The Northern Ireland Assembly has been dissolved. The election will take place on Thursday 5 May 2016.

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 04 October 2012

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

The meeting began at 10.09am in public session.

1. Public Session: Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Minutes of meeting held on 27 September 2012

Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting on 27 September 2012 were agreed.

3. Chairperson’s Business

Members noted correspondence from Agenda NI thanking the Chair for the contribution to the 17th Annual Northern Ireland Economic Conference.

Members considered a request from the Head of Economics and Business Studies at Methodist College to appear in a video conference with students. 

Agreed: to participate in the video conference on the 15 November.

4. Matters Arising

Members noted correspondence from the Committee for Employment and Learning seeking views on the European Globalisation Fund by the Department.

Robin Newton left the meeting at 10.11am.

Agreed: to forward letter to Department.

Members considered a request from the Department for a copy of the letter from the Consumer Council on the key issues for consideration.

Agreed: to forward a copy of the letter to the Department.

5. Agri-Food Strategy Board (AFSB): Oral Briefing

Representatives joined the meeting at 10.12am.

Members received an oral briefing from Tony O’Neill, Chair, AFSB, Graeme Hutchinson, Head of Economic Policy, DETI and Keith Morrison, Director of Food, Farm and Rural Policy.

Robin Newton returned to the meeting at 10.15am.

Paul Frew joined the meeting at 10.16am.

Steven Agnew joined the meeting at 10.35am.

Stephen Moutray left the meeting at 10.37am.

Sue Ramsey left the meeting at 10.52am.

Key issues discussed included: support for farming, resources and support for the Board, identifying the priorities in the subgroups, actions to increase exports to China, barriers to accessing credit, using renewables to reduce energy costs and working collaborative with the Republic of Ireland.

Robin Newton left the meeting at 11.14am.

Agreed: for DETI and DARD to highlight EU rules which may impact negatively on the strategy.

Agreed: to raise the issue of agri-business leading with the Ulster Bank

Agreed: to visit an agri-food facility at a later date

Officials left the meeting at 11.27am.

6. Mental Health Discrimination Bill 2012 – Legislative Consent Motion: Oral Briefing from DETI

Representatives joined the meeting at 11.28am.

Key issues discussed included: the reason for the LCM and the timescale.

Officials left the meeting at 11.30am.

Agreed: to support DETI in seeking the Assembly’s agreement to the UK Parliament considering the provisions of in the Mental Health (Discrimination) (No. 2) Bill, as introduced in the House of Commons on 20 June 2012, dealing with company directors should be considered by the United Kingdom parliament.

Agreed: to consider a short draft report on the LCM at next week’s meeting.

7. Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill – Report on Legislative Consent Motion

Members considered the Report on the legislative Consent Motion.

Agreed: to approve the Legislative Consent Motion report.

Agreed: to publish on Committee pages on Assembly website with listed appendices when Hansard has been agreed.

8. Telecommunications Update: Written Briefing from DETI

Members noted the written briefing on telecommunications generally in Northern Ireland and the projects being taken forwarded by the Department’s Telecommunication Action Plan 2011-15. 

Agreed: to seek clarification on the map on the Department’s website

Agreed: to commission Assembly Research into the mobile infrastructure project.

Agreed: to receive a copy of the full economic appraisal on the strategic outline case.

Agreed: to bring forward to the meeting of the 22 November in BT Tower.

Sue Ramsey returned to the meeting at 11.43am.

9. Scottish Manufacturing: Written Briefing from DETI

Members discussed the research paper provided by the Assembly Research and Information Services. 

Agreed: to seek an oral briefing from Assembly Research.

10.  “Back to Work” report: Written Briefing from the Federation of Small Businesses

Members discussed the Federation of Small Business report back to work: the role of small businesses in employment and enterprise.

Agreed: to seek an oral briefing from FSB on the report.

11.  Correspondence

Members noted the following items of correspondence:

i. From Belfast City Airport Watch – seats for sale restriction at George Best Belfast Airport.

Agreed: to contact the Committee of the environment to see if any action has been taken to respond.

Agree:  to write to the Belfast City airport Watch acknowledging their letter and to request details on the 20 community groups referred to.

ii. From Mr Roy Beggs MLA – Private Members Bill, Scrap Metal Dealers.

Agreed: to forward to the Department to receive an overview of the Department’s role regarding the proposals.

Members noted the following invitations:

iii. November Conference on European Funding in Northern Ireland.

Agreed: Mr. Maginness to attend on behalf of the Committee.

iv. October NIABT briefing, Long Gallery.

v. Mental Health Week “Lose Your Marbles” event in the Great Hall on the 9th October.

12.  Any other business

Members considered the visit by the Japanese Diplomat for Economics Mr. Ito on the 10 October.

Agreed:   the Deputy Chair and Mr. Newton to meet with Mr. Ito and represent the Committee.

Robin Newton left the meeting at 11.55am.

13. Date, time and place of next meeting          

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Tuesday 9 October 2012 at 2.00pm, Room 29, Parliament Buildings

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 11.58am.

Mr Patsy McGlone
Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment

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