Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 24 May 2012

Venue: Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The meeting began in public session at 10:00am.

1.       Apologies

There were no apologies.

2.       Minutes

The minutes of the meeting on 17 May 2012 were agreed.

Mr Campbell joined the meeting at 10:03am.

3.       Chairpersons Business

The Chairperson welcomed Mr Chris Hazzard to the Committee.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with an email from the Department advising that the Minister would like to attend a Committee meeting before summer recess for a stock take of issues the Committee would like to discuss.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department informing them that the Committee is content for the Minister to brief them at the meeting on 28 June 2012. 

4.       Matters Arising

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on funding for reduced taxi operator licensing fees.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking how much of a shortfall they are anticipating from the reduced taxi operator licensing fees and if it would be in excess of the de minimis amount required for monitoring rounds. 

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the synopsis of responses to the consultation on enabling legislation for National Parks.

Mr Boylan joined the meeting at 10:08am.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with information on the Single Use Carrier Bag Levy.

Agreed: That this information is circulated to all Assembly Members in advance of the debate on Tuesday 29 May 2012.

Agreed: That the press release is issued on the morning of the debate.

Agreed: That a research paper is requested on the subject of lower cost reusable bags.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on MOT pass/fail rates.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department encouraging them to continue roadside checks on HGVs and asking for clarification on what happens to HGVs when they fail an MOT test.  Also ask if any analysis has been conducted on those centres where pass/fail rates are consistently high or low.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on linking budgets to outcomes.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking them to provide monitoring round information that aligns with the proposed spending areas. 

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental letter in relation to the Road Traffic (Drink Driving) (Amendment) Bill.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department informing them that the Committee is content for the draft Bill to be issued for consultation and requesting a synopsis of responses. 

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on SL1 – The Quality of Bathing Waters (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department informing them that the Committee is content for Cranfield (Nicholson’s Strand) to be removed from the list of identified bathing waters in Northern Ireland.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to a note of a meeting with the Public Hire Coalition.

Agreed: That a copy of the reply is forwarded to the Public Hire Coalition.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on wind turbine planning applications and NI Water.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking what guidance has been issued to divisional offices to ensure consistency of approach on this issue.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a memo from the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment inviting them to attend 2 of their meetings when they will be hearing oral briefings on shale gas exploration.

Agreed: That Hansard transcripts of the two Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment meetings are requested, before deciding whether this falls under the remit of DOE as well as DETI.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a draft letter to Newry and Mourne District Council in relation to their request to brief on the Local Government (Boundaries) Order (NI) 2012.

Mr Dallat and Mrs Kelly expressed their displeasure that the issue of the Local Government (Boundaries) Order (NI) 2012 was agreed by the Committee in their absence at the meeting on 17 May 2012 and asked that it be noted.

Agreed: That the final paragraph of the draft letter is amended and the letter issued to Newry and Mourne District Council.

Mr Campbell left the meeting at 10:33am.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with an e mail from OM Recycling in relation to the Committee’s inquiry into used tyres.

Agreed: That no amendments are made to the online version of the report.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking what is being done to encourage firms to recycle tyres and to encourage the market for used tyre recycling.

5.       Consultation

Consultation on 20mph speed limit on designated restricted roads.

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

6.       Marine Bill

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a paper from the Examiner of Statutory Rules on the delegated powers of the Bill.

Agreed: That this paper is forwarded to the Department for comment and ask if they have consulted with the Department for Justice on its tribunal proposals.

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the Inter-Departmental Marine Co-ordination Group and common law rights on navigation and fishing activities.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries following the briefing sessions on 10 May.

Agreed: That a copy of the reply is forwarded to the British Association for Shooting & Conservation and Countryside Alliance Ireland for comment.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment submission to the Committee’s call for evidence.

Agreed: That the Committee will accept the late submission from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure submission to the Committee’s call for evidence.

Agreed: That the Committee will accept the late submission from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

Members noted a reply to an Assembly question on Clause 24 of the Bill.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a letter from the Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside (CNCC) following their briefing on 10 May.

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

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a submission from RYA and RYA Northern Ireland.

Agreed: That the Committee will accept the late submission from RYA and RYA Northern Ireland.

7.       Professor Greg Lloyd briefing on Marine Bill

Professor Greg Lloyd briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on the Marine Bill.

The main areas of discussion were Professor Greg Lloyd’s submission in relation to the Marine Bill and his proposals for amendments to the Bill.

Mr Weir left the meeting at 10:51am.

Mr Hamilton left the meeting at 11:09am.

Mr Campbell re-joined the meeting at 11:16am.

8.      Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) briefing on Marine Bill        

DARD officials briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on the Marine Bill.

The main areas of discussion were the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development submission in relation to the Marine Bill and their proposals for amendments to the Bill.

Mr Hazzard left the meeting at 11:21am.

Mr Hamilton re-joined the meeting at 11:33am.

9.      NI Schools Advocacy Group briefing on Marine Bill

Representatives from the NI Schools Advocacy Group briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on the Marine Bill.

The main areas of discussion were the NI Schools Advocacy Group submission in relation to the Marine Bill and their proposals for amendments to the Bill.

The Chairperson left the meeting at 12:27pm. The Deputy Chairperson assumed the Chair.

Mr Campbell left the meeting at 12:28pm.

Mrs Kelly left the meeting at 12:33pm.

10.    Correspondence

Departmental response to Committee queries regarding the Committee for Health and Social Services’ ‘Project Life’ strategy.

Agreed: That a copy of the reply is forwarded to the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

Members noted the following correspondence:

Departmental response to Mr. Tom Burns regarding compulsory basic training (CBT) courses for motorcyclists.

Department response to Committee queries regarding the EC consultation on a strategy to reduce the severity of injuries caused by road traffic collisions, including socio-economic impacts.

Departmental response to Committee queries regarding the EC Report on the Use of Economic Instruments and Waste Management Performances.

Departmental response to the Committees request for the future ‘Advance Notice’ letter issued to all Section 75 consultees.

Article 31 – U/2011/0096/F

Departmental response to Committee queries regarding the EC consultation on the 7th EU Environmental Action Programme.

Copy of draft minutes from the Good Beach Summit held on 19 April 2012.

Copy of the Community Relations Council ‘Shared Space’ research journal

Note of key issues discussed and decisions taken at the Chairpersons’ Liaison Group meeting held on 15 May 2012.

Copy of minutes from the Cross Departmental Working Group on Climate Change meeting, and a copy of the first annual progress report on the NI Greenhouse Gas Reduction Action Plan.

Copy of the Local Government Staff Commission Strategic Plan 2012/15 and Business Plan 2012/13.

Invitation to attend the Ulster Society of Women Artists ‘Natural Forms’ exhibition.

11.   Any other business

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a copy of the Committee forward work programme.

Agreed: That the Department provides written instead of oral briefings on PSA Target reporting, Taxis Act implementation and NIEA Enforcement Policy.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a revised version of the Joint Environment and CAL Committee motion on Archaeological Artefacts.

Agreed: That the revised motion is accepted.

12.    Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 29 May 2012 at 12.45pm room 29, Parliament Buildings.

The Deputy Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12:44pm.

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

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