Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Thursday, 26 May 2011

Venue: 21

1. Apologies

The apologies are noted above.

2. Committee Membership

The Chairperson welcomed members to the Committee. Members noted details of the Committee’s Membership.

The Committee agreed to share their contact details with Hansard for the purposes of receiving transcripts of Committee meetings.

3. Staff Contact Details

The Committee noted the contact details for the Committee Office staff.

4. Arrangements for meetings

The Committee noted the arrangements for Committee meetings.

The Committee agreed that it will occasionally hold meetings outside of Parliament Buildings at appropriate venues around Northern Ireland.

The Committee agreed that all meetings held in public session will be recorded and broadcast around Parliament Buildings, if the room in Parliament buildings permits; and that the recording will be available on the Committee web page within 24 hours of the meeting.

The Committee agreed that the agenda for Committee meetings will be prepared by the Clerk and agreed by the Chair; and that the agenda will be based on the longer-term work programme agreed by the Committee.

The Committee agreed that the papers for each meeting will be issued, as far as possible, on the preceding Monday in accordance with members’ requirements.

The Committee agreed that the Minute of Proceedings will be placed on the Committee web page as soon as they are agreed by the Committee.

5. Declaration of Interests Procedures

The Chairperson drew members’ attention to the guidance on the Declaration of Interests and reminded members that under Standing Order 69(4) there is a requirement that: 
Before taking part in any debate or proceeding of the Assembly or its Committees, a Member shall declare any interest, financial or otherwise, which is relevant to that debate or proceeding, where such interest is held by the Member or an immediate relative.

Mr Cathal Ó hOisín made a declaration that he is a non-remunerated Director for the Community Television Company, Gaelaiseanna. 
Mr David Hilditch made a declaration that he is the Chairperson of Carrick Rangers Football Club, which is governed by IFA.

6. Procedures

Members noted guidance papers on –

  • Powers and Operations of Statutory Committees;
  • Role of Committee Chairperson; and
  • Role and Functions of the Committee Office.

The Chairperson drew members’ attention to matters relating to privilege and sub-judice. The following was read into the record:

Privilege

Under Section 50 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, for the purposes of the law of defamation, absolute privilege applies equally to:

  • the making of a statement in proceedings of the Assembly; and
  • the publication of a statement under the Assembly’s authority.

This privilege also extends to meetings of the Committee. Members should note however that privilege does not extend to press conferences or statements made to the press.

Sub-judice

Sub-judice falls under Standing Order 73 of the Standing Orders for the Assembly. Sub-judice applies from when a criminal charge (or charges) is brought, or from when notice of an appeal is lodged to the time that the verdict and sentence have been announced, or from when a civil action is listed for trial until judgement is given. In such cases, the matter awaiting adjudication should not be prejudiced by comment in a public session of a committee meeting.

The Committee agreed to move onto Agenda Item 9 – Legacy Report 2007-2011, followed by Agenda Item 10 – Presentation from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

7. Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure Legacy Report

The Clerk presented the 2007-2011 Legacy Report to the Committee.

The Committee noted the Legacy Report covering the Committees work over the last mandate.

The Committee agreed to suspend the meeting at 10.55am.

The Committee was declared open in public session at 10.58am.

8. Presentation from Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure

The Committee noted the Departmental First Day Brief.

The Minister and the following official joined the meeting at 10.59am:

The Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Ms Carál Ní Chuilín MLA; and

Deputy Secretary, Mr Edgar Jardine, Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

The Minister and her official briefed the Committee.

A question and answer session followed.

The Minister and her officials left the meeting at 11.28am.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider their priorities following the Minister’s brief and the Legacy Report, for discussion at next week’s meeting.

9. Guidance on Assembly Committee timescales for interaction between Committees and Departments

The Committee noted guidance on timescales for interaction between Assembly committees and departments.

10. Subordinate Legislation: delegation of technical scrutiny to the Examiner of Statutory Rules

The Clerk presented guidance on Subordinate Legislation and the delegation of technical scrutiny to the Examiner of Statutory Rules.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to determine whether private members can lay Statutory Rules.

The Committee agreed the following motion:

That the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure, under Standing Order 43, resolves to delegate to the Examiner of Statutory Rules the technical scrutiny of statutory rules referred to the Committee under the above mentioned Standing Order.

The Committee further resolves that in carrying out this function the Examiner shall be authorised to report his technical findings on each statutory rule to the Assembly, and to the relevant Department, as well as to the Committee itself and to publish his report.

11. Presentation from Assembly Research

The Committee noted guidance on good practice in providing an effective research service to Committees.

Dr Dan Hull and Ms Kristine Gillespie briefed the Committee on the services and role of Research and Information Service.

A question and answer session followed.

The Committee agreed to move to Agenda Item 13

12. Correspondence

The Committee noted the letter from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, advising that Foras na Gaeilge has issued a public consultation in relation to proposed changes to the funding mechanism for the Irish Language sector.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider whether it should make a formal response to the consultation at next week’s meeting, once members had the opportunity to read the consultation.

The Committee noted the letter from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure notifying it of expected consultations due to be published up to September 2011.

The Committee noted the letter from Libraries NI, advising that the decision making process on the Modern Public Libraries Service Stage 2 consultation would be postponed until September 2011.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to receive a briefing from Libraries NI on 30 June regarding the outcome to the consultation.

The Committee noted the letter from Clann na nGael Gaelic Football Club, inviting the Committee to hold its meeting of 23 June at the Aughabrack Community Hall, County Tyrone, as part of its annual “Craic in the Brack Festival”.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that Committee staff should visit the Community Hall to assess the suitability of holding its meeting there; and to report their findings to the Committee next week.

The Committee noted the tabled invites from NI Opera and the National Countrysports Fair. Members noted that the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson would attend a luncheon at the National Countrysports Fair on Saturday 28 May.

13. Draft Forward Work Programme

Members considered the draft Forward Work Programme.