Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2008/2009

Date: 05 March 2009

COMMITTEE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
THURSDAY 5 MARCH 2009,
ROOM 144, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS

Present:
Mr Patsy McGlone (Chairperson)
Mr Roy Beggs
Mr Trevor Clarke
Mr David Ford
Mr Tommy Gallagher
Mr David McClarty
Mr Ian McCrea
Mr Daithi McKay
Mr Alastair Ross

In Attendance:
Dr Alex McGarel (Assembly Clerk) 
Mr William Long (Assistant Clerk)
Mr Sean McCann (Clerical Supervisor)
Mr Steven Mealy (Clerical Officer)

Apologies: 
Mr Cathal Boylan (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr Peter Weir

The meeting began in public session at 10.34a.m.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Minutes

Agreed – the draft minutes of the meeting on 26 February were agreed.

3. Matters Arising

Local Government Finance Bill:

The Chairperson informed members that the Minister had written to him to providing clarification on the Local Government Finance Bill Executive papers.

Epic Demonstration:

The Chairperson informed members that the Epic demonstration had been rescheduled for 19 March at 8.45a.m. in Millennium House Belfast. Any members interested in attending should inform Committee staff.

Dual and Multiple Mandates Meeting:

The Chairperson briefed members on a meeting with the Minister on dual mandates that had taken place on 2 March.

PPS 21 Working Group appointment:

The Chairperson informed members of a new appointment to the PPS 21 Working Group.

Research paper on ‘Topsoil Movement in UK and Ireland:

The Chairperson informed members that the Committee received a briefing from the Construction Industry Group on the 22 January 2009 on issues of concern which included the need for better regulation for the movement/dumping of topsoil. Members subsequently requested a research paper on how other parts of the UK and Europe deal with the movement of top soil and this had been included in members’ meeting papers.

Agreed: That NIEA officials are invited to brief the Committee on this issue at a future meeting.

Departmental Response re February Monitoring Round:

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a copy of the Departmental response, dated 23 February, to the Committee’s request for further information regarding the February Monitoring Round.

Mr Beggs declared an interest as a member of Carrickfergus Road Safety Committee for the discussion on the road safety budget.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the DOE asking for further clarification on this response.

Agreed: That the Road Safety Council and DOE officials are invited to brief the Committee at a future meeting.

Agreed: That Ballymoney Borough Road Safety Committee are invited to brief the Committee at a future meeting.

Agreed: That copies of reports on the Road Safety Council are provided to the Committee.

Departmental Response re DOE Infraction Cases:

The Chairperson informed members that copies of the revised PEPG and Planning Service Infraction Schedules had been included in meeting papers.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking for further information on case A10, asking what the DOE and DEFRA are doing to clear infraction cases and asking for the DOE to highlight the cases where status has changed in future reports.

Departmental Response re Post Project Evaluations (PPEs):

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with an update on the revised target dates for the Department’s outstanding Post Project Evaluations (PPEs).

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking for a further update on progress on this matter.

Letter from John McMullan, Chief Executive, Bryson Charitable Group:

The Chairperson informed members that the letter from John McMullan, Chief Executive, Bryson Charitable Group had been included at Tab 2 for further consideration as agreed at last week’s meeting.

Agreed: That Mr McMullan is invited to brief the Committee at a future meeting.

List of Key Stakeholders for River Basin Management Plan Stakeholder Event on 1 April 2009:

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a copy of the proposed list of stakeholders to be invited to the Stakeholder event on Wednesday 1 st April 2009, commencing at 1pm in the Long Gallery.

Proposed Itinerarty for Meeting on 12 March 2009 in Armagh Council Offices:

The Chairperson informed members that a proposed itinerary for next week’s meeting had been included in meeting papers for information. Members should indicate attendance to Committee staff.

Thank You Letter to RSPB for hosting meeting on 19 February 2009 at Castlewellan Forest Park:

The Chairperson informed members that it was proposed that the Committee write to RSPB to formally thank them for hosting the meeting on 19 February 2009.

Agreed: That a letter of thanks is sent to the RSPB.

4. Departmental briefing on consultation on the Determination of Fees for Entertainments Licences

Mr McGlone declared an interest as his brother has an association with the licensed retail trade.

The following members declared an interest as councillors:

Patsy McGlone – Cookstown District Council

Roy Beggs – Carrickfergus Borough Council

Trevor Clarke – Antrim Borough Council

David Ford – Antrim Borough Council

David McClarty – Coleraine Corough Council

Daithi McKay – Ballymoney Borough Council

Departmental officials briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on the Determination of Fees for Entertainments Licences.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department expressing the Committee’s opposition to the proposed fees for voluntary and charity groups hosting outdoor events.

Mr McKay left the meeting at 11.20p.m.

5. Departmental briefing on Article 31 planning application – Craigmore Quarry

Departmental officials briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on an Article 31 planning application – Craigmore Quarry.

