COMMITTEE FOR CULTURE, ARTS AND LEISURE
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
THURSDAY 18 FEBRUARY 2010
ROOM 21, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Mr Barry McElduff MLA (Chairperson)
Mr Dominic Bradley MLA
Mr PJ Bradley MLA
Lord Browne MLA
Mr Trevor Clarke MLA
Mr Billy Leonard MLA
Mr Kieran McCarthy MLA
Mr Raymond McCartney MLA
Ms Michelle McIlveen MLA
Mr Ken Robinson MLA
Mr David McNarry MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
In attendance: Dr Kathryn Bell (Clerk)
Mrs Elaine Farrell (Assistant Clerk)
Miss Emma Patton (Assistant Clerk)
Mr Jonathan Lamont (Clerical Supervisor)
Mr Christopher Baird (Clerical Officer)
The meeting opened in public session at 10.35 a.m.
The apologies are noted above.
2. Draft minutes of 11 February 2010
Agreed : The amended draft minutes of the meeting held on 11 February 2010 were agreed.
3. Matters arising
The Committee noted the response from the Department in relation to the NI Marine Task Force and its report on the future of marine management.
The Committee noted the response from the Department regarding issues raised in relation to the revised budget for 2010/2011.
The Committee noted the response from S.H.I.P in relation to questions raised at the Committee visit to Sailorstown regarding the plot of land adjacent to the Mission to Seafarers building in Princes Dock Street.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to S.H.I.P. suggesting that they contact the Arts Council and Belfast City Council for further advice. The Committee also agreed to advise S.H.I.P. that the proposed public art work should reflect all sectors of the docking system in Belfast.
Mr McCartney left the meeting at 10.40a.m.
Mr D Bradley joined the meeting at 10.45a.m.
The Committee noted the response from the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment in relation to Tourism Ireland’s involvement in the Milwaukee Irish Fest.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Ulster Scots Agency to enquire further about its proposal for a grant scheme for the Milwaukee Fest.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to Foras na Gaelige to inform it that the Ulster Scots Agency was considering a grant scheme and to enquire whether it would be minded to take similar action.
Agreed : The Committee agreed to contact the musical group Kintra to enquire if the group is making any progress in relation to accessing funding to attend the Fest.
The Committee noted the response from Professor McCutcheon in relation to his private collection of historical artifacts.
4. Inquiry into the funding for the arts in Northern Ireland
The Committee noted a memo from the Clerk.
The Committee noted the responses to the inquiry from the Department and the Arts Council.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing session with the Department and the Arts Council in order to explore the issues further.
5. Inquiry into participation in sport and physical activity in Northern Ireland
The Committee noted the revised outline plan for the inquiry.
The Committee noted the list of groups which have provided submissions to the inquiry to date and the memo from the Clerk on suggestions regarding which organisations should be invited to present oral evidence.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that Skills Active NI, the British Medical Association, the Big Lottery Fund, NILGA and the Northern Ireland Rural Women’s Network, should be called to give oral evidence to the inquiry through the format of a meeting.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to invite the Gaelic Athletic Association, Ulster Rugby and the Irish Football Association to give oral evidence into the inquiry.
The Committee noted theAssembly Research paper on European Union perspectives on sport and physical activity.
The Committee noted Sport NI’s written submission and tabled papers to the inquiry.
Mr Clarke joined the meeting at 11.10a.m.
The following representatives from Sport NI joined the meeting:
Mr Nick Harkness, Director, Participation and Facilities
Mr John News, Participation Manager
Mr Paul Donnelly, Policy Planning and Researcher
The representatives briefed the Committee.
Mr McCartney joined the meeting at 11.50a.m.
This was followed by a question and answer session.
6. Chairperson’s Business
Members were advised that the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson will meet with the new Permanent Secretary, Rosalie Flannagan, on Tuesday 2 March 2010.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister with a number of queries following media reports that £20 million will be provided for the Irish Language and £5 million for Ulster Scots.
The Committee noted the summary from the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) into Northern Ireland’s Tourism Strategy.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek a briefing on this topic from the Department and the NI Tourist Board on a future date.
The Committee noted NISRA’s report – ‘Analysis of sickness absence in the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure’.
The Committee noted the correspondence from Mr Daithí McKay MLA, in relation to the lack of availability of RTE 1, RTE 2 and TG4 on Freeview (digital) television in Northern Ireland.
Agreed : The Committee agreed towrite to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr Eamon Ryan TD with regard to this matter.
The Committee noted a list of organisations opposed to the reduction to funding to Sport NI proposed for 2010/2011.
Agreed : The Committee agreed towrite to Sport NI requesting a copy of the correspondence it sent out to sporting clubs in relation to the cuts.
8. Forward Work Programme
The Committee noted the Forward Work Programme.
The Committee noted that Libraries NI’s consultation on the review of libraries has been extended to 5 April 2010 and a further consultation is taking place on Equality Impact Assessment.
The Committee noted that the briefing with the Minister in relation to the Language Strategy has been deferred from the 18 March 2010 to a later date.
Members were advised that the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson will meet with the Minister on 4 March 2010 in regards to a number of Committee issues.
Agreed : The Committee agreed to request Hansard coverage for the inquiry evidence session at the meeting on 25 February 2010.
9. Any other business
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to Libraries NI requesting an update on how it is fulfilling its cultural heritage brief and to invite them to brief the Committee on the matter.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to contact the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission regarding the possibility of acquiring a water fountain for the Committee meeting room.
10. Date and time of the next meeting
The next meeting of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure will take place on Thursday 25 February 2010 at 10.30 a.m. in Room 21, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.44 p.m.