Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 10 May 2012

Venue: Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The meeting began in public session at 10:06am 

1. Apologies

Apologies are listed above.

2. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting on 3 May 2012 were agreed.

3. Matters arising 

Members noted a Departmental letter in relation to the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a letter from Belfast City Airport Watch in relation to the consultation on the planning agreement at George Best Belfast City Airport and information from the Minister on Seats for Sale and Extensions.

Agreed: That a letter is sent Belfast City Airport Watch asking for a copy of their submission to the consultation and to inform them the Committee will decide on briefings after it receives a synopsis of responses to the consultation.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a paper on metal theft from the British Metals Recycling Association.

Agreed: That the British Metals Recycling Association is invited to brief the Committee on this issue. 

Agreed: That a research paper is requested comparing legislation governing scrap metal dealing across the UK and Ireland, highlighting the extent of metal theft in Northern Ireland and examining the issue of planning and licencing for scrap metal companies.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on severance payments to Councillors. 

Agreed: That a copy of the reply is forwarded to the National Association of Councillors asking them to update the Committee after their meeting with the Minister on 22 May 2012.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a note of the Chairperson’s meeting with the Public Hire Coalition.

Agreed: That a copy of the note of the meeting is forwarded to the Department for comment.

4. Consultation

Consultation on Driver Licence Fees.

Agreed: That a copy of the synopsis of responses is requested. 

5. Proposal for Secondary Legislation

SL1 – The Nitrates Action Programme (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012

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

SL1 – The Quality of Bathing Water (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department informing them the Committee is not content for the policy to proceed at this time. 

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking why there is no Bathing Water Operator for Cranfield (Nicholson’s Strand).  Also ask for more information on Bathing Water Operators – what is their role and who appoints them.

6. Statutory Rules

SR 2012/170 – The Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012

Question put and agreed: That the Committee for the Environment has considered SR 2012/170 – The Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012 and has no objection to the rule

SR 2012/183 – Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012.

Question put and agreed: That the Committee for the Environment has considered Statutory Rule 2012/183 – Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012 and has no objection to the rule subject to the Examiner of Statutory Rules report.

7. Marine Bill submissions

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with submissions to the Committee’s call for evidence.

Agreed: That the submissions are included in the final Committee report.

8. Countryside Alliance/British Association for Shooting and Conservation briefing on Marine Bill

Representatives from the Countryside Alliance and British Association for Shooting and Conservation briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on the Marine Bill.

The main areas of discussion were the Countryside Alliance and British Association for Shooting and Conservation submissions in relation to the Marine Bill and their proposals for amendments to the Bill.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking for clarification on Clause 24 and Clause 39(b) and an indication of the impact the Department expects marine conservation zones to have on wildfowling, marine sporting activities and sea angling.  Also to ask if greater precedence will be given to protection provided by marine protected zones than that provided by the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act. 

9. Institute for Archaeologists/Centre for Maritime Archaeology briefing on Marine Bill

Representatives from the Institute for Archaeologists and Centre for Maritime Archaeology briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on the Marine Bill.

The main areas of discussion were Institute for Archaeologists and Centre for Maritime Archaeology submissions in relation to the Marine Bill and their proposals for amendments to the Bill.

10. Sport NI/Irish Federation of Sea Anglers briefing on Marine Bill

Representatives from Sport NI and the Irish Federation of Sea Anglers briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on the Marine Bill.

The main areas of discussion were Sport NI and Irish Federation of Sea Anglers submissions in relation to the Marine Bill and their proposals for amendments to the Bill.

11. Correspondence

Correspondence regarding the possibility of the Committee’s support in hosting an NIEL Event at Parliament Buildings on the evening of the 26 September 2012.

Agreed: That three members of the Committee will sponsor this event.

Correspondence from Business in the Community on its Workplace 20:20 campaign.

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

Correspondence from the Ulster Angling Federation requesting the opportunity to brief the Committee on hydro power in Northern Ireland

Agreed: That the Ulster Angling Federation is added to the list of stakeholders to be invited to a Committee stakeholder event.

Ministerial response to correspondence forwarded by the Committee on behalf of the Regional Development Committee regarding the Community Transport Association (CTA)

Agreed: That a copy of the response is forwarded to the Committee for Regional Development.  

Members noted the following correspondence:

Correspondence from the Minister regarding his intention to make a Statement to the Assembly relating to the outcome of the North South Ministerial Council meeting held on Friday 20 April 2012.

Correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel detailing the DFP consultation on the strategic direction for the use of any future EU funding for which NI might qualify in 2014-2020.

Breakdown of research provided by Northern Ireland Retail Consortium regarding Single Use Carrier Bag Levy and social status.

Copy of the Role of PEDU in PRG Monitoring – Follow Up.

12. Any other business

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a draft press release on the Committee motion on the Used Tyre Inquiry.

Agreed: That the press release is issued on the morning the Committee motion takes place.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with an updated version of the research paper outlining potential impacts of a national park designation in Northern Ireland and an itinerary for the stakeholder event at the Balmoral Show.

Agreed: That the research paper is issued to participating stakeholders.

13. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 17 May 2012 at 10:00am in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12:35pm

Anna Lo, MLA
Chairperson, Committee for the Environment
17 May 2012

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