COMMITTEE FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
Wednesday 07th May 2008
ROOM 144, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Fred Cobain MLA (Chairperson)
Cathal Boylan MLA
John Dallat MLA
William Irwin 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)
Willie Clarke MLA
John McCallister MLA
The Committee decided to open the meeting in closed session.
The meeting opened at 10.37 a.m. in closed session.
Apologies were received from Willie Clarke and John McCallister.
Jim Wells joined the meeting at 10.39 a.m.
2. Draft Minutes of the meeting of 30 April 2008.
The minutes of the meeting of 30 April 2008 were agreed.
3. Chairpersons Business.
Members decided to endorse the outcome of discussions at the informal lunch of Tuesday 6 May 2008, and to meet on Monday 19 May 2008 to consider correspondence and subordinate legislation.
Members noted that the Committee Clerk is working on some options to streamline business and will report back to the Committee in the coming weeks.
Members were informed that the Chairperson had attended an informal lunch with the Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Water.
4. Matters Arising.
Members noted that ‘without prejudice’ letters and advertisements had issued for the appointment of a specialist adviser to the Committee on water and sewerage services.
Members noted a draft work programme and agreed that it be published on the Assembly website.
Members noted that due to the Transport Ireland conference, there would be no Committee meeting on 14 May 2008.
Members noted a letter from the Minister for Regional Development on the Northern Ireland Water dividend.
Members noted receipt of a letter from the Department for Regional Development on the proposed Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2008.
Members noted receipt of a press release from Len O‘Hagan, Chairman of the Port of Belfast, commenting on the recommendations within the latest Varney Report into Northern Ireland’s Competitiveness.
Members noted an extract from the minutes of the Assembly Liaison Group meeting regarding the Minister for Regional Development’s announcement on the proposed consultation on the Rapid Transit System for Belfast.
5. VAT Treatment of Northern Ireland Water – Departmental Briefing.
Departmental officials Barbara Faloona and Andrew Grieve joined the meeting at 10.49 a.m.
The Committee received briefing from Departmental officials on the VAT status of Northern Ireland Water.
William Irwin joined the meeting at 10.55 a.m.
Departmental officials left the meeting at 11.02 a.m.
The Committee agreed to hold the rest of the meeting in public session.
The meeting continued in public session at 11.03 a.m.
6. Rapid Transit for Belfast – Departmental Briefing.
Departmental officials Mike Thompson and Gavin Hamilton joined the meeting at 11.05 a.m.
The Chairperson offered his apologies to the officials for the late rescheduling of this item of business from last weeks meeting to this week.
Departmental official Alan Preston joined the meeting at 11.08 a.m.
The Committee received briefing on the proposals for Rapid Transit for Belfast, followed by a question and answer session on the issues.
Brian Wilson joined the meeting at 11.30 a.m.
Officials agreed to provide further information in writing on various issues raised by the Committee.
Departmental officials left the meeting at 11.45 a.m.
The Committee agreed to issue a letter of response to those concerned residents who have written to the Committee regarding the proposed Rapid Transit route.
The Committee agreed to conduct a site visit of the proposed routes at a future date.
7. Quarry Products Association – Sustainable Construction Briefing.
Quarry Products Association representatives Gordon Best and Conor Jordan joined the meeting at 11.50 a.m.
The Committee received briefing from the Quarry Products Association representatives on sustainability issues in the construction industry, followed by a question and answer session on the issues.
Quarry Products Association representatives left the meeting at 12.07 p.m.
8. Whizzgo Car Club Briefing.
Whizzgo car club representatives Charlotte Morton and Michael Davis, and Barry Turley from Asitis Consulting, joined the meeting at 12.08 p.m.
The Committee received briefing from Whizzgo representatives on a pay-by-the-hour car club which they are launching in Belfast. This was followed by a question and answer session.
Whizzgo representatives left the meeting at 12.25 p.m.
9. Subordinate Legislation
Members noted the following new SL1s received:
- The Waiting Restrictions (Newry) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Roads (Speed Limit) (No.4) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008; and
- The Off-Street Parking (Amendment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008.
Members indicated that they were content with the following SL1s noted at the meeting of 30 April 2008:
- The Road Traffic (Traffic Wardens) (Revocation) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Loading Bays and Parking Places on Roads Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Parking Places on Roads (Fivemiletown) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Control of Traffic (Antrim) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Traffic Weight Restrictions (Amendment No.2) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Penalty Fares (Increase) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Waiting Restrictions (Cookstown) (Amendment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008; and
- The Cycle Routes Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008.
Departmental officials Ciaran Crilly and Alan Herron joined the meeting at 12.26.
The Committee received briefing on The Cross-Border Railway Services (Working Time) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2008.
Members indicated that they were content with the policy merits of The Cross-Border Railway Services (Working Time) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2008, andagreed to return to consider it at a later date. The Committee requested that the Department returns to brief the Committee upon completion of the consultation process.
Departmental officials left the meeting at 12.28 p.m.
Members noted receipt of the following Statutory Rules which are not subject to any Assembly procedure:
- 187/2008 - The Road Races (Cairncastle Hill Climb) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008; and
- 190/2008 – The Road Races (Tour of the Sperrins Rally) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008.
The Committee noted the following items of correspondence:
- Memo dated 29 February 2008, from Shane McAteer, Clerk to the Committee for Finance and Personnel, regarding an awareness workshop for MLAs on public procurement.
- Letter dated 7 April 2008 from the Utility Regulator, regarding their Sustainability Consultation document. Members agreed to return to consideration of a response following discussion with other Committees on the handling of the consultation on this cross-cutting issue.
- Email dated 28 April 2008, from Vincenta Leyden, Stakeholder Communications Manager of Northern Ireland Water (NIW), informing Members that they have appointed Pat McParland as the new Head of Communications for NIW.
- Email dated 30 April 2008, from Greg Irwin, Communications Manager for the Utility Regulator, seeking the Committee’s sponsorship for the launch of the Utility Regulator’s Annual Report 07/08, in the Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings. Members agreed that three Committee Members would sponsor the event in their individual capacity as MLAs.
- E-bulletin dated 2 May 2008, from the Sustainable Development Commission Northern Ireland.
- Email dated 2 May 2008, from Vincenta Leyden Stakeholder Communications Manager, NIW, responding to media speculation on Katharine Bryan’s position as Chief Executive. Members noted that a request for advance notification had been submitted to the Department and NIW.
- Letter dated 6 May 2008 from DALO Alan Doherty, regarding timetable for the publication of the DRD Corporate and Business Plan. Members noted that the Committee is scheduled to consider this issue in the coming weeks, agreed to write to the Department requesting clarification on the exact date for publication, and decided to request briefing in advance of publication.
11. Any Other Business.
There was no other business.
12. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting.
The next meeting will be at 12.00 p.m. on Monday 19 May 2008 in Room 135, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.35 p.m.