COMMITTEE FOR CULTURE, ARTS AND LEISURE
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
THURSDAY 10 SEPTEMBER 2009
ROOM 152, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Mr Barry McElduff MLA (Chairperson)
Mr David McNarry MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr PJ Bradley MLA
Lord Browne MLA
Mr Kieran McCarthy MLA
Mr Ken Robinson MLA
Mr Jim Shannon MLA
Mr Raymond McCartney MLA
Mr Dominic Bradley MLA
Mr Francie Brolly MLA
Dr Kathryn Bell (Clerk)
Mrs Ashleigh Mitford (Assistant Clerk)
Mr Jonathan Lamont (Clerical Supervisor)
Mr Chris Baird (Clerical Officer)
The meeting opened in public session at 10.36 a.m.
Apologies are detailed above.
2. Draft Minutes of 02 July 2009
Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting held on 02 July 2009 were agreed.
3 . Inquiry into the funding of the arts in Northern Ireland
The Committee noted responses from the Minister and from the Arts Council to additional questions relating to the inquiry.
The Committee noted information supplied by the Community Arts Forum relating to spending on community arts in other countries and regions.
The Committee noted correspondence from the Arts Council regarding its allocation under the CSR.
The Committee noted the Clerk’s report of the visit to Liverpool.
The Committee noted the timetable for completion of the inquiry.
4. Departmental briefing on September monitoring round
The following Departmental officials joined the meeting:
Deborah Brown (Director of Finance)
Mick Cory (Director of Sports, Museums & Recreation Division)
Anne Tohill (Head of Arts)
The officials briefed the Committee on September monitoring. This was followed by a question and answer session.
Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Department on a number of issues raised during the briefing session.
5. Committee input to the take-note debate on the Programme for Government Delivery Report
The Committee noted correspondence from the OFMDFM Committee and
a memo from the Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee Office suggesting various lines for the Chairperson for the take-note debate.
Agreed: The Committee agreed the suggested lines with some additions.
6. Chairperson’s Business
The Committee noted details of the Chairperson’s visits and activities over the summer recess period up to Friday 4 September 2009.
The Chairperson advised the Committee that he introduced an event in the Long Gallery organised by Foras na Gaeilge and sponsored by the Committee on Tuesday 7 September 2009.
11.50 a.m. Mr. McNarry left the meeting.
The Chairperson advisedthe Committee that he, the Deputy Chair, Kieran McCarthy and the Clerk attended a meeting with the Big Telly Theatre Company on 2 July 2009. The Committee noted the Clerk’s report of the meeting.
Agreed: Members agreed to contact the Committee Office if they wish to attend one of the performances on Saturday 3 October 2009.
The Chairperson advised the Committee that he and the Assistant Clerk attended a meeting with the Community Relations Manager of the IFA on 24 July 2009. The Committee noted the Assistant Clerk’s report of the meeting, a Football for All Pack and follow-up correspondence from the IFA.
The Chairperson advised the Committee that he and other Committee members had visited three language projects on Thursday 20 August 2009 and the Abbey Theatre and National Gallery in Dublin on Thursday 27 August 2009. The Committee noted reports of both visits and follow-up correspondence.
The Chairperson advised membersthat the Abbey Theatre has commissioned a play by Gary Mitchell called ‘Autonomous Forces’ which will be performed as part of the Belfast Festival at Queen’s on Sunday 25 October. The Chairperson advised Members to contact the Committee Office if they wished to attend.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to hold an informal round-robin style meeting in December with the Carntogher Community Association and other groups.
11.58 a.m. Mr McNarry re-joined the meeting.
The Committee considered a newspaper article regarding the lack of funding available to young people undertaking courses in the arts.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Arts Council to ask if they can either provide funding or work with the Department for Employment (DEL) and Learning on this issue.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to DEL to ask if its funding could extend into this area. The Committee also agreed to ask DEL if it has plans to improve or extend existing course provision in the arts in Northern Ireland.
12.07 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.
The Chairperson advised members that the Department of the Environment (DOE) is considering the de-listing of various buildings and monuments of special historical interest.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the DOE to request a list of the buildings and monuments that have been proposed for de-listing and in particular to request that the Department does not de-list the grave of the poet, Alice Milligan.
The Chairperson advised membersthat a copy of an informal meeting report had been released under a Freedom of Information request in August.
The Committee considered correspondence from Sport NI regarding the Places for Sport programme.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to Swim Ulster to ask if it has made applications for funding to the Places for Sport programme.
Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to sporting governing bodies for their views on the Places for Sport programme
The Chairperson advised members that he and the Clerk will be attending a meeting with Michael Wilson from UTV on Wednesday 16 September at 11.30 a.m. in Parliament Buildings and invited other members to attend.
12.11 p.m. Mr McCarthy re-joined the meeting.
7. Forward Work Programme
The Committee noted correspondence from DCAL in relation to the Forward Work Programme.
