Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 25 June 2013

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

1.35 p.m. The meeting commenced in Closed Session

1. Committee Review on Tree Disease - Consideration

Agreed: The Committee agreed paragraphs 8, 17, 24, 27, 30 and 46 of the Committee Position Paper on Tree Disease.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the Position Paper to the Minister for comment.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the allocation amongst Members of the key issues in the position paper for debate as follows:

Mr T Buchanan – issue 9
Mr J Byrne – issue 8
Mr T Clarke – issue 4
Mrs J Dobson – issue 8
Mr P Frew – issue 2
Mr W Irwin – issue 1
Mr D McAleer – issue 5
Mr K McCarthy – issue 3
Mr O McMullan – issue 6
Mr I Milne – issue 7
Mr R Swann – issue 6

1.41 p.m. The meeting moved into open session

2. Apologies

There are no apologies.

3. Chairperson's Business

The Chairperson advised Members that tablet computers and training sessions are now available via the IS Office. Training has also been organised in the use of Windows 8 and Members are encouraged to attend.

4. Minutes of the meeting held on 18 June 2013

Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the meeting held on 18 June 2013.
.
1.45 p.m. Mr McAleer joined the meeting.
1.46 p.m. Mr Irwin joined the meeting.

5. Matters arising

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence dated 19 June 2013 from the Department regarding issues raised at the meeting on 28 May 2013. The Committee agreed to forward the extract on the Financial Provisions Bill to the Committee for Finance and Personnel to confirm that the Committee is content that the DARD provisions are included in the Bill.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek reassurance that the 25% figure estimated for the administration cost for the Rural Development Programme will reduce.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from Farmers for Action regarding a new system to control TB in badgers, and agreed to write to the Department to ask if they were aware of the system referred to.

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

6. Pre-consultation on Rural Development Programme 2014-2020: Oral Briefing DARD

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 1.50 p.m.:

Colette McMaster, Assistant Secretary
Lorraine Lynas, Principal Officer
Rosemary Agnew, Principal Officer
Brian Ervine, Principal Officer

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

Mr Irwin declared an interest as a farmer.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request an analysis of the consultation responses upon completion of the exercise and a summary of the consultation proposal stakeholder responses.

1.52 p.m. Mr Buchanan joined the meeting.
1.54 p.m. Mr Milne left the meeting.
1.55 p.m. Mr Swann joined the meeting.
2.00 p.m. Mr McMullan joined the meeting.
2.01 p.m. Mr Byrne left the meeting.
2.17 p.m. Mr McMullan left the meeting.
2.32 p.m. Mr Byrne re-joined the meeting.
2.34 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.
2.45 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.
2.48 p.m. Mr Swann left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider agenda items 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 next.

7. Pre-consultation on Draft Welfare of Animals and Poultry at Markets Order 2013: Written Brief DARD

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request an analysis of the consultation responses on completion of the exercise.

8. SL1 – the Foyle Area and Carlingford Area Complimentary Permit Regulations 2013: Written Brief DARD

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the SL1: The Foyle Area and Carlingford Area Complimentary Permit Regulations 2013 should progress to the next legislative stage.

9. Existing and Potential Tourism Development Opportunities Available from Northern Ireland Forest Report

Agreed: The Committee noted the Report on Existing and Potential Tourism Development Opportunities Available from Northern Ireland Forest; and agreed to request research on the economic and tourism benefits that have been achieved in other areas.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek clarification on why the focus within the report was only on three specific areas within Northern Ireland and to ask why forests such as Gortin Glen and Killeter were not included.

10. Correspondence

Agreed: The Committee noted the emailed correspondence from the USPCA on cock fighting and agreed to forward it to the Department for comment.

Noted: The Committee noted the invitation from the National Sheep Association to an event in Ballymena Market on 1 July 2013.

Agreed: The Committee noted the Explanatory Memorandum on EU Legislation on Industrial Emissions and agreed to forward it to the Department for comment and to request a summary of their interaction with DEFRA and other EU bodies on the issue.

Agreed: The Committee noted the Explanatory Memorandum on EU Legislation on Plant Health and agreed to forward it to the Department for comment and request a summary of its interaction with DEFRA and other EU bodies on the issue.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Ulster Society for the Protection of the Countryside on National Parks. The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence from the Committee for the Environment as it falls under its remit.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from RaISe on the European Court of Auditors Report on Agricultural products.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence dated 17 June 2013 from the Committee for Finance on Financial Forecasting Data and agreed to forward it to Research for an analysis of the content.

11. Forward Work Programme

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing with First Trust Bank on Tuesday 24 September 2013 at 1.15 p.m.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme.

2.58 p.m. The meeting suspended.
4.03 p.m. The meeting resumed.

The following Members were in attendance:

Mr Frew, Mr Milne, Mr McAleer and Mr McMullan.

12. Rivers Agency Business Plan 2013/14: Oral Briefing Rivers Agency

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 4.03 p.m.

Catherine McCallum, Chief Executive Rivers Agency
David Porter, Director of Development

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

4.05 p.m. Mr Byrne re-joined the meeting.
4.10 p.m. Mrs Dobson re-joined the meeting.
4.12 p.m. Mr Milne left the meeting.
4.24 p.m. Mr Irwin re-joined the meeting.
4.34 p.m. Mr Milne re-joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request that, commencing from next year, Rivers Agency include a summary of the previous Business Plan Outturn.

13. Badger Sett Survey and TVR Exercise Update: Oral Briefing DARD

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 4.35 p.m.

Kate Davey, Assistant Secretary (Acting)
Colin Hart, Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer
Roly Harwood, Senior Principal Veterinary Officer
Ian McKee, Principal Officer

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 the % of farmers in the Banbridge area who gave permission for badger sett survey to take place on their land.

Agreed: The Committee agreed a Press Release, subject to an amendment, on the Badger Sett Survey and TVR Exercise Update.

14. AOB

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ask for their analysis on how the UK allocation of Pillar 2/Rural Development Programme will be distributed amongst the four UK regions.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Agriculture Committee to request information on how they obtained and have maintained TB free status.

15. Date, time and place of the next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural
Development will take place on Thursday 27 June 2013 at 2.00 p.m. in
Room 29, Parliament Buildings.

The meeting adjourned at 5.28 p.m.

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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