to continue to receive DARD press release updates and Horizon updates via e-mail.

9. AOB

Agreed: Three Members indicated a desire to attend DARD’s second Evidence and Innovation Stakeholder Forum on Wednesday 28 th September 2011 and further agreed that the Committee Researcher should attend the workshop on Performance in the Market Place.

Noted: The Committee noted the terms of the joint communiqués published after the recent meetings of the North/South Ministerial Council.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the terms of a Press Release on the Committee position on CAP Reform, subject to a minor amendment.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider the merits of a visit to Brussels.

10. Date of next meeting

Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 20 September 2011, at 2.00pm, in Room 30 Parliament Buildings.

The meeting was adjourned at 5.11pm

Mr Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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