SUMMARY OF 170th MEETING OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND HERITAGE SERVICE
(EHS) BOARD HELD ON 8 JUNE 2007 in KLONDYKE BUILDING CONFERENCE ROOM
Present: Mr Rogers: Chief Executive – Chairman
Dr Ramsay: Director of Environmental Protection (EP)
Mr Seymour: Director of Natural Heritage (NH)
Mr Campbell: Director of Corporate Services (CS)
Mr McKervey: Assistant Director, Built Heritage (BH) (substituting for Mr Coulter)
In attendance: Mr Aston & Ms Corker: Strategy Unit (Item 4)
Liz Spence (Secretary)
An apology was received from Mr Coulter, Director of Built Heritage.
1 SUMMARY OF MEETING HELD ON 8 MAY 2007
The summary of the meeting held on 8 May 2007 was agreed.
2 MATTERS ARISING REPORT
2.1 EHS Environmental Management Systems (EMS)
(i) Roe Valley Hydro Project (2.1): The tender for the environmental impact
assessment for the Roe Valley Country Park hydro scheme had been Dr Ramsay
forwarded to Central Procurement Division on 17 May 2007.
(ii) Carbon Trust – Multi-site Energy Management and Opportunities
Assessment Survey : Preliminary consideration of the report survey is
underway with a view to submitting for Board consideration in late summer.
Mr Rogers reported that the Minister had announced DOE’s target to become
carbon neutral before 2015. The Core proposed to gather baseline information
on energy usage as a first step.
2.2 Marine Current Turbine (MCT) Strangford Lough (2.2)
A full response to the European Union’s Article 226 letter had been provided to Mr Seymour
the UK REP and copied to DEFRA and the Cabinet Office.
2.3 Grant-aid Policy Review / Strategy for Funding NGOs/BPTs to rescue
Buildings at Risk (2.5)
Discussions with the EHS consultants and DFP’s Economics Branch had been
held to consider the issues raised by the economists on the economics
appraisal report and the post-project evaluation report for the current historic
buildings grants (HBG) scheme. The evaluation and appraisal will be re- Mr Coulter
submitted to Economics Branch when the queries have been dealt with.
Once cleared by the economists, the composite HBG scheme and NGO
proposals will be submitted to DFP for clearance.
2.4 Pollution Hotline (2.6)
Central Personnel Division’s approval for the business case to extend the Mr Campbell
payment of allowances is awaited.
2.5 Better Regulation (4)
The EHS Better Regulation group (with cross-agency representation) had held
its first meeting on 1 June 2007.
2.6 NIEL Conference (13.2)
It was noted that the proposed NIEL conference had been postponed until the
Autumn to allow the Review of Environmental Governance report and
recommendations to be considered in detail.
2.7 Accommodation Issues at Klondyke Building (12)
(i) Signage for the building; this had been agreed and would now be erected.
(ii) Litter on Railway line: Translink had advised that litter is cleared from the Mr Campbell
track two or three times a year. Mr Campbell undertook to ask if the next
clean-up could be brought forward in the schedule if appropriate.
(iii) Swift Boxes: The Board agreed the proposed trial scheme to erect nesting
boxes on the sides or back of the building.
2.8 Contaminated Land (including Courtaulds) (2.3) and the State of the
Environment Report (2.7) will be included as agenda items at a future Board
3 DEPARTMENTAL BOARD AND TEAM BRIEF
3.1 Departmental Board (DB)
Mr Rogers had informed Directors about matters raised at recent DB meetings.
3.2 Departmental Team Brief (May) EHSB 07/12/2
The Departmental brief was noted by the Board.
3.3 EHS Local Brief (June) EHS 07/12/3
The brief was endorsed by the Board subject to the inclusion of a paragraph on
the agency’s role in relation to ‘Dangerous Wild Animals’.
4 REVIEW OF ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE
The Board noted that the report on the Review of Environmental Governance
Panel is due to be launched by the Panel on 19 June 2007. This would be
followed shortly thereafter by the Minister’s meeting with key stakeholders.
The Board would expect some indication as to how the Department proposes
to handle its response to emerge after that, and also a related timetable.
