Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 28 June 2012

Venue: Room 30

The meeting began in public session at 10:08am.

1. Apologies

Apologies are listed above.

2. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting on 21 June 2012 were agreed.

3. Matters arising 

Members noted a Ministerial letter on the flytipping protocol.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with Committee for Finance and Personnel correspondence regarding savings delivery plans.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking why it has not published its savings plans for 2012 – 2015 and when it intends to publish these figures.

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on road safety grants.

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on MOT pass/fail rates.

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on River Basin Management Plans.

Members noted a note of the Northern Ireland Climate Change Bill stakeholder event.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a legislation tracking spreadsheet kept by the Secretariat.

Agreed: That this information is presented to the Committee on a quarterly basis.

4. Proposal for secondary legislation

SL1 – Increase in Planning Fees 2012

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department informing them that the Committee is content for the policy to proceed.

Mr Elliott joined the meeting at 10:20am.

Mr Hazzard joined the meeting at 10:30am.

5. Marine Bill

Members noted a copy of the draft Committee report on the Marine Bill.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a tabled copy of a draft Committee amendment in relation to the integration and co-ordination of marine functions between departments.

Agreed: That the amendment is revised to take account of the Committee’s comments and circulated to members by email. 

Agreed: That the revised amendment is included in the draft report for discussion at next week’s meeting.

Mr Hamilton left the meeting at 10:35am.

6. Departmental briefing on Local Government Reform

Departmental officials briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on Local Government Reform.

The main areas of discussion were the make-up of transitional committees and funding of Local Government Reform.

Mr Weir declared an interest as a member of North Down Borough Council, a member of North Down and Ards Transitional Committee and a member of NILGA.

Lord Morrow declared an interest as a member of Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council.

Mr Boylan joined the meeting at 11:00am.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking what is the total debt in Local Government and what is the statutory reserve required to be held by Councils.

7. Departmental briefing on implementation of Road Safety Strategy 2010 - 2020

Departmental officials briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on implementation of Road Safety Strategy 2010 – 2020.

The main areas of discussion were the Road Safety action plan and Learner and Restricted Driver Scheme GDL Consultation.

Mr Elliott left the meeting at 12:02pm.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking for a copy of the EU Road Safety Council Report.

8. Correspondence

Departmental response to queries forwarded by the Committee on behalf of the

Chair of the Agriculture Committee regarding road safety on rural roads.

Agreed: That a copy of the Departmental reply is forwarded to the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Correspondence from Prehen Historical and Environmental Society in relation to Prehen Wood.

Agreed: That a copy of the correspondence is forwarded to the Department for comments relating to the information regarding the Commissioner’s involvement with the case.

Memo from the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment regarding their commissioned research into world heritage sites development and UNESCO status.

Agreed: That a copy of the research is requested when available.

Departmental response to queries from a Ms. Marshall regarding the restoration of Annesley Gardens, Castlewellan Forest Park as a heritage garden.

Agreed: That a copy of the Departmental reply is forwarded to the Forest Service, via the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to Ms Marshall explaining the actions of the Committee.

Members noted the following correspondence:

Copy of DOE response to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment regarding measures, responsibilities and procedures for disused quarries.

Memo from the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment seeking the Committees views on proposed supplementary guidance for PPS 18 when it becomes available.

Letter from the Joint Committee on Environment, Culture and Gaeltacht regarding the proposed joint event with the Committee.

Two European Commission press releases on Renewable Energy and Environmental Impact Assessment Laws.

Press release – European Parliament wants mandatory emergency eCall system in cars.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:22pm.

The meeting reconvened in closed session at 12:42pm with Lord Morrow as Acting Chairperson.

The following members were in attendance: Lord Morrow (Acting Chairperson), Mr Cathal Boylan, Mr Gregory Campbell, Mr Tom Elliott, Mr Chris Hazzard and Mr Peter Weir.

9. Ministerial briefing

The Minister briefed the Committee on the issue of the Runkerry Planning Application.

The meeting moved to public session at 12:56pm.

The Minister briefed the Committee on the issue of Local Government Reform.

Agreed: That the Minister provides the Committee with a copy of the Local Government Reorganisation Policy Proposals paper.

Mr Hamilton re-joined the meeting at 1:06pm.

Mr Hamilton assumed the role of Chairperson at 1:09pm.

Mr Campbell left the meeting at 1:30pm.

Mr Hazzard left the meeting at 1:36pm.

Mr Boylan left the meeting at 1:40pm.

The Minister briefed the Committee on the issues of National Parks and Rose Energy.

10. Any other busines


11. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 5 July 2012 at 10:00am in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The Deputy Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 2:02pm.

Anna Lo, MLA
Chairperson, Committee for the Environment
5 July 2012

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