COMMITTEE FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
WEDNESDAY 04 NOVEMBER 2009
ROOM 21, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Fred Cobain MLA (Chairperson)
Michelle McIlveen MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Allan Bresland MLA
Willie Clarke MLA
Tommy Gallagher MLA
Raymond McCartney MLA
Ian McCrea MLA
George Robinson MLA
Brian Wilson MLA
Roisin Kelly (Assembly Clerk)
Trevor Allen (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Andrew Larmour (Clerical Supervisor)
Alison Ferguson (Clerical Officer)
Cathal Boylan MLA
Danny Kinahan MLA
The meeting commenced at 10.31am in open session.
Apologies are detailed above.
Members noted papers which were tabled for consideration later in the meeting.
2. Draft Minutes of Meeting held on 21 October 2009
Agreed : The minutes were agreed for publication on the Assembly’s website.
3. Matters Arising.
- Members noted correspondence from the Department on Public Transport Reform outlining the Department’s proposals to commence public consultation and public meetings on the reform proposals.
- The Committee noted correspondence from Northern Ireland Water detailing progress on the unresolved issues and key lessons learned following the Dunore Point “Boil Water” Incident on 14 April 2009.
- Members noted the Department’s response on its performance against PSA targets and efficiency delivery plans explaining its approach to meeting any borrowing requirements for the trust ports.
10.34am Mr Gallagher joined the meeting
10.35am Mr Wilson joined the meeting
- Agreed: Members noted the Departmental response to a request for information on the Devonshire Way, Belfast (Abandonment) Order (NI) 2009. Members also noted that a research paper will be produced on the general issue of abandonment of roads and footways and agreed to revisit this issue when the research paper becomes available.
10.35am Mr Robinson joined the meeting
- Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister in relation to committee engagement in European issues and agreed to forward the correspondence to the Department for comment.
- Members noted a Departmental response to a request for information on proposals to monitor and review the revised arrangements for winter services around rural schools.
- Agreed: Members noted correspondence from the Department on the P riorities for European Engagement End of Year Report and agreed to forward the correspondence to the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister.
- The Committee noted correspondence from River Faughan Anglers Ltd on environmental damage caused by contractors appointed by government departments and agreed to forward the correspondence to the Environment Committee for comment and that all future correspondence from River Faughan Anglers Ltd should be directed to the Department.
- Members noted correspondence from the Department providing further detail on the practical implications and anticipated costs for the ports sector arising from the Marine Strategy Framework Directive Draft Transposing Regulations.
- Agreed: Members noted Departmental correspondence providing an update on the Department’s outstanding Post Project Evaluations (PPEs) and agreed to forward the correspondence to the Committee for Finance and Personnel.
4. Committee Stage of the Water and Sewerage Services (Amendment) Bill 2009
Members noted a tabled paper in relation to evidence as part of the Committee Stage of the Bill.
Agreed: Members also noted correspondence from NIPSA on the proposals in the Bill and agreed to receive a briefing from NIPSA on the issued raised in its correspondence.
5. Progress on Trunk Road T8 Orders: Departmental Briefing
10.58am Mr McCartney joined the meeting
The Committee was briefed by Jim Beattie, Uel Wilson and David Millar of Roads Service on progress to date on the Trunk Road T8 Orders.
Agreed: Members agreed to write to Roads Service, Western Division, seeking clarification on the development and implementation of traffic management plans for this scheme, in particular the traffic in the Magherafelt area.
Agreed: Members further agreed to write to the Department on the issue of legal representation for individuals during inquiries; to write to the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) seeking clarification on the support services, including any assistance with legal representation, it provides to its members; and also to seek clarification on how this issue is dealt with in other devolved administrations.
6. Sustainable Transport Inquiry: Update and Revised Timetable
Agreed: Members received an update on the Sustainable Transport Inquiry and agreed that the update be published on the Assembly website and circulated to relevant stakeholders.
Agreed: Members noted a revised timetable for the inquiry and agreed that it be published on the Assembly website.
Agreed: Members noted a memo to the Assembly’s Statutory Committees requesting written evidence as part of the Inquiry and agreed that the memo be issued.
7. Response to the Finance and Personnel Committee on the Consultation on the Multiple Deprivation Measures
Members noted correspondence from the Department setting out its views on the above consultation and also received a briefing from Assembly Research Services on an analysis paper relating to the consultation. The researcher agreed to provide additional information on issues identified by the Committee.
