Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 23 May 2013

Venue: The Senate Chamber

Interests declared:

Mr Sydney Anderson, member of Craigavon Borough Council

Lord Morrow, member of Dungannon & South Tyrone       Borough Council

Mr Peter Weir member of North Down Borough Council

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

1. Apologies

 Apologies were indicated as above.

Mr Hamilton left the meeting at 10.12 am.

2. Minutes

 The minutes from the meeting on 16th May 2013 were agreed.

3. Chairperson’s business

The Committee noted minutes of the 3rd Meeting of the All Party Group on European Directives in which the Chair of the All Party Group suggested holding a ‘freshwater summit’ to take forward issues and concerns.

Mr Hamilton rejoined the meeting at 10.13 am.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to liaise with the Department in relation to its plans to hold a ‘freshwater summit’ event.

The Committee noted Draft copies of the Carrier Bags Bill and the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill. 

Mr McElduff joined the meeting at 10:14am

Mr Milne joined the meeting at 10:14am

4. Matters Arising

4.1 The Committee noted a copy of the latest edition of ‘Reform Inform’ provided by the Department.

4.2 The Committee noted a reply from the Ombudsman in response to Committee concerns that ratepayers may be charged by councils for recycling services. 

4.3 The Committee noted a reply from the Department in relation to the North West waste plant planning application.

4.4 The Committee noted a reply from the Local Government Auditor in relation to independent members of audit committees in councils.   

Agreed: The Committee agreed to revisit and give full scrutiny to the role of audit       committees during its consideration of the Local Government Reorganisation Bill.

4.5 The Committee noted a reply from the Department in relation to the consultation on recycling fees.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to clarify whether the entitlement to refunds of fees paid in advance will be discontinued under proposed amendments to the Transfrontier Shipments of Waste Regulations.

4.6 The Committee noted a reply from the District Electoral Areas Commissioner in relation to public inquiries and resources.

Mr Elliott joined the meeting at 10:37am.

4.7 The Committee noted a reply from the Department in relation to the cost of Welsh      and Scottish severance schemes for councilors.  

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a research paper from Assembly Research on this issue.

5. Federation of Passenger Transport briefing on Bus Operator Licensing

Ms Karen Magill (Chief Executive, Federation of Passenger Transport) briefed the Committee on Bus Operator Licensing.

The main areas of discussion were the role and membership of the Federation of Passenger Transport and delays in the review of the current bus operator licensing system.

Mr McElduff left the meeting at 11.25 am.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Federation of Passenger Transport to ask for a copy of its constitution. The Committee also agreed to write to the Department expressing its frustration at the delays in the Review process, which has now been on-going for 3 years, to query the reason for the delay and to seek a timeline from the Department for the completion of the Review.

Mr Boylan left the meeting 11:27am

6. Proposal for secondary legislation

SL1 – The Quality of Bathing Water (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the Department to proceed to make the Statutory Rule.

7. Planning Bill – formal clause by clause consideration

Mr Boylan rejoined the meeting at 11:30am.

Mr McElduff rejoined the meeting at 12.03 pm.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to defer its formal clause by clause consideration of the Planning Bill in order to consider possible amendments to clauses 2,6 & 27.

The Chairperson indicated that at Consideration Stage she intended to bring forward an amendment to clause 2 as a private member.

8. Consultation on proposed improvements to the approved driving/motorcycle instructor schemes

The Committee considered a Departmental consultation on proposed improvements to the approved driving/motorcycle instructor schemes

Mr Boylan left the meeting at 12.10 pm.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request a copy of the Synopsis of Responses.   

9. Consultation on the Content of an Environmental Better Regulation Bill

The Committee considered a Departmental consultation on the content of an Environmental Better Regulation Bill.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request a copy of the Synopsis of Responses.  

10. Correspondence

The Committee considered a Departmental response to queries in relation to the proposed Road Worthiness Tests for Motor Vehicles and the Trailers

Agreed: The Committee was content to forward the response to the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development which first raised the issue with the Committee

The Committee noted a copy of the Consumer Council NI Review –terms of reference and questionnaire.

The Committee considered a Departmental response to queries in relation to the telecommunications industry.

Agreed: The Committee was content to forward the response to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment which first raised the issue with the Committee.  

The Committee considered a request from Michael Hasson to meet with the Chairperson to discuss gasification.

Agreed: The Committee was content for the Chairperson to meet with Mr Hasson.

The Committee considered correspondence forwarded by the NIA European Project Manager relating to the EC funding call for environmental innovation projects.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the information to the Department and ask how it intends to publicise the fund.

The Committee considered correspondence from the Ringhaddy Residents regarding Strangford Lough Protection Legislation.

Agreed: The Committee was content to write back to the group noting their actions and reiterating the Committee position in relation to planning applications.

The Committee considered a request from NILGA to meet with the Chairperson.

Agreed: The Committee was content for the Chairperson to arrange to meet with NILGA.

The Committee noted the following correspondence:

Copy of letter sent to the Department by the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment seeking information on Third Sector Mapping.

Copy of letter sent to the Department by the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety on Suicide Prevention Strategies.

Information regarding the stakeholders’ consultation on the European Commission Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal management.

Members also noted a number of invitations received.

Mr Boylan rejoined the meeting at 12.14 pm.

11. Forward Work Programme

Members noted the Committee’s Forward Work Programme and agreed to consider locations for external meetings and visits.

12. Any other business

No other business was discussed.

13. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 30 May 2013 at 10:00am in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.

The Committee moved into closed session at 12.19 pm to discuss the wording of possible amendments to the Planning Bill.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12:32pm.

Anna Lo, MLA
Chairperson, Committee for the Environment
30 May 2013

Find Your MLA

tools-map.png

Locate your local MLA

Find MLA

News and Media Centre

tools-media.png

Read press releases, watch live and archived video

Find out more

Follow the Assembly

tools-social.png

Keep up to date with what’s happening at the Assem

Find out more

Contact information

tools-newsletter.png

Contact us for further information about our work.

Contact us