Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 25 May 2011

Venue: Room 21, Parliament Buildings

10.31am The meeting commenced in public session

Agreed: The Committee agreed that meetings should, as a rule, be held in public session unless the Committee agrees that there is an overriding reason for proceedings to be closed.

1. Apologies

As above

10.33am Mr Beggs entered the meeting

2. Committee Membership

The Chairperson welcomed all members to the new Committee

3. Committee Office contact details

The Committee noted the contact details for the Committee office.

4. Declaration of interests

The Committee noted the procedures in relation to declaration of interest.

Mr Nesbitt declared an interest in relation to being the owner of a wind turbine.
Mr McCrea declared an interest in relation to his membership of the committee of Cookstown Shopmobility.

5. Committee Procedures

The Committee noted the procedural guidance papers; Guide to the Powers and Operation of Statutory Committees for Chairpersons and Members, Guide to the Role of the Chairperson, Guide for Members on the Role and Functions of the Committee Office and Providing an effective Research Service to Committees – Good Practice Guidelines. The Committee noted guidance on privilege and matters subjudice in relation to Standing Order 73.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that committee research papers be published automatically on the Assembly website unless the Committee decides otherwise.

6. Timescales for interaction between committees and departments

The Committee noted the guidance on timescales for interaction between the committee and the department.

7. 2007-11 Legacy Report

The Committee noted the legacy report of the previous Committee for Regional Development.

8. Departmental briefing: First Day Brief

Dr Malcolm McKibbin – Permanent Secretary 
Mr Barney McGahan – Deputy Secretary, Regional Planning and Transportation 
Ms Lian Patterson – Deputy Secretary, Senior Finance Director, Resources and Management Services 
Mr John White – Director of Strategic Programmes, Road Service

The officials presented to Committee in respect of the above. Following the presentation, Members put questions.

11.08am Mr McCrea left the meeting 
11.33am Mr McCrea rejoined the meeting 
11.52am The officials left the meeting

9. Briefing: Northern Ireland Water – Inaccurate Billing

11.54am The representatives of Northern Ireland Water joined the meeting:
Mr Liam Mulholland – Interim Head of Customer Service 
Ms Anne Stewart – Meter Policy Manager

The representatives presented to Committee in respect of the above. Following the presentation, Members put questions.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to visit the Northern Ireland Water Call Centre at a date to be arranged by the Committee office.

12.24pm The representatives left the meeting

10. Subordinate legislation – Delegation of Scrutiny

“Question: That the Committee for Regional Development, under Standing Order 43, resolves to delegate to the Examiner of Statutory Rules the technical scrutiny of statutory rules referred to the Committee under the above mentioned Standing Order.

The Committee further resolves that in carrying out this function the Examiner shall be authorised to report his technical findings on each statutory rule to the Assembly, and to the relevant Department, as well as to the Committee itself and to publish his report put and agreed to”.

11. SL1: The Dundrod Circuit (Admission Charges) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request that the Department supply the business case for the increase in admission charges.

12. Forward Work Programme

Members noted the draft forward work programme.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to proceed with briefings as set out in the forward work programme.

Agreed: The Committee noted a proposal from Mrs Kelly to seek a briefing from the Department in relation to rail closures on arterial routes and agreed that this should be added to the forward work programme.

Agreed: The Committee noted a proposal from Mr Beggs to seek a briefing from Road Service on the Capital Build Programme and agreed that this should be added to the forward work programme.

13. Correspondence

Members noted:

  • Correspondence from DRD to Stratagem in relation to public and private hire taxis
  • Correspondence from DRD to North Down Borough Council in relation to Portavo Reservoir
  • The Department’s Equality Unit Quarterly Report
  • Acknowledgement of the previous Committee’s response to the Department’s Equality Impact Assessment Consultation
  • DRD report on Northern Ireland Road and Rail Transport Statistics October – December 2010
  • DRD report on Public Perception of Safety on Public Transport – January 2010
  • IMTAC report on surveys of Blue Badge use in Belfast
  • Consumer Council Annual Report 2009-10
  • An invitation to the Community Relations Council Annual Policy Conference
  • An invitation to the Chair to attend the Northern Ireland Water Vulnerable Stakeholders Forum

Members noted various press releases from the Department and Northern Ireland Water

Members noted various press articles relating to the work of the Department and Northern Ireland Water

Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the Consumer Council with a request to brief the Committee and agreed that such a briefing should be scheduled on a date to be arranged by the Committee office.

Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the Community Relations Council and Rural Community Network to brief the Committee on their report - ‘Beyond Belfast - Contested Spaces in Urban, Rural and Cross Border Settings’ and agreed that such a briefing should be scheduled on a date to be arranged by the Committee office.

Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the Department in relation to the Department of Transport’s consultation on a Scoping Document for the Sustainable Framework for Aviation. Members agreed that any comments should be forwarded to the Clerk by Friday 27 th May for inclusion in a Committee response to the consultation if necessary.

Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the Consumer Council in relation to consultation on the draft Corporate Plan and Equality Scheme 2011-15. Members agreed that any comments should be forwarded to the Clerk by Friday 27 th May for inclusion in a Committee response to the consultation if necessary.

14. Proposed meeting dates

Members noted the meeting schedule up to July 2011.

15. Any Other Business

None

16. Date of the next meeting

The next Committee meeting will be on Wednesday 1 June 2011 at 10.30am in Room 21, Parliament Buildings.

12.39pm The meeting was adjourned

Mr Jimmy Spratt MLA
Chairperson, Committee for Regional Development 
1 June 2011

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