Minutes of Proceedings
Date: 22 November 2011
Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings
3.20pm The meeting commenced in Open Session
Mr Thomas Buchanan MLA
Mrs Jo-Anne Dobson MLA
3.22pm William Irwin joined the meeting.
Agreed: The Committee agreed the Minutes of the meeting of 15 November 2011.
3. Matters Arising
Submission to the EFRA Committee
Noted: The Committee noted that a draft submission to the EFRA Committee would be available for consideration and discussion at the meeting on 29 November.
Submission to the EFRA Committee
Noted: The Committee noted that a draft submission to the ETI Committee would be available for consideration and discussion before Christmas.
Ulster Wildlife Trust – Possible EU Fines
Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to express concerns on the prospect of more European fines and to ask her, or her officials, to attend a future meeting of the Committee to outline what the Department has been doing.
(a) Correspondence issued
The Committee noted correspondence issued since the meeting on 15 November 2011.
3.25 pm Willie Clarke joined the meeting.
(b) Correspondence received
Agreed : The Committee noted correspondence from the Enterprise Minister in relation to the development of export opportunities and in assisting the competitiveness of the agri-food sector. The Committee agreed to write to the Enterprise Minister to raise some of the relevant issues which emerged during the meeting with Professor Chris Elliott at Queens Institute for Agri-Food and Land Use.
Noted: The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel in relation to the Performance and Efficiency Delivery Unit.
Agreed : The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel in relation to Post Project Evaluations (PPEs) and agreed to write to the Department for an explanation as to why four evaluations are outstanding.
Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from letter from the UFU in relation to DOE’s consultation on the establishment of a National Park in Northern Ireland. The Committee agreed that the Chairperson should seek to discuss this matter with the Chair of the Environment Committee and that the Committee should request sight of a summary and analysis of the responses.
Agreed : Members agreed to a request to forward a response to the Regional Development Committee in relation to flooding.
Agreed : The Committee agreed that the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson should attend an EU Discussion Forum on a variety of important European Issues and provide a short overview as requested by the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.
Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the DALO, dated 17 November 2011, in relation to a stakeholder conference on CAP Reform on 7 December 2011. Mr McMullan indicated that this is an event he would wish to attend.
Noted: The Committee noted correspondence from the DALO, dated 17 November 2011, in relation to issues that came out of the Committee meeting on 8 November 2011.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward correspondence from the Department to the Committee for Environment in relation to River Management.
Agreed: The Committee agreed they were content to re-schedule a briefing on the previous Committee’s Report into Renewable Energy and Alternative Land Use until 13 December 2011.
Agreed: The Committee noted that officials from the Rivers Agency will come before the Committee on 29 November 2011 to provide details on Lough Neagh Water levels. The Committee further agreed to request Rivers Agency should provide contact details for specified areas throughout Northern Ireland.
Noted: The Committee noted correspondence from the DALO, dated 17 November 2011, in relation to issues arising from the Committee meeting on 25 October 2011.
Agreed: The Committee noted an update on Fishing Opportunities 2012 contained in the DALO letter of 17 November and agreed to write to the Minister to outline the Committees concerns in relation to discards, and to encourage the Minister to bring this concern to the fore at a European level. The Committee further agreed to write to the EFRA Committee on similar terms.
Agreed: The Committee noted a Research Paper on EU Commission Disallowance relating to the CAP and Single Farm Payment system and agreed to raise some issues with the Department in relation to gorse fires, and their effect on claims.
Agreed: The Committee noted documents in relation to upcoming CAP Reform events being held in Cavan (25 November) and Armagh (2 December). The Committee agreed that the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson should discuss who might attend the event in Armagh.
4. Committee Discussion – Ministerial Statement on Non-Compliance
The Committee had some discussions on the Committee Motion debated on 14 November, and, the Minister ' s Statement on 21 November.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister with a number of concerns.
5. Presentation: RaISe – Research Paper on Distribution of Food Products to the Most Deprived Persons in the Union
The Assembly Research and Information Service Officer briefed the Committee on a ' subsidiarity ' issue relating to the Distribution of Food Products to the Most Deprived Persons in the Union. This was followed by a question and answer session.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek their position on the matter and to re-visit the item, with a view to a Committee response, at the next meeting.
4.12 pm Oliver McMullan left the meeting.
4.15 pm Willie Clarke left the meeting.
4.25 pm Kieran McCarthy left the meeting.
6. Chairpersons Business
Noted: The Committee noted the Forward Work Programme.
7. Any Other Business
8. Date of next meeting
Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 29 November 2011, at 1.30pm, Room 30, in Parliament Buildings.
The meeting was adjourned at 4.40pm