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

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 25 October 2012

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

The meeting began at 10.10 am in public session.

1.      Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2.      Minutes of meeting held on 18 October 2012

Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting on 18 October 2012 were agreed.

3.      Chairperson’s Business

Members were informed a working group has been established to carry out a scoping exercise to investigate the potential of public ownership of Lough Neagh.

Agreed: for the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development to take forward and provide copies of the Official Report to the Committee.

Members discussed a newspaper article regarding the redundancy scheme for FG Wilson in which the Department states it is exploring a number of avenues with the EU Commission which will help address labour market issues including the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund.

Agreed: to seek clarification from the Department on the avenues being explored with the EU Commission.

Members noted the changes to the Forward Work Programme.

Members noted a response from the Secretary of State to meet with the Chair to discuss issues relating to the Northern Ireland economy.

Phil Flanagan joined the meeting at 10.14am.

Members noted an invitation to the Chair from the Committee for Employment to an event on 23 October to celebrate Queen’s University Belfast being named Sunday Times University of the Year runner-up and top University in the UK for Medical Science and Pharmacy.

Agreed: to recognise the achievement of QUB by letter and to include a visit to the University in the future work programme.

4.      Matters Arising

Members noted the response from the Department regarding preparatory work with the business sectors to inform them of the Green Investment Bank.

Members noted the changes to today’s meeting and discussed further briefings to be included in the Forward Work Programme.

Agreed: to receive an oral briefing from Mutual Energy to discuss the recent problems with the Moyle Interconnector.

5.      Payday Loans: Written Briefing from Assembly Research

Members discussed the written briefing prepared by the Northern Ireland Assembly Research and Library on payday loans.

Agreed: to receive an update from the Office of Fair Trading on the progress of their investigations.

Agreed: to ask Trading Standards if they are aware of loans for school uniforms and if there are any regulations which this approach may contravene.

Sue Ramsey left the meeting at 10.28am.

Gordon Dunne left the meeting at 10.29am.

Agreed: to receive an update from the Financial Services Authority on the work being carried out to regulate payday lending.

Paul Frew left the meeting at 10.30am.

6.      Correspondence

Members noted the following items of correspondence:

i. From Mark H Durkan MLA an invitation to the Committee to attend the City of Culture 2013.

Agreed: to arrange a visit to the City of Culture during a relevant event in 2013.

ii. From the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding Strategic Direction for the use of future EU funding.

Agreed: to include the key issues in telecommunications that EU Funding will address in the Department’s oral briefing on the 22 November.

iii. From the Committee for Finance & Personnel regarding EU Structural Fund Programmes.

Agreed: to include in the future oral briefing by the Department on EU matters, the key issues EU funding will address.

iv. From the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety regarding Health Inequalities.

Agreed: to forward to the Department for comment.

v. From the Committee for Employment & Learning regarding a Southern Regional College Briefing.

Agreed: to forward to the Department for a response.

Paul Frew returned to the meeting at 10.37am.

Sandra Overend left the meeting at 10.37am.

vi. From the Department regarding Access to Finance.

vii. From the Department regarding a further consultation on proposed amendments to the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation (NIRO).

Agreed: to receive an oral briefing from the Department.

viii. From the Department regarding the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills extending the consultation on the range of remedies in civil enforcement procedures for breaches of consumer law to Northern Ireland.

7.      Delivering a Prosperity Process Report: Opportunities in North/South Public Service Provision: Oral Briefing from D’Arcy Smyth Associates

Michael D’Arcy joined the meeting at 10.40 am.

Sandra Overend returned to the meeting at 10.47am

Members received an oral briefing from Michael D’Arcy, D’Arcy Smyth Associates. Key issues discussed included co-ordination, collaboration and co-operation on delivery of public service provision including agri-food and energy.

Paul Frew left the meeting at 11.36am.

Agreed: to seek an update from the Centre for Cross Border Studies on how the report is being developed.

Agreed: to copy the report to the other relevant Committees.

Michael D’Arcy left the meeting at 11.37am.

8.      Any other business

There were no additional items of business.

9.    Date, time and place of next meeting          

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday 8 November 2012 at 2.00pm, Room 30, Parliament Buildings

The Chairperson suspended the meeting at 11.36am.

Paul Frew returned to the meeting at 11.39am.

The Chairperson resumed the meeting in closed session at 11.41am.

10.    Presbyterian Mutual Society: Oral Briefing from Assembly Legal Services

Gordon Dunne returned to the meeting at 11.50am.

Members received legal advice from Assembly Legal Services on issues concerning the Presbyterian Mutual Society.

Agreed: to write to the Department to request a copy of the Administrator’s report and to advise the Department of the Committee’s powers under Section 44 of the Northern Ireland Act (1998).

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 11.58 am.

Mr Patsy McGlone
Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment
8 November 2012

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