Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 30 April 2013

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

1.35 p.m. The meeting commenced in Open Session

1. Apologies

There are no apologies.

2. Chairperson's Business

The Chairperson offer condolences on behalf of Committee Members to the family of Mr Benson Foster following his tragic farming accident.

The Chairperson advised the Committee that the Minister is unavailable to attend today's meeting due to diary commitment; the Minister has also advised that she is unavailable to attend the meeting on 14 May 2013 due to attendance at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on Brussels. The Chairperson advised the Committee that the Minister has offered a further two dates to meet either with the Committee and/or with the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson would meet with the Minister on the morning of 7 May; this will be followed by a meeting with the Committee on 9 May 2013 to receive an update on the proposed Hardship Scheme after the Executive meeting.

1.40 p.m. Mr Irwin joined the meeting.
1.41 p.m. Mr Milne joined the meeting.

The Chairperson advised the Committee that an informal meeting had taken place with the Integrated Education Fund and the Rural Community Network to discuss the area planning process and the impact this may have on rural schools. A note of the meeting will be circulated in due course.

The Chairperson advised the Committee that a report of the recent visit to Brussels will follow in due course.

Noted: The Committee noted the Balmoral Show Meet and Greet rota which Members are participating in.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the press article to be forwarded to the Balmoral Show supplement and agreed to include the Meet and Greet rota for information.

3. Minutes of the meetings 23th April 2013

Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the meetings held on 23th April 2013.

4. Matters Arising

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence dated 25 April 2013 from the Department regarding issues raised at the meeting on 9 April 2013. The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to seek further clarity around LPIS Maps and to ask what assistance can be offered to farmers who are experiencing problems due to the technical error which occurred.

1.56 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.
1.56 p.m. Mr Clarke joined the meeting.
1.57 p.m. Mrs Dobson and Mr Milne left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider a Press Release at the next meeting to urge farmers to return their LPIS Maps before the deadline.
Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence dates 22 April 2013 from the NFU regarding Rural Crime.

Noted: The Committee noted the severe weather weekly update from the Department.

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

5. Oral Briefing RaISe – Fisheries Research

The Assembly Research Officer and Bursary Student joined the meeting at 2.03 p.m. and briefed the Committee on Fisheries Research

This was followed by a question and answer session.

2.06 p.m. Mr Swann joined the meeting.
2.15 p.m. Mr McCarthy rejoined the meeting.
2.20 p.m. Mr McMullan left the meeting.
2.23 p.m. Mr Clarke left the meeting.
2.25 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.
2.35 p.m. Mr Byrne left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek further information regarding the relationship Seafish has with the two Fish Producers Organisations within Northern Ireland.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to ask Research to seek information on the reasoning behind the decision to increase the West Coast of Scotland's TAC to 20% whilst Northern Ireland only received 6%.

6. Oral Briefing Rivers Agency – Reservoir Community Asset Survey

The following departmental officials joined the meeting at 2.36 p.m.

David Porter, Director of Development
Averil Gaw, Principal Officer

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

2.50 p.m. Mr Buchanan joined the meeting.
2.53 p.m. Mr Milne rejoined the meeting.
2.55 p.m. Mr McAleer joined the meeting.
2.57 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to the Hansard and Departmental papers to the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure for information.

7. Oral Briefing – Forest Service Business Plan 2013/14

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 3.05 p.m.

John Joe O'Boyle, Director of Forestry
Marcus McAuley, Principal Officer

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

3.06 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.
3.07 p.m. Mr McMullan rejoined the meeting.
3.15 p.m. Mr McMullan left the meeting.
3.19 p.m. Mrs Dobson rejoined the meeting.
3.21 p.m. Mr Swann left the meeting.
3.29 p.m. Mr Irwin rejoined the meeting.
3.32 p.m. Mr Buchanan left the meeting.
3.48 p.m. Mr Buchanan rejoined the meeting.
3.49 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.

8. Pre-consultation on Sustainable Development Strategy for NI Inshore Fisheries

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request that they forward a written brief on the outcome of the consultation.

9. SR 2013/103 – The Plant Health (Amendment No 2) Order (NI) 2013

Question put and agreed:

That the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development has considered the Plant Health (Amendment No 2) Order (NI) 2013 and has no objection to the rule.

10. Correspondence

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing with Royal Mail on 21 May 2013.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to meet informally with Rural Support on 14 May 2013.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the report on EU Direct Payments to the Department and request a written briefing on a number of aspects.

11. Forward Work Programme

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme.

4.08 p.m. Mr Byrne rejoined the meeting.

12. AOB

Agreed: The Committee noted that the pre consultation on draft legislation on Bovine Viral Disease has been deferred by the Department and agreed to ask the Department why this has occurred.

13. Date of the next meeting

Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 7 May 2013 at 1.30 p.m. in Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The meeting adjourned at 4.10 p.m.

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