MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
THURSDAY, 20 SEPTEMBER 2007
ROOM 135, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Present: Mr Gregory Campbell MP MLA (Chairperson)
Mr David Hilditch MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr Mickey Brady MLA
Mr Thomas Burns MLA
Mr Fred Cobain MLA
Mr Jonathan Craig MLA
Mr Alban Maginness MLA
Mr Fra McCann MLA
Mrs Claire McGill MLA
Miss Michelle McIlveen MLA
In Attendance: Ms Marie Austin (Assembly Clerk)
Mr Neil Currie (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Mrs Sheila Mawhinney (Clerical Supervisor)
Mrs Lorraine McFarland (Clerical Officer)
Apologies: Ms Anna Lo MLA
The meeting opened at 11.05am in public session.
Apologies are detailed above.
2. Minutes of the meeting held on 13 September 2007
Agreed – the draft minutes were agreed.
3. Chairperson’s business
The Chairperson briefed Members on his informal meeting with the Minister on 19 September 2007, in which he raised the Committee’s concerns in relation to the briefing on the proposed Procurement Strategy given by Departmental officials at the meeting on 13 September 2007.
4. Statutory Rule laid in the Assembly
The Committee considered the following Statutory Rule which is subject to negative resolution and has been laid in the Assembly:
SR 2007/396 – The Social Security (Miscellaneous Amendments No.5) Regulations (NI) 2007
Question put and agreed:
“That the Committee for Social Development has considered Statutory Rule 2007
No. 396 The Social Security (Miscellaneous Amendments No.5) Regulations (NI) 2007 and subject to the Examiner’s report has no objection to the Rule.”
11.09am. Mr Cobain joined the meeting.
5. Procurement Strategy for the Social Housing Development Programme
Agreed – The Committee agreed a letter of response to the Minister in relation to the proposed Procurement Strategy for the Social Housing Development Programme.
6. Briefing on the Interdepartmental Affordability Review Implementation Group
The following officials from the Department for Social Development joined the meeting at 11.10am:
Heather Cousins – Director of Housing
Janis Hatchell – Housing Division
Ms Cousins briefed the Committee on the work of the Interdepartmental Affordability Review Implementation Group. This was followed by a question and answer session.
11.47am. Mr Burns joined the meeting.
12.06pm. Mr Maginness joined the meeting.
Ms Cousins agreed to provide Mrs McGill with details of plans for the Strabane and Omagh area in relation to the implementation of the Semple Review, as soon as this information became available.
The Chairperson thanked the officials for the briefing.
The officials left the meeting at 12.26pm.
Agreed – The Committee agreed a press release relating to its monitoring of progress on the work of the Interdepartmental Affordability Review Implementation Group.
i The Committee considered a letter from Lady Sylvia Hermon MP regarding the lack of immediate access to a main road for residents in Prior’s Lea in Holywood, and the consequences of this for emergency services and refuse collection.
Agreed – It was agreed to write to the Housing Executive about this matter.
ii The Committee considered a letter from Portstewart Community Vision regarding planning and housing issues. The Clerk informed Members that the Committee for Regional Development had also received the correspondence and was dealing with the strategic planning issues.
Agreed – It was agreed to write to the Housing Executive in relation to the Houses of Multiple Occupancy issues raised in the letter.
iii The Committee noted the Minister’s letter informing it on developments relating to the production of the draft Masterplan for the Crumlin Road Gaol/Girdwood Barracks regeneration site.
Agreed – It was agreed that the Clerk should arrange for the Committee to visit the Crumlin Road Gaol/Girdwood Barracks regeneration site and, if possible, hold a public Committee meeting on the site. The 4 October 2007 was mentioned as a suitable date.
iv The Committee noted the Minister’s letter advising of recent developments in relation to the advertising of gambling in the UK by foreign gambling operators.
v The Committee considered a copy of a letter that Jeffrey Donaldson, Chairperson of the Assembly and Executive Review Committee, had sent to the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, requesting that consideration be given to its role in monitoring the implementation of the Strategy Relating to Poverty and Social Exclusion, and to consider if it is perhaps a matter for the Social Development Committee.
Agreed – It was agreed to note the letter and await further information.
8. Forward Work Programme
The Committee noted the Forward Work Programme.
9. Any other business
10. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting of the Committee for Social Development will be held on Thursday, 27 September 2007 at 11.00am in Room 135 Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.35pm.