COMMITTEE FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
Wednesday 23rd April 2008
ROOM 144, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Fred Cobain MLA (Chairperson)
Cathal Boylan MLA
Willie Clarke MLA
John Dallat MLA
John McCallister MLA
Raymond McCartney MLA
Stephen Moutray MLA
George Robinson MLA
Jim Wells MLA
Brian Wilson MLA
Roisin Kelly (Assembly Clerk)
Oliver Bellew (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Clairita Frazer (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Pauline Devlin (Clerical Supervisor)
Annette Page (Clerical Officer)
Stephanie Galbraith (Researcher)
William Irwin MLA
The Committee decided to hold the meeting in open session.
The meeting opened at 10.40 a.m. in open session.
Apologies were received from William Irwin
Brian Wilson joined the meeting at 10.45 a.m.
2. Draft Minutes of the meeting of 9 April 2008.
The minutes of the meeting held on 16 April 2008 were agreed.
3. Chairpersons Business.
The Committee agreed to invite car club WhizzGo to brief Members on the overall concept of the business, and plans for the company in the Belfast area in advance of their May launch.
The Chair reminded Members they are able to bring any relevant issues to the Committee for discussion. For the purpose of scheduling, Members were asked when possible to inform the Committee Clerk in advance.
4. Matters Arising.
Members considered a draft response to the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding Departmental submissions to the statutory Committees on quarterly monitoring rounds, and agreed to issue the response.
John McCallister joined the meeting at 10.50am
Members considered a draft response to the UK Aviation Duty consultation, and agreed to issue the response to Her Majesty’s Treasury, the Department for Regional Development, and to place the response on the Committee website.
The Committee noted receipt of a paper, commenting on the Research and Library Services paper on the Affordability Tariff, from Paddy Hillyard, former chair of the Independent Water Review Panel.
The Committee noted receipt of a consultation document from the Department for Regional Development on Free Travel for People aged 60-64, and the draft Equality Impact Assessment on the proposal to extend the Northern Ireland concessionary fares scheme to people aged 60-64 years. Members agreed to write to IMTAC, Help the Aged and Age Concern seeking their views on the proposals in the consultation document.
Members considered a paper from the Clerk, setting out the draft Terms of Reference for a special advisor to assist the Committee in addressing the outstanding issues from Strand One and Strand Two of the Independent Water Review Panel report. Members agreed the draft Terms of Reference and criteria, noted the indicative timescale, and agreed to return to finalise the terms of reference upon receipt of advice from the procurement office and central committee office.
5. A26 Frocess Road Association Briefing
Representatives of the A26 Frocess Raod Association joined the meeting at 11.08am
The Committee received briefing from Association representatives on their concerns over the proposed dualling of the 7km stretch of the A26 from Glarryford to Drones Road junction.
Stephen Moutray joined the meeting at 11.13am
Association representatives left the meeting at 11.40am
Members decided to request further information on the scheme from the Department, in particular, on the estimated financial costs of each of the proposed routes for a dual carriageway on the A26 Frocess road between Glarryford and the Drones road junction. The Committee agreed to invite the Department and the Association to brief the Committee at a later date.
Mr George Robinson MLA, expressed his support for the Association.
6. Ports Policy: Briefing on progress on the development of legislation and guidance.
Department for Regional Development officials Brian White and Peter Barbour joined the meeting at 11.45am.
The Committee noted progress to date, and officials agreed to consult with the Committee in advance of public consultation.
The Committee received briefing from officials outlining the Department’s actions and timetable for progressing Ports Policy legislation and guidance.
John McCallister left the meeting at 11.50am.
Department for Regional Development officials left the meting at 11.58am.
7. Briefing on Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation’s Review of Northern Ireland Water’s Strategic Business Plan.
Executives from NIAUR joined the meeting at 12.00pm.
The Committee received briefing from NIAUR executives on their findings and recommendations from their review of NIW’s Strategic Business Plan.
Brian Wilson left the meeting at 12.24pm.
John McCallister rejoined the meeting at 12.35pm.
Brian Wilson rejoined the meeting at 12.40pm.
Willie Clarke left the meeting at 12.40pm.
Executives from NIAUR left the meeting at 12.45pm.
Willie Clarke rejoined the meeting at 12.45pm.
Members decided to request a Hansard transcript of the briefing from NIAUR executives.
The Committee agreed to attend the NIAUR seminar on the 2010 pricing review, and decided to request further information.
8. Efficiency Delivery Plans 2008- 2011 Briefing.
Department for Regional Development officials Nigel McCormick and Pat Delaney joined the meeting at 12.47pm.
The Committee received briefing from Departmental officials on each efficiency measure in the Efficiency Delivery Plan.
