COMMITTEE FOR CULTURE, ARTS AND LEISURE
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
THURSDAY 22 JANUARY 2009
ROOM 152, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Mr Barry McElduff MLA (Chairperson)
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)
Mr Dominic Bradley MLA
Dr Kathryn Bell (Clerk)
Mrs Antonia Hoskins (Assistant Clerk)
Mrs Elaine Farrell (Assistant Clerk)
Miss Mairéad Higgins (Clerical Supervisor)
Mrs Angela Aboagye (Clerical Officer)
The meeting opened in public session at 10.35 a.m.
The apologies are detailed above.
2. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 15 January 2009
Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting held on 15 January 2009 were agreed.
3. Matters arising
The Committee noted the information regarding proposals for Children in Need fundraising within the Stormont Estate this year.
The Clerk briefed the Committee on the launch of the Ofcom Report on Wednesday 21 January 2009 on the outcome of the Public Service Broadcasting consultation.
10.44 a.m. Mr Shannon joined the meeting.
Agreed : The Committee agreed that the Chairperson would meet with Ofcom and further update the Committee.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to invite Mr Gary Mitchell to address the Committee on local film production, at some future date.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to UTV regarding future service delivery given the redundancies which have been recently announced.
The Chairperson advised Membersthat the Minister is to meet with his counterparts in the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament to discuss broadcasting issues.
The Chairperson advised that a reminder letter had been sent to Mr Andy Burnham, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. The original letter had been sent on 1 December 2008 regarding local public service broadcasting issues.
Mr Nelson McCausland addressed the Committee on the work of various Ulster- Scots organisations.
Agreed : The Committee agreed to invite Ulster-Scots stakeholders to address the Committee at a future date, and that the meeting should be held in Newtownards.
Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Minster to seek clarification on the work of the Interdepartmental Charter Implementation Group and the plans for the publication of the spelling and pronunciation guide and the glossary.
11.05 a.m. Mr McCartney joined the meeting.
Agreed : The Committee agreed to visit Casement Park, Ravenhill and Windsor Park, on Wednesday 11 February, prior to its evidence session on safety at sports grounds with Sport NI and the Department on 19 February 2009.
4. Chairperson’s Business
Members noted the paper from Research Services on the work of the equivalent committees in the Republic of Ireland and Scotland.The Chairperson informed the Committee that he had invited the Chairs of these Committees to the Assembly, in order that areas of mutual interest could be discussed.
The Chairperson advised that he and other Members attended a finance seminar on the budgeting and monitoring round processes provided by the Department on Tuesday 20 January 2009.
Agreed : The Committee agreed to write and thank departmental officials for the seminar.
11.08 a.m. Mr Shannon left the meeting.
The Chairperson advised Membersthat he had accepted an invitation from theMinister to a reception for the Tyrone All Ireland GAA Football Team on 6 February 2009 in Parliament Buildings. The Chairperson noted that all of the Committee Members had received an invitation to the event.
The Chairperson informed the Committee that he would be attending ‘ The Chronicles of Long Kesh’ at the Waterfront and ‘The Home Place’ at the Grand Opera House.
The Chairperson advised the Committee that the Minister has changed the date for oral questions from Monday 9 February to Monday 16 February 2009.
5. Consideration of Draft Terms of Reference for Arts Inquiry
Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Clerk would revise the draft terms of reference for further consideration at its next meeting.
Agreed : The Committee agreed the list of organisations prepared by Research Services to which it would write seeking written submissions. The Committee agreed to add the following organisations to this list: Sligo County Council, Liverpool Council, Glasgow Council, the Community Relations Council, the University of Ulster, Queen’s University Belfast, the NI Departments, and the relevant departments of the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament.
The Chairperson advised Members that any other suggestions should be forwarded to the Committee office.
11.35 a.m. Mr Shannon rejoined the meeting.
Agreed : Members agreed to request Research Services to provide ongoing support to the Committee throughout its inquiry.
6. Departmental briefing on Community Festivals Fund
Mr McElduff declared an interest as a Councillor in Omagh District Council;
Lord Browne declared an interest as a Councillor in Belfast City Council;
Mr McCarthy declared an interest as a Councillor in Ards Borough Council;
Mr McCausland declared an interest as a Councillor in Belfast City Council;
Mr Ramsey declared an interest as a Councillor in Derry City Council;
Mr Robinson declared an interest as a Councillor in Newtownabbey Borough Council; and
Mr Shannon declared an interest as a Councillor in Ards Borough Council.
The following officials from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure
joined the meeting:
Ms Linda Wilson – Director of Culture
Ms Anne Tohill - Head of Arts
The officials briefed the Committee on the Community Festivals Fund . A question and answer session followed. The officials agreed to provide an evaluation of the 2008/09 Community Festivals Fund once completed.
7. Education Bill – Committee Stage
The Committee noted the correspondence from the Education Committee, advising that they are commencing the Committee Stage of the Education Bill.
The Chairperson drew Members attention to the relevant extracts of the Education Bill which refer to the Libraries Act ( Northern Ireland) 2008 and to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.
Agreed :The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ask if it has any concerns regarding any of the clauses of the Education Bill, and for an explanation of the implications of the proposed amendment to the Libraries Act ( Northern Ireland) 2008 and of clause 43 of the Education Bill.
Members noted the request from the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland to brief the Committee.
Agreed :The Committee agreed to write to the Orchestra, to ask if it has applied to the Arts Council or any other Department to secure funding.
The Committee noted thecorrespondence from the Clerk to the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety enclosing its terms of reference for an inquiry into obesity.
Agreed : The Committee agreed to forward the terms of reference to the Minister for his consideration.
The Committee noted the Minister’s response to its enquiry regarding the Trans Urban Arts funding application.
The Chairperson drew the Committee’s attention to an invitation from POBAL to all Members to a discussion on an Irish Language Act, on Friday 6 February 2009.
Agreed : Members agreed that the Chairperson would write and thank the organisers of Allianz Arts and Business Awards which he attended.
9. Visit to the Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh
The Chairperson advised Members that the meeting of 29 January 2009 would take place in the Ulster American Folk Park, followed by a visit to the Strule Arts Centre in Omagh.
The Chairperson advised the Committee thata public notice giving details of the meeting had been placed in the local press.
Agreed: The Committee agreed its press release for the visit.
10. Forward Work Plan
The Committee noted its forward work programme.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that no items needed to be covered by Hansard at next week’s meeting.
11. Committee’s review of DCAL’s Management of NI Events Company
Agreed: The Committee agreed to move into closed session in order to consider further advice provided to the Clerk by Assembly Legal Services.
The meeting moved into closed session at 12.15 p.m.
The Clerk briefed the Committee on the current position following further consultation with Legal Services.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider the way forward at its next meeting.
12. Any other business
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Ulster Museum to ask if the industrial heritage display would be on show when it re-opens.
13. Date and time of next meeting
The next meeting of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure will be on Thursday 29 January 2009 at 10.30 a.m. in the Board Room, Ulster American Folk Park Omagh.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.21 p.m.