Minutes of Proceedings
Date: Thursday, 17 May 2007
Venue: Room 152, Parliament Buildings
The meeting opened at 10.30am in public session.
1. Chairperson’s business
Agreed – The Committee agreed to hold its meetings in public.
Agreed – The Committee agreed to permit the press to televise a portion of the meeting.
The Chairperson introduced the members to the Committee Office staff.
The Chairperson drew members’ attention to the declarations of interest which had been received before the meeting. Not all the members had completed the declaration form prior to the meeting and it was agreed that an updated table of interests would be circulated at the next meeting. Mr McElduff declared that he had an interest in the Western Education and Library Board in addition to his interests already declared.
2. Committee procedures
The Clerk referred members to the guidance papers on the powers and operation of Statutory Committees, the role of the Committee Office, subordinate legislation, and legislation passed during suspension.
Mr McNarry suggested that the Committee establish a procedure for considering future Bills. The Principal Clerk clarified that the legislation requires the Department to bring Bills before the Committee, and that the Bill Office will brief the Committee on the process involved.
Mr McNarry requested that the Committee hold an inquiry into the Irish language legislation proposals. Mr McElduff stated that the Committee would return to this issue at the next meeting.
The Chairperson briefed members on the rules relating to privilege.
The Chairperson briefed members on his role.
Agreed – The Committee passed the following motion ‘That the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure resolves, under Standing Order 41 to delegate to the Examiner of Statutory Rules the technical scrutiny of statutory rules referred to the Committee under the above mentioned Standing Order. The Committee further resolves that in carrying out this function the Examiner shall be authorised to report his technical findings on each statutory rule to the Assembly, through the Business Office, and to the relevant Department, as well as to the Committee itself and to publish his report’.
Ms Eileen Regan from Research Services briefed members on the role of Assembly Research Services.
Mr Brolly left the meeting at 11.00am
Mrs Jane Campbell from Research Services briefed the Committee on major Departmental developments from suspension to restoration and members asked a number of questions on the issues.
Mr Brolly rejoined the meeting at 11.02am
Mr McNarry left the meeting at 11.03am
Mr Brolly left the meeting at 11.05am
Mr Brolly rejoined the meeting at 11.08am
Mr McNarry rejoined the meeting at 11.09am
Agreed – The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to seek an update on the ADSEA project, Strangford.
Agreed – The Committee agreed a request to Research Services for information on spend per capita on minority languages across the UK.
3. DCAL First Day Brief
The Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Mr Edwin Poots MLA, and the following officials joined the meeting at 11.30am:
Mr Paul Sweeney (Permanent Secretary, Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure)
Mr Edgar Jardine (Deputy Secretary, Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure)
Mr Anthony Carleton (Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure)
Ms Michelle Estler (Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure)
The Minister briefed the Committee on upcoming key issues facing the Department and answered questions from members.
Mr McCarthy left the meeting at 12.18pm
Mr McNarry left the meeting at 12.21pm
Mr Shannon left the meeting at 12.21pm
The Minister, Mr Edwin Poots MLA, briefed the Committee on the Comprehensive Spending Review and answered questions from members.
The Minister agreed to send the Committee a copy of the paper which he spoke to on the Comprehensive Spending Review.
Mr Shannon rejoined the meeting at 12.30pm
Mr McNarry rejoined the meeting at 12.31pm
Mr Bradley stated that there was no basis for an inquiry into the Irish language legislation, as previously requested by Mr McNarry, given that the Department had carried out and gone beyond its statutory consultation requirements.
Mr McCausland asked the Minister for a breakdown of the current budget and proposed bid to cover Foras na Gaelige and the Ulster Scots Agency. The Minister agreed to send the Committee this information.
In response to a question from Mr McCausland, the Minister confirmed that it was the Department’s intention to take Ulster Scots from Part II to Part III status under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.
Mr McCarthy rejoined the meeting at 12.36pm
Mr McNarry left the meeting at 12.37pm
4. Forward work programme
Agreed – The Committee agreed that the Bill Office would brief it on primary legislation at its meeting of 24 May 2007, and that it would then receive briefing from the Department on the draft Libraries (NI) Order 1997, the Irish language legislation proposals and the Reform of Public Administration.
Agreed – The Committee agreed to invite the Arts Council and the Sports Council to attend a future meeting.
Agreed – The Committee agreed to invite Foras na Gaelige and the Ulster Scots Agency to attend a future meeting.
Mc McNarry rejoined the meeting at 12.44pm.
5. Draft press release
Agreed - The Committee agreed to issue a press release to mark its first meeting.
6. Any Other Business
Agreed - The Committee agreed to write to both the organisers of the North West 200 and to Ian Paisley Junior MLA to congratulate them on securing additional funding for the event.
7. Date, time and place of next meeting.
Agreed – The Committee agreed its next meeting will be held on Thursday 24 May 2007 at 10.30am in Room 424, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.50pm.
Mr Barry McElduff MLA
Chairperson, Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure
30 May 2007.