Minutes of Proceedings
Date: 29 September 2011
Venue: IntertradeIreland, Newry
The meeting began at 10.40am in public session.
Apologies are detailed above.
2. Minutes of meeting held on 22 September 2011
Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting on 22 September were agreed.
3. Chairperson’s Business
Members noted a letter to the Chair from the Construction Employers Federation regarding the Construction Excellence Awards 2011.
The Chair informed members of his meeting with officials from Tourism Ireland earlier this week.
Agreed: To invite Tourism Ireland to provide an oral briefing to the Committee at a future meeting.
4. Matters Arising
Members discussed a paper from Assembly Research regarding petroleum licensing in NI and shale gas exploration.
Agreed: To request research from Assembly Research on energy brokering in advance of the oral briefing from the Consumer Council on 6 October.
Agreed: Committee Office to include information in Members’ Information next week regarding the Utility Regulator’s work thus far on social tariffs.
Members noted a holding response from the Irish League of Credit Unions regarding its response to the FSA’s consultation on credit union legislation.
Members discussed an oral briefing from NICVA.
Agreed: To receive an oral briefing from NICVA at the meeting of 20 th October.
Members discussed the Committee’s event for SMEs on 17 th November in the Long Gallery.
Agreed: To invite Ulster Community Investment Trust to the Event (UCIT), SEUPB and the cross border groups to the event .
5. InterTradeIreland’s Current Work Programme
InterTradeIreland officials joined the meeting at 10.47am.
Members received an oral briefing from Liam Nellis, Chief Executive, Aidan Gough, Director of Strategy and Policy, Laurence Lord, Corporate Services Director and Margaret Hearty, Director of Programmes and Business Services, InterTradeIreland. Key issues discussed included challenges that businesses in the RoI and NI are currently facing, innovation as a key factor to a business’s success in the current economic climate and InterTradeIreland’s on-going programmes and services to support businesses in RoI and NI.
Agreed: To receive the results of the business monitoring survey from InterTradeIreland.
Agreed: To receive any current/future research papers in relation to business/economy from InterTradeIreland.
InterTradeIreland officials left the meeting at 11.54am.
Stephen Moutray left the meeting at 11.54am.
6. KPMG Report on the Potential Role of the Social Economy Sector and the future of the SEE Strategy Implementation
DETI Officials joined the meeting at 11.55am.
Audrey Murray joined the meeting at 12.06pm.
Members received an oral briefing from Graham Hutchinson, Head of DETI Economic Policy Division, Stephen Macdonald, DETI Economic Policy Division/Business Support Unit, DETI and Audrey Murray, Chair, Social Economy Network. Key issue discussed included future plans for the social economy sector.
Officials left the meeting at 12.18pm.
7. Six Month Review of Competitive Domestic Markets in NI
Members noted the written briefing.
8. Telecommunications Action Plan 2011-2015: Written briefing
Members discussed the written briefing.
Agreed: To receive more detail on a potential pilot project that may provide learning points for all of the UK on ways to deliver access to superfast broadband services into the most rural areas.
Members commented that NI’s allocation of £4.4m from the overall Broadband Development UK Initiative is not sufficient.
Agreed: Members agreed to ask why DETI did not attend meeting(s) with the Whitehall Ministerial Group on Broadband and the Department of Culture, Media and Sports and Broadband Delivery UK for funding from the Broadband Delivery UK Initiative.
Agreed: To receive information on the role and success of the LogOn NI project.
9. October Monitoring Round: Written briefing
Members discussed the written briefing.
Agreed: To invite Departmental officials to next week’s meeting to discuss the written briefing in more detail.
Members noted the following items of correspondence:
- Correspondence from the Department regarding Invest NI’s end year flexibility.
- Response from the Department of the Environment to the recommendations from the Renewable Energy Inquiry relating to DOE.
Agreed: To ask DETI how it is working with DOE to ensure the smooth processing of planning applications for renewable heat installations, particularly to ensure that NI can fully take advantage of the renewable heat incentive, once it is in place.
- Letter to the Chair from the Consumer Council regarding its Annual Report 2010-2011.
- Letter to the Chair from Strategic Planning regarding a stakeholder briefing paper from Simple Power.
- Information from NICVA regarding a conference on “Creating the good economy” on Tuesday, 8 November.
11. Any other business
There were no additional items of business.
12. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday 6 October at 10.30am, Room 30, Parliament Buildings.
The Chair adjourned the meeting at 12.25pm.