Agreed: The Committee agreed its Forward Work Programme.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that the remit for the indigenous languages presentation session on 24 September should be copied to the Committee for the meeting on 17 September 2009.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to review correspondence in relation to funding for the Place Names project at its meeting on 17 September 2009.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that the briefing session with BBCNI and local playwrights on 17 September 2009 should be covered by Hansard.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to discuss the draft recommendations for the arts inquiry in closed session on 17 September 2009.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to hold a special meeting on Tuesday 15 September 2009 to receive a briefing from the Minister on the recommendations coming out of the Digital Britain Report, and that this session would be covered by Hansard.
8. Recess Correspondence
The Committee noted the following correspondence:
DCAL response re Safety at Sports Grounds Regulations (NI) 2009 – Planned Review of Maximum Fees
DCAL response re progress of a Museums Policy
Safety at Sports Grounds – Subordinate Legislation
Arts Council Appeals / Complaints Procedures
2 letters from OFMDFM re Draft Sports Strategy
Sole Purpose Productions tour of Scotland
The ETI Annual Business Report 2008 – 2009
The Drinking Water Quality Annual Report 2008
Think Enterprise brochures
Craft NI : information on current activities
North Down Art of Regeneration Publication 2005 – 2009
Olympic Lottery Distributer Annual Report and Accounts 2008 – 2009
BBC Northern Ireland’s Annual Review 2008 – 2009
Newsletter from the Voluntary Arts Network June 2009
DCAL response re 10-day Payment of Invoices
DCAL response re PEDU review of PSA delivery
DCAL Forecast outturn Jul 2009 – March 2010
DCAL Forecast outturn Aug 2009 – March 2010
Letter from Ulster-Scots Agency re Ulster-Scots Curriculum
Development: Update on material for schools
Correspondence regarding language provision in schools
Queens University response re Recommendations to the Minister of Education Letter from The Youth Sport Trust
Letter from Sport NI regarding follow-up issues from the meeting of 5 May 2009
12.34 p.m. Mr McCartney left the meeting.
The Committee noted a response from Sport NI regarding follow-up issues from the meeting of 5 May 2009.
The Committee noted a response from the DOE regarding White Bridge, Moyallon.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward a copy of this correspondence to Mr Trimble of the Craigavon Historical Society.
The Committee noted correspondence regarding the Lough Neagh Partnership.
12.36 p.m. Mr McCartney re-joined the meeting.
The Committee noted correspondence relating to the MAC project.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the MAC project to ask that it keep the Committee apprised of progress in signing the contract and to ask for an overview of its plans for the gallery space.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Arts Council to ask if the new facilities at the MAC would meet their requirements regarding a major new art gallery.
12.40 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.
The Committee noted correspondence from the OFMDFM Committee and a summary of the ‘Implementing the Gender Equality Strategy Progress Report’.
The Committee noted an update from the Minister on the Strategy for Indigenous or Regional Minority Languages.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to request a preview of the strategy document that he will be presenting to the Executive.
The Committee noted correspondence regarding the closure of the German department at Queen’s University Belfast.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Committee Office should ascertain whether the department has now closed and update the Committee on the current position.
The Committee noted correspondence from various Arms Length Bodies on “Links with Scotland”.
The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister regarding the NIO Community Fund.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to ascertain if other departments are deriving any funds from the proceeds of crime.
The Committee noted two items of correspondence regarding the Committee’s review of the NIEC and its other Arms Length Bodies.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to DCAL at start of October to check that the remaining two members of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium Board did indeed attend training in September.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content to note that the one member of the Sport NI Board will not receive training until December 2009.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider the Department’s response to the Committee’s review of the NIEC and its other Arms Length Bodies at the meeting of 8 October 2009.
The Committee noted correspondence from the Director of BBC NI regarding the future of Let’s Talk.
The Committee noted a letter from Salto Gymnastics Centre to the Minister.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to ask the Department to copy it into any response it sends to Salto.
The Committee noted correspondence from the NIO regarding “Sports Law and Spectator Controls: A Consultation”.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a background briefing from NIO and DCAL officials in October on the issue, with input from a crowd control expert if possible.
The Committee noted correspondence from the DFP Committee on the NI Multiple Deprivation Measure 2009 Consultation Document.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to ask DCAL for a copy of any response it makes to the consultation.
12.57 p.m. Mr McNarry left the meeting.
The Committee noted correspondence from the Department for Regional Development regarding the impact of development on tributary streams and rivers in urban areas.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to DARD to highlight the importance of protecting urban rivers and streams.
The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister regarding the temporary closure to the public of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.
12.58 p.m. Mr McCartney left the meeting.
12.58 p.m. Mr McNarry re-joined the meeting.
9. Any other business
Mr McNarry passed a letter from Mr. Tom Elliot regarding funding for motor sports to the Committee Office for consideration at the meeting of 17 September 2009.
The Chairperson thanked Mr Shannon for his work on the Committee.
11. Date and Time of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure will be on Tuesday 15 September 2009 at 4.15 p.m. in Room 21, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 1.04 p.m.