COMMITTEE FOR CULTURE, ARTS AND LEISURE
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
THURSDAY 5 FEBRUARY 2009
ROOM 152, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Mr Barry McElduff MLA (Chairperson)
Mr David McNarry MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr Francie Brolly 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
Lord Browne MLA
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 Deputy Chairperson took the Chair.
The apologies are detailed above.
10.37 a.m. Mr Ramsey and Mr Robinson joined the meeting.
2. Departmental briefing on February monitoring round
The following officials from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure joined the meeting:
Ms Deborah Brown (Director of Finance)
Ms Hazel Campbell (Acting Director of Sport, Museums and Recreation)
Ms Linda Wilson (Director of Culture)
The officials briefed the Committee on the outcome of the December monitoring round and the proposed return for the February monitoring round. This was followed by a question and answer session.
10.55 a.m. Mr Brolly joined the meeting.
11.08 a.m. Mr McCartney joined the meeting.
11.27 a.m. Mr McElduff joined the meeting and took the Chair.
11.30 a.m. Mr McCartney left the meeting.
Departmental officials agreed to submit further information in writing on a number of issues raised by Members during the question and answer session.
3. Presentation on 2012 Olympics
The following representatives from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games joined the meeting:
Mr Bill Morris (Director of Culture, Ceremonies and Education)
Mr Martin Green (Head of Ceremonies)
They were accompanied by the following departmental officials:
Mr Mick Cory (Director, DCAL)
Ms Lorraine Conlon (Head of 2012 Unit, DCAL)
Mr Morris and Mr Green briefed the Committee on the 2012 Olympics. This was followed by a question and answer session.
Mr McCausland declared an interest as a member of Belfast City Council.
Mr Robinson declared an interest as a member of Newtownabbey Borough Council.
Departmental officials agreed to provide further information to the Committee on the companies in Northern Ireland which have won contracts in relation to the 2012 Olympics.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to ascertain its involvement in the 2012 Olympics.
12.48 p.m. Mr McCausland and Mr Ramsey left the meeting.
12.49 p.m. Mr McNarry left the meeting.
4. Draft Minutes of 29 January 2009
Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting held on 29 January 2009 were agreed.
5. Matters arising
The Committee noted the copy of Mr McCausland’s Assembly Questions and subsequent answers regarding concerns relating to the decision to locate the PRONI Headquarters in the Titanic Quarter.
The Committee noted the response from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland following a request for details of the traditional arts groups funded by the Cultural Traditions Programme.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to defer consideration of the response on traditional arts groups until the next meeting.
The Committee noted the acknowledgement from the Minister to the Health Committee regarding its inquiry into obesity.
The Committee noted the correspondence from the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland (CBOI) on funding issues.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to CBOI to suggest that it makes contact with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to ascertain if it qualifies for funding.
The Chairperson advised the Committee that attempts had been made to organize a special meeting with the Minister to discuss the multi-sports stadium, but that no firm date had yet been fixed.
6. Chairperson’s Business
The Chairperson advised the Committee that on 3 February 2009, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development had made two statements on behalf of Minister Campbell on the North/South Ministerial Council discussions on Inland Waterways and the Language Body.
The Chairperson advised the Committee that an invitation had been issued to all Committee Members from the Ofcom Board to a reception on 9 February 2009 at the Gasworks.
The Chairperson advised the Committee that an invitation had been issued to all Committee Members from the Forum for Local Government and the Arts (FLGA) to attend a plenary session.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to FLGA to encourage it to submit a written submission to the arts inquiry and to present oral evidence on behalf of local councils.
The Chairperson advised the Committee that he had accepted an invitation from Féile an Phobail to a performance at Clonard Monastery on 8 February 2009.
The Chairperson advised the Committee that he will be attending the Ireland versus France rugby match in Dublin on 7 February 2009 in association with Ulster Rugby.
The Chairperson advised that the Public Accounts Committee had launched a report which dealt with collections management in the Arts Council.
The Chairperson advised that a PhD student had contacted the Assembly seeking people to interview for a research project entitled “Britishness on the Fringes”, and that all Members interested in participating should contact the Clerk.
7. Inquiry into the funding of the arts
The Committee noted the outline plan for its inquiry into the funding of the arts.
8. Itinerary for visit to Ravenhill, Windsor Park and Casement Park
The Committee noted the itinerary for the visit to the various sports grounds on 11 February 2009.
The Committee noted the correspondence from Mr Bradley regarding Irish Artists Online, a new website to promote the work of Irish artists across the world.
The Committee noted correspondence regarding the Executive’s response to the Barroso Taskforce Report.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department on how it intends to take forward the issues of ‘Culture’ and the ‘European Year of Creativity and Innovation’ as outlined in the Executive’s Action Plan.
The Committee noted the correspondence regarding the Executive’s response to the OFMDFM Committee inquiry into Child Poverty.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department requesting information on the work being carried out by its Children’s Champion.
The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment regarding its review of economic policy.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to the Department, requesting that the Committee is copied into any response it makes to the inquiry.
The Chairperson advised the Committee that Young at Art had issued invitations to Members to attend a performance of “The Children’s Hour” at the Old Museums Arts Centre from 18-20 February 2009.
10. Forward Work Programme
The Committee noted the Forward Work Programme.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to request Hansard coverage for the consideration of the proposal for a Statutory Role by PRONI at the next meeting.
The Chairperson advised the Committee that he will be meeting with the Chief Executive of Ofcom on 11 February 2009, and that all Members are invited to attend.
11. Any other business
Mr Shannon raised an issue in relation to a planning application and requested that the Clerk provides guidance on this at the next meeting.
12.59 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.
Mr Shannon reminded Members of the need to publicise the musical event being hosted by the Committee in the Long Gallery on 19 March 2009.
12. Date and time of the next meeting
The next meeting of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure will be on Thursday 12 February 2009 at 10.30 a.m. in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 1.00 p.m.