MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
THURSDAY, 22 NOVEMBER 2007
ROOM 152, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Present: Mr Barry McElduff MLA (Chairperson)
Mr David McNarry MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr Dominic Bradley
Mr Francie Brolly MLA
The Lord Browne MLA
Mr Kieran McCarthy MLA
Mr Nelson McCausland MLA
Mr Pat Ramsey MLA
Mr Ken Robinson MLA
Mr Jim Shannon MLA
In Attendance: Mrs Linda Gregg (Clerk)
Dr Kathryn Bell (Assistant Clerk)
Miss Mairéad Higgins (Clerical Supervisor)
Mr Alister Strain (Clerical Officer)
The meeting opened at 10.36am in public session.
1. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 15 November 2007
Agreed – the draft minutes were agreed.
2. Matters arising
The Chair advised members that the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure has advised that Ravenhill is owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union.
Mr Robinson joined the meeting at 10.37am.
3. Chairperson’s business
The Chair advised members that he had attended the ‘Art of the Heart’ conference at the Grand Opera House on 8 November 2007.
The Chair advised members that the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure had sent the Committee copies of the Salmon and Inland Fisheries Annual Report 2006.
The Chair advised the Committee that he would be representing the Assembly together with other Members at the meeting of the British – Irish Interdepartmental Body in Oxford on 25 – 27 November 2007.
The Chair advised members that he would be attending the opening of the new public library and college building in Cookstown on 28 November 2007.
The Chair advised members that he had attended a meeting of the Chairpersons Liaison Group on 20 November 2007.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to request that the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure or his officials brief the Committee on the Northern Ireland Events Company before the end of the meeting.
4. Committee response on Draft Budget, Programme for Government and Investment Strategy
The Chair advised members that the Deputy Chair would speak on behalf of the Committee during the take-note debates on the Draft Programme for Government and Investment Strategy, and the Draft Budget on the 26 November 2007 and the 27 November 2007 respectively.
The Committee discussed and formulated its views on the Draft Budget, Programme for Government and Investment Strategy.
Mr McElduff left the meeting at 11.25am.
Mr McNarry assumed the Chair.
Mr McElduff rejoined the meeting at 11.30am and resumed the Chair.
Mr McNarry left the meeting at 11.40am.
Agreed - the Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to inquire as to whether there is a difficulty with the planning application for the proposed multi-sports stadium.
Mc McNarry rejoined the meeting at 11.50am.
Mr Bradley left the meeting at 11.55am.
Mr Bradley rejoined the meeting at 12.03pm.
Mr McCausland left the meeting at 12.23pm.
5. Libraries Bill (NIA 5/07)
The Chair referred members to correspondence from the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure in response to the concerns raised by the Committee on the Libraries Bill.
The Committee discussed a range of issues on the Libraries Bill in preparation for the clause by clause reading of the Bill at the next meeting of the Committee.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to ask why no money has been set aside for redundancies, and whether the Library Authority intends to seek external sources of funding.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to seek his assurance that the Department will consult with the Committee should it may any decision in the future to change its library charging policy.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to ask what date has been arranged for the meeting between NIPSA’s legal advisor and the Departmental Solicitors Office, and to request that the Committee is informed of the outcome of the meeting as soon as possible thereafter.
6. Northern Ireland Events Company
The meeting moved into closed session at 12.35pm
The following officials from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure briefed the Committee on the current situation concerning the Northern Ireland Events Company:
Mr Edgar Jardine (Deputy Secretary)
Mr Mick Cory ((Director of Sport, Museums and Recreation Division)
This was followed by a question and answer session.
Mr Bradley left the meeting at 1.00pm.
Mr Ramsey left the meeting at 1.07pm.
Mr Shannon left the meeting at 1.17pm.
The meeting was adjourned at 1.22pm.
The meeting resumed at 1.30pm in public session.
The Chair referred members to correspondence from the Arts Council on the Draft Budget allocation for the arts.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to invite the Arts Council and the Sports Council to brief it on their views on the Draft Budget.
The Chair referred members to correspondence from the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure on the multi-sports stadium briefing scheduled for 13 December 2007.
8. Date and time of next meeting
Agreed: The Committee agreed to hold its next meeting on Thursday 29 November 2007 at 10.00am in Room 152, Parliament Buildings. It was also agreed a working lunch would be provided in order to accommodate the clause by clause reading of the Libraries Bill.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 1.44pm.