MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
THURSDAY, 14 JUNE 2007
ROOM 152, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Mr Barry McElduff MLA (Chairperson)
Mr David McNarry MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr Dominic Bradley MLA
The Lord Browne MLA
Mr Paul Maskey MLA
Mr Kieran McCarthy MLA
Mr Nelson McCausland MLA
Mr Pat Ramsey MLA
Mr Jim Shannon MLA
Mr Alan Patterson (Principal Clerk)
Mrs Linda Gregg (Clerk)
Dr Kathryn Bell (Assistant Clerk)
Miss Mairéad Higgins (Clerical Supervisor)
Mr Alister Strain (Clerical Officer)
Mr Francie Brolly MLA
Mr David Burnside MLA
The meeting opened at 10.30am in public session.
Mr McNarry joined the meeting at 10.33am.
Mr Shannon joined the meeting at 10.35am.
Agreed – The Committee agreed to include a briefing from representatives of the ADSEA project in its forward work programme.
The Chairperson referred members to the table provided by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure detailing the current budget and proposed bids under the Comprehensive Spending Review for Foras na Gaeilge and the Ulster Scots Agency.
Agreed – The Committee agreed to ask Research Services to assess the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure’s draft Disability Action Plan, and to compare its targets with those contained in other Departmental plans.
The Chairperson advised members that the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure has indicated that the Strategy for Sport will be launched in mid-September, and that there will be an opportunity for the Committee to input to the Strategy prior to the launch of public consultation.
The Chairperson advised members that the Libraries Bill had been introduced to the Assembly on 11 June 2007, and that the Second Stage will be on the 19 June 2007, with the Committee Stage commencing the following day on 20 June 2007. The Chairperson advised members that he would speak in plenary during the Second Stage, reflecting the views of members as expressed during the discussions at the Committee’s meetings of 24 May and 31 May 2007. The Chairperson advised members that Irene Knox had been appointed as Chief Executive Designate of the proposed Northern Ireland Library Board.
Agreed – The Committee agreed that the Clerk would provide it with a copy of the email received from officials of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure explaining why the timetable for the legislative stages of the Libraries Bill had been changed.
Agreed – The Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to express its disappointment at not being informed about the changes to the timetable for the stages of the Libraries Bill. The Committee further agreed to ask the Minister whether there were any plans to appoint deputies to assist the Chief Executive Designate of the proposed Northern Ireland Library Board.
Agreed – The Committee agreed that the Chairperson would raise the issue of communication between Committees and Departments at the first meeting of the Chairpersons Liaison Group.
The Chairperson advised members that at the request of the Southern Education & Library Board he was meeting with their representatives on 19 June 2007, and that provisional arrangements had been made for him to visit the Board’s headquarters on 25 July 2007, along with the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure.
Agreed – The Committee agreed to write to the Playhouse noting its interest in the Committee’s forthcoming inquiry and its offer of a visit to its premises.
Agreed – The Committee agreed to write to Monaghan County Council to invite the Blackwater Regional Partnership to make a presentation to it on the proposals for re-opening the Ulster Canal. The Committee also agreed to invite officials from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to brief it on the Ulster Canal, and to request a map of the Ulster Canal from the Department.
The Chairperson advised members that the convention, in relation to the passing of invitations when the Chair is unable to attend, is to forward them to the Deputy Chair in the first instance, and then to other members who have an interest in attending.
Agreed – The Committee agreed to the Chairperson accepting an invitation from the Ministers of the Northern Ireland Executive and the National Museums Northern Ireland to attend the opening of the exhibition ‘Titanic built in Belfast’ on 26 June 2007 in Washington.
The Chairperson referred members to the response received from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland regarding how it is funded and how much is expended on programme delivery and on fixed costs. The Chairperson also referred members to the Arts Council’s Annual Review 2005-2006.
Draft minutes of the meeting held on 7 June 2007.
Agreed – the draft minutes were agreed as amended.
Agreed – The Committee agreed to include a presentation from Linfield Football Club in its Forward Work Programme.
The Chairperson advised members that he had written to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in relation to the TURAS project and that a reply is expected by 22 June 2007.
The Chairperson advised members that the Clerk has requested from Research Services information on comparative spend on minority languages in Northern Ireland, and that a reply may be available by 5 July 2007.
The Chairperson advised members that the Minister will brief the Committee on how he has prioritised his bids for the Comprehensive Spending Review, at its meeting of 21 June 2007.
Draft terms of reference for inquiry
Agreed – The Committee agreed that the Clerk would refine the draft terms of reference based on its discussions, for further consideration at next week’s meeting.
Presentation from the Irish Football Association
The following representatives from the Irish Football Association joined the meeting at 11.40am:
Mr Howard Wells (Chief Executive)
Mr Morris Corrin (Financial Controller)
Mr Raymond Kennedy (Vice President)
The representatives briefed the Committee on their views with regards to the proposed multi-sports stadium and how this related to the future of Windsor Park. They also informed the Committee about the current work they were undertaking to develop soccer, both at a grass roots and international level. This was followed by a question and answer session.
The representatives agreed to send the Committee a copy of its proposed 5-year plan and information on its work at a grass roots level, including statistics on participation.
Mr Bradley left the meeting at 12.00pm.
Mr Maskey left the meeting at 12.02pm.
Mr Bradley rejoined the meeting at 12.02pm.
Mr Shannon left the meeting at 12.03pm.
Mr Shannon rejoined the meeting at 12.12pm.
Mr McNarry left the meeting at 12.20pm.
Presentation from the Amalgamation of Northern Ireland Football Supporters Clubs
The following representatives from the Amalgamation of Northern Ireland Football Supporters Clubs joined the meeting at 12.25pm:
Mr Jonathan McAlpin
Mr Gary McAlister
The representatives briefed the Committee on their views and concerns in relation to the proposal to site a new multi-sports stadium at the Maze/Long Kesh site. This was followed by a question and answer session.
The representatives agreed to send the Committee a copy of the survey that the Amalgamation had carried out in relation to fans’ views on the multi-sports stadium.
Mr McNarry rejoined the meeting at 12.27pm.
Mr Shannon left the meeting at 12.45pm.
Agreed – The Committee agreed to invite the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to brief it on the proposals for the multi-sports stadium.
Agreed – The Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to ask him for information on his timetable for making a decision on the multi-sports stadium issue.
Any other business
Agreed – The Committee agreed to defer consideration of its draft response to the consultation document on Irish language legislation until its meeting of 21 June 2007.
Agreed – The Committee agreed to write to Gregory Campbell MP MLA to express its sympathy at the loss of his mother.
Agreed – The Committee agreed to write a letter of sympathy to the family of Eamonn Coleman on the news of his death.
Agreed – The Committee agreed that as part of its forward work programme it would consider the most recent report of the Committee of Experts on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in the United Kingdom.
Date and time of next meeting
Agreed: The Committee agreed its next meeting will be held on Thursday 21 June 2007 at 10.30am in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 1.00pm.
Mr Barry McElduff MLA
Chairperson, Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure
21 June 2007.