Minutes of Proceedings
Date: 17 January 2012
Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings
1.30pm The meeting commenced in Open Session
Agreed: The Committee agreed the Minutes of the meeting of 10 January 2012.
3. Matters Arising
The O’Hare Report & Professor Chris Elliott
Agreed: The Committee noted that this issue will be a substantive item on the agenda, next week. The Committee further noted a memo and Intertrade Ireland report from the ETI Committee and agreed to forward them to the Minister for comment.
EFRA Committee Inquiry
Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Chairperson should write to the Chair of the EFRA Committee to ask if a decision has yet been made to call on the Committee to give oral evidence and to urge for that invitation to be extended.
Agreed: The Committee noted that Secretary of State Spellman was giving evidence to the EFRA Committee and agreed that a transcript of this evidence session should be provided to Members when available.
(a) Correspondence issued
Noted: The Committee noted correspondence issued since the meeting on 17 January 2012.
(b) Correspondence received
Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from Minister O’Neill in relation to the European Commission Disallowance of Single Farm Payments. The Committee agreed to ask the Department for an update on the recent disallowance complaint to the Ombudsman in England and the potential implications of the ruling. The Clerk was also asked to investigate. The Committee also agreed it would be useful to have a presentation on the process for Single Farm Applications.
1.46pm Trevor Clarke joined the meeting
Kieran McCarthy Declared an Interest
Agreed: The Committee noted two letters from Minister O’Neill, dated 11 January in relation to matters raised at the Committee meeting on 6 December 2011. The Committee agreed that the Research Officer should discuss the issue of Bovine TB, in respect of his paper, with Departmental officials and report back to the Committee, preferably on 14 February 2012.
Agreed: In relation to the Minister’s announcement on a new focus for the Rural Development Programme, the Committee further agreed to seek information from the Department about the terms of the scheme which will see the maximum grant increased to £1m.
1.55pm Willie Clarke left the meeting
Noted: The Committee noted correspondence from the Department, dated 5 January, in relation to the Committee meeting of 29 November 2011.
Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the Department, dated 22 December, in relation to Charges for Meat Inspections and agreed to write to the Department with a number of queries.
Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the Department, dated 5 January, in relation to the Committee meeting of 13 December 2011, and agreed to forward the Department’s correspondence, in relation to Septic Tanks, to the Environment Committee.
1.59pm Conor Murphy left the meeting
2.00pm Kieran McCarthy left the meeting
Noted: The Committee noted correspondence from the Department, dated 12 January, in relation to the Committee meeting of 13 December 2011.
2.01pm Willie Clarke re- joined the meeting
2.04pm Trevor Clarke left the meeting
Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the Department in relation to their revised January Monitoring Position and agreed to ask if the Department had considered bidding for any additional funding for Research and Development for the agri-food sector.
Noted: The Committee noted correspondence from the Department for Regional Development about the Reservoirs Bill.
Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the Afghan Hound Society NI in relation to the Draft Welfare of Animals (Dog Breeding Establishments) Regulations and agreed to defer a decision on inviting the Society to appear before the Committee until it had considered all the responses submitted to the Department as part of the consultation process.
2.15pm Dolores Kelly left the meeting
2.17pm Jo-Anne Dobson left the meeting
Noted: The Committee noted correspondence, to the Minister, from the NILGA Agriculture and Rural Development Working Group in relation to the Battery Eggs EU Directive.
Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the Environment Committee in relation to Septic Tanks and agreed to forward the correspondence to the Department.
Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the Environment Committee in relation to Badger Vaccines and agreed to forward the correspondence to the Department.
4. Presentation – RaISe: North/South Ministerial Forum, Commonalities on CAP Reform
The Assembly Research and Information Service Officer briefed the Committee on North/South Ministerial Forum, Commonalities on CAP Reform. This was followed by a question and answer session.
Agreed: The Assembly Research and Information Service Officer agreed to forward some additional information to the Committee.
2.20pm Oliver McMullan left the meeting
2.28pm Jo-Anne Dobson re- joined the meeting
2.30pm Dolores Kelly re-joined the meeting
2.37pm Willie Clarke left the meeting
2.40pm Kieran McCarthy re-joined the meeting
2.45pm Oliver McMullan re- joined the meeting
5. Chairpersons Business and Forward Work Programme
Noted: The Committee noted its Forward Work Programme.
The Committee had some discussion on the Environment Committee Motion on the conservation of Strangford Lough scheduled for debate on 23 January 2012.
Agreed: The Committee agreed the basis upon which the Chairperson should speak to the Motion on behalf of the Committee.
6. Any Other Business
7. Date of next meeting
Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 24 January 2012, at 1.30pm, Room 30, in Parliament Buildings.
The meeting was adjourned at 2.56pm
Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development