Assembly Committees focus attention on rural issues at Balmoral Show

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 09 May 2012

Reference: SO 21/11/12

Northern Ireland Assembly Committees will be in attendance at the Balmoral Show where they will focus their attention on rural issues.

The Committees for Agriculture and Rural Development, Environment and for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister will all be holding meetings and stakeholder events at this year’s Show.  The Assembly itself will also host a Question and Answer session with MLAs from a range of political parties taking part.

Speaker of the Assembly, Mr William Hay MLA said: “The Balmoral Show gives the Assembly and its Committees an opportunity to engage with one of Northern Ireland’s most important constituencies: the rural community.

“As an Assembly we are only too aware of the difficult economic times that we are in and the responsibility that we all have to improve our economy and society. All the Committees attending the Show will be highlighting the ways that our Assembly can help the rural economy prosper and listen to their concerns.”

The Assembly Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will be holding a meeting where Jim Nicholson, MEP will brief the Committee on European Union priorities. In their meeting they will also be discussing the European perspective on reducing and eradicating Bovine Tuberculosis.

The Environment Committee will be holding a stakeholder event to look at the potential impact of national parks in Northern Ireland. This is part of the Committee’s ongoing process of gathering evidence on national parks.

The Committee for the First Minister and deputy First Minister will be using their meeting to discuss the development of the Maze/Long Kesh site and, in particular, the move by the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society where future Balmoral Shows will be held. They will also be briefed by the NI Local Government Association on its work on Europe.

The Assembly will be hosting a road show to allow people to put their questions to MLAs and discuss those issues that are of greatest concern. The panel will be responding to questions put by those attending the Show.

For more information on the Northern Ireland Assembly’s visit to the 2012 Balmoral Show, go to www.niassembly.gov.uk or follow us on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/NorthernIrelandAssembly) and twitter (http://twitter.com/niassembly).

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