Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2006/2007

Date: 07 June 2007

COMMITTEE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

THURSDAY 07 JUNE 2007,
Room 144, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS

Present: 
Mr Patsy McGlone (Chairperson)
Mr Cathal Boylan (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr Billy Armstrong
Mr Trevor Clarke
Mr David Ford
Mr Tommy Gallagher
Mr Samuel Gardiner
Mr Alex Maskey
Mr Ian McCrea
Mr Daithí McKay
Mr Peter Weir

In Attendance: 
Mrs Debbie Pritchard (Principal Clerk)
Mrs 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:

The meeting opened at 10.30am in public session.

  1. Apologies

There were no apologies.

The Chairperson extended the Committee’s sympathies to Mr Ford following the recent death of his mother.

  1. Minutes

Agreed – the draft minutes were agreed subject to one minor amendment.

  1. Matters arising

The Chairperson advised that he had met with the Minister, as previously agreed, to discuss the Taxis Bill and RPA.

  1. Taxis Bill

John McMullan, Departmental Official, briefed Members on the Draft Taxis ( Northern Ireland) Order: Report on the Outcome of the Consultation.

Mr McMullan and Mr Bill Laverty, Departmental Official, answered questions from the Members.

10.39am Mr Boylan joined the meeting.
10.42am Mr McCrea joined the meeting.
10.42am Mr McKay joined the meeting.

  1. Secondary legislation proposal – SL1 - Irish Hare

Departmental Official, Mike Meharg, briefed Members on the costs of the protection of the Irish Hare.

Mr Meharg and Ken Bradley (Departmental Official), answered questions from the Members.

Agreed – The Committee for the Environment considered the Proposed Special Protection Order for the Irish Hare and has no objection to the proposal.

11.27am Mr Maskey left the meeting.
11.27am Mr Weir left the meeting.

  1. Secondary legislation proposal – SL1 – (Clean Air) Smoke Control Regulations

Departmental Official, Ivan Gregg, briefed Members on the responsibility for the enforcement of the regulations.

Mr Gregg answered questions from the Members.

Agreed – The Committee for the Environment considered The Smoke Control Areas (Exempted Fireplaces)(Amendment) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2007 and has no objection to the proposal.

11.30am Mr Clarke joined the meeting.

  1. Department of the Environment Forward Work Programme

Members’ attention was brought to the Department’s initial input to the Programme for Government (PfG) 2008 - 2011 which was included as a tabled item.

  1. Committee Forward Work Programme

The Committee considered the areas of work they wish to take forward in the remaining four weeks up to recess and in the next session.

Agreed – The Committed decided to examine the following areas of work:

  • North South Interconnector
  • Planning Policy/Processes
  • Sustainable Development Programme
  • Environmental Governance
  • Budget
  1. Correspondence

The Committee noted the following items of correspondence:

a) Letter from CBI outlining leading policy issues relevant to the Committee for the Environment.
b) Policy briefing and Newsletter from Advice NI.
c) Email from UFU highlighting the main environmental areas affecting farmers in NI.
d) Copy of letter from Londonderry Chamber of Commerce to Minister, Arlene Foster re: response to the 2005 RPA.
e) Email from Cherton expressing thanks to Committee Clerk for explanation of Committee workings.
f) E-mail from Department providing “pen pictures” of Taxi Representative Groups known to DOE.
g) Letter from Energy Saving Trust to Chairperson, Patsy McGlone.
h) Copy of Department of the Environment Draft Disability Action Plan for 01 July 2007 – 31 March 2010.
Agreed – request for Departmental Officials to brief the Committee on the Plan.
i) Letter from Bracken Projectile Club re: refusal to grant planning permission to build indoor range under PPS 14 draft regulation.
Agreed - Committee to seek the views of the Department on this matter.
j) Copy of letter from Eamon Mullan to Arlene Foster, Minister re: Planning Application C/2007/0017/F – Proposed Landfill Site Belraugh Road Garvagh. 
Agreed - Committee to seek the views of the Department on this matter.

  1. Any other business

Members noted the proposed Statutory Rule (SL1) – Road Traffic ( Northern Ireland) Order 2007 (Commencement Order) which was tabled for the Members.

  1. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday, 14 June 2007 at 10.30am in Room 144 Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 11.50 am.

Patsy McGlone
Chairperson, Committee for the Environment.
07 June 2007

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