COMMITTEE FOR CULTURE, ARTS AND LEISURE
THURSDAY 13 MARCH 2008
THE MARKET PLACE THEATRE AND ARTS CENTRE ARMAGH
Mr Barry McElduff MLA (Chairperson)
Mr Dominic Bradley MLA
Mr Francie Brolly MLA
Mr Kieran McCarthy MLA
Mr Raymond McCartney MLA
Mr Ken Robinson MLA
Mr Jim Shannon MLA
Mr David McNarry MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Lord Browne MLA
Mr Nelson McCausland MLA
Mr Pat Ramsey MLA
In attendance: Mrs Linda Gregg (Clerk)
Mrs Elaine Farrell (Assistant Clerk)
Miss Mairéad Higgins (Clerical Supervisor)
Mrs Angela Aboagye (Clerical Officer)
Apologies as detailed above.
Mr Shannon arrived at 10.43 a.m.
2. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 6 March 2008
The draft minutes of the meeting held on 6 March 2008 were agreed as amended.
3. Matters arising
The Chairperson welcomed Mr Raymond McCartney as a new Member to the Committee in place of Mr Paul Maskey. Mr McCartney declared the following interests:
Chairperson Coiste Na-Nlar Chimí
Secretary Aras Tar Abhaile
Member Tar Abhaile Trustee Bloody Sunday Trust
The Chairperson advised the Committee that Stephen Watson, BBC has agreed to present the proposed reception for the participants of the Special Olympics Ireland and Transplant Games on Thursday 1 May 2008.
The Chairperson advised the Committee that the National Union of Journalists and Northern Ireland Broadcasting have requested that their original correspondence on proposed redundancies and centralisation, be withdrawn as some progress has been made.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to take no further action on behalf of the National Union of Journalists and Northern Ireland Broadcasting.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to Dr Duncan Morrow, Community Relations Council (CRC) to seek further confirmation on the CRC’s position on the location of the proposed multi-sports stadium.
4. Chairperson’s Business
The Chairperson referred Members to an invitation from the Ulster Wildlife Trust to a stakeholder workshop on Thursday 27 March 2008 in Dendron Lodge, Clandeboye.
Agreed – Mr Shannon agreed to represent the Committee at the workshop on 27 March 2008.
The Committee noted the correspondence dated 29 February 2008 from the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments on the publication of its 2006/07 Annual Report.
5. Presentation from Armagh Planetarium
The following representative from the Armagh Planetarium joined the meeting:
Dr Tom Mason – Director
Dr Mason briefed the Committee on the Armagh Planetarium. This was followed by a question and answer session.
6. Presentation from the Armagh Observatory
The following representative from the Armagh Observatory joined the meeting:
Professor Mark Bailey MBE – Director
Professor Bailey briefed the Committee on the Armagh Observatory. This was followed by a question and answer session.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Minister to highlight the difficulties experienced by the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium and to emphasize the difficult financial position of both organisations and to urge him to take the necessary action.
7. Briefing from the Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre
The following representative from the Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre joined the meeting:
Ms Jill McEneaney – Theatre Director
Ms McEneaney briefed the Committee on the Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre. This was followed by a question and answer session.
8. Outcome of February monitoring
The Committee noted the departmental briefing paper dated 10 March 2008 on the outcome of the February 2008 monitoring.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Department to ask for an explanation on why £300k Sport NI Capital funding for Safe Sports Grounds was allocated to OSNI when it is due to transfer from the Department to Land and Property Services on 1 April 2008.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek clarification on the £655k resource payment which was resubmitted to the Northern Ireland Events Company.
9. Forward Work Programme
The Committee noted the Forward Work Programme.
Agreed – the Committee agreed that there should be Hansard coverage for the meeting of 3 April 2008, when the Irish Football Association and Ulster Rugby will be in attendance.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to a meeting on 29 April 2008 from 1.30 p.m. to 3.00 p.m. with the Minister, the Arts Council and Sport NI to answer questions about their budgets.
The Committee noted correspondence dated 5 March 2008 from the Minister on the Community Festivals Fund.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Minister to ask if the Community Festivals Fund Policy and Guidance Framework was also a basis for local Councils and to ask if amateur drama groups would be eligible to apply.
The Committee noted the correspondence dated 6 March 2008 from the Association of Ulster Drama Festivals.
Agreed – the Committee agreed that the Association of Ulster Drama Festivals should be added to the Forward Work Programme.
The Committee noted the correspondence dated 6 March 2008 from the First Minister and deputy First Minister on Library services for Minority Ethnic People and Migrant Workers.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to await the outcome of the meeting with OFMDFM officials and representatives of the public library service.
The Committee noted correspondence dated 6 March 2008 from Professor Monica McWilliams on the letter to the Secretary of State on proposed Irish Language legislation.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to consider this issue at the Committee meeting on 3 April 2008.
11. Any other business
There was no other business.
12. Date and time of next meeting
The next meeting of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure will take place on Thursday 3 April 2008 at 10.30 a.m. in Room 152.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.50 p.m.