Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Thursday, 08 November 2007

Venue: Room 152, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened at 10.05am in public session.

1.    Draft minutes of the meeting held on 25 October 2007

Agreed – the draft minutes were agreed.

2.    Libraries Bill (NIA 5/07)

The Deputy Chairperson referred members to the correspondence from the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure on start-up costs for the Library Authority.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure asking to be kept informed of any planned redundancies or changes to the estimated start-up costs. The Committee also agreed to ask whether human resources and financial systems are currently shared between the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure’s Non Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs), and whether it is envisaged that all NDPBs would share such services in the future. The Committee agreed to further ask the Minister for clarification on the conclusion of the summary of the Deloitte report.

Mr Robinson joined the meeting at 10.10am.

The Deputy Chairperson referred members to the correspondence from the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure on Clause 6 of the Bill.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to ask the Bill Office to provide further guidance on the possible re-wording of Clause 6 of the Bill.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding the retention and protection of experience of longer serving staff currently employed in the Education and Library Boards.

Mr Ramsey left the meeting at 10.20am.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to ask the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure for a timeline of the process for the appointment of the Chief Executive Designate of the Library Authority.

3.    Matters arising

Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Human Rights Commissioner to ask whether she had written to the Secretary of State following the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure’s statement to the Assembly on the Irish language legislation proposals on 16 October 2007.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to hold a meeting with the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding strategies for developing the Irish and Ulster Scots languages.

Mr Ramsey rejoined the meeting at 10.30am. 
The meeting was suspended at 10.35am to permit members to attend a Service of Remembrance in the Senate Chamber. 
The meeting resumed at 11.19am.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to defer the briefing from Linguistics Operations Branch of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, which had been scheduled for 13 December 2007.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to ask for per capita spend figures for minority languages in Scotland, Wales and England.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to ask whether the figure of £42 million had been confirmed as the total amount of National Lottery funding Northern Ireland would lose for 2009-2012 as a result of monies being diverted to the 2012 Olympics. It was also agreed to ask the Department for details of the types and numbers of projects in Northern Ireland which would be impacted by the loss in funding, and for detailed information on the potential legacy to Northern Ireland from the 2012 Olympics.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to respond to the correspondence from King Street Rehearsal Studio regarding the ‘Oh Yeah’ project by advising it to make direct contact with the ‘Oh Yeah’ project and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure requesting further information on the ‘Oh Yeah’ project, and requesting that the Department send the Committee a copy of its’ response to any correspondence from the King Street Rehearsal Studio.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Northern Ireland Music Industry Commission and the Northern Ireland Recording Studios Association to seek their views on the ‘Oh Yeah’ project.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to ask for monthly updates on the operational management of the Fisheries Conservancy Board.

4.    Sustainable Development Action Plan Report

The Deputy Chair referred members to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure’s action plan progress update report.

5.    Forward work programme

Agreed – the Committee agreed to defer the clause by clause reading of the Libraries Bill from 22 November 2007 to 29 November 2007, due to consideration of the draft Budget and draft Programme for Government.

Agreed – the Committee agreed the itinerary for the visit to Belfast Central Library and the associated transport expenditure.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to defer consideration of the Comex Report.

Mr Ramsey left the meeting at 11.45am.

6.    Presentation from the Ards and Down Salmonid Enhancement Association (ADSEA)

The following representatives from ADSEA joined the meeting:
Mr Philip Johnston (Chairperson, ADSEA)
Mr Derek McCallan (Director of Economic Development of Ards Borough Council)
Mr Ian Watts (ADESA)

The ADSEA representatives briefed the Committee on their proposed project for Strangford Lough. This was followed by a question and answer session. The ADSEA representatives agreed to write to the Committee outlining their concerns with the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure’s proposed alterative to their project.

7.    Briefing from Departmental officials

The following officials from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure joined the meeting:
Ms Alison McQueen (Head of Inland Fisheries and Inland Waterways)
Mr Marcus McAuley (Chief Fisheries Officer )

The officials answered questions from members on the proposed ADSEA project. The officials agreed to write to the Committee outlining in full the Department’s concerns with the ADSEA project.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to ask the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to provide a timeline of its actions regarding the ADSEA project since 2001, and for the timescale which would be needed to change the relevant primary legislation to facilitate the ADSEA project.

8.    Correspondence

The Deputy Chairperson referred members to the correspondence from the Minister of Finance and Personnel regarding the impact of the loss of Big Lottery Funding on arts and sports.

The Deputy Chairperson referred members to the correspondence from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure on its progress with the VALCAL study.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to invite the Northern Ireland Karate-Do Wado-Kai to make a presentation to the Committee and to hold an exhibition in Parliament Buildings. 
Agreed – the Committee agreed to respond to the correspondence from Dr McTeggart regarding Waterways Ireland by stating that it would ask the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to forward the Committee a copy of any response he makes to Dr McTeggart. The Committee also agreed to write to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure requesting that he forward a copy of any response he makes to Dr McTeggart.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to forward a letter from the Committee of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister on its inquiry into child poverty to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure. The Committee also agreed to ask the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to forward it a copy of any submission he makes to the inquiry.

The Deputy Chairperson referred members to the response from the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to the Committee’s letter regarding the consultation carried out with the Ulster Scots Implementation Group in respect of the October monitoring round.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to reply to the correspondence from the Community Arts Forum by advising the organisation that it would be considering a range of funding issues as part of the consultation exercise on the Draft Budget.

9.    Any Other Business

Agreed – the Committee agreed to ask the Clerk to make enquiries as to which organisation owns the Ravenhill rugby stadium in Belfast.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to ask that he update the Committee on the issue of costs when he briefs the Committee on the multi-sports stadium proposals on 13 December 2007.

10. Date and time of next meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed to hold its next meeting on Thursday 15 November 2007 at 10.00am in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.

The Deputy Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 1.05pm.

Mr David McNarry MLA
Deputy Chairperson, Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure 
15 November 2007

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