Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2006/2007

Date: 05 July 2007

COMMITTEE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
THURSDAY 05 July 2007,
Room 144, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS

Present: 
Mr Patsy McGlone (Chairperson)
Mr Cathal Boylan (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr Trevor Clarke
Mr David Ford
Mr Tommy Gallagher
Mr Samuel Gardiner
Mr Ian McCrea

In Attendance: 
Mrs Debbie Pritchard (Principal Clerk)
Ms Patricia Casey (Assembly Clerk) 
Mr William Long (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Mr Sean McCann (Clerical Supervisor)
Miss Pauline Devlin (Clerical Officer)
Mr Kendrew Colhoun (Assembly Research and Library Services)

Apologies: 
Mr Billy Armstrong
Mr Alex Maskey
Mr Daithí McKay
Mr Peter Weir

The meeting opened at 10.32am in public session.

  1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

  1. Minutes

Agreed – the draft minutes were agreed.

  1. Climate Change Bill – Legislative Consent Motion (Sewell)

The Minister, Arlene Foster, briefed the Members on the Climate Change Bill.
10.40 am. Mr Boylan joined the meeting 
The Minister answered questions from the Members.
The Minister, Arlene Foster, briefed the Members on the Review of Public Administration.
The Minister answered questions from the Members.
Agreed – Committee to provide response on Climate Bill to Minister by October 2007
Agreed – Minister to respond to Committee
Agreed – Committee to send copy of response to Climate Change Coalition NI for their comments on questions.
Agreed – Department to provide Committee with briefing on “emerging findings” by the end of September 2007.
Agreed – Minister to provide Committee with an early sight of recommendations.

  1. Matters arising

Members noted the briefing paper on PPS 12. 
Agreed – Committee to write to DRD Committee to request an appropriate input/consultation into the review of PPS 12. 
Members noted the draft motion to extend the Committee Stage of the Taxis Bill. 
Members noted the copies of PPS 15 and Information Leaflet No. 7. 
Members were advised that the Department’s disability action plan has now been signed by the Secretary and the Minister and issued to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. 
Members noted the Press Release circulation list as requested at the meeting on 28 June 2007. 
Agreed – Members to provide details of local radio stations to be added to circulation list.

  1. Climate Change Coalition

Mr Ford declared an interest in that he has previously been involved with the organisations present.

Neil Alldred, Deborah Doherty, Sue Christie and James Robinson, Climate Change Coalition NI, briefed the Committee on climate change in Northern Ireland and answered questions from the Members.

  1. Foundations for the Future – The Review of Environmental Governance – Final Report

Sharon Turner, joint author, briefed the Members on the Foundations for the Future – The Review of Environmental Governance – Final Report.

Ms Turner answered questions from the Members.

  1. Draft Waste Management Licensing (Amendment) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) Consultation 2007

Wesley Shannon, Departmental official briefed the Members on the Draft Waste Licensing (Amendment) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) Consultation 2007.

Mr Shannon answered questions from the Members.

Members noted the Department’s consultation paper.

  1. Correspondence
    1. Letter from Rural Community Network requesting the opportunity to address the Committee on planning issues.

    Agreed – Committee to issue invite for organisation to address Members after recess.

    1. Letter from the Department re: the Disability Action Plan.

    Agreed - The Committee noted this piece of correspondence.

    1. Letter from William Black re: Taxis legislation.

    Agreed – Members to treat as a written submission for the Committee Stage of the Taxis Bill.

    1. Letter from Mourne Heritage Trust requesting meeting re: proposed Mourne National Park.

    Agreed – Committee to advise Mourne Heritage Trust, that they will consider request to address Members, whenever a proposal to establish a National Park has been submitted. The Committee to seek clarification from the Department on the timescales for any proposal. The Clerk for the Agriculture Committee will be notified of any presentation.

    1. Letter from the Association of Preservation Trusts requesting the opportunity to brief the Committee on their work, and attached list of projects completed by Preservation Trusts.

Agreed – Committee to issue invite for organisation to address Members after recess.

      1. Letter from Premier Power, Ballylumford, requesting an opportunity to brief the committee on current and future plans.

Agreed – Committee to issue invite for organisation to address Members after recess.

      1. Letter from Una Downey in response to letter from Eamon Mullan re: proposed landfill site at Belraugh Road, Garvagh. A copy of the original letter is attached.

Agreed – Committee to request clarification from Department on the timescales for processing the planning application.

