Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Thursday, 18 October 2007

Venue: Room 152, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened at 10.08am in public session.

1. Libraries Bill (NIA Bill 5/07)

The Committee discussed issues on the Libraries Bill in preparation for the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure giving oral evidence to the Committee.

Mr Bradley joined the meeting at 10.16am.
Mr McCausland left the meeting at 10.23am.
Mr McCausland rejoined the meeting at 10.24am.

Members declared the following interests:

Mr Barry McElduff MLA (Chairperson) – Member of the Western Education and Library Board.
Mr Dominic Bradley MLA – Board of Governors, primary school.
Mr Kieran McCarthy MLA – Board of Governors, two schools.
Mr Nelson McCausland MLA – Chairperson of the Library Committee, Belfast Education and Library Board. Board of Governors, three schools.
Mr Ken Robinson MLA – Board of Governors, two schools. 
Mr Jim Shannon MLA – Board of Governors, two schools.

The Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, gave oral evidence, in public, to the Committee on the Libraries Bill.

Mr Maskey left the meeting at 11.20am.
Mr Ramsey left the meeting at 12.05pm.
Mr McNarry left the meeting at 12.15pm.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Minister for further clarification on the discussions which his Department has had with the Department of Education in relation to synchronising the establishment of the Library Authority and the Education and Skills Authority. The Committee also agreed to request information from the Minister on how the links between the Public Library Service and the Schools Library Service would be maintained and developed, and on the issues which would be covered by service level agreements.

2. Budget issues

The Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure briefed the Committee on issues regarding the forthcoming draft Budget and Programme for Government.

3. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 11 October 2007

Agreed – the draft minutes were agreed.

4. Matters arising

Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to request clarification on whether the Board of the Ulster Scots Implementation Group were consulted regarding the Department’s surrender of monies in the October monitoring round.

5. Chairperson’s business

The Chair advised members that he had attended a lunch hosted by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee in the Stormont hotel on 15 October 2007.

The Chair advised members that he had attended a meeting of the Chairpersons Liaison Group on 16 October 2007.

The Chair referred members to the invitation from the Rural Development Council to the launch of its Strategic Framework in the Long Gallery on 24 October 2007. Members were advised to contact the Committee Office if they wished to attend.

The Chair advised members that the Deputy Chair and he were hosting the launch of the book ‘Legends of Irish Boxing’ in the Long Gallery on Thursday 25 October 2007.

6. Research paper on Irish and Ulster Scots

The Chair referred members to the Research Service paper on per capita spends on Irish and Ulster Scots.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to seek further information from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure on its funding for the cross – border language bodies and the funding provided by local councils.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to invite the Linguistic Operations Branch of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to make a presentation to the Committee.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to forward a copy of the Research Service paper to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, as requested.

7. Forward work programme

The Chair advised members that the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure will be launching the ‘Salmon and Inland Fisheries stakeholder forum’ for public consultation at the end of October or early November.

The Chair advised members that the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure will brief the Committee at the next meeting on the outcome of the consultation on proposed Irish language legislation.

8. Correspondence

The Chair referred members to the correspondence from the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding the Programme for Government 2008 - 2011.

The Chair advised members that a copy of the Annual Report and Accounts for 2006 - 2007 of Water Service, Department for Regional Development, had been received in the Committee Office.

The Chair referred members to the correspondence from the Fisheries Conservancy Board regarding which organisation would take over its responsibilities once it was disbanded.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure concerning the impact which the disbanding of the Fisheries Conservancy Board will have with regard to the organisation’s funding and staff. The Committee also agreed to ask the Department for information on its strategy for the stocking of Lough Neagh with elvers.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to ask Research Service for a paper on the impact of the disbanding of the Fisheries Conservancy Board on inland fishing in Northern Ireland.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to include a presentation from the Big Lottery Fund in its forward work programme.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure for information on the impact of the diversion of Big Lottery funding to the 2012 Olympics.

The Chair referred members to the correspondence from the Northern Ireland Marine Task Force.

9. Any Other Business

The Chair referred members to the invitation from the Ulster History Circle and the John Hewitt Society to the unveiling of two plaques to John Hewitt on 29 October 2007.

10. Date and time of next meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed its next meeting will be held on Thursday 25 October 2007 at 10.00am in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.50pm.

Mr Barry McElduff MLA
Chairperson, Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure
25 October 2007.

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