Research Papers 2011

Synopsis: Here you will find a list of Regional Development Committee research papers published during 2011.

Effective management of major incidents in call centres

- Date: 16/11/2011 - Author: Des McKibbin

A prolonged cold spell in late December 2010, followed by a rapid thaw from 26 to 27 December lead to 215,000 households across Northern Ireland having their water supplies interrupted. During and after the event NI Water came under criticism for its communication with consumers; particularly in terms of their website and call centres, which were unable to cope with the demand. This paper draws on key reports in order to examine where NI Water’s communication with customers was deficient, and identifies what best practice measures could be implemented to mitigate the impact of any future major incidents.

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Transport governance and the management of car dependency in Belfast

- Date: 16/11/2011 - Author: Des McKibbin

Statistics show that Northern Ireland is heavily reliant on the private car as a means of travel. This paper outlines the extent of this problem, comparing rural and urban areas and looks at some of the key causes. This paper then analyses the policy response to managing car dependency over the last ten years, and provides a brief insight to how this will proceed in the context of budgetary constraints.

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The wider contribution of cycling and its potential to replace car journeys

- Date: 16/11/2011 - Author: Des McKibbin

The purpose of this paper is to consider the wider benefits cycling makes to society and identify the potential for substantially increasing cycling levels in Northern Ireland. Approaches to the appraisal of transport schemes are discussed, with the unique benefits of cycling identified.

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Adoption of New Roads in Private Developments and the use of Bonds

- Date: 16/11/2011 - Author: Des McKibbin

There are many instances across Northern Ireland where people have purchased and occupied homes in private developments where the roads and footways are left unfinished. The Private Streets (Northern Ireland) Order 1980 was brought in to protect homeowners from such a situation arising by placing a duty on developers to consult with Roads Service on the design of the street and ensure it meets their standards. Developers must also take out a surety bond before they begin construction to ensure Roads Service can complete the works should they be unable to.

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Who’s who in local aviation?

- Date: 09/09/2011 - Author: Des McKibbin

The aim of this paper is to outline the roles and relationships of relevant bodies at the UK and Northern Ireland level that have responsibilities with regards to aviation. The relevant bodies which will be considered are the Department for Transport (DfT), the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Department for Regional Development (DRD) and the Department of the Environment (DoE).

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Water pricing in Europe

- Date: 09/09/2011 - Author: Des McKibbin

This paper will examine the EU Water Framework Directive which, since 2010, has required member states to implement pricing mechanisms, designed to encourage sustainable water usage. This paper will examine how pricing has been managed across Europe and will analyse how the Northern Ireland Executive's policy of subsidising water supply affects compliance with the Directive.

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Outline of Consultation for Draft Regulations for Signs and Warning Lights on School Buses with analysis of Regulatory Impact Assessment

- Date: 18/02/2011 - Author: Des McKibbin

Currently under Regulation 17 (1), subject to paragraph (2), of the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations (NI) 2000, buses carrying children must display a clearly visible sign to front and rear of the bus. This applies to contracted buses i.e. those secured by department to deliver a school service and Education and Library Board (ELB) vehicles. This regulation does not apply to routine stage carriage services provided by translink who do not differentiate between school children and the general public on these services.

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Mental health: Legislative update

- Date: 26/01/2011 - Author: Dr Lesley-Ann Black

This paper has been prepared in relation to a research query submitted by the Committee for Regional Development. The query relates to the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order (1986) and a provision outlined within the Transport Bill. In response, this paper provides: 1) an overview of the current mental health legislation in Northern Ireland, 2) details of its imminent reform, and 3) an overview of how the NI Order (1986) differs from that in other nearby jurisdictions.

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Draft Budget 2010: DRD Spending Proposals

- Date: 28/01/2011 - Author: Des McKibbin

The Department for Regional Development (DRD) is the largest capital based department and therefore the prospect of the capital investment allocation declining by some 40 per cent over the next spending review period provides a massive challenge. The aim of this paper is to outline the key points from the budget and the department’s proposed spending and saving delivery plans. Consideration will be given to the impact these proposals will have, particularly on vulnerable groups and any differential impacts will be highlighted.

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