COMMITTEE FOR CULTURE, ARTS AND LEISURE
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
THURSDAY 3 JULY 2008
ROOM 152, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
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
Mrs Linda Gregg (Clerk)
Mrs Elaine Farrell (Assistant Clerk)
Miss Mairéad Higgins (Clerical Supervisor)
Mrs Angela Aboagye (Clerical Officer)
The meeting opened in public session at 10.07 am
The apologies are detailed above.
2. Draft Minutes of the meeting held on 26 June 2008
The draft minutes of the meeting held on 26 June 2008 were agreed.
3. Matters arising
The Chairperson reminded Members that a request was made to the Committee for Finance and Personnel for a copy of the transcript of the briefing that it received from the Second Secretary for the Department of Finance and Personnel, regarding his assessment of the business case for the proposed multi-sports stadium. The Clerk to the Committee for Finance and Personnel has advised that the Committee would be unwilling to release the transcript until it is in final form.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to await the final version of the transcript from the Committee for Finance and Personnel.
The Chairperson advised the Committee that following a request by the Committee to the Department to ascertain if a Festivals Policy exists, the Department has forwarded a document entitled “Community Festivals Fund – Policy and Guidance Framework”.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to consider the Department’s document at a future meeting.
Mr Shannon joined the meeting at 10.34 am
4. Briefing from Forbairt Feirste
The following representatives from Forbairt Feirste joined the meeting:
Mr Jake MacSiacais (Director)
Mr Sean Mistéil (Chairperson)
The representatives briefed the Committee on Forbairt Feirste. This was followed by a question and answer session.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to invite a Departmental official to brief the Committee on the findings of the Dutton Report.
Lord Browne left the meeting at 11.10 am
Mr Shannon left the meeting at 11.10 am
Mr Shannon rejoined the meeting 11.15 am
5. Briefing from the Federation of Ulster Local Studies
The following representatives from the Federation of Ulster Local Studies joined the meeting:
Mr John Dooher (Chairperson)
Mr Patrick Devlin (Treasurer)
Mr Roddy Hegarty (Executive Committee member)
The representatives briefed the Committee on the Federation of Ulster Local Studies. This was followed by a question and answer session.
Mr McCausland left the meeting at 11.30 am
Mr McCausland rejoined the meeting 11.34 am
Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Department to ascertain if a policy exists for local studies. The Committee also believes that the work carried out by this voluntary organisation falls within the remit of the Department and as such should be core funded, and the Committee seeks clarification on this matter.
Mr Brolly arrived at 12.00 pm
6. Briefing from Columba Initiative
The following representatives from the Columba Initiative joined the meeting:
Mr Richard MacGabhann ( Board Member, Northern Ireland)
Mr Malcolm Maclean ( Board Member, Scotland)
Ms Deirdre Davitt (Board Member, Republic of Ireland)
Mr Malcolm Scott (Project Officer)
The representatives briefed the Committee on the Columba Initiative. This was followed by a question and answer session.
Mr McCausland left the meeting at 12.10 pm
Mr Ramsey left the meeting at 12.10 pm
Agreed – the Committee agreed to contact the Department to establish the position on the decision regarding the transfer of Colmcille to the Statutory Language Bodies which may be ratified at the meeting of the North South Ministerial Council on 4 July 2008.
Mr Ramsey rejoined the meeting at 12.30 pm
Mr McCartney left the meeting at 12.38 pm
7. Chairperson’s Business
The Chairperson advised the Committee that he intends to visit the National Museum of Ireland on the morning of 16 July 2008 and the Houses of the Oireachtais in the afternoon to hear a presentation by the Olympic Council of Ireland. He further advised the Committee that he would be visiting Ravenhill Rugby Ground on the morning of 29 July 2008 followed by a meeting with the Chief Executive of the Sports Institute at the University of Ulster, Mr Shaun Ogle, in the afternoon. The Chairperson extended invitations to Committee Members should they be able to attend.
The Chairperson advised the Committee that he had accepted an invitation from Forbairt Feirste to a lecture and presentation on the Saint Gallen and Loch Lao Heritage on the evening of 5 August 2008 in Belfast.
The Committee noted the correspondence dated 30 June 2008 from Climate Change Coalition Northern Ireland (CCCNI) seeking support from the Committee on a number of issues.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to sign the No Day Named Motion on Climate Change and to write to the Executive requesting that a Northern Ireland Climate Change Bill is put forward.
Mr McCartney rejoined the meeting at 12.45 pm
Mr Ramsey left the meeting at 12.48 pm
8. Inquiry into “The Development of a Museums Policy for Northern Ireland”
The Committee discussed the draft programme for oral evidence sessions on the Inquiry into the Development of a Museums Policy for Northern Ireland.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to add the Free Derry Museum, Major Colin Gray and the Apprentice Boys of Derry to the programme for oral evidence sessions.
The Committee noted the correspondence dated 25 June 2008 from the Minister on the offer from EBLUL to give independent advice to the Department.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to advise EBLUL of the content of the Minister’s letter and encourage them to communicate with the Department.
The Committee noted correspondence dated 18 June 2008 from the Fisheries Conservancy Board on the proposed increase in fishing licence duties for 2009 and the recommendation that the proposal will not be subject to an Equality Impact Assessment.
Agreed – the Committee agreed with the recommendation from the Fisheries Conservancy Board that an Equality Impact Assessment was not considered necessary.
The Committee noted the correspondence dated 27 June 2008 from the Clerk to the Committee for the First Minister and deputy First Minister on the Sustainable Development Strategy.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to include a briefing from the Department on the Sustainable Development Strategy in the Forward Work Programme.
The Committee noted the correspondence dated 26 June 2008 from the Minister on staffing issues within Foras na Gaeilge.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Minister requesting a schedule of North-South Ministerial Council meetings.
The Committee noted the correspondence dated 24 June 2008 from the WELB on the NILGA staffing structure.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to forward the correspondence from WELB to the Department seeking its comments.
The Committee noted the request from the Assembly Commission for input to the Commission’s Annual Report.
Agreed – the Committee agreed that the draft response be included in the Commission’s Annual Report and that the inclusion of Committee photographs could be left to the discretion of the Clerk.
The Chairperson advised the Committee that Voluntary Arts Ireland have submitted newsletters for the month of June which are available in the Committee Office.
10. Forward Work Programme
The Committee noted the Forward Work Programme.
Agreed – the Committee agreed that the consideration of the Salmon and Inland Fisheries Forum Consultation could be postponed from 4 September 2008 to 23 October 2008.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to consider the papers from Research and Library Service on ‘An Introduction to a Museums Policy in General’ and ‘An Examination into the levels of public sector investment in Northern Ireland and a comparison with other regions in the UK and the Republic of Ireland’, at the meeting on 4 September 2008.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to add a briefing from the Department and Dr Philip Robinson, Chair of the Ulster-Scots Implementation Group, to the Forward Work Programme for 20 November 2008.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to issue a further letter to Artability to ask it to confirm if it had applied to the Arts Council for funding and to seek confirmation on any other recent applications for funding it may have made.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to keep a visit to the Lough Neagh Fishermen’s Co-Op Society on the Forward Work Programme.
11. Any other business
Agreed – the Committee agreed that any correspondence received over the recess period should be forwarded to Members.
12. Date and time of the next meeting
The next meeting of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure will be Thursday 4 September 2008 at 10.30 am in Exploris Aquarium, Portaferry.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.59 pm