COMMITTEE FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
Wednesday 9th April 2008
ROOM 144, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Fred Cobain MLA (Chairperson)
Cathal Boylan MLA
Willie Clarke MLA
John Dallat MLA
Raymond McCartney MLA
Stephen Moutray MLA
George Robinson MLA
Jim Wells MLA
Brian Wilson MLA
Roisin Kelly (Assembly Clerk)
Clairita Frazer (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Pauline Devlin (Clerical Supervisor)
Annette Page (Clerical Officer)
Stephanie Galbraith (Researcher)
William Irwin MLA
John McCallister MLA
The Committee decided to hold the meeting in open session.
The meeting opened at 10.35 a.m. in open session.
Apologies were received from William Irwin and John McCallister.
Cathal Boylan joined the meeting at 10.36 a.m.
2. Draft Minutes of the meeting of 2 April 2008.
The minutes of the meeting held on 2 April 2008 were agreed.
3. Chairpersons Business.
Members noted that the Committee Chairperson and Clerk had attended a dinner with the board of the Utility Regulator and the Chairperson and Clerk of the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee.
Members agreed to invite the A26 Frocess Road Association to brief the Committee at a date to be agreed.
4. Matters Arising.
Members noted a list of questions agreed by Members at the meeting on 2 April 2008, and agreed to return to consider this issue at the meeting of 16 April 2008, and not 9 April 2008 as previously agreed.
Members noted a letter from the Minister for Regional Development informing the Committee that the strategic outline case for a rapid transit system for Belfast prepared by consultants KPMG has been received by the Department. Members agreed to write to the Minister regarding the timing of the delivery of the strategic outline case to the Committee.
Stephen Moutray joined the meeting at 10.48 a.m.
Members indicated that they wished to receive the strategic outline case document electronically, rather than in hard copy, and agreed to request briefing from Departmental officials on this issue.
Members noted a letter from Peter Matthews, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (NIAUR), to the Chairman of Northern Ireland Water, Chris Mellor, setting out the terms of reference for the NIAUR’s investigation into the mis-apportionment of costs, and noted a response to this letter from Katharine Bryan, Northern Ireland Water.
5. Accessible Transport Strategy Action Plan.
Department for Regional Development officials Alan Preston, Trevor Robinson and Gavin Hamilton joined the meeting at 10.59 a.m.
Raymond McCartney declared an interest as a family member is involved with a taxi association.
The Committee received briefing from officials of the Department for Regional Development on the Accessible Transport Strategy Action Plan, this was followed by a question and answer session on the issues raised in the briefing.
Members agreed to undertake further consideration of this issue, and if necessary, agreed to submit further questions for written response.
The Department undertook to provide information on disability access and concessionary fares in written form.
Department for Regional Development officials left the meeting at 11.38 a.m.
6. Draft Speed Management Policy: Departmental Briefing.
Roads Service officials Bob Cairns and Greg McClelland joined the meeting at 11.40 a.m.
The Committee received briefing from Roads Service officials, focusing on queries which had been identified by Members at the meeting of 2 April 2008.
Members agreed to write to the Department with any additional queries.
Stephen Moutray left the meeting at 11.52am.
Raymond McCartney left the meeting at 12.00pm.
Roads Service officials left the meeting at 12.00 p.m.
7. Water & Sewerage Services: Affordability.
Members noted receipt of submissions on the Assembly Research Services paper on the Affordability tariff from:
- Department of Regional Development;
- Anti Poverty Network;
- Advice NI; and
- Age Concern/Help the Aged (joint response);
- Consumer Council.
Members agreed to return to consider this issue upon receipt of the outstanding responses from the Department for Regional Development and Professor Paddy Hillyard.
8. Subordinate Legislation
Members noted the following new SL1s received:
- The Westlink (Busways) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Road Races (Ulster Rally) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Skegoneill Avenue, Belfast (Abandonment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Cycle Routes (Amendment No.4) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Upper Galliagh Road, Londonderry (Stopping-Up) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008; and
- The Parking Places on Roads (Omagh) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008.
Members indicated that they were content with the following SL1s noted at the meeting of 2 April 2008:
- The Waiting Restrictions (Moneyglass) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Parking Places on Roads (Newry) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Parking and Waiting Restrictions (Belfast) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Glencam Road, Omagh (Abandonment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Waiting Restrictions (Warrenpoint) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Loading Bays on Roads (Amendment No.6) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Loading Bays on Roads (Amendment No.7) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008; and
- The Road Races (Dungannon Bush) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008.
Members noted receipt of the following Statutory Rules which are not subject to any Assembly procedure:
- 137/2008 - The Extinguishment of Right to Use Vehicles on Roads (Belfast) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008.
- 148/2008 – The Extinguishment of Right to Use Vehicles on Roads (Montgomery Street, Belfast) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008.
- 151/2008 - The Bus Lane (Smith Street, Lisburn) (Revocation) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008.
- 150/2008 – The Waiting Restrictions (Eglantine Avenue, Belfast) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008.
- 152/2008 – The Roads (Speed Limit) (No.2) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008.
- 158/2008 – The One-Way Traffic (Spa, Ballynahinch) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008.
Members noted the following Statutory Rules subject to negative resolution:
- SR 2008/136 - The Ballyboley Road, Larne (Abandonment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008;
- SR 2008/135 – The Motorways Traffic Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008;
- SR 2008/149 – The B2 Silverwood Road, Lurgan (Abandonment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2008.
The Committee noted the following items of correspondence:
- Letter dated 1 April 2008 from DALO Alan Doherty, regarding the NCP Contract Review and the review of general parking enforcement policy issues.
- Email dated 2 April 2008 from the Centre for Asia Pacific Women in Politics (CAPWIP), and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UN-ISDR) inviting Members to attend the Third Global Congress of Women in Politics and Governance.
- Letter dated 3 April 2008 from the Regional Development Minister, Conor Murphy MP, MLA, regarding construction of the A1 Beech Hill to Cloghogue Dual Carriageway scheme. Members agreed to reply to the Minister seeking further information on this issue.
- Letter dated 3 April 2008 from Eleanor Gill, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Consumer Council (NICC), regarding the UK consultation on aviation duty, and attached briefing paper. Members agreed to invite the Consumer Council to brief Members on this issue on Wednesday 23 April 2008.
Members noted the following press releases:
- Press release dated 4 April 2008 from the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP), regarding a possible reduction in the cap on rates.
- Press release dated 8 April 2008 from Northern Ireland Water (NIW), regarding the upgrade to the sewerage infrastructure to meet the needs of the new Bangor Academy Integrated School on the Castle Park Road.
- Press release dated 8 April 2008 from the Utility Regulator, announcing the formal terms of reference for the investigation into NIW’s disclosure of information regarding the reapportionment of costs.
10. Any Other Business.
Members agreed that the Committee response to the Minister on the Review of Water and Sewerage Services Strand Two Report be published on the Committee web pages.
Members agreed that papers for the meeting of 16 April 2008 would be hand delivered on Monday 14 April 2008, rather than posted on Friday 11 April 2008.
The Committee agreed to forward all correspondence relating to the £3.4million underspend in the Department for Regional Development’s Signage and Lighting for the Home to School Bus Programme to the All Party Group for Road Safety for their consideration, and to keep them appraised of any future developments.
Willie Clarke left the meeting at 12.13pm.
Members agreed to write to the Department to seek clarification regarding the recognition of disabled badge holders from outside of Northern Ireland.
11. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting.
The next meeting will be at 10.30 a.m. on Wednesday 16 April 2008 in Room 144, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.14 p.m.