Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 03 May 2012

Venue: Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The meeting began in public session at 10:04am

The Chairperson welcomed Mrs Dolores Kelly and Mr Tom Elliott to the Committee. 

Agreed: That letters of thanks are sent to Mr Patsy McGlone and Mr Danny Kinahan for their work on the Committee.

Agreed: That letters of thanks are also sent to Marine Scotland, Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, Scottish Environment Link and the Scottish Parliamentary researcher following the Committee’s visit to discuss implementation of the Scotland (Marine) Act. 

1.       Apologies

Apologies are listed above.

Mr Campbell joined the meeting at 10:06am.

Mr Boylan joined the meeting at 10:10am.

2.       Minutes

  The minutes of the meetings on 17 April 2012 and 19 April 2012 were agreed.

3.       Matters arising 

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on unfinished roads.

Agreed: That a copy of the Departmental reply is forwarded to the Committee for Regional Development for consideration as part of its inquiry into unfinished roads and to check that the Terms of Reference of the inquiry will cover this issue.

Mr Weir left the meeting at 10:18am

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on spot checks on school buses.

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on charging points for electric cars.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Department of Finance and Personnel reply to Committee queries on the waste management procurement process, a reply from the North West Region Waste Management Group and a letter from NI Association of Independent Recyclers on the process.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to ARC21 and SWAMP asking for an update on their procurement process.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Minister asking if he feels the Department’s advice to Local Councils is still valid in light of the reduced recycling rates.
 

Members noted a PSNI response on hoax calls.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental Programme of work for April – July 2012.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department reiterating the Committee’s request for a timetable on their upcoming legislation.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on plastic recycling rates.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department informing them that the Committee still feels that an action plan should be introduced and would like to know what the Department will be doing to encourage more recycling of heavy gauge plastic.

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

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking if applications for wind farms in radio corridors belonging to NI Water are dealt with differently than an application for a single turbine.  Also ask for clarification on the ‘negative conditions’ mentioned in the reply.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on meetings on National Parks.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking how many stakeholder meetings have taken place, how long the process will take and when the Committee will be briefed on this issue.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental letter in relation to The Motor Vehicles (Access to Driver Licensing Records) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking if there is a mechanism for feedback on how this arrangement works in practice.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the Chairperson’s meeting with NI Badger Group.

Agreed: That a copy of the reply is forwarded to the NI Badger Group.

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 for clarification on whether Executive approval is required when making changes to budget presentations.

Agreed: That a copy of the reply is forwarded to the Committee for Finance and Personnel.

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

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking how it will fund the reduction in fees.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a letter from NIE in relation to metal theft.

Agreed: That a delegation from NIE/NI Water/BT/Translink/Housing Executive is invited to brief the Committee on this issue.

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on alcohol consumption on buses and a reply from the Department of Justice on the same issue.

Members noted a copy of Mrs Kelly’s and Mr Elliott’s declaration of interests.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development queries on a review of Bovine Tuberculosis.

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

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a draft Committee blog on the Committee’s motion on the Single Use Carrier Bag Levy.

Agreed: That the Committee blog is uploaded to the NI Assembly website on Tuesday 8 May 2012.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental invitation to attend a stakeholder event on a Northern Ireland Climate Change Bill.

Agreed: That members will attend this event on Wednesday 30 May 2012.

Agreed: That a copy of the invitation is forwarded to other Committee Chairs.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure memo regarding their stakeholder forum on archaeological heritage.

Agreed: That a joint Environment/CAL Committee motion is lodged calling on Ministers to initiate discussions on the need to consider a series of measures to address the legislative and policy issues that straddle both DCAL and DOE in terms of the excavation and long-term curation of archaeological artefacts.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with an Assembly Research email regarding the Committee’s INTERREG funding research request.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Assembly’s European Project Manager for clarification on this issue.

4.       Statutory Rules

SR 2012/169 – The Road Transport (Working Time) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012

Question put and agreed: That the Committee for the Environment has considered SR 2012/169 – The Road Transport (Working Time) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012 and has no objection to the rule subject to the Examiner of Statutory Rules report.

5.       Departmental Updates

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental update on MOT pass/fail rates and a comparison of the pass rates with previous updates.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking what follow up work is done where MOT pass rates are significantly different between centres.  Also ask what is being done to encourage HGVs to pass the MOT test first time. 

Mr Boylan left the meeting at 10:58am.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental update on post project evaluations.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking for more information on the PPE assessments.

