Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 28 September 2011

Venue: Room 21, Parliament Buildings

10.29am The meeting commenced in closed session

1. Electronic Committee Packs

The Chairperson discussed the above with Members

10.35am Mrs Kelly entered the meeting 
10.36am Mr Moutray entered the meeting 
10.37am The meeting continued in public session

2. Apologies

As above

The Chairperson advised Members that Mr Michael Copeland has replaced Mr Mike Nesbitt as a Member of the Committee.

Agreed: The Committee noted a proposal from the Chairperson and agreed to write to Mr Nesbitt recording the Committee’s thanks for his contribution to the work of the Committee.

3. Chairperson’s Business

The Chairperson apprised Members of the study visit to Nantes.

4. Draft Minutes

Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the meeting of 14 th September 2011.

5. Correspondence

Members noted correspondence received.

10.46am Mr Lynch entered the meeting

Agreed: The Committee noted information on governance at Northern Ireland Water. The Committee noted a proposal from Mrs Kelly and agreed to write to Northern Ireland Water seeking a report of progress against the recommendations on governance (recommendations 16-23) as contained in the Public Accounts Committee report ‘Measuring the Performance of NI Water and Procurement and Governance in NI Water’ – Volume One.

Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for the Environment in relation to reducing energy costs and agreed to forward this on to the Department seeking a response directly to the Committee for the Environment, copying this Committee into the response.

Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence in relation to disabled parking and penalty charges and noted the Department’s response. The Committee noted a proposal from the Chairperson and agreed to write to the Department indicating that the Committee views the Department’s response on this issue as inadequate.

6. Oral briefing: Utility Regulator – Introductory Briefing

10.47am The following representatives joined the meeting:

Shane Lynch – CEO, Utility Regulator 
Jo Aston – Director of Water, Utility Regulator

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

11.07am Mr Moutray left the meeting 
11.10am Mr Moutray rejoined the meeting 
11.21am The representatives left the meeting

Agreed: The Committee noted a proposal from Mrs Kelly and agreed to write to the Minister for Regional Development to discover if the Minister has been in discussion with the Department of Finance and Personnel and/or HM Treasury in relation to the governance arrangements and status of Northern Ireland Water.

7. Oral Briefing: Translink – Bus and rail service changes

11.22am The following representatives joined the meeting:

Catherine Mason - Group Chief Executive, Translink 
Philip O’Neill - Chief Operating Officer, Translink 
Ciarán Rogan - Marketing Executive, Translink

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

11.43am Mr Ó hOisín left the meeting 
11.48am Mr Byrne left the meeting 
11.59am Mr Moutray left the meeting 
12.07am Mr Lynch left the meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to Translink seeking further information in relation to an inescapable resource bid of £3.5 million to meet financial pressures at Translink which is included in the Department’s October Monitoring Round.

12.13pm The representatives left the meeting

Agreed: The Committee noted a proposal from the Chairperson and agreed to write to Translink seeking a breakdown of land and buildings assets and their values; details on consultancy services used and amounts paid for said consultancy services.

Agreed: The Committee noted a proposal from the Chairperson and agreed to write to Translink for further details on which community groups are routinely consulted with and to seek further details of Translink’s consultation process.

Agreed: The Committee noted a proposal from Mrs Kelly and agreed to write to the Department seeking information on which organisations provide rural transport and in which areas they operate.

12.14pm Mr Lynch rejoined the meeting

8. Departmental Briefing: October Monitoring

12.15pm The following officials joined the meeting:

Stewart Barnes – Head of Financial Planning, DRD 
Fiona Hamill – Finance Director, DRD 
Gary Fair – Director of Water Shareholder Unit, DRD

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

Agreed: Members noted a proposal from the Chairperson and agreed to seek further information on the history of the structural maintenance backlog.

12.33pm The officials left the meeting

Agreed: Members noted a proposal from Mrs Kelly and agreed to write to the Minister for Finance and Personnel supporting the Department for Regional Development’s bids pending further information on the bid relating to financial pressures at Translink.

9. Departmental Written Briefing: Strategic Review of Park and Ride

Members noted the report.

Agreed: Members noted proposals from Mrs Kelly and Mr Beggs and agreed to write to Department seeking further information on the long term strategy to achieve modal shift onto public transport and park and ride by increasing the availability of park and ride facilities while reducing the number of car park spaces in towns.

10. Subordinate legislation not subject to Assembly procedure

Members noted:

  • SL1: The Parking and Waiting Restrictions (Ballymoney) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2011
  • SL1: The Waiting Restrictions (Ormeau Road, Belfast) Order (Northern Ireland) 2011

11. Committee Forward Work Programme

Agreed: Members considered the draft forward work programme for September to December 2011 and agreed that the Committee office should make arrangements for the visits and briefings in the programme.

Agreed: The Committee noted a proposal from Mrs Kelly and agreed to undertake a Committee inquiry into rural transport provision in 2012.

Agreed: The Committee noted a proposal from Mrs Kelly and agreed to seek further information on the Northern Ireland Assembly Business Trust European Programme in November 2011.

Agreed: Members noted the forthcoming visit to Tarmac Quarry Ltd. in Craigantlet on 5 th October 2011 and agreed to contact the Committee office to indicate availability to attend.

12. Any Other Business

There was no other business

13. Date of the next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will be Wednesday 5 th October 2011 at 10.30am in Room 21, Parliament Buildings with an afternoon visit to Tarmac Quarry Ltd., Craigantlet.

12.46pm The meeting was adjourned

Mr Jimmy Spratt MLA
Chairperson, Committee for Regional Development 
5th October 2011

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