The Board agreed that when it next met - on 22 June- it would prepare the
framework of an EHS initial response to the recommendations, focussing on
those which directly affect the agency. This would be developed and fed into
the Departmental response as the process and timetable are clarified.
The Board agreed to publish the report on the EHS intranet site on 19 June
2007 so that staff would have the opportunity to be fully informed. As part of
the process of developing a response, the Board would be keen to hear EHS
staff views. It would decide on the best way of doing so when details of the
Department’s timetable are known.
5 BUSINESS PLANNING AND CORPORATE GOVENANCE MATTERS
5.1 EHS Annual Report and Accounts 2006/2007
The 2006-2007 Annual Report and Accounts had been signed off by the Chief
Executive on 30 May 2007. When the Northern Ireland Audit Office certificate
has been issued, Ministerial clearance will be sought before these are laid in
5.2 Corporate Plan 2007/2010 (4th draft) (Annex 4A)
The Board agreed the final draft of the agency’s Corporate Plan 2007/2010
subject to some clarification of the target relating to planning consultation
responses, and other minor amendments.
5.3 Validation of Key Business Targets 2006-2007
The Board noted Internal Audit’s validation which confirmed achievement of 13
(81%) of the key targets, partial achievement of one, and two not achieved.
5.4 Public Service Agreement (PSA) & DOE Corporate & Business Plan
The final progress report for 2006/2007 on the EHS targets which appear in the
PSA and DOE Plan was noted.
5.5 Risk Registers (Board and Directorate) – May 2007
It was noted that, due to cancellation of the 23 May Board meeting, the
updated Registers for the end of May had been circulated to Board members
for noting or comment, as appropriate.
5.6 Compliance Audit Groups – Position at end of April 2007
The Board welcomed the report from the EHS Audit Committee which had
noted the good progress made over the previous year in implementing audit
recommendations within the agency.
6 FINANCIAL REPORT EHSB 07/12/5
The Board endorsed the agency’s contribution to the June monitoring round.
This took account of easements and pressures submitted by Directors and had
resulted in a surrender of £500k from the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme.
Directors were reminded of the Board’s earlier decision that any internal
arrangements for easements in excess of £100k had to be approved by the
Profiled budgets 2007/2008
Directors had profiled the proposed expenditure for 2007/2008 but it was noted Mr Rogers
that some acceleration in spending in the early part of the year was needed to
prevent end-year loading. Directorates will be asked to prepare detailed plans
to show how profiled budgets would be met.
7 PERSONNEL EHSB 07/12/6
7.1 Workforce Planning Report: position at 31 May 2007 (Annex 6.1)
The Workforce Planning Report, which showed the staffing levels and the
recruitment position at 31 May 2007, was noted.
7.2 Equal Opportunities (Annex 6.2)
The Board noted the report which listed the agency’s current equal
7.3 Performance Review Reports: position at 31 May 2007 (Annex 6.3)
Directors were asked to ensure that reports which were outstanding were Directors
completed as soon as possible and the paperwork returned to Personnel,
Development and Services.
7.4 Health & Safety (H&S)
A report of all current H&S activities and issues in the agency was presented
8 PLANNING CONSULTATIONS
Responses to consultations EHSB 07/ 12/ 7
The Board agreed the standardised method of measuring performance against
the business target for responses to development control consultations. A
composite EHS report reflecting this would be submitted to the Board monthly.
In the meantime, the reports from the Directorates for 31 May were noted.
9 TEAM BRIEFING REPORTS EHSB 07/12/8
The reports, which showed how team briefing had been carried out over the
period February to May 2007, were noted. Directors were asked to follow up Directors
on any gaps.
10 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
10.1 Attention had been drawn to the considerable number of scientific staff who
had applied for the Deputy Principal Board. The Board saw this as a positive
step where staff were willing to cross over to the general grades in order to
develop their careers.
10.2 Requests for information from Assembly Researchers: Directors were
asked to advise staff that generally, responses should be factual and should be
cleared through the Minister.
11 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting will be held on 5 July 2007.
(* The meeting which was to have been held on 23 May 2007 had been cancelled ie EHSB 07/11)