Agreed: Members considered and agreed, subject to amendment, the Committee’s response to the Finance and Personnel Committee and agreed that it be issued.
8. Equality Unit Quarterly Report
Members noted the Department’s Equality Unit’s Quarterly Report.
9. Subordinate Legislation
Members noted the following Departmental proposals to make subordinate legislation:
- The Cycle Routes (Amendment No.2) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2010;
- The Parking and Waiting Restrictions (Portrush) (Amendment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2010;
- The Prohibition of Traffic (Drumbeg, Craigavon) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2010;
- The Parking Places on Roads (Disabled Persons’ Vehicles) (Amendment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2010;
- The Extinguishment of Right to Use Vehicles on Roads ( Belfast) (Amendment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2010; and
- The Redpoll Avenue, Lisburn (Abandonment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2010.
Members noted that the SL1 memos from the Department on the above proposals made no reference to their having been the subject of a public inquiry and that the Department does not, at this time, anticipate the need for a public inquiry. Members noted that the Department had confirmed that the police service and relevant local councils affected by the above proposals have been informed, and the Committee office has not received any comments from the relevant councils regarding these policy proposals.
Members consideredthe following Departmental proposals to make subordinate legislation, which had been noted at the Committee meeting on 21 October 2009:
- The Cycle Routes (Amendment) Order ( Northern Ireland) (2010);
- The Waiting Restrictions (Banbridge) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2010; and
- The Parking and Waiting Restrictions (Ballymoney) (Amendment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2010 .
Agreed: that the Committee write to the Department indicating its approval of the policy merits of these SL1s.
- Agreed: Members consideredcorrespondence from Northern Ireland Local Government Association ( NILGA) in relation to local government policy relationship and agreed that the Committee Clerk would provide the information requested.
- The Committee noted correspondence from the Department relating to the recommendations made by the OFMDFM Committee in its Inquiry into Child Poverty.
- Agreed: Members noted an analysis of sick absence in Northern Ireland Departments from the Finance and Personnel Committee and agreed to consider a research paper specific to the Department for Regional Development at a later meeting of the Committee.
- Members noted correspondence from Sustrans in relation to the Comber Greenway winning first prize in the European Greenways Award. Members also noted an associated Sustrans press release and a press release from the Belfast Telegraph dated 12 th October.
- The Committee noted the Department’s publication “Guidance on the preparation of Port Master Plans” that has been laid in the Assembly’s Business Office.
- Agreed: Members noted correspondence in relation to the emptying of septic tanks and further noted the Northern Ireland Water response on this issue and agreed to forward the response to the member of the public.
- The Committee noted correspondence from the Clerk of the Environment Committee and correspondence from the Department of the Environment in relation to the Taxis (2008 Act) (Commencement No 1) Order (NI) 2009.
- Members noted correspondence, and associated papers, from Sustainable Northern Ireland on its conference “Sense and Sustainability: Financing the path of sustainability in a tough economy”.
- Members noted correspondence detailing Translink’s proposed changes to the timetable between Belfast and Derry/Londonderry.
- The Committee noted correspondence and a written statement from the Minister for Regional Development on the Department’s Corporate Social Responsibility Policy.
- Agreed: Members noted correspondence from the Northern Ireland Office in relation to a consultation on increasing the penalties for Section 55 (Data Protection Act) offences and agreed to forward the correspondence to the Department for consideration.
Members noted the following press releases from the Department:
- “Progress on £4.7 Million investment in Banbridge”;
- “Ministers discuss way forward on review of Belfast city centre traffic issues”;
- “Murphy – public transport must be responsive to local and regional needs”; and
- “Progress on £13.2 Million investment in Belfast”.
Members noted the following invitation to the Chairperson:
- The Northern Ireland Ombudsman – 40 th Anniversary Event, Dunadry Hotel & Country Club on Wednesday 25 th November 2009 .
Members noted the following report:
- “Shared Space – A research journal on peace, conflict and community relations in Northern Ireland”, received on 22 October 2009.
11. Any Other Business
Agreed: Members considereda revised forward work programme for the Committee and agreed that the revised work programme should be published on the Assembly website.
Agreed: Members decided that, for the duration of the postal strike, meeting papers should be delivered to Members’ rooms on the Monday morning preceding Committee meetings.
12. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 11 November 2009 at 10.30 am in Room 21, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 11.44am.