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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE IN ROOM 144, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS AT 2.00 PM ON THURSDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2002.
The minutes of the meetings were agreed.
Mr B Hutchinson joined the meeting at 2.22 p.m.
The Chairman welcomed Mr Jerome Burns, an official from the Department, to the meeting.
The Chairman reminded the Committee that when Clause 1 had been examined previously, Members had considered an amendment was appropriate and that Departmental officials had undertaken to check if the Minister would agree to the inclusion of such an amendment and if he was content to arrange for it to be drafted.
Mr Burns indicated the Minister was, indeed, content to arrange to include, as a new sub-section of Clause 1, provision for consultation on subordinate legislation along the lines suggested by the NICVA and the Law Centre. Mr Burns also confirmed that the Minister had agreed to arrange for an additional sub-section to be drafted and provided to the Committee.
Clause 1 was considered
Agreed: That the Committee is content with Clause 1, subject to the Minister making legislative provision for the consultation on relevant subordinate legislation, and on the basis that he has undertaken to arrange drafting of a new sub-section along the lines suggested by NICVA and the Law Centre.
The Chairman indicated that this completed the Committee's clause by clause consideration of the Bill and the Clerk was asked to prepare a draft report for consideration by the Committee in due course.
The Chairman thanked Mr Burns and he left the meeting at 2.35 p.m.
The Chairman welcomed Officials to the meeting at 2.37 p.m.
Mr Derek Baker Deputy Secretary
Mr Michael Sands Deputy Director of Housing
Mr Chris Morris Statistician
Mr Baker made a brief presentation concerning the Needs and Effectiveness Evaluation on Housing.
The question and answer session is summarised at Annex A. Officials agreed to submit relevant papers outlining the Department's views on the Evaluation.
Following discussion, the Committee agreed that the Chairman should write to the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and to the Finance Minister.
The Chairman thanked the Officials and they left the meeting at 3.00 p.m.
The Committee noted the updated Forward Plan of Business.
Agreed: The Committee was content with the Department's proposal to make a Statutory Rule in respect of the following:-
The Social Fund (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002
The Committee noted the letter from the Minister, dated 28 August, advising there will be a delay in the evaluation report on the Warm Homes Scheme.
Members agreed the terms of the letter be sent to the Chairman Committee for Employment and Learning expressing the Committee's reservations about the Action Plan in respect of the Taskforce on Employability and long-Term Unemployment.
The Committee noted the invitation to the formal launch of the Homeless Strategy and Services Review Final Report scheduled for 10.00 a.m. on Tuesday 24 September in the Indian Centre, 86 Clifton Street, Belfast. Members were asked to advise the Clerk if they planned to attend.
Members noted the letter from the Minister, dated 2 September, regarding the use of Noble Indices within the Department.
Supporting People Seminar on Interim Contracts
Members noted the letter, dated 30 July, from the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Association concerning the Supporting People Seminar scheduled for Wednesday 18 September and agreed the Chairman should address the seminar.
Response to Devolution
The Committee noted the letter from Mr John Hunter, dated 9 September 2002 and agreed to keep arrangements for meetings with the Department under review.
25th Anniversary of Clanmil Housing Association Limited
Members noted the invitation from the Minister to a luncheon in the Long Gallery on 10 October to celebrate the 25 anniversary of Clanmil Housing Association. Members were asked to advise the Clerk if they planned to attend. It was agreed that the start of the Committee's meeting on 10 October should be deferred until 2.30pm.
11. Date of Next Meeting
The next Committee meeting will be at 1.30 p.m. on Tuesday 17 September in Room 135 Parliament Buildings.
Mr F Cobain
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