Cathal Boylan rejoined the meeting at 12.50pm
Stephen Moutray left the meeting at 13.06pm
During the question and answer session, officials agreed to provide further information in relation to several of the efficiency measures discussed. Members decided to return to the issue on receipt of the supplementary information.
Department for Regional Development officials left the meeting at 13.15pm
9. Subordinate Legislation
Members noted the following new SL1s received:
- The Road Races (Glens of Antrim Stages Rally) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Parking Places (Disabled Persons’ Vehicles) (Amendment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
Members indicated that they were content with the following SL1s noted at the meeting of 16 April 2008:
- The Parking Places on Roads (Warrenpoint) (Amendment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Roads (Variable Speed Limits at Schools) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Access Road adjoining Cavan Road, Dungannon (Abandonment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Road Races (Croft Hill Climb) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Little King Street (Abandonment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Road Races ( North West Supermoto) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008; and
- The Road Races (The Tour of the Sperrins Rally) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008
Members decided to defer consideration of the following SL1 pending receipt of further information from the Department:
- The Old Belfast Road, Bangor (Abandonment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008
The Committee decided to write to the Department seeking clarification on the publication and availability of the Independent Inspector’s Report arising from the public inquiry.
Members noted receipt of the following Statutory Rule which is not subject to any Assembly procedure:
- 176/2008 - The Parking Places (Disabled Persons’ Vehicles) (Amendment No.2) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008. Members may recall this was noted as an SL1 on 9 January 2008 and Members indicated they were content at the Committee meeting on 16 January 2008.
Members noted receipt of the following Statutory Rule which is subject to negative resolution:
- 173/2008 - The Antiville Road and Ballymena Road, Larne (Abandonment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008.
The Committee decided to write to the Department seeking clarification on why the Committee had not received advance notification of the resurfacing work to be carried out on the A6 Toome by-pass, and why this was required given the relatively young age of the road.
The Committee notedthe following items of correspondence:
- Letter dated 10 April 2008, from Damien Martin Clerk to Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) regarding transport and disability, together with a copy of the submission the Committee for OFMDFM received from the Omnibus Partnership, detailing some experiences of disabled people on transport services in Northern Ireland, and a copy of the research paper presented to the Committee. Members agreedto write to the Committee for OFMDFM expressing their support for the early progression of the regulations on disability discrimination and transport. The Committee also agreed to write to the Regional Development Minister requesting information on the Department’s actions and progress to be made on the early progression of the regulations on disability discrimination and transport.
- Letter dated 10 April 2008, from the Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland enclosing a copy of their Business plan 2008-09. Members agreed to write to the Criminal Justice Inspection advising that the Committee noted the Business plan.
- Letter dated 10 April 2008, from the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDDI) enclosing a copy of its Strategic Plan (2008-2011). Membersagreed to write to CARDDI acknowledging receipt of the plan.
- Email dated 21 April 2008, from the Consumer Council Northern Ireland advising people about forgotten bank accounts.
- Letter dated 21 April 2008, from DALO Alan Doherty confirming that a written update on the Regional Innovation Strategy Action Plan will be provided to the Committee for September 2008.
- Letter dated 21 April 2008, from Regional Development Minister, Conor Murphy MP, MLA, regarding road signage for the A4 Dungannon to Ballygawley Road, and road safety outside schools. This letter is provided in response to a query from Mr Robert McAllister. Members agreed to forward the letter to the Committee for the Environment and Mr Robert McAllister for information.
- Email dated 21 April 2008, from The Ulster Wildlife Trust and WWF Northern Ireland inviting Members to attend the launch of the Northern Ireland Marine Protected Areas Project report on 1 May 2008, in Queens University Belfast. Members may wish to note the event. Members agreed to acknowledge receipt of this invite
11. Any Other Business.
Mr Wells MLA, requested clarification on progress made on seeking specialist advice on the proposal from the Great Northern Railway Company (Ireland) Ltd for a Light Rail System in the Greater Belfast Area.
Mr Wells MLA, expressed concern that the strategic outline business case for the Belfast rapid transit network did not take into account local use of the Bloomfield route way. Members agreed to write to the Department seeking clarification on the proposed route given its use by local people as a cycle route.
Mr Wells MLA, inquired on plans to invite the Belfast Metropolitan Residents Group (BMRG) to brief the Committee.
Mr Boylan MLA, inquired as to whether housing distribution figures for rural and urban areas had been received from the Department.
Willie Clarke left the meeting at 13.24pm
12. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting.
The next meeting will be at 10.30 a.m. on Wednesday 30 April 2008 in Room 144, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 13.26 p.m.