COMMITTEE FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
THURSDAY 27 MAY 2010
CENTENARY ROOM 6, SLIEVE DONARD HOTEL, NEWCASTLE
Mr Simon Hamilton MLA (Chairperson)
Mr Mickey Brady MLA
Mr Jonathan Craig MLA
Mr David Hilditch MLA
Mr Fra McCann MLA
Mr Peter McCallion (Assembly Clerk)
Mrs Clarita Frazer (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Mr Stewart Kennedy (Clerical Supervisor)
Ms Allison Ferguson (Clerical Officer)
Mr Billy Armstrong MLA
Mrs Mary Bradley MLA
Mr Alex Easton MLA
Mr Tommy Gallagher MLA
Ms Anna Lo MLA
Ms Carál Ní Chuilín MLA
The meeting began in public session at 16.30pm.
Apologies were as indicated above.
2. Chairperson’s Business
2.1 The Chairperson welcomed Clairita Frazer as the new Assistant Clerk and Stewart Kennedy as the new Clerical Supervisor to the Social Development Committee.
3. Draft minutes of the meetings held on 18 and 20 May 2010
Agreed: The minutes of the meetings held on Tuesday 18 May and Thursday 20 May 2010 were agreed.
4. Matters Arising
There were no matters arising.
5. Subordinate Legislation
5.1 The Committee considered the proposed Statutory Rule: The Personal Accounts Delivery Authority Winding Up (Consequential Provisions) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2010.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content for the Department to make the Statutory Rule.
6.1 The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister to the Chairperson providing an update on the renewal initiatives being developed for the Upper Long Streets and Parkside Areas of North Belfast.
6.2 The Committee noted correspondence from the Department on the implementation of the Regeneration Framework for the Northside Urban Village (North West Quarter Part Two) Belfast City Centre.
6.3 The Committee considered correspondence from the Department on the report by the Northern Ireland Housing Council entitled “Why the Private Sector Should Build to Lifetime Homes Standards”.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek an update in the autumn when the Joint Review of Housing Adaptations report is to be published.
6.4 The Committee noted correspondence from the Department on its use of the Performance and Efficiency Delivery Unit.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward this response to the Committee for Finance and Personnel for information.
6.5 The Committee considered a copy of the 4 th Annual Report of the Interdepartmental Group on Fuel Poverty entitled: Tackling Fuel Poverty.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to return to this report in the context of a future Departmental briefing on the Fuel Poverty strategy.
6.6 The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel in relation to its Inquiry into the Role of the NI Assembly in Scrutinising the Executive’s Budget and Expenditure.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to submit a response to the Committee for Finance and Personnel restating the views previously expressed in respect of in-year monitoring and the budgeting process.
The Clerk undertook to circulate a copy of the Hansard transcript of the relevant Committee for Finance and Personnel briefing on Wednesday 26 May 2010.
6.7 The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel in relation to a proposed uplift in the Carer Premium of the low income rate relief scheme.
6.8 The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel on the number of external advisors employed in Northern Ireland Departments.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to request details from the Department on external advisors employed and remuneration details of same.
6.9 The Committee noted an invitation to the launch of the Commission on the Future for Housing Report on Friday 28 May 2010.
6.10 The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Enterprise Trade and Investment in relation to the Committee Stage of the Caravans Bill.
6.11 The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Justice in relation to the Tribunal Reform Programme and the transfer of responsibilities to the Department of Justice.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that whilst generally content with the proposals it would suggest that regular summary reports of the performance of the tribunal service be published which set out performance against agreed customer-based targets for the service broken down by each decision-making department.
6.12 The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety on the Sunbeds Bill.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward this correspondence to the Minister for Social Development.
6.13 The Committee noted various items of miscellaneous correspondence from the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, Building Construction Design and the Participation Network.
7. Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Bill - Departmental Briefing
The following officials joined the meeting at 4.43pm:
Mr Henry Johnston Director, Urban Regeneration Strategy, DSD;
Mr Liam Quinn Social Policy Unit; DSD; and
Mr Tom Bowler Social Policy, DSD.
Mr David Hilditch declared an interest as a member of the Carrick Amateur Social Club and Mr Fra McCann declared an interest as a member of the Irish National Foresters Club.
The officials provided a briefing on the Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Bill. This was followed by a question and answer session.
The Chairperson thanked the officials for the briefing .
The officials left the meeting at 5.43pm.
7.1 Royal Exchange Project
Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Clerk should write to the Department seeking clarification on the Royal Exchange project and the sequencing of regeneration projects in Belfast City Centre.
8. Forward Work Programme
Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content with the Forward Work Programme.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that owing to the Bank Holiday, Committee meeting papers should be delivered to Members on Tuesday 1 June 2010.
9. Any Other Business
9.1 Conference of the Isles
Agreed: The Clerk undertook to provide Members with a copy of the presentation slides used at the Chartered Institute of Housing Conference of the Isles.
10. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting is to be held on Thursday 3 June 2010 at 10:00am in Room 135, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 5.46pm.