COMMITTEE FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
WEDNESDAY 11 NOVEMBER 2009
ROOM 21, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Fred Cobain MLA (Chairperson)
Michelle McIlveen MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Cathal Boylan MLA
Willie Clarke MLA
Tommy Gallagher MLA
Danny Kinahan MLA
Raymond McCartney MLA
Ian McCrea MLA
Brian Wilson MLA
Roisin Kelly (Assembly Clerk)
Trevor Allen (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Andrew Larmour (Clerical Supervisor)
Alison Ferguson (Clerical Officer)
Allan Bresland MLA
George Robinson MLA
The meeting commenced at 10.33am in open session.
Apologies are detailed above.
Members noted papers which were tabled for consideration later in the meeting.
10.38am The Chairperson adjourned the meeting
11.32am The meeting resumed in open session
11.32am Mr Kinahan, Mr Boylan and Mr McCartney joined the meeting
2. Draft Minutes of Meeting held on 4 November 2009
Agreed : The minutes were agreed for publication on the Assembly’s website.
3. Matters Arising
- Agreed: Members noted correspondence from the Department on the issue of public taxis in Belfast and agreed to respond to the Department requesting clarification on the site surveys mentioned in the letter and also requesting the Department’s comments on correspondence received from the Environment Committee in relation to the Taxis Act. The Committee also agreed to forward the Departmental correspondence to Belfast Public Hire Coalition and to the Committee for the Environment for information.
- Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from CCS Surveying in relation to Phase 3 Domestic Metering (NI) and agreed to forward the correspondence to the Department for Regional Development for response directly to CCS Surveying and also agreed that all future correspondence from CCS Surveying should be directed to the Department. Members also agreed to write to CCS Surveying in these terms.
- Agreed: Members noted the Department’s response to a Committee request for information on its arrangements for managing EU issues and agreed to forward the correspondence to the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister .
- Members noted correspondence from Minister Conor Murphy MP, MLA responding to the Committee’s request for information on the damage to the road network caused by environmental factors.
- Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the Department for Regional Development clarifying issues raised in correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding potential discrepancies in the performance reporting systems in individual departments. Members agreed to forward the correspondence to the Committee for Finance and Personnel.
- Members noted a Departmental response to a request for additional information on processes for resolving billing disputes between Northern Ireland Water and its customers.
4. Committee Stage of the Water and Sewerage Services (Amendment) Bill 2009
The Committee took evidence from Richard Pengelly and Adrian Arbuthnot from the Department of Finance and Personnel. The session was recorded by Hansard.
12.06pm Mr McCrea left the meeting
The Committee took evidence from John Corey, Peter Bunting and Damian Bannon from the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (NIC-ICTU). The session was recorded by Hansard.
The officials offer their apologies for any confusion caused by their correspondence which was sent as correspondence from NIPSA but should have been issued in their capacity as NIC-ICTU representatives.
12.17pm Miss McIlveen left the meeting
12.24pm Mr McCrea returned to the meeting
12.32pm The meeting moved into closed session
12.41pm The meeting resumed in open session
12.42pm Mr Kinahan and Mr Gallagher left the meeting
5. Septic Tanks: Research Paper
Members noted the following papers:
- A research paper and additional information from Assembly Research Services on the use of Septic Tanks in Northern Ireland;
- Correspondence and information leaflet from Northern Ireland Water outlining its services and delivery performance; and
- Correspondence from a Member of the public on problems encountered in relation to septic tanks.
The Committee received a briefing on the research paper from Assembly Research Services.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek addition information from Assembly Research Services on a number of issues raised during the briefing. The Committee and also agreed to write to the Department for Regional Development, Northern Ireland Water and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland on issues raised during the briefing session.
6. Subordinate Legislation
Members noted the following Departmental proposals to make subordinate legislation:
- The One-Way Traffic ( Belfast) (Amendment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2010;
- The Waiting Restrictions (Newry) (Amendment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2010; and
- The Roads (Speed Limit) 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 4 November 2009:
- 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.
Agreed: that the Committee writes to the Department indicating that it is content with the policy merits of these SL1s.
- Members notedcorrespondence from the Inclusive Mobility and Transport Advisory Committee (IMTAC) in relation to its statement on “Shared Surface Streets” .
- The Committee noted correspondence from Minister Conor Murphy MP, MLA on Directive 2008/57/EC on the interoperability of the rail system within the European Community. Members also noted that a briefing on this issue is scheduled for 18 November 2009.
- Agreed: Members noted correspondence from a member of the public on consultation work on the Ballykelly Bypass and agreed to forward the correspondence to the Department for Regional Development for comment.
- Agreed: Members noted correspondence from the Department for Regional Development on the Department for the Environment’s Clean Neighbourhoods Bill and the issue of alleygating. The Committee agreed to receive a briefing on this issue and also consented to the Committee office forwarding any request for briefing from the Environment Committee directly to the Department.
- The Committee noted correspondence from the Quarry Products Association Northern Ireland (QPANI) relating to a carbon calculator for asphalt roads.
- Agreed: Members noted correspondence from Strategic Planning and PA Duffy, Solicitors, in relation to the proposed Rose Energy Incinerator at Glenavy and agreed to forward the correspondence to the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development for consideration.
Members noted the following newsletter:
- “Commission approves three investigation reports” – Equality Commission.
Members noted the following report:
“Delivery of the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy – The second report of the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Group 2005-2009”.
Members noted the following press releases from the Department:
- “Progress on £7.4 Million investment in Armagh”;
- “Progress on £8.3 Million investment in Lisburn”;
- “Progress on £4.6 Million roads investment in Strabane”;
- “Progress on £5.2 Million roads investment in Ards”; and
- “Minister welcomes water quality report”.
Members also noted the following press release from Northern Ireland Water:
- “ Northern Ireland Water welcomes continued improvement in water quality“.
8. 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 agreed that the Committee should hold its meeting on 2 December at the Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen, and that a site visit to a road surfacing scheme should take place at Maguiresbridge, Co. Fermanagh following the meeting.
9. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting
12.58pm Mr Gallagher returned to the meeting
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 18 November 2009 at 10.30 am in Room 21, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.59pm.