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

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 20 October 2011

Venue: 30

The meeting began at 10.42am in public session.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Minutes of meeting held on 13 October 2011

Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting on 13 October were agreed.

3. Chairperson’s Business

Members noted an invitation to the Chair from the NI Chamber of Commerce to the Annual Banquet 2011.

Members discussed a draft itinerary for the EU SME Envoy event in the Long Gallery on 17 November.

Agreed: Content with the draft Itinerary.

Steven Agnew joined the meeting at 10.45am.

Members noted an invitation to the Chair and Deputy Chair to the MTV European Music Awards on 6 November 2011.

Members noted an invitation to the Committee to an afternoon event on Sunday 6 November at Parliament Buildings for the sponsors of the MTV Awards .

4. Matters Arising

The Chair informed members of his meeting with the Ulster Federation of Credit Unions this week. The Federation raised concerns in relation to the FSA/Treasury consultation. The Chair informed members he will also meet with the Irish League of Credit Unions.

Agreed: To issue a response to the consultation based on meetings with the two organisations and to consider the draft response at next week’s meeting.

Members discussed a recent announcement by Invest NI on a new loan scheme for SMEs that will drawdown EU funding.

Agreed: To receive information on the origin of the EU funding and whether it existed before or if this is money from a different programme.

Agreed: To ask the Department why interest rates on the loan scheme are higher than bank rates.

Members discussed a forthcoming visit to the Oireachtas on 10 November.

Agreed: To meet with Gaelectric during the visit.

Agreed: Clerk to liaise with the Clerk to the Commission to arrange a shared bus for the visit .

Agreed : To invite the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Jobs, Social Protection and Education to the Assembly at a future date to discuss matters of mutual interest.

Members discussed a draft response to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills consultation on the revision of the Industrial Development Act 1982.

Agreed: To consider a final draft of the consultation response at next week’s meeting.

5. Implementation of Strategic Energy Framework

DETI officials joined the meeting at 10.57am.

Members received an oral briefing from Fiona Hepper, Head of Energy Division, Paul Dolaghan, Fred Frazer and Alison Clydesdale, DETI Energy Division. Key issues discussed included interim targets in the Strategic Energy Framework, extension of the gas network to the west and the Moyle Interconnector.

Sue Ramsey left the meeting at 11.45am.

Stephen Moutray joined the meeting at 11.52am.

Agreed: Officials to provide details of specific key projects that are a part of the SEF and the actions, timetables, objectives and targets that are contained in the projects.

Agreed: To receive the summary of the responses to the Department’s renewable heat incentive (RHI) consultation by end of November. 

Agreed: Officials to provide more information on the problems with the Moyle Interconnector.

DETI officials left the meeting at 11.55am.

Agreed: To issue a press release relating to the Committee’s scrutiny of the SEF Implementation Plan.

6. Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action

NICVA Officials joined the meeting at 11.57am.

Members received an oral briefing from Seamus McAleavy, Chief Executive and Paul Roberts, Ashton Community Trust. Key issues discussed included benefits that the social economy sector can bring to communities, procurement in the social economy sector and access to capital.

Mike Nesbitt left the meeting at 12.27pm.

Daithí McKay left the meeting at 12.33pm.

Agreed: Officials to provide further information on the Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English experience with procurement in the social economy sector.

Officials left the meeting at 12.37pm.

7. Inquiry into Research and Development

Members discussed the draft terms of reference for the Inquiry and a briefing note from the Clerk.

Agreed: To consider the proposal again at next week’s meeting and to agree dates for the inquiry.

8. Correspondence

 Members noted the following items of correspondence:

i. Response from Invest NI regarding the “Go For It” Programme.

Agreed: To ask the organisation to which the consultant belongs that carried out the independent economic appraisal.

ii. Correspondence from the Committee for Employment and Learning regarding:

A) Fuel Poverty Event

B) Boiler Replacement Scheme

iii. Correspondence from the Minister to the Committee for Employment and Learning regarding EU Framework Programme 7.

Agreed: To forward the correspondence to the Committee for Employment and Learning.

iv. Correspondence from the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding the Fermanagh Seaplane Festival.

Agreed: To forward the correspondence to the Department for a response .

v. Correspondence from the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development regarding export opportunities for Agri-food sector in Northern Ireland.

Agreed: To forward the correspondence to the Department for a response.

9. Any other business

There were no additional items of business.

10. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday 27 October at 10.00am, Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 12.40pm.

Mr Alban Maginness
Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment

27 October 2011 




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