Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Thursday, 25 October 2007

Venue: Room 152, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened at 10.37am in public session.

1.    Draft minutes of the meeting held on 18 October 2007

Agreed – the draft minutes were agreed.

2.    Matters arising

The Chair advised members that the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure has been asked to provide further information on per capita spend on Irish and Ulster Scots, and that briefing from the Linguistics Operations Branch has been scheduled for the meeting of 13 December 2007.

3.    Chairperson’s business

Agreed – the Committee agreed to publish Research papers.

The Chair referred members to the correspondence from the Speaker regarding the Committee’s request for Hansard cover of Committee meetings.

The Chair advised members he would be attending a seminar on the future of national theatres in the Lyric Theatre on 27 October 2007.

4.    Forward work programme

Agreed – the Committee agreed to ask Research Service to produce a background paper on the Comex Report.

Mr Shannon joined the meeting at 11.45am. 
Mr Robinson joined the meeting at 11.47am.

5.    Briefing on the Irish language legislation consultation

The Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Mr Edwin Poots MLA, and the following officials joined the meeting at 10.45am:

Mr Brian Smart (Linguistics Operations Branch)
Ms Margaret O’Keeffe (Linguistics Operations Branch)

The Minister answered questions from members on his decision not to take forward the introduction of Irish language legislation following the public consultations.

6.    Libraries Bill (NIA 5/07)

Mrs Jane Campbell from Research Service presented the Bill paper to the Committee.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to ask for the Department’s plans concerning the carrying out of an Equality Impact Assessment on the Libraries Bill.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to request the outcome of his deliberations on the inclusion of the terms ‘comprehensive’ and ‘efficient’ in Clause 2 of the Libraries Bill.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure requesting that he consider amending Schedule 1 (2) of the Bill to specify that the Library Authority should have 20 members.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure requesting that he consider amending Schedule 1 (2) of the Bill to specify that members of the Library Authority are representative of the community in Northern Ireland.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to ask who will be responsible for making the rules for the operation of the Library Authority. 
Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure asking that he respond to the issues raised by Mr Ramsey at the evidence session of 18 October 2007.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to ask that he respond to the Committee’s requests regarding the Libraries Bill by 14 November 2007.

7.    Statutory Rules

The following officials joined the meeting:
Ms Karen Simpson (Chief Executive, Fisheries Conservancy Board)
Mr Liam Devlin (Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure)

The officials briefed the Committee on the proposed Eel Fishing Licence Duties Regulations and the proposed Fisheries (Amendment) Licence Duties Byelaws. This was followed by a question and answer session.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to invite the Lough Neagh Fishermen’s Cooperative to brief the Committee on its work.

8.    Correspondence

The Chair referred members to correspondence from Ordnance Survey Northern Ireland on townland names.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to forward the memorandum from the Committee for Social Development regarding its inquiry into town centre regeneration to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure. The Committee agreed to ask the Minister to forward it a copy of any submission which he makes to the inquiry.

The Chair referred members to correspondence from the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding monies being diverted from the Big Lottery Fund to the 2012 Olympics.

The Chair referred members to correspondence from the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding funding for the Ulster Scots Academy.

The Chair referred members to correspondence from the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding advance notification of launches and events which he attends in his Ministerial capacity.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure stating that it was content in principle with his approach to the Cultural Property (Armed Conflict) Bill and asking that he keep the Committee informed of the progression of the Bill.

The Chair referred members to correspondence from the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure in relation to the Committee’s request for copies of interview notes between PriceWaterhouseCoopers and both the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Community Relations Council.

The Chair referred members to correspondence from the Community Relations Council regarding its discussions with PriceWaterhouseCoopers on the proposals for a multi-sports stadium.

The Chair referred members to the submission by the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety in relation to its inquiry into suicide and self-harm.

Agreed – the Committee agreed that the Clerk obtain information from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding the ‘Oh Yeah’ project and its effect on other creative services.

The Chair advised members that a copy of the Citizens Advice Bureau’s report on ‘Dealing with Debt’ had been sent to the Committee and was available in the Committee Office.

The Chair referred members to the correspondence from the Equality Unit of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding forthcoming consultations.

The Chair referred members to the correspondence from Dance United Northern Ireland inviting them to attend a dance performance at Parliament Buildings on 25 October 2007.

9.    Any Other Business

Agreed – the Committee agreed to ask Research Service for a paper on the draft Budget, the Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland, and the Programme for Government, as it affects the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.
Agreed – the Committee agreed to ask Research Service for a paper on the costings used by the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure in his statement relating to bringing forward an Irish language Act.

10. Date and time of next meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed its next meeting will be held on Thursday 8 November 2007 at 10.30am in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 1.02pm.

Mr Barry McElduff MLA
Chairperson, Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure 
8 November 2007.

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