COMMITTEE FOR CULTURE, ARTS AND LEISURE
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
THURSDAY 31 JANUARY 2008
ROOM 152, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Mr Barry McElduff MLA (Chairperson)
Mr David McNarry MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr Francie Brolly MLA
Lord Browne MLA
Mr Kieran McCarthy MLA
Mr Nelson McCausland MLA
Mr Pat Ramsey MLA
Mr Ken Robinson MLA
Mr Jim Shannon MLA
Mr Dominic Bradley MLA
Mrs Linda Gregg (Clerk)
Mrs Elaine Farrell (Assistant Clerk)
Miss Mairéad Higgins (Clerical Supervisor)
Mrs Angela Aboagye (Clerical Officer)
Mr Tim Moore (Research Service)
The meeting opened at 10.07 a.m. in public session
Apologies as detailed above.
2. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 24 January 2008.
Agreed - the draft minutes of the meeting were agreed.
3. Matters arising
The Committee noted the response from the Department dated 28 January 2008 in relation to issues raised concerning the budget at the meeting of 24 January 2008.
Agreed - the Committee agreed to consider the response from the Department in greater detail at the next meeting.
The Committee noted correspondence from the Fisheries Conservancy Board (FCB) in which they advised that they would forward further correspondence relating to the potential impact on the FCB Board’s current functions arising from the transfer to DCAL.
4. Chairperson’s Business
The Chairperson briefed the Committee on a meeting which took place with JJ Murphy and Drew McFarlane of Equity, when the issue of the Theatre Initiative was discussed.
Agreed - the Committee agreed to invite the Director of the National Theatre of Scotland to make a presentation to the Committee.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to invite JJ Murphy and Drew McFarlane to make a presentation to the Committee.
Agreed - the Clerk was asked to contact the Department and the Arts Council to enquire if a policy exists for drama, seek clarification on who has responsibility for the policy and to enquire if an audit has been carried out to determine what amateur drama companies are in existence and to advise the Committee at the meeting on 7 February 2008.
Agreed - the Clerk was asked to contact the Department concerning information relating to bids from council areas and what capital and revenue bids for the programming of the Arts have been agreed.
Agreed - the Committee agreed to write to Forbairt Feirste to seek their views on the use of Irish in the business environment and to advise on progress in this area.
5. Research Services Presentation on Minority Language Expenditure and Economic Benefits
Mr Tim Moore, Senior Researcher, made a presentation to the Committee on Minority Language Expenditure and Economic Benefits.
Mr McNarry joined the meeting at 10.30 a.m.
6. Discussion on the strategies related to the Irish Language and Ulster Scots Language, Heritage and Culture.
The following witnesses attended:
Mr Edwin Poots, Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure
Mr Brian Smart, Head of Linguistic Operations Branch & Cultural and Language
Diversity Policy Branch
The Committee were briefed by the Minister on the way forward for Indigenous Language Policy. A question and answer session followed.
Mr Robinson joined the meeting at 11.26 a.m.
Mr Brolly left the meeting at 11.26 a.m.
Mr McNarry left the meeting at 11.26 a.m.
Mr McCausland left the meetingat11.26 a.m.
7. Forward Work Program
The Committee noted the updated Forward Work Plan.
Agreed – the Members agreed to advise Committee staff of their intention or otherwise to participate in the proposed visit to the Armagh Planetarium/Observatory on 13 March 2008.
Mr Brolly rejoined the meeting at 11.30 a.m.
Mr Ramsey left the meeting at 11.31 a.m.
Mr Ramsey rejoined the meeting at 11.34 a.m.
Mr McCausland rejoined the meeting at 11.37 a.m.
Mr McNarry rejoined the meeting at 11.40 a.m.
The Committee noted the response from the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) regarding a request by the Committee for a release of information relating to the Multi Sports Stadium.
Agreed - the Committee agreed to invite PWC and the CRC to a future Committee meeting to clarify issues regarding the Multi Sports Stadium.
The Chair reminded the Committee that in previous correspondence from the Minister dated 4 December 2007 regarding an update on the Planning Application for the Multi Sports Stadium, the Minister advised that a further workshop/meeting was planned in the New Year at which Planning Service and key consultees would be attending.
Agreed - the Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek an update on the outcome of the workshop/meeting.
The Committee noted the response from the Minister dated 23 January 2008 regarding clarification on the calculation of estimates on health economic benefits of investment in physical activity.
The Committee noted the response from the Arts Council dated 23 January 2008 in relation to the overview of how it contributes to social and economic life in Northern Ireland.
The Committee noted the statement from the Arts Council dated 24 January 2008 on the outcome for the Arts following the announcement of the budget.
The Committee noted the responses dated 25 January 2008 from the Belfast Education and Library Board, the Southern Education and Library Board, the South Eastern Education and Library Board and the Western Education and Library Board on maintaining an efficient and effective service within the constraints of the reduced budget in 2008/09.
The Committee noted the letter from the Minister which advises that he will be meeting the Chairs of the Education and Library Boards regarding funding,
The Chairperson referred to the copy of the paper from the Northern Ireland Museums Council regarding Northern Ireland Museum Development Policy.
Agreed - the Committee agreed to write to the Northern Ireland Museums Council to ask them to consider including maritime and aviation heritage in its definition of “heritage”.
Agreed – the Clerk was asked to examine what material might exist within documents relating to the last mandate.
The Chair advised the Committee that the Institute of Public Health has forwarded a copy of the “All Ireland Policy Paper on Fuel Poverty and Health”.
The Chair advised the Committee that the Theatres Trust has forwarded its 30 th Annual Report 2006/07.
The Committee noted a response from Sports NI in relation to how it contributes to social and economic life in Northern Ireland. The Chair advised the Committee that Sports NI has also forwarded four reports which it feels may be of assistance to the Committee.
The Chair advised the Committee that a response has been received from Chief Commissioner, Monica McWilliams in which she states that the Committee may forward her letter dealing with proposals for the Irish Language Legislation to the Minister.
Agreed - the Committee asked that the original letter from the Human Rights Commission concerning the Irish Language Legislation be drawn to its attention at the meeting on 7 February 2008.
Mr Ramsey left the meeting at 11.48 a.m.
9. Any other business
There was no other business.
10. Date, time and place of the next meeting
The next meeting of the Committee for Culture Arts and Leisure will be held on Thursday 7 February 2008 at 10.30 a.m. in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 11.50 a.m.