Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 06 September 2012

Venue: Room 29, Parliament Buildings

The meeting began in public session at 10:02am
1. Apologies
Apologies were as indicated above.
Mr Mark H Durkan joined the meeting at 10:03am

2. Draft Minutes of Meeting 5 July 2012
Agreed: The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 5 July 2012 were agreed.

3. Chairperson's Business
3.1 The Chairperson advised Members that he will be participating in an event organised by the Health Committee to mark World Suicide Day on 10 September 2012.
Ms Paula Bradley joined the meeting 10:04am
3.2 The Chairperson advised Members that the event on 6 September organised by Parkinson's UK on 'Making Personal Independence Payment (PIP) work for neurological conditions' is to be rescheduled.
3.3 The Chairperson advised Members that he has been invited to participate, as Chairperson of the Committee, in an event organised Belfast Healthy Cities on Friday 21st September 2012
3.4 The Chairperson advised Members that he has been invited to participate, as Chairperson of the Committee, in an event organised by Building Change Trust and Collaboration NI on 2 October 2012.
3.5 The Chairperson advised Members that Bryson Charitable Group has invited the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson to attend their annual conference on Wednesday 26th September 2012.
3.6 The Chairperson advised Members that NIFHA has invited him to participate in a panel discussion at its annual conference on Friday 6 November 2012
3.7 The Chairperson advised Members that has agreed to contribute to the Law Centre's next edition of their Frontline magazine, which is focusing on welfare reform.

4. Matters Arising
4.1 The Chairperson advised Members that the Committee's visit to the Scottish Parliament to meet the Welfare Reform Committee has been rescheduled to 16 and 17 October 2012. The Chairperson further advised Members that there are now three elements to this meeting, Welfare Reform, funding for Social Housing and Business Improvement Districts. The Chairperson asked for as many Members as possible to attend.
4.2 The Committee considered the draft guidance for the PSNI on the usage of new temporary closure powers provided by clauses 1 and 5 of the Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.
Agreed: The Committee agreed for the Clerk to write to the Committee for Justice confirming that the Committee are content with the draft regulations.
4.3 The Committee noted the Government's response to the public consultation 'Bereavement Benefit for the 21st Century'.
4.4 The Committee considered a draft response to the OFMdFM Committee on the Committee's activity on European Issues.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the response to the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister.
4.5 The Chairperson advised Members that the 2nd Stage of the Charities Bill is scheduled for 11 September 2012.

5. Legislative Consent Motion on Small Charitable Donations – Departmental Briefing
The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 10:18am:
Mr Roy McGivern, DSD; and
Ms Andrea Watson , DSD.
The briefing was recorded by Hansard.
The officials briefed the Committee on the Westminster Small Charitable Donations Bill and outlined the details of the proposed Legislative Consent Motion.
The Committee questioned if the reference to charities means 'registered charities' as the proposed Charities Bill will allow the Commission to begin registering charities from next year.
The Committee further questioned if there are any other links to the Charities Bill that it should be made aware of.
Ms Judith Cochrane joined the meeting at 10:21am
Mr Alex Easton joined the meeting at 10:22am
The Chairperson thanked the officials for their attendance.
The officials left the meeting at 10:27am.

6. Legislative Consent Motion on Small Charitable Donations – Briefing by NICVA
Mr Neil Irwin from NICVA joined the meeting at 10:28am
The briefing was recorded by Hansard.
Mr Irwin briefed the Committee on NICVA's response to an HMRC consultation on the Small Donation's Bill.
The Committee recognised that the new Gift Aid and Small Donations Scheme could be potentially beneficial to many charities in Northern Ireland but expressed disappointment that the excessive bureaucracy involved and the restrictive eligibility criteria may prevent many organisations from benefiting from the additional revenue that this scheme would generate.
The Chairperson invited Mr McGivern to return to the table to clarify if the Committee are able to re-visit this issue once the Westminster Committee has completed its Committee Stage of the Bill.
The Chairperson thanked Mr Neil for his attendance at the meeting.
Mr Neil and Mr McGivern left the meeting at 10:39am
Agreed: The Committee agreed to receive a further briefing from the Department once the Westminster Committee has completed its Committee Stage.

7 Proposed Subordinate Legislation
7.1 The Social Security (Credits) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012.
Agreed: The Committee was content for the rule to be made.

7.2 The Social Fund (Cold Weather Payments) (General) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012.
Agreed: The Committee was content for this rule to be made.
7.3 The Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Automatic Enrolment) (Amendment No.3) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012.
Agreed: The Committee was content for this rule to be made.

8. Statutory Rules
8.1 SR284/2012 The Jobseeker's Allowance (Members of the Reserve Forces) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012
Question put and agreed:
"That the Committee for Social Development has considered SR284/2012 the Jobseeker's Allowance (Members of the Reserve Forces) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 and, subject to the Examiner's report recommends that it be confirmed by the Assembly".
8.2 SR292/2012 The Social Fund Maternity and Funeral Expenses (General) (Amendment) Rules (Northern Ireland) 2012.
Question put and agreed:
"That the Committee for Social Development has considered Statutory Rule SR292/2012 The Social Fund Maternity and Funeral Expenses (General) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 and, subject to the Examiner of Statutory Rules report has no objections to the Rule".
8.3 SR294/2012 The Pensions (Financial Reporting Council) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012
Question put and agreed:
"That the Committee for Social Development has considered Statutory Rule SR294/2012 The Pensions (Financial Reporting Council) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 and, subject to the Examiner of Statutory Rules report has no objections to the Rule".
8.4 The Tenancy Deposit Scheme Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012.
The Committee deferred consideration of this Rule.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ask if a timescale is in place for the appointment of an administrator for the scheme and also for the schemes to be implemented.

8.5 The Landlord Registration Scheme Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012.
Question put and agreed:
"That the Committee for Social Development has considered the draft Statutory Rule The Landlord Registration Scheme Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 and subject to the Examiner of Statutory Rules' report, recommends that it be affirmed by the Assembly".
The Committee asked for the Department to carry out the annual evaluation once the scheme has implemented.

9. Correspondence
Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider the correspondence memo and the proposed next steps prior to each Committee meeting. The Committee also agreed that the memo and the proposed next steps should be agreed at each meeting unless Members have any issues they would like to raise regarding the items of correspondence.
Agreed: The Committee agreed for the items of correspondence to be dealt with as per the correspondence memo.

10. Forward Work Programme
The chairperson advised Members that officials are continuing to have discussions with the Department regarding the legislative programme.
The Chairperson also advised Members that the 2nd Stage of the Charities Bill is on 11 September 2012 and the 2nd Stage of the BIDs Bill is scheduled for 17 September 2012.
Agreed: Members agreed to hold all day meetings on the 27 September 2012 and 4 October 2012 in order to complete the clause-by-clause scrutiny of the Charities Bill.

11. Any Other Business
A Member raised an issue regarding recent reports in the media that the Department is considering taking over responsibility for the management of the Fort George site in Derry/Londonderry.
At 10:56am Mark H Durkan declared an interest as his fiancée is a current employee at Ilex Regeneration Company.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek clarification on the Department's intention with the management of the Fort George site.
The Chairperson raised an issue regarding faith based representation in the Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing from the Department on Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership.

12. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting will take place at 10:00am on Thursday 13 September 2012 in Room 29 Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 11:05am

Mr Alex Maskey

Chairperson, Committee for Social Development.
13 September 2012

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