      1. Letter from Lough Fea Grouse Conservation Trust re: the impact the criteria for an ASSI would have in this area.

Agreed – Committee to seek clarity from Department possible conflicting interest between ASSIs and the protection of Irish Red Grouse.

      1. Letter from Dermaflaw Action Committee re: planning application for a proposed development to provide a waste management and recycling centre.

Agreed – Committee to seek the views of the Department on whether the views of local people are fully taken on board.

      1. Letter from Sam Egerton re: Taxis Bill.

        Agreed – Members to treat as a written submission for the Committee Stage of the Taxis Bill.

      2. Letter from Quarry Products Association requesting the opportunity to address the Committee, and inviting the Committee to visit one of their sites in the greater Belfast area.

Agreed – Committee to issue invite for organisation to address Members after recess.

      1. Letter from the Rural Community Network requesting the opportunity to make a presentation to the Committee on its SPAN project.

Agreed – Committee to issue invite for organisation to address Members after recess (in conjunction with request in correspondence item No. 1).

      1. Commencement order – The Waste (Amendment) (2007 Order) (Commencement No. 1) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2007.

Agreed - The Committee noted this piece of correspondence.

      1. Email from Dr Susan Wilson, Tara Seal Research Centre outlining her concerns about the marine current turbine project in Strangford Lough.

Agreed - Committee to seek clarification from Department on current position of the planning application and any steps taken to address the concerns of Dr Wilson.

      1. Copy of response to Sam Egerton’s FOI request.

Agreed - The Committee noted this piece of correspondence.

    1. Email from James Neeson re: Taxis Bill.

Agreed – Members to treat as a written submission for the Committee Stage of the Taxis Bill.

  1. Response received from Department providing further information on the proposed fee increases by DVA in respect of road freight and passenger operator licensing.

Agreed - The Committee considered the SL1 “Proposed fee increases by DVA in respect of Road Freight and Passenger Operators” and had no objections to the proposal.

      1. E-mail received from Raymond Dempster, Director, NI Taxi and PHV Magazine requesting permission to print the Public Notice (as displayed on Committee for the Environment website) in the August edition of their magazine.

Agreed – Mr Dempster to be advised that the Committee have agreed to this request.

      1. Response from Department re the time-tabling of SL1s.

Agreed - The Committee noted this piece of correspondence.

      1. Letter from Maureen McAuley, Glenarm Village Committee requesting that the Committee for the Environment make a submission to the Planning Board in support of environmental tourism potential.

Agreed - The Committee issue a response to Ms McAuley explaining that they cannot take an advocacy role in individual planning cases.

      1. E-mail from Rosalind Henry, Senior Consultant, Bearing Point, proposing dates to meet with the consultants as part of the Review of Revised Council Consultation Arrangements.

Agreed - Committee to request a summary of the responses from Bearing Point.

      1. Letter from Department confirming that Bearing Point Management & Technology Consultants will be contacting the Committee re the Review of Revised Council Consultation Arrangements.

Agreed - The Committee noted this piece of correspondence.

      1. Response from Department to the request for further information on planning application from Bracken Projectile Club.

Agreed - Committee to forward a copy of the Department’s reply to Mr McGonagle, Secretary of Bracken Projectile Club.

      1. Letter from T Monaghan re: Taxis Bill.

Agreed – Members to treat as a written submission for the Committee Stage of the Taxis Bill.

Agreed – The Committee noted the following Departmental press releases:

    1. DOE press release – ‘Newcastle Scoops Civic Trust Awards.
      DOE press release – ‘Foster Maintains Momentum on Local Government Reform.
      DOE news release – ‘Fined for Unauthorised Car Sales.
      DOE Press release – ‘Minister visits DVA Offices at Coleraine.
      DOE press release – ‘1 July is WEEE Day for Electrical Producers.

       

12.40pm. Mr Gallagher left the meeting.

  1. Any other business

Agreed – The Committee to include the following key elements in the Forward Work Programme:
Consideration of the Review of Environmental Governance
Input into the review of the local government aspects of RPA
Input into draft UK Climate Change Bill (Legislative Consent Motion)

Agreed – Committee to request research briefing on Sewell motions.
Agreed – Committee to issue press release (and copy to Members) outlining main items covered at meeting.
Agreed – The Clerk and Chairperson to liaise regarding correspondence and urgent matters during the recess period.

  1. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday, 06 September 2007 at 10.30am in Room 144 Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.48pm.

Patsy McGlone
Chairperson, Committee for the Environment.
05 July 2007

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