Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Thursday, 06 September 2007

Venue: Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened at 10.35am in public session.

1.    Draft minutes of the meeting held on 4 September 2007.

Agreed – the draft minutes were agreed.

2.    Chairperson’s business

The Chair advised members that he had attended a dinner hosted by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on 10 July 2007.

The Chair advised members that he attended the launch of the ‘First Tee’ programme hosted by Fintona Golf Club on 30 August 2007.

The Chair advised members that he had been invited to attend a reception hosted by the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure in Parliament Buildings on 24 September 2007 to welcome the UK board members of the Big Lottery. The Chair extended the invitation to all members if they had not already received one.

The Chair advised members that the next meeting of the Chairpersons Liaison Group was scheduled for 18 September 2007, and that if members had any issues they wished placed on the agenda these should be forwarded to the Clerk.

3.    Matters arising

Agreed – The Committee agreed to ask Research Services to provide information on local government spend on arts and sports in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

Agreed – The Committee agreed to ask Research Services to provide information on how much of the Ulster Scots Agency’s budget is spent on language, and to revise the table on per capita spend on Ulster Scots languages in Northern Ireland accordingly.

Agreed – The Committee agreed to write to Mr McNarry’s daughter to congratulate her on the birth of her baby.

4.    Multi-sports stadium

Agreed – The Committee agreed to write to the Department requesting copies of the original correspondence submitted by the Community Relations Council and the Gaelic Athletics Association setting out their views on the three short-listed sites, as referred to in the PWC Economic Appraisal Final Report 2005.

Agreed – The Committee agreed to write to the leaders of the four main political parties asking for confirmation that they are still in support of the Maze/Long Kesh Masterplan.

The Chair advised members that the economic appraisal and the business case for the proposed stadium had not yet been received from the Department, and were not likely to be completed until late September.

The Chair referred members to a transcript received from the Committee of the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, covering evidence that Committee took from officials of the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister on the Maze/Long Kesh development at its meeting of 27 June 2007.

Agreed – The Committee agreed to revisit the issue of whether there was a need to call officials from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister in November.

The following representatives from the University of Ulster joined the meeting at 11.00 am:

Professor David Carson (School of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Strategy)

Mr Michael Smyth (School of Economics and Politics)

The representatives briefed the Committee on the findings of their report entitled ‘A Multi-purpose Sports Stadium: In-town versus out of town location’. This was followed by a question and answer session.

Mr Shannon joined the meeting at 11.35am.

The following officials from the Department of Finance and Personnel joined the meeting at 12.00 pm:
Mr David Thompson (Treasure Officer of Accounts, Central Finance Group)
Mr Jack Layberry (Head of Supply, Central Finance Group)

The officials briefed the Committee on the roles and responsibilities of the Department of Finance and Personnel in relation to the proposals for a multi-sports stadium at the Maze/Long Kesh site. This was followed by a question and answer session.

The following officials from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure joined the meeting at 12.15pm:
Mr Edgar Jardine (Deputy Secretary)
Mr Jack Palmer (Head of Sports and Lottery Branch)

The officials briefed the Committee on progress made with the plans for the multi-sports stadium since the Minister briefed the Committee on 24 July 2007.

Mr Bradley left the meeting at 12.22pm. 
Mr Shannon left the meeting at 12.29pm.

5.    Department’s correspondence on Comprehensive Spending Review

The Chair referred members to correspondence from the Minister in relation to the questions raised by the Committee about the bids he submitted to the Department of Finance and Personnel on 28 June 2007.

6.    Forward Work Programme

The Chair referred members to the forward work programme for September to December 2007.

7.    Correspondence

The Chair referred members to correspondence from the Minister in relation to the Department’s VALCAL study.

The Chair referred members to the correspondence from the Minister in relation to an Interim Programme for Government 2007-2008. Members were also referred to a letter from the Minister setting out the arrangements and timetable for Programme for Government 2008-2011.

Agreed – The Committee agreed to write to the Minister requesting further details on Programme for Government 2008 – 2011.

Agreed – The Committee agreed to write again to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure requesting his timetable for bringing issues before the Executive.

The Chair referred members to correspondence from the Minister and from Sport Northern Ireland in relation to funding for Windsor Park from the Soccer Strategy monies.

Agreed –The Committee agreed to reply to the correspondence from the Ulster Secretary of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association, setting out the remit of the Committee and its powers.

The Chair referred members to correspondence from the Arts Council in relation to the Committee’s queries on the TURAS/Journey programme.

The Chair referred members to correspondence from the Clerk of the Executive Review Committee requesting that it be kept informed of any inquiries the Committee should carry out on the Irish or Ulster Scots languages.

Agreed – The Committee agreed to reply to request from the Northern Ireland Sports Forum to meet the Committee, explaining that the forward work programme is full until December, but that their request will be considered for the new work programme beginning in January 2008.

Agreed – The Committee agreed to reply to request from the Royal National Institute for the Blind to meet the Committee, explaining that the forward work programme is full until December, but that their request will be considered for the new work programme beginning in January 2008.

Agreed – The Committee agreed to defer the correspondence from the Arts Council on the ‘per cent for art’ principle to next week’s meeting.

The Chair referred members to correspondence from the Minister on the selection of a site and developer for the new PRONI headquarters. Agreed – The Committee agreed that the Clerk should seek advice on the Committee’s remit regarding this type of issue.

8.    Any Other Business

Agreed – The Committee agreed to write to the National Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association for information on how the proposals for a multi-sports stadium at the Maze/Long Kesh site sit with its long-term strategy plan.

Agreed – The Committee agreed to send a letter of condolence to the family of Patrick Breen.

Agreed – The Committee agreed to send a letter of condolence to the family of John Kelly.

9.    Date and time of next meeting

Agreed - The Committee agreed its next meeting will be held on Thursday 13 September 2007 at 10.15am in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.55pm.

Mr Barry McElduff MLA
Chairperson, Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure 
13 September 2007.

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