Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 25 September 2012

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

1.34 p.m. The meeting commenced in Closed Session

The following Members were present Mr Frew, Mr Byrne, Mr Buchanan,

Mr Clarke, Mrs Dobson, Mr Hazzard, Mr Irwin, Mr McAleer, Mr McCarthy,

Mr Swann.

1. Bovine TB Review – Committee Consideration

The Committee considered issues on the testing and surveillance regime and biosecurity.       

2.29 p.m. The meeting moved into Open Session

2. Apologies

There were no apologies.

3. Chairperson’s business

The Chairperson advised the Committee that the Deputy Chairperson is unable to attend the National Ploughing Championships in New Ross on 26 September 2012.

4. Minutes of the meeting 18 September 2012

Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the meeting held on 18 September 2012.

5. Matters arising

Agreed: The Committee amended and agreed the draft Press Release on the Committee Motion on the Crisis in Farming subject to amendment.

6. Oral briefing DARD: October Monitoring Round

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting;

Graeme Wilkinson, Assistant Secretary
Jim McGuinness, Accountant
Lynda Lowe, Deputy Principal

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

2.46 p.m. Mr McMullan joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request costs relating to the current refit of Dundonald House following the flooding incident in June 2012.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to support the Department’s October Monitoring Round Submission.

7. Oral Briefing Rivers Agency: Business Plan 2012/13

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting;

David Porter, Director of Development

Jeff Glass, Director of Corporate Services

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

2.50 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.

3.07 p.m. Mr Irwin rejoined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request information on the breakdown of personnel in regional offices.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request an update on the privatisation of Lough Neagh.

3.30 p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting.

3.31 p.m. Mr Clarke left the meeting.

8. Oral Briefing Rivers Agency: Reservoirs Bill Consultation Outcome

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting;

David Porter, Director of Development

Averil Gaw, Head of Reservoirs Bill Team

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

3.37 p.m. Mr Hazzard left the meeting.

3.39 p.m. Mrs Dobson rejoined the meeting.

3.50 p.m. Mr Hazzard and Mr McCarthy rejoined the meeting.

4.00 p.m. Mr Byrne left the meeting.

4.05 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.

4.15 p.m. Mr Irwin rejoined the meeting.

4.16 p.m. Mr Hazzard left the meeting.

4.19 p.m. Mr Buchanan and Mr McAleer left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request information on locations of private and public reservoirs.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Reservoirs Bill moves to the next stage in the legislative process.

9. SR 2012/314: The Tuberculosis Control (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012

Question put and agreed;

That the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development has considered the Tuberculosis Control (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012 and, subject to comment from the Examiner of Statutory Rules, has no objection to the rule.

10. SR 2012/315: The Brucellosis Control (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012

Question put and agreed;

That the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development has considered the Brucellosis Control (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012 and, subject to comment from the Examiner of Statutory Rules, has no objection to the rule.

4.20 p.m. Mr Hazzard rejoined the meeting.

4.20 p.m. Mr McMullan left the meeting.

11. Pre-Consultation: The Foyle Area and Carlingford Area (Angling) Regulations 2013

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Foyle Area and Carlingford Area (Angling) Regulations 2013 should go out to public consultation and that the Loughs Agency briefs the Committee with a detailed analysis of submissions.

4.22 p.m. Mr Buchanan rejoined the meeting.

12. Oral briefing RaISe: Research paper in regards to the Committee Motion on the current farming crisis

The Assembly Research Officer briefed the Committee on the research related to the Committee Motion on the Farming Crisis.

4.30 p.m. Mr McMullan rejoined the meeting.

4.35 p.m. Mr McAleer rejoined the meeting.

4.37 p.m. Mr McAleer left the meeting.

Mrs Dobson declared an interest as a beef and cereal farmer.

4.45 p.m. Mr Buchanan left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request further research on herd numbers and the export levels for beef and sheep.

13. Committee European Engagement Report

Agreed: The Committee agreed the European Engagement Report and further agreed that it should be included in the OFMDFM Committee overall report for Plenary debate.

Mrs Dobson wished to record her appreciation following the recent visit by the EU Commissioner to a meeting in CAFRE College, Greenmount.

4.50 p.m. Mr Buchanan rejoined the meeting.

14. Correspondence

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the European Priorities 2012-13 Implementation Plan to the Department for a written update on the current status of DARD Commitments.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee to advise that the Committee will be meeting with the Loughs Agency in October 2012.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward correspondence from the Committee for Employment and Learning on Job Creation in Rural Areas, to the Minister for comment.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department on Agri-Environment Schemes and agreed to discuss it further with officials on 2 October 2012.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the committee for Finance and Personnel regarding the Flood and Incident Line.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for the Environment on EU Vehicle Tests and agreed to forward it to the Department to request an assessment on the impact this will have on the farming community.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for the Environment on Rose Energy and agreed to write to the Minister to request that the Committee is kept informed of any decisions made regarding this.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department on the Revised Codes of Practice for Farmed Animals.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department on Financial Corrections.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department on the Outcome of the Consultation: Review of the Agricultural Wages Board in NI.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from NIMEA, Dairy UK and the UFU on the NI Climate Change Act.

Noted:  The Committee noted the invitation from the Public Health Agency regarding the joint Ministerial launch of the Farm Families health Check programme on 7 November 2012.

15. Forward Work Programme

Agreed:  The Committee agreed to visit Kilkeel Fishing Post on 18 October 2012.

Agreed:  The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme.

The Chairperson advised the Committee that an informal meeting has been arranged for Tuesday 2 October to receive a presentation by the Department on the Single Farm Payment process.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a visit in connection with Dog Breeding Establishments on 8 November 2012.

16. AOB

The Committee discussed the general procedure for agreeing Committee motions.         

17. Date and time of the next meeting

Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural

Development will take place on Tuesday 9 October 2012, at 1.30pm, Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The meeting was adjourned at 5.12 p.m.

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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