COMMITTEE FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
WEDNESDAY 25 NOVEMBER 2009
ROOM 21, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Fred Cobain MLA (Chairperson)
Michelle McIlveen MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Allan Bresland MLA
Willie Clarke 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)
Cathal Boylan MLA
Tommy Gallagher MLA
George Robinson MLA
The meeting commenced at 10.43am 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 18 November 2009
Agreed : The minutes were agreed for publication on the Assembly’s website.
3. Matters Arising
- Members noted a paper from Assembly Research Services detailing further information requested on the issue of the Department of Finance and Personnel’s consultation on the Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measures 2009.
- The Committee noted correspondence from the Department for Regional Development in response to a request for further information on the Trunk Road T8 Orders.
- Members noted correspondence from Northern Ireland Water in relation to charges associated with watermains connections.
- Agreed: Members noted correspondence from The Graham Bolton Planning Partnership Limited 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.
- Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the Department for Regional Development on the Northern Ireland Office’s consultation on increasing the penalties for offences under Section 55 of the Data Protection Act and agreed to forward the correspondence to the Northern Ireland Office.
- Agreed: Members noted correspondence from the Department for Regional Development on the issue of Ports Policy and agreed to schedule a briefing on the issue for 9 December 2009.
4. Committee Stage of the Water and Sewerage Services (Amendment) Bill 2009
10.47am The meeting moved into closed session
The Committee considered a draft Report on the Committee Stage of the Water and Sewerage Services (Amendment) Bill, paragraph by paragraph.
The Committee agreed the body of the Report as follows:
Paragraphs 1 - 2, read and agreed.
Paragraphs 3 - 11, read and agreed.
10.49am Mr McCartney joined the meeting
Paragraphs 12 - 16, read and agreed.
Paragraphs 17 - 28, read and agreed subject to the amendment of paragraph 19.
Agreed: Members decided to take forward the clause by clause scrutiny of the Bill at the Committee meeting on 9 December 2009. Members also decided to consider a revised version of the report, taking account of suggested amendments, and the associated appendices, at the meeting of 9 December 2009.
10.55am The meeting returned in open session
5. Departmental briefing on the Broadway Underpass flooding report
The Chairperson informed Members that he had met with officials on this matter on the morning of 24 November 2009, in advance of the Minister’s statement to the Assembly on the issue.
Members noted Amey Plc’s “Independent report on the flooding incident on 16 August 2008”. The Committee received an update briefing from John White, Mark McPeak and Roy Spiers of Roads Service and Ken Harland of Amey Plc on developments since the publication of the 2008 report and progress on the recommendations contained in the report.
6. Public Service Agreement (PSA) and Business Plan Targets and Efficiency Delivery Plans 2008-11; Half Year Monitoring for 2009-10
Members noted the following papers:
- Correspondence from the Department for Regional Development (DRD) dated 17 November 2009;
- DRD PSA & Business Plan Targets 2009-10 Monitoring Report; and
- Update on DRD’s progress on its efficiency delivery plans.
Agreed: Members agreed to request further information, from the Department, on the PSA and Business Plan target relating to Water Order consents.
Agreed: Members also agreed to request further information, from the Department, on the budgetary constraints and operational issues cited as causing a delay in the achievement of the target for the Knockmore-Lurgan line project, and to request more details on the timetable for achieving this target.
7. Subordinate Legislation
Members noted the following Departmental proposals to make subordinate legislation:
- The Waiting Restrictions (Londonderry) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2010; and
- The Parking Places on Roads (Newry) (Amendment) 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. 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 were noted at the Committee meeting on 18 November 2009:
- The Northwood, Lurgan (Footway) (Abandonment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2010;
- The Parking Places on Roads (Coaches) (Amendment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2010;
- The Shore Road, Belfast (Abandonment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2010 ; and
- The Train Driving Licences and Certificates Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2009.
Agreed: that the Committee would write to the Department, indicating that it is content with the policy merits of these SL1s.
Members considered the proposals for the Train Driving Licences and Certificates Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2009, on which oral briefing was received from officials at the meeting of 18 December 2009.
Agreed : The Committee would write to the Department, indicating it was content with the policy merits of this SL1, subject to the successful resolution of the outstanding issue in relation to the requirement for drivers to carry both parts of the two part licence.
- Members notedcorrespondence from British Telecom announcing the new commitment the company is making to Northern Ireland.
- Members noted a copy of the statement from the Regional Development Minister, Conor Murphy MP MLA, to the Assembly on the North South Ministerial Council Transport Sector meeting.
- Members noted a paper from Assembly Research Services on the subject of sustainable transport.
- Agreed: Members noted correspondence from Noel Porter in relation to services to disabled people and agreed to forward the correspondence to all Statutory Committees for consideration and forwarding to their respective departments for comment.
- Members also noted correspondence from the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development on a scheduled briefing from officials of the Department for Regional Development at its meeting on 1 December 2009.
Members noted the following press releases from the Department:
- “Regional Development Minister announces new scholarships”;
- “Progress on £3.2 Million investment in Limavady”;
- “Progress on £3.9 Million investment in North Down”;
- “Progress on £6.4 Million investment in Fermanagh”;
- “Progress on £6.8 Million investment in Craigavon”;
- “Progress on £7.5 Million investment in Newry & Mourne”;
- “Ministers announce free on-street parking for Christmas”; and
- “Resurfacing works at the Dromore Road Junction, Hillsborough”.
Members noted the following press release from Northern Ireland Water:
- “Investing, improving, delivering – NI Water presents its second Annual Report”.
Members noted the Northern Ireland Assembly’s provincial media monitoring relating to the work of the Department for Regional Development.
Members noted an invitation from the Northern Ireland Lottery Forum to its 15 th anniversary celebrations on Thursday 3 December 2009 at the Ulster Museum, Belfast.
Members noted the following newsletters:
- IMTAC Annual Report 2009; and
- Partnership Solutions – Nationwide BID Survey 2009.
9. 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.
10. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting
The Committee with visit structural roads maintenance sites at Maguiresbridge, Co. Fermanagh, next Wednesday, 2 December 2009. This will be followed by a Committee meeting at 10.30 am in the Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen.
11. Briefing on the runway extension at George Best Belfast City Airport
Members noted the following papers:
- A submission from witnesses detailing the issues for discussion;
- Chapter 7 of the Aviation White Paper that relates to Northern Ireland;
- A press release from the Department of the Environment, dated 17 October 2008, announcing the modified Planning Agreement between the Department of the Environment and George Best Belfast City Airport; and
- A briefing note from the Department for Regional Development on aviation strategy in Northern Ireland and the Department’s role in aviation.
The Committee received briefing from John Doran, Managing Director of Belfast International Airport (BIA), Uel Hoey, Business Development Director of BIA, Ray Hayden of BIA and Gary McGhee of Carson McDowell Solicitors.
Agreed: Witnesses agreed to provide Members with a copy of the briefing notes used during the presentation to the Committee.
11.37am Mr Wilson left the meeting
11.38am The meeting moved into closed session
11.42am Mr Wilson returned to the meeting
Following discussion, Members agreed to write to the Department for Regional Development on the strategic issues raised and also to request an updated research paper from Assembly Research Services on the issue.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 11.52am.