Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 05 July 2012

Venue: Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The meeting began in public session at 10:09am.

1.       Apologies

There were no apologies.

2.       Minutes

The minutes of the meeting on 28 June 2012 were agreed.

3.       Chairpersons business

Members noted further correspondence in relation to Prehen Wood.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to queries raised in connection with Prehen Wood.

Agreed: That the Departmental reply is forwarded to Prehen Historical and Environmental Society.

Mr Boylan joined the meeting at 10:14am.

4.       Matters arising 

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on Taxi Operator Licensing Fees.

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on tyre recycling.

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on Strangford Lough SAC.

Members noted a Departmental letter on guidance on the Single Use Carrier Bag Levy.

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the NIEA Environmental Crime Unit.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with the executive summary of the Report on the EU 2020 Road Safety Target.

Agreed: That a letter is sent congratulating the Department on the progress it has made in the reduction of fatalities on the roads and to request to be kept informed on the EU definition of serious injury.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a letter from SWaMP2008 in relation to the waste management procurement process.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to SWaMP2008 thanking them for their reply and
asking that the Committee is kept up to date on this issue.

5.       Programme for Government 2011-15: Departmental Delivery Plans 

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with the Department’s PFG delivery plans.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking for a briefing, in open session, on the Departmental Delivery Plans at the meeting on 13 September 2012.

6.       Consultation

Synopsis of responses to consultation on the draft Local Government (Indemnities for Members and Officers) Order (NI) 2010

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the Department to proceed with the policy.

7.       Proposal for secondary legislation

SL1 – The Road Service Licensing (Road Transport Operator) Regulations (NI) 2012

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the Department to proceed with the policy.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department requesting a briefing on the issue of the centralisation of licensing services to Swansea and asking for a copy of the statement by the Minister for Transport.

Mr Elliott joined the meeting at 10:26am.

SL1 – The Goods Vehicles (Community Licences) Regulations (NI) 2012

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the Department to proceed with the policy.

SL1 – The Road Service Licensing (Community Licences) Regulations (NI) 2012

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the Department to proceed with the policy.

SL1 – The Planning (General Development) (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the Department to proceed with the policy.

SL1 – Local Government (Councillors’ Remuneration Panel) Regulations (NI) 2012

Mr Weir declared an interest as a member of North Down Borough Council.

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the Department to proceed with the policy.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking if they have decided how many people will be on the panel and when the panel is due to report. 


8.       Statutory Rules

SR 2012/248 – The Community Drivers’ Hours Regulation (NI) 2012

Question put and agreed: That the Committee for the Environment has considered SR 2012/248 – The Community Drivers’ Hours Regulation (NI) 2012 and has no objection to the rule subject to the Examiner of Statutory Rules report.

SR 2012/250 – The Smoke Control Areas (Exempted Fireplaces) Regulations (NI) 2012

Question put and agreed: That the Committee for the Environment has considered SR 2012/250 – The Smoke Control Areas (Exempted Fireplaces) Regulations (NI) 2012 and has no objection to the rule subject to the Examiner of Statutory Rules report.

Members noted SR 2012/256 – The Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) (Exemption) Regulations (NI) 2012

SR 2012/257 – The Goods Vehicles (Qualifications of Operators) Regulations (NI) 2012

Question put and agreed: That the Committee for the Environment has considered SR 2012/257 – The Goods Vehicles (Qualifications of Operators) Regulations (NI) 2012 and has no objection to the rule subject to the Examiner of Statutory Rules report.

SR 2012/258 – The Goods Vehicles (Enforcement Powers) Regulations (NI) 2012

Question put and agreed: That the Committee for the Environment has considered SR 2012/258 – The Goods Vehicles (Enforcement Powers) Regulations (NI) 2012 and has no objection to the rule subject to the Examiner of Statutory Rules report.

SR 2012/260 – The Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) (Fees) Regulations (NI) 2012

Question put and agreed: That the Committee for the Environment has considered SR 2012/260 – The Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) (Fees) Regulations (NI) 2012 and has no objection to the rule subject to the Examiner of Statutory Rules report.

SR 2012/261 – The Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Regulations (NI) 2012

Question put and agreed: That the Committee for the Environment has considered SR 2012/261 – The Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Regulations (NI) 2012 and has no objection to the rule subject to the Examiner of Statutory Rules report.

9.       Marine Bill – agreement of draft Committee report

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a revised version of the draft Committee amendment on increasing integration and coordination of marine functions across government departments

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the amendment to be included in the Report

Members formally considered the final draft of the Committee Report into the Marine Bill

Agreed: That the Committee is content with the Report as drafted

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the Report to contain the relevant extracts from the minutes from today’s meeting

Agreed: That the Report is printed and submitted to the Business Office

10.    NI Utilities Working Group briefing on metal theft

Representatives from NI Utilities Working Group briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on metal theft.

The main areas of discussion were the impact of metal theft on the utility industry and legislation needed to tackle this.

Mr Hamilton left the meeting at 11:47am.

Agreed: That the NI Assembly Research paper is placed on the website.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking for a briefing from NIEA on the issue of scrap metal.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to NI Utilities Working Group asking for indicative costs on the impact of metal theft in Northern Ireland.

11.    British Metal Recycling Association briefing on metal theft

Representatives from British Metal Recycling Association briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on metal theft.

The main areas of discussion were the need for updated legislation and improved enforcement when dealing with metal theft. 

Lord Morrow joined the meeting at 12:09pm.

Lord Morrow left the meeting at 12:12pm.

Agreed: That the Committee issues a press release on this issue.

Agreed: That the Research paper is updated to include full figures for metal theft in 2011/2012 and a breakdown of the type of metal theft that is occurring.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Minister of Justice and the Minister for Environment asking if there are plans to introduce legislation to deal with metal theft and bring Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the UK.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Chief Constable and the Chairperson of the Policing Board asking for their comments on metal theft.

12.    Correspondence

Opposition letters to Prehen Wood Housing seeking an inquiry into the transparency, equality and accountability of planning process and Ministerial conduct

Agreed: That a copy of this correspondence is forwarded to the Department for comment

Members noted the following correspondence:

Copy of June NEBOSH News Update

Copy of the Committee for Finance and Personnel Research paper on scrutiny of the Main Estimates 2012-13

Copy of article from the summer edition of the Shooting and Conservation magazine re: Marine Bill & Snaring.

13.    Departmental briefing on SL1 – Goods Vehicles Test Fees

Departmental Officials briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on SL1 – Goods Vehicles Test Fees.

Mr Hamilton re-joined the meeting at 12:29pm.

Mr Campbell left the meeting at 12:29pm.

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the Department to proceed with the policy.

Mr Elliott asked for his dissention on this matter to be recorded.

Agreed: That a copy of the Minor Defect Policy is forwarded to members.

14.    Any other business

The Chairperson informed members that it is possible to meet during summer recess should an emergency arise that cannot wait until the next scheduled meeting in September.  Also, it is intended there will be one distribution of correspondence at the end of July unless a matter is deemed to be more urgent, in which case it will be circulated immediately round members electronically.

Agreed: That the Chairperson/Deputy Chairperson are delegated authority to deal with non-routine/contentious Freedom of Information requests during recess.

15.    Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 13 September 2012 at 10:00am in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12:49pm.

Anna Lo, MLA
Chairperson, Committee for the Environment
13 September 2012

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