6.       Assembly Research briefing paper on Marine Bill

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with an Assembly Research briefing paper on the Marine Bill.

Agreed: That an Assembly Researcher is invited to brief the Committee on this paper.

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the Marine Bill.

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 following organisations are invited to brief the Committee on their Marine Bill submissions: Countryside Alliance Ireland/BACS; Institute for Archaeologists/Centre for Maritime Archaeology; Northern Ireland Schools’ Marine Bill Advocacy Group; Anglo-Northern Irish Fish Producers Organisation; Professor Greg Lloyd; DARD; Irish Federation of Sea Anglers; Belfast Harbour and Port Authority.

Mr Boylan re-joined the meeting at 11:03am.

8.      Northern Ireland Marine Taskforce briefing on Marine Bill

Representatives from the NI Marine Taskforce briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on the Marine Bill.

The main areas of discussion were the Northern Ireland Marine Task Force submission in relation to the Marine Bill and their proposals for amendments to the Bill.

Mr Hamilton left the meeting at 11:20am.

Mr Campbell left the meeting at 11:52am.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking for clarification on the inter-departmental management group; specifically its legal status, its membership and its authority. 

9.      Northern Ireland Renewable Industry Group (NIRIG) briefing on Marine Bill

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

The main areas of discussion were Northern Ireland Renewable Industry Group submission in relation to the Marine Bill and their proposals for amendments to the Bill.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to NIRIG asking for further information on common law rates on fishing and navigation.  Also ask for further information on the economic value of the renewable energy sector in Northern Ireland.

10.    Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside (CNCC) briefing on Marine Bill

Representatives from the Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on the Marine Bill.

The main areas of discussion were Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside submission in relation to the Marine Bill and their proposals for amendments to the Bill.

11.     Correspondence

Copy of the European Commission consultation on the 7th EU Environmental Action Programme.

Agreed: That a copy of the consultation is forwarded to the Department asking if it intends to make a submission to the consultation and, if so, to forward a copy of their response to the Committee

Correspondence from Committee for Regional Development regarding un-adopted roads.  Also a copy of a Departmental reply to Committee queries on unfinished roads from 29 March 2012.

Agreed: That a copy of the Departmental reply is forwarded to the Regional Development Committee for consideration as part of their inquiry.

Correspondence from Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety regarding a Departmental update on the ‘Protect Life’ strategy.

Agreed: That a copy of the correspondence is forwarded to the Department asking that they reply directly to the Health Committee and forward a copy of their response to the Committee.

Correspondence from Department giving advance notice of consultations and a list of policies screened out for EIA.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking them to forward any future notifications directly to the Committee and to request a list of those consultations that were screened in during the same period.

Correspondence from Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development regarding planning applications in the rural community.

Agreed: That a copy of this correspondence is forwarded to the Minister.

Correspondence from Committee for Education regarding to school transport health and safety issues.

Agreed: That a copy of this correspondence is forwarded to the Minister.

Copy of the European Commission Report – Use of Economic Instruments and Waste Management Performances.

Agreed: That a copy of the report is forwarded to the Department for comment on model options A & B for the introduction of Economic Instruments (EI) and for comment on the merits of any particular EI’s referred to for addressing NI waste.

Link to European Commission consultation on a strategy to reduce the severity of injuries caused by RTAs including the socio-economic impacts.

Agreed: That a copy of the consultation is forwarded to the Department asking if it is going to submit a response and if so, request that a copy is forwarded to the Committee.

Correspondence from Driving Instructors Association Northern Ireland regarding enforcement of Compulsory Basic Training for moped, scooters and motorcycles.

Agreed: That a copy of the correspondence is forwarded to the Department asking that they reply directly to Mr Wilson and forward a copy of their response to the Committee.

Members noted the following correspondence:

Copy of NIIRTA News – Spring 2012.

Departmental letter regarding the consultation on draft Single Use Carrier Bags Charge Regulations (NI) 2012.

Assembly Research briefing note on home charging points for electric cars.

Copy of Executive Summary of the European Wind Energy Association Report – Green Growth, the Impact of Wind Energy on Jobs and the Economy.

Note of key issues discussed and decisions taken at the CLG meeting on 17 April 2012.

Invitation to view ‘Feather and Fin’ exhibition at Castle Espie.

Invitation to attend Tyre Recovery Association forum day at Ardencote Manor, Warwickshire.

Mr Elliott left the meeting at 12:54pm

12.   Any other business

13.    Date, time and place of next meeting

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

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 1:10pm

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

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