Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 31 January 2012

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

1.39 pm          The meeting commenced in Open Session

1.    Apologies

There were no apologies.

2.    Chairperson’s business 

The Chairperson advised that he had no business to report.

1.40 p.m. Mr Buchanan joined the meeting

1.40 p.m. Mr T Clarke joined the meeting

3.    Minutes

Agreed:          The Committee agreed the Minutes of the meeting of 24 January 2012.

4.    Matters Arising

Noted:            The Committee noted the Declaration of Interests for Ms Boyle as published in the Register of Members’ Interests. Ms Boyle declared an interest as a member of a GAA club and advised that she had communicated this to the Clerk of the Standards and Privileges Committee in relation to the updating of the Register of Members’ Interests.

(a)  Correspondence issued

Noted:            The Committee noted correspondence issued since the meeting on 24 January 2012.

(b)   Correspondence received

Noted:            The Committee noted the correspondence from OFMDFM Committee on the Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland, Investing Activity Report (DARD).

Agreed:          The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department dated 20 January 2012, which had been deferred from the previous meeting. The Committee agreed to request detailed written briefing on the proposed Fishing Fleet Decommission Scheme.

Noted:            The Committee noted that the Minister will provide an update on the Rural Poverty and Social Inclusion Framework 2008/09 – 2010/11 when she briefs the Committee on 14 February 2012.

1.50 p.m. Mr Swann joined the meeting

Agreed:          The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to ascertain what discussions, if any, have taken place with the Minister for Employment and Learning regarding training/up-skilling for fishermen and the diversification opportunities for those leaving the fishing industry. Mrs Kelly advised the Committee she had been in contact with a training provider in this area, Romatech, and the Committee noted this.

Noted:            The Committee noted the correspondence dated 25 January 2012 from the Department regarding Stakeholder Road-shows February-March 2012.

1.55 p.m.  Mr McCarthy left the meeting

1.56 p.m. Mr Irwin joined the meeting

Agreed:          The Committee noted the correspondence dated 24 January 2012 from Northern Ireland Environment Link (NIEL) requesting a meeting with the Committee. The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing with NIEL and, in the coming weeks, to review the Forward Work Programme and consider an appropriate date.

Agreed:          The Committee noted correspondence from the Department dated 30 January 2012, regarding the Schmallenberg Virus. The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to request regular updates and to be kept informed of any significant developments.                

5.    Presentation DARD: Land Parcel Identification Scheme

The following departmental officials joined the meeting:

Andrew Elliott - Assistant Secretary

Pauline Rooney – Senior Principal Officer

Valerie Bell – 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.

Mrs Dobson declared an interest that her family received the Single Farm
Payment.

The officials agreed to provide the Committee with additional information on a number of issues raised during the question and answer session.

2.56 p.m. Mr Buchanan left the meeting

3.00 p.m. Mr T Clarke left the meeting

3.07 p.m. Mr T Clarke rejoined the meeting

6.    Presentation DARD: Forestry Land Byelaws (NI) 2012 and Forestry (Felling of Trees) Regulations (NI) 2012                  

The following departmental officials joined the meeting:

Malcolm Beatty – Chief Executive

John Joe O’Boyle – Director of Forestry

Michael McCann – Deputy Principal

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

3.40 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting

3.40 p.m. Mr McMullan left the meeting

Agreed:          The Committee agreed to write to Department to on a number of issues raised during the discussion.

7.    Forward Work Programme

Agreed:          The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme.

8.    Any other business

Mrs Kelly advised the Committee that she awaited a response from the Minister on GROW SA and agreed to provide the Committee with copies of papers received from GROW SA and the DCAL Minister on this issue. The Committee decided to return to consider further briefing on this topic once all papers had been received.

9.    Date of next meeting

Agreed:          The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 7 February 2012, at 1.30pm, Room 30, in Parliament Buildings.

The meeting was adjourned at 3.47 pm

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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