Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Thursday, 25 February 2010

Venue: Room 21, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened in public session at 10.35 a.m.

1. Apologies

The apologies are noted above.

Mr McCartney joined the meeting at 10.37a.m.

2. Draft minutes of 18 February 2010

Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting held on 18 February 2010 were agreed.

3. Inquiry into funding of the arts in Northern Ireland

The Committee noted the responses from the Department, the Arts Council, and the Community Arts Forum.

The Committee noted the memo from the Clerk in relation to the responses.

Mr Robinson joined the meeting at 10.44a.m. 
Mr PJ Bradley joined the meeting at 10.45a.m. 
Mr McCarthy left the meeting at 10.45 a.m.

The following officials from the Department and representatives from the Arts Council joined the meeting:

Mr Arthur Scott, Director of Culture Division – DCAL 
Ms Joanna McConway, Head of Arts Branch – DCAL 
Ms Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive – ACNI 
Ms Nóirín McKinney, Director of Arts Development - ACNI

The representatives and officials briefed the Committee.

This was followed by a question and answer session.

Mr McCartney left the meeting at 10.55a.m. 
Mr Clarke joined the meeting at 11.15a.m. 
Mr McCarthy rejoined the meeting at 11.46 a.m.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek additional information from the Department and the Arts Council.

4. Inquiry into participation in sport and physical activity in Northern Ireland

The Committee notedthe Assembly research paper on suggestions for organisations to take part in the stakeholder conference scheduled for 25 March 2010.

Mr P J Bradley left the meeting at 12.01p.m.

Agreed : Members agreed to add a motorsport group, a dance group and an angling group to the proposed list of organisations.

The Committee notedthe analysis of written submissions into the inquiry.

The Committee noted the outline plan for the inquiry.

Mr PJ Bradley left the meeting at 12.03 p.m.

5.Matters Arising

The Committee notedthe response from Minister Eamon Ó Cuív of the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in relation to Irish language funding.

The Committee noted the response from the Department of the Environment in relation to the use of townland names.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write back to the Department and request that it contact the Place Name Project on this issue.

Members were advised thatDr Kay Muhr of the Place Name Project is writing a paper for the Committee on the importance of the use of townland names in urban settings.

Agreed : The Committee agreed that once the paper is completed to forward it to all departments for comment.

The Committee notedthe response from the Department in relation to the Grand Opera House’s 2006 extension and refurbishment outturn costs being above budget.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing with the Department on this issue at a later date.

The Committee notedthe information provided by the Department in relation to post project evaluations for Lisburn Library, Ulster Council GAA and Soccer Strategy.

The Committee noted the response from the Department in relation to the Roads (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write back to the Department to seek clarification on whether it thinks reference to cultural events should be included.

The Committee noted the response from the Department in relation to OFMdFM’s Inquiry into Child Poverty.

The Committee noted the response from the Department in relation to a grant application to the Events Growth Fund by Good Vibrations.

The Committee noted the response from Sport NI in relation to issues raised at the Committee meeting of 4 February 2010.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write back to Sport NI and request that it provides further information in relation to the allocation of funds.

The Committee noted the memo from the Committee for Finance and Personnel in relation to public sector procurement and sports capital projects, addressed in the Finance and Personnel Committee’s report into ‘Public Procurement Policy and Practice in Northern Ireland’.

The Committee noted the response from the Minister on the Milwaukee Irish Fest.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Arts Council on whether it has considered providing any funding for the Fest.

The Committee noted the response from the Ulster Scots Agency in relation to the Agency’s participation at the Milwaukee Irish Fest in 2009, information on its work with schools, and its rates bill.

6. Chairperson’s Business

The Committee notedthat Derry/Londonderry has been short listed down to the final four in relation to the UK City of Culture 2013.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to contact those preparing the bid and ask them to brief the Committee at a later date.

Members were advised that the Chairperson attended a performance of the play ‘The Absence of Women’ by Owen McCafferty in the Elmwood Hall, a Lyric Theatre production, on Thursday 18 February 2010.

Members were advised that the Chairperson has accepted an invitation from Lismore Comprehensive School in Craigavon to speak to students on how different traditions within the community can come together through sport.

Members were advised that the Chairperson will be attending the launch of an Irish language educational website for children at the BBC on 25 February 2010.

7. Correspondence

The Committee noted the memo from Committee for Employment and Learning regarding Automated Communications Systems.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to forward the letter to the Department.

The Committee noted the memo from the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding correspondence from the Ulster Gliding Club on the proposed budget for 2010/2011.

The Committee noted the paper from NIPSA in relation to Libraries NI’s proposed closure of Ballynahinch Library Headquarters.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to forward the paper to Libraries NI for comment on its factual accuracy.

Members were advised that copies of the NI Events Company Director’s Report and Financial Statements for year ended March 2008 were received in the Business Office and have been placed in Members’ pigeon holes.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing from the Chair of the Events Company on this issue.

The Committee noted that a copy of the Historic Buildings Council’s report has been received in the Committee Office.

8. Forward Work Programme

Members noted the updated Forward Work Programme.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to Hansard coverage of the inquiry evidence sessions next week.

9. Any other business

The Committee noted the draft press release on artworks in storage.

Agreed : Members agreed to issue the press release.

The Committee noted the email from a journalist from the Newry Reporter, raising concerns regarding the availability of minutes of the Board meetings and the registers of Board members’ interests being available on the Sport NI website.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to issue correspondence to the journalist and to Sport NI in relation to this matter.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Department requesting that it provides information on the availability of minutes of the Board meetings and the registers of Board members’ interests of all its Arms Length Bodies.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to a variety of government agencies on issues relating to the poor condition and lack of bridal paths in Northern Ireland.

10. Date and time of the next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure will take place on Thursday 4 March 2010 at 10.30 a.m. in the Somme Heritage Centre, Conlig, Co.Down.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.31 p.m.

Mr Barry McElduff MLA 
Chairperson, Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure 
4 March 2010

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