Mr McClarty left the meeting at 12.20p.m.

6. Climate Change Inquiry

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with an updated table containing details of the submissions received to date along with names of individuals/organisations who have indicated an intention to submit a response but have not yet done so.

The Chairperson further informed members that application forms for the post of Specialist Adviser have been issued to 12 individuals as identified by Research Service and 1 individual who has requested an application form.

The closing date for submitting an application for the Specialist Adviser post is 16 March 2009 and the sub-group to consider applications will meet on 18 March 2009 at 9.30 a.m.

7. Statutory Rule

SR 2009/46 – The Landfill Allowances Scheme (Amendment) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2009

Question put and agreed:

That the Committee for the Environment has considered SR 2009/46 – The Landfill Allowances Scheme (Amendment) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2009 and has no objection to the rule.

8. Departmental Consultations

The Committee considered the following consultations: -

Consultation on the Implementation of the Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries and Accumulators Directive (2006/66/EC):

Agreed: That the Committee is content with the Department proceeding on this consultation.

UK-wide consultation on further amendments to the Vehicle Drivers (Certificates of Professional Competence) Regulations 2007:

Agreed: That the Department provides the Committee with a synopsis of responses to the consultation.

9. Forward Work Programme

Members noted the revised Committee Forward Work Programme.

10. Correspondence
  1. E-mail from David Gibson to the Committee regarding further queries on lead shot pollution.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to Mr Gibson suggesting that he contacts the Ombudmsan regarding this issue.

  1. Departmental response to the committee’s request for further clarification in relation to Mr David Gibson’s queries on clay pigeon shooting.

Agreed: That a copy of the response is forwarded to Mr Gibson for information.

  1. Letter from the National Association of Councillors Northern Ireland Region to the Chairperson with questions for the Minister.

Agreed: That a copy of the letter is forward to the Department for comment.

  1. Internal Memo from Head of Assembly Outreach regarding a British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) Committee report.

Agreed: That a copy of the memo and report is forwarded to the Department for comment.

  1. Further Internal Memo from Head of Assembly outreach regarding a British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) Committee report.

Agreed: That a copy of the memo and report is forwarded to the Department for comment.

  1. Departmental response to the Committee’s request for comments on the letter from Dominic Bradley MLA regarding PPS 8 Policy OS 2 “Public Open Space in New Residential Developments”.

Agreed: That a copy of the response is forwarded to Dominic Bradley.

  1. Members noted a copy of a letter from Nigel PE Smyth, Director CBI Northern Ireland to NIEA, regarding comments on the revision to the Pollution Prevention and Control and the Radioactive Substances Charging Schemes.
  2. Members noted a Departmental response regarding the Committee’s letter drawing the Department’s attention to the recommendations made in the OFMDFM Committee’s report into Child Poverty.
  3. Letter from the Northern Ireland Badger Group regarding a call for all politicians to act swiftly to push through new legislation which will give protection to Badgers.

Agreed: That a copy of the letter is sent to the Department for comment.

  1. Members noted a letter from the Department advising the Committee of their intention to declare Carey Valley an ASSI during March 2009.
  2. Members noted a Departmental response to the Committee’s request following the meeting on 19 th February 2009 for any proposals relating to deep geological facilities or near-surface disposal facilities for radioactive wastes in Northern Ireland.
  3. Members noted a Departmental response regarding the committee’s request for more information on the EU INSPIRE Directive 2007/2/EC, to include information on the datasets and what they do.
  4. Members noted an e-mail from Michael Martin ( Antrim & Dist. Anglers, Mallusk Angling Society, Rogan Manor Residents Association) regarding Minutes of The Six Mile Enhancement Association on the 9 th Feb 2009.
  5. E-mail from Richard Goddard, (Capita) inviting the Committee to their 2 nd Annual Northern Ireland Governance Conference on Friday 20 th March.

Agreed: That the Committee Clerk attends and reports back to the Committee.

  1. Members noted an e-mail from Devina Patel, (Capita) inviting the Committee to their 6 th National “Tackling Alcohol Related Anti-Social Behaviour” conference on Thursday 23 rd April 2009 in Central London.
  2. Members noted an e-mail from Rosemary McNicholl inviting the Committee to the opening of WWF Northern Ireland’s new office. The open event is at 3pm on 26 th March 2009.
  3. Letter from Sam Knox, Chairman of Ballymoney Borough Road Safety Committee to the Chairperson, requesting a meeting with the Committee regarding the Minister’s decision to withdraw core funding from the Road Safety Council of Northern Ireland.

Agreed: That Mr Knox is invited to brief the Committee at a future meeting.

  1. The Committee noted the following DOE Press Releases / Publications:

“Carrier bag numbers are coming down says Wilson”

11. Any other business
12. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday, 12 March 2009 at 11.30am in Armagh City Council offices.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.45 p.m.

Patsy McGlone
Chairperson, Committee for the Environment
12 March 2009

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