COMMITTEE FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
Wednesday 25 June 2008
ROOM 21, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Jim Wells MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Cathal Boylan MLA
John Dallat MLA
William Irwin MLA
John McCallister MLA
Stephen Moutray MLA
George Robinson MLA
Brian Wilson MLA
In Attendance: Roisin Kelly (Assembly Clerk)
Clairita Frazer (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Pauline Devlin (Clerical Supervisor)
Annette Page (Clerical Officer)
Apologies: Fred Cobain MLA (Chairperson)
Willie Clarke MLA
Raymond McCartney MLA
The Committee decided to begin the meeting in open session.
The meeting opened at 10.40 a.m. in open session.
Apologies were received from Fred Cobain, Willie Clarke and Raymond McCartney.
Draft Minutes of the Meeting of 18 June 2008.
The minutes of the meeting held on 18 June 2008 were agreed.
The Committee noted receipt of a letter from the Department advising of its intention to consult with the Committee on the review of the Regional Transportation Strategy. Members agreed to seek briefing from the Department on this issue in early September, and to request notification in advance of this, if an issues paper was ready before September 2008.
Brian Wilson joined the meeting at 10.45 a.m.
The Committee noted receipt of a letter from the Department for Regional Development on any funding applications made to DRD by Sustrans, following the request by the Environment Committee which Members noted at the meeting of 4 June 2008. Members agreed to forward a copy of this response to the Committee for the Environment.
The Committee considered a draft response to the Department for Regional Development on the issues raised during a briefing on progress on Ports Policy.
Members agreed that this response would be cleared by the Deputy Chairperson for issue to the Department and publication on the Committee web pages.
Members considered news articles on water charge exemptions for churches and charitable organisations in Manchester and Scotland, as well as an extract from the Land and Property Services website. Members agreed to write to the Minister for Regional Development seeking clarification on a number of aspects of this issue, the cost of providing similar exemptions and any consideration of this issue undertaken by his Department.
William Irwin joined the meeting at 11.00 a.m.
Cathal Boylan left the meeting at 11.00 a.m.
The Committee considered a press release dated 21 April 2008 from the Department for Regional Development regarding the new contractor for the Rathlin Ferry service, as well as some news articles on the issue.
Mr Wells declared an interest on the grounds that he is acquainted with the Captain of the ferry, and is a frequent user of the service.
Members agreed to request written briefing from the Department on various issues, and to be kept informed of progress on the service when it is in place.
Departmental Briefing – Public Transport Reform.
Departmental officials Brian White, Doreen Brown and Sean Johnston joined the meeting at 11.10 a.m.
The Committee received briefing from Departmental officials on the strategic business case on public transport reform.
John McCallister joined the meeting at 11.35 a.m.
Brian Wilson left the meeting at 11.39 a.m.
Departmental officials left the meeting at 11.40 a.m.
The Committee noted receipt of a letter from the Minister for Regional Development seeking its views on this issue.
The Committee agreed to write to the Minister noting the work to date on the strategic business case and suggesting that the Committee responds in more detail in September 2008. The Committee agreed to commission a research paper on this issue from Assembly Research and Library Services, and decided to invite key stakeholders to a briefing event in September 2008. Members noted the indicative programme of work for consideration of this issue
Departmental Briefing – Proposed Roads (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill.
Departmental officials Dr. Andrew Murray, Harvey Hamilton, Aileen Gault and Gerry Anketell joined the meeting at 11.46 a.m.
The Committee received briefing from Departmental officials on the proposed Roads (Miscellaneous) Provisions Bill, followed by a question and answer session on the issue.
John Dallat left the meeting at 11.50 a.m.
Cathal Boylan rejoined the meeting at 11.52 a.m.
Brian Wilson rejoined the meeting at 11.58 a.m.
The Committee noted the draft timetable for this legislation, and decided to return to consider the issue on receipt of the draft consultation document in September 2008.
Departmental officials left the meeting at 12.05 p.m.
Members noted the following new SL1s received:
Members indicated that they were content with the following SL1s, subject to the issues agreed at the meeting of the 18 June 2008, noted at the meeting of that day:
- The Roads (Speed Limit) (No.5) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Moira Road, Glenavy, (Stopping-Up) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Traffic Weight Restrictions (Amendment No.3) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Parking Places (Disabled Persons’ Vehicles) (Amendment No.6) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Parking Places on Roads (Dungannon) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008; and
- The Parking and Waiting Restrictions ( Belfast) (Amendment No.2) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008.
- The Parking Places on Roads (Newtownstewart) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Off-Street Parking Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Donegall Quay, Belfast (Abandonment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Waiting Restrictions (Rathfriland) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Parking Places on Roads (Strabane) (Amendment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008 ;
- The Waiting Restrictions (Portstewart) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008;
- The Waiting Restrictions (Portrush) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008; and
- The T7 (Broadbridge) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008.
The Committee received briefing from Departmental officials on outstanding issues with regard to the Old Belfast Road, Bangor (Abandonment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008. Members agreed to schedule further consideration of this matter on 2 July 2008.
- Members noted receipt of an agenda, dated 26 June 2008, for the British-Irish Council Accessible Transport Working group.
John Dallat rejoined the meeting at 12.35 p.m.
- Members noted receipt of a letter dated 20 June 2008, from the Climate Change Coalition Northern Ireland (CCCNI) regarding their briefing at the Regional Development Committee meeting held on 30 April 2008. Members agreed to take an individual view on the question of support for the UK Climate Change Bill.
- Members noted receipt of a letter dated 20 June 2008, from the DALO, regarding the provision of updates on the Department for Regional Development’s Corporate and Business Plan.
- Members noted receipt of a letter dated 13 June 2008, from the Permanent Secretary for the Department for Regional Development, regarding the publication of the Department’s Corporate Plan 2008-11 and Business Plan 2008-09.
- Members noted receipt of a letter dated 18 June 2008, from Noel Williams, Head of the Energy Saving Trust Northern Ireland, thanking the Committee for the opportunity to brief Members at the meeting held on 18 June 2008.
- Members noted receipt of correspondence dated 23 June 2008, from Vincenta Leyden Stakeholder Communications Manager for Northern Ireland Water (NIW) regarding the publication of NIW’s Annual Report 2007-2008 in July, and requesting the opportunity to pre-brief the Committee on the contents of the report. Members decided that the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson would receive oral briefing on behalf of the Committee on 8 July, that the time and place of the meeting would be circulated and attendance would be open for all Members to attend. Members agreed that any written briefing would be circulated to all Members.
- Members noted receipt of a briefing from Nicholas Russell, Public Policy Manager of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, regarding an Oral Question from Mr Lunn MLA, asking the Minister of the Environment to outline the new money he plans to spend to increase road safety. Members agreed to forward the correspondence to the Department for Regional Development for comment.
- Members noted the proposals for September Monitoring, and agreed to return to consider correspondence on this topic at the meeting of 2 July 2008.
- Members noted receipt of an email dated 22 June 2008, from Peace For All regarding Tiananmen.
Any Other Business.
The Committee agreed to delegate authority to the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson during periods of recess to submit views on the releasing or withholding of information in any non-routine / contentious FoI requests received. The Committeeagreed to be advised of any such requests, the views expressed by the Chairperson and/or Deputy Chairperson and the response issued by the FoI Unit, at the first available meeting following the recess period.
Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting.
The next meeting will be at 10.30 a.m. on Wednesday 2 July 2008 in Room 21, Parliament Buildings.
The Deputy Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.45 p.m.
FRED COBAIN MLA
Chairperson, Committee for Regional Development .