COMMITTEE FOR CULTURE, ARTS AND LEISURE
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
THURSDAY 15 JANUARY 2009
ROOM 152, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Mr Barry McElduff MLA (Chairperson)
Mr Dominic Bradley MLA
Mr Francie Brolly MLA
Lord Browne MLA
Mr Kieran McCarthy MLA
Mr Raymond McCartney MLA
Mr Nelson McCausland MLA
Mr Pat Ramsey MLA
Mr Ken Robinson MLA
Mr Jim Shannon MLA
Mr David McNarry MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Mrs Nuala Dunwoody (Clerk Assistant)
Dr Kathryn Bell (Clerk)
Mrs Antonia Hoskins (Assistant Clerk)
Mrs Elaine Farrell (Assistant Clerk)
Miss Mairéad Higgins (Clerical Supervisor)
Mrs Angela Aboagye (Clerical Officer)
Ms Meadhbh McCann (Assembly Researcher)
The meeting opened in public session at 10.35 a.m.
The apologies are detailed above.
2. Draft Minutes of the meeting held on 8 January 2009
Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting held on 8 January 2009 were agreed subject to a minor amendment.
3. Matters Arising
The Committee noted the Department’s monthly forecast outturn for December 2008 to March 2009.
The Committee noted the additional information on the Gaeltacht Quarter provided by the Department following the briefing to the Committee on 4 December 2008.
The Committee discussed the Department’s response to issues raised by Members during the briefing on safety at sports grounds on 11 December 2008.
Agreed: Members agreed to write to the Department to seek further clarification on the response.
Agreed: Members agreed to write to Ulster Rugby, the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Irish Football Association, seeking further information with regard to applications they have made to Sport NI for safety at sport grounds funding.
Agreed: Members agreed to visit some sports grounds in order to observe the safety issues at first hand.
The Committee noted the Minister’s response regarding Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems.
The Committee noted the associated tables for the December monitoring round forwarded for information by the Committee for Finance and Personnel.
Further to Mr Robinson’s request at the meeting of 8 January 2009, the Chairperson advised that the former Harland and Wolff Drawing Office is now owned by the Titanic Quarter Limited.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to ask Assembly Research Services to prepare a paper on the Big Lottery consultation document.
The Committee noted the invitation from Ofcom to attend a briefing on the outcome of the PSB Review on Wednesday 21 January 2009.
4. Chairperson’s Business
The Chairperson advised that he was to attend the Allianz Arts and Business Awards in Belfast on Thursday 15 January 2009.
The Chairperson reminded Members of the Minister’s invitation to the Committee to a reception on Thursday 15 January 2009 to mark local athletes’ performance at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games.
The Chairperson advised that he had accepted an invitation to the ‘Oh Yeah’ event on Thursday 5 February 2009, and that the invitation had been extended to all Committee members.
The Chairperson advised that he had accepted an invitation to PRONI’s official launch of the electronic catalogue for Northern Ireland on Monday 2 February 2009.
The Chairperson advised that he had accepted an invitation to take part in a debate as part of the Social Science Festival at W5 on Tuesday 10 March 2009.
Mr McElduff declared an interest as a member of Omagh District Council.
The Chairperson advised that he had accepted an invitation from Omagh District Council to speak at the official opening of the Omagh leisure complex in April or May 2009.
The Chairperson drew Members’ attention to a summary of two reports from Sport NI - ‘A survey of public attitudes towards sport and physical recreation in Northern Ireland’ and a ‘Literature review of sexual orientation in sport’. Members were advised that a full copy of each report was available in the Committee Office.
The Chairperson advised that he had received correspondence from the Institute of Public Health in Ireland enclosing it annual report on fuel poverty.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to the OFMDFM Committee, which has previously received a presentation from this organisation.
The Committee noted the letter from the Minister acknowledging receipt of the Committee’s report on its inquiry into the development of a museums policy for Northern Ireland.
5. Briefing on ETI report on Ulster Scots Curriculum Development Unit
The following officials from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) and the Department of Education (DE) joined the meeting:
Mr Edgar Jardine DCAL - Deputy Secretary
Mr Donal Moran DCAL - Acting Head of Linguistics Operations Branch
Dr Maureen Bennett DE – Assistant Chief Inspector, Education and Training Inspectorate
The officials briefed the Committee on the Education and Training Inspectorate Report on the Ulster Scots Curriculum Development Unit . A question and answer session followed. The officials agreed to provide details of the schools which had participated in the pilot scheme and a sample of the materials used at primary and post-primary level.
Agreed : The Committee agreed to consider a proposal from Mr McCausland at its next meeting on how it wishes to take the issue forward.
11.55 a.m. Mr McCausland left the meeting.
6. Draft terms of reference for inquiry into the funding of the arts in NI
Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Clerk would revise the draft terms of reference, for further consideration at its next meeting.
The Committee noted the memo from the Committee for Education regarding the Bookstart programme.
Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to seek clarification on whether he intends to provide funding for Bookstart in the future, and what discussions he has had with the Department of Education on the matter.
Agreed : The Committee agreed to forward a letter to the Minister from the Committee for Employment and Learning, regarding the work of the Employment Services Board.
The Committee noted the information regarding performances of ‘Testimonies’ by the Smashing Times Theatre Company.
The Committee noted the letter from the Department regarding the outcome of the Salmon and Inland Fisheries Stakeholder Forum Consultation.
Agreed : Members agreed to receive a briefing from the Carvill group and from the Arts Council at the same meeting regarding their proposals for a new art gallery.
The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department on proposed Eel Management Plans. Members were informed that copies of the Management Plans are available in the Committee Office.
Members notedthe u pdate from the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding a change of dates to take forward the Strategic Stocktake. The Chairperson advised that he would speak as Chair in the take note debate.
8. Forward Work Plan
The Committee noted its forward work programme for the period of January 2009 to the Easter recess.
The Chair advised that an itinerary for the visit to the Ulster American Folk Park and to the Strule Arts Centre on Thursday 29 January 2009 would be provided at next week’s meeting.
9. Committee’s review of DCAL’s Management of NI Events Company
The Committee agreed to move into closed session in order to consider further the advice provided by Assembly Legal Services at its meeting of 8 January 2009.
The meeting moved into closed session at 12.10 p.m.
12.10 p.m. McCausland rejoined the meeting.
Agreed : The Committee agreed to defer the briefing by the Department on its management of the NI Events Company which had previously been scheduled for 22 January 2009.
Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Department seeking further information on the NI Events Company.
10. Date and time of the next meeting
The next meeting of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure will be on Thursday 22 January 2009 at 10.30 a.m. in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.26 p.m.