Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 02 February 2012

Venue: Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The meeting began in public session at 10:11a.m.

1.       Apologies

   Apologies are listed above.

2.       Minutes

The minutes of the meeting on 26 January 2011 were agreed.

Lord Morrow joined the meeting at 10.14a.m.

3.      Matters Arising

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental letter in relation to a review of the North South Interconnector planning application.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to ask the Department for an update and for a future briefing.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental letter in relation to a consultation on Proposed Byelaws to Regulate Anchoring, Mooring and Diving in Strangford Lough.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to find out what laws are currently in place in relation to diving regulations and to ask if the proposed byelaw is aimed at strengthening that legislation.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on NI Economic Strategy draft Action Plan.

Agreed: That the Committee will forward the reply to the ETI Committee.

Mr Kinahan joined the meeting at 10.20a.m.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on road safety issues.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to find out the amount paid by the Department to the intermediary funding body and whether the Department has considered awarding the funding to councils to administer at local level.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with an OFMDFM reply regarding the delivery of the Sustainable Development Strategy.

Agreed: That the Committee will write back to the OFMdFM Committee and ask how the strategy will be driven forward and integrated into other departments and how the Department will liaise with other relevant groups run by different departments such as the Interdepartmental Group on Climate Change run by DOE.

The Committee noted a letter from the Department notifying the Committee of a Commencement Order for the High Hedges Act.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the consultation on policy PED 8 of the Revised Planning Policy Statement 4 (PPS4) ‘Planning and Economic Development’.

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

The Committee noted a Department of Justice reply to Committee queries on hoax calls.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the synopsis of responses to a consultation on an Addendum and revised Delivery Programme to the NI Waste Management Strategy 2006-2010.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to ask the Department why there is no target for tyre recycling in the strategy.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental letter on the draft Code of Practice for Litter.

Agreed: That the Committee asks that the Department forwards a copy of the draft Code to the Committee as soon as possible.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a letter from Conal McDevitt MLA advising of his intention to introduce a Private Member’s Bill to reduce speed limits on urban residential streets.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to a briefing on this matter and requested that the PSNI are asked for further information on speed limits on urban residential streets.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a letter from the Minister on the launch of the Climate Change Risk Assessment Report.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to receive a briefing paper and to attend the Department’s climate change adaptation conference on 16 February at CAFRE Greenmount Campus.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental letter on the draft guidance on the use of Fixed Penalty Notices.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request copies of the draft guidance. Members also agreed to suggest to the Department the need for a publicity campaign to raise awareness of the implications of the Clean Neighborhood and Environment Act.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the drawdown of European funding.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request full details of the projects that the Department will fund under the various European funding measures listed in the reply.

4.      Committee response to draft Programme for Government

The meeting went into closed session at 10.50a.m.

Mrs Bradley left the meeting at 11.11a.m.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a copy of the Committee’s response to the draft Programme for Government.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with an updated summary of responses and a copy of the Scottish Government National Performance Framework documents.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with tabled submissions from the Green New Deal Group seeking the Committee’s support for the inclusion of the Green New Deal in the Programme for Government and the RSPB requesting the Committee’s support for its recommendations.

Agreed: That the Clerk will draft a Committee response based on the discussion and circulate by email to Members for agreement. Members also agreed to publish the new response on the Assembly website and issue a press release.

The meeting resumed in open session at 11.48a.m.

5.      Consultations

Goods Vehicles Operator licensing consultation on proposed amendments to the Tribunal Procedure (Upper Tribunal) Rules 2008.

Agreed: That the Committee is content to request a copy of the synopsis of responses.

Synopsis of responses to consultation on proposed changes to MOT test

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

Synopsis of responses to consultation on solid low level radioactive waste from non-nuclear industry.

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

6.       Statutory Rules

SL1 – Proposed legislation to allow PSNI to use new speed detection device

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

7.       Inquiry into used tyre disposal

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a reply from Crumb Rubber Ltd on the management of used tyres.

Agreed: That a copy of the reply would is included in the Committee’s Inquiry report.

8.      Departmental updates

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental progress report on implementation of the Road Safety Strategy.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to ask the Department for further information on several areas of the Strategy. Members also requested a briefing by Officials on the implementation of the strategy at a future meeting.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with an update on the implementation of the NIEA Enforcement Policy.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to ask if and how the NIEA is progressing risk based charging.

9.     Departmental briefing on the planning workforce model

Departmental Officials briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on the planning workforce model.

The main areas of discussion were the Planning department’s new workforce model and how it has been implemented into the department and how it works.

10.     Departmental briefing on the synopsis of responses to a charge on single use carrier bags consultation               

Departmental Officials briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on the single use carrier bag levy.

The main area of discussion was the levy of 5p being introduced in April 2012 for the purchase of single use carrier bags. 

Agreed: That the Committee invites NIIRTA and representatives from British Hospitality Association to brief at a future meeting.

11.     Correspondence

Letter from Judith Cochrane MLA regarding the proposed EU Regulation on Type Approval and Market Surveillance of two and three-wheeled vehicles.

Agreed: That the letter is forwarded to the Department for comment.

Ministerial response to the CAL Committee’s queries regarding Planning Policy Statement 6.

Agreed: That the Committee forwards the response to the CAL Committee.

Members noted the following correspondence:

 

Copy of DOE Investment Strategy for NI Investing Activity Report for January 2012.

Copy of Article 31 – S/2010/0689/F

Note of Chairpersons’ Liaison Group meeting from Tuesday 17 January 2012

Letter from DARD in relation to a future briefing on the work DARD is doing to ensure the restoration of modiolus in Strangford Lough.

Copy of Belfast Healthy Cities 2010/2011 Annual Review.

Copy of Consumer Council Analysis of the Mclldoon Report – ‘Orphans in the Energy Storm’.

 

12.    Any other business

A member requested more information on how the environmental impact of the fracking process will be independently assessed.

Agreed: That research papers on fracking are tabled at a future meeting for discussion.

13.     Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 9 February 2012 at 10.00a.m in Room 30.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 1:38p.m.

Anna Lo, MLA
Chairperson, Committee for the Environment
9 February 2012

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