COMMITTEE FOR CULTURE, ARTS AND LEISURE
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
THURSDAY 29 JANUARY 2009
BOARD ROOM, ULSTER AMERICAN FOLK PARK, OMAGH
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 Jim Shannon MLA
Mr David McNarry MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr Ken Robinson 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 10.48 a.m.
The apologies are detailed above.
2. Presentation by the Ulster American Folk Park
The following representatives from the Ulster American Folk Park joined the meeting:
Mr Tim Cooke – Chief Executive, National Museums Northern Ireland
Mr Peter Kelly – Head of Operations, Ulster American Folk Park
Mr McCausland joined the meeting at 11.00 a.m.
The representatives briefed the Committee on the Ulster American Folk Park. A question and answer session followed.
3. Draft Minutes of 22 January 2009
Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting held on 22 January 2009 were agreed.
4. Matters arising
The Committee noted the response from the Northern Ireland Library Authority on the Northern Ireland Regional Area Networking.
The Committee noted the response from the Minister on the timing of the announcement on a decision on the multi-sports stadium at the Maze/Long Kesh site. The Committee also noted correspondence from the Minister advising that he had issued a paper to the Executive on this matter.
The Committee discussed the media reports claiming that the Minister has ruled out a multi-sports stadium at the Maze/Long Kesh site.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing from the Minister on the stadium issue.
The Committee noted the response from the Minister on funding for Special Olympics Ulster.
The Committee noted the response from the Minister agreeing to copy the Committee into any response the Department makes to the Committee for Finance and Personnel’s inquiry into public procurement.
The Committee noted the response from the Minister on the site selection process for the Public Records Office Northern Ireland.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write back to the Minister asking if he had consulted with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development regarding the issue of flood risk in relation to the PRONI site, and whether the issue of preserving documents was being properly addressed.
The Committee noted the response from the Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting on the Ofcom consultation.
The Chairperson advised that an informal meeting has been arranged with the Chief Executive of Ofcom, to discuss the outcome of the Public Service Broadcasting consultation, and community radio issues. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 11 February and the Chairperson advised that all Members were welcome to attend.
The Committee noted the response from the Arts Council on Youth Music Theatre UK.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the response from the Arts Council to Youth Music Theatre UK, suggesting that they contact the Arts Council directly.
The Committee noted the response from the Minister on the allocation of funding to shooting sports.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister asking him to detail the support for young athletes involved in shooting sports.
The Committee noted the response from the Minister on the transfer of the functions of the Northern Ireland Events Company to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister asking him to detail how much money has been paid to Northern Ireland Events Company creditors, how many payments remain outstanding, and for details of what the legacy issues of the Northern Ireland Events Company will entail.
The Committee noted the response from the Minister regarding capital projects within the Department.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister asking for details of the percentage of the value of each project which would be funded by the Department.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to ask for details of the capital projects which will be planned as a result of the multi-sports stadium at the Maze/Long Kesh site not going forward.
The Committee noted the correspondence from the DCAL Director of Finance providing further details following the recent finance seminar.
5. Chairperson’s Business
The Clerk briefed the Committee on correspondence from the Arts Council on the future availability of Department of Education funding for traditional arts.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek further information from the Arts Council on how the Department of Education funding is allocated.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Education stating its support for the continued funding of the traditional arts by the Department of Education.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Arts Council to ask if further consideration has been given to the funding of at least one full-time traditional arts officer.
The Chairperson advised that following a query raised at week’s meeting, the Bill Office has advised that Bills are Bills of the Executive, and as such Bills can seek to amend existing Acts.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ascertain whether it has the lead responsibility for the promotion of townland names.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to local authorities to ask how they are promoting the use of townland names, and whether local history is taken into account in the naming of new housing developments.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to address the issue of townland names at a future meeting, and to invite presentations from Fermanagh District Council, the Irish Place Names Commission, the Ulster Place Names Society and representatives from Queens’ University Belfast, on this issue.
The Chairperson advised that he had received an invitation to the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland’s official launch of the Electronic Catalogue on 2 February 2009, and that as he is unable attend, the invite has gone to the Deputy Chairperson.
The Chairperson advised that all Members had received an invitation from the Minister to attend a reception for the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team to be held on 16 February 2009.
The Chairperson advised that a copy of the Shared Space Research Journal, published by the Community Relations Council, is available in the committee office.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to issue a press release regarding the closing date for the Creative Industries Innovation Fund.
6. Consideration of Draft Terms of Reference for Arts Inquiry
Agreed: The Committee agreed the terms of reference for the inquiry.
Agreed: The Committee agreed the press notice seeking written submissions for the inquiry.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that the closing date for written submissions would be 27 February 2009.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that the first oral evidence session would be with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that the second oral evidence session would comprise a presentation from Assembly Research and Library Services on the VALCAL study and related issues, along with a presentation from the authors of the VALCAL study and the Department.
7. Big Lottery Consultation – BIG Thinking
The Committee noted correspondence from the Director of the BIG Lottery Fund, along with a paper on the consultation from Research Services.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward details of the consultation to the Committees for Education, Health, and the Environment.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek information from the Department on how much money has been diverted from lottery funding to Northern Ireland because of the 2012 Olympics.
The Committee noted the correspondence from the Arts Council advising of its position with regard to a new art gallery.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to receive a briefing from the Carvill Group and the Arts Council on a new art gallery, after the Arts Council has completed the feasibility study and reached a conclusion.
The Committee noted a request from Young at Art regarding the Children’s Belfsat Festival scheduled for May 2009.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that Members may wish to attend the launch or one of the events at the Festival.
The Committee noted the correspondence from Derry City Council requesting to make a presentation to the Committee on its “Sport in the Community Programme”.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to either receive a presentation from Derry City Council at an informal meeting, or as part of a future visit to Magee College.
The Committee noted the correspondence from Ms Tomaszko regarding the potential closure of the Anderstown Traditional and Contemporary School.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward Ms Tomaszko’s letter to the Arts Council for response, and to ask that the Committee be copied into the reply.
9. Forward Work Programme
The Committee noted its Forward Work Programme.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to request Hansard coverage for the discussion on the February monitoring round at next week’s meeting.
10. Committee Review of DCAL’s management of the NI Events Company
Agreed: The Committee agreed to move into closed session to consider legal advice provide by Assembly Legal Services.
The meeting moved into closed session at 12.25 p.m.
The Clerk briefed the Committee on the advice received from Legal Services.
Mr Ramsey left the meeting at 12.28 p.m.
Agreed: the Committee agreed to take evidence from departmental officials on 12 February 2009 in closed session, without Hansard coverage. The Committee agreed to review the need for Hansard coverage at any future closed meeting regarding the NI Events Company, at a later date.
11. Any other business
Mr Bradley advised of his intention to forward the Committee correspondence on Irish Artists Online.
12. Date and time of next meeting
The next meeting of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure will be on Thursday 5 February 2009 at 10.30 a.m. in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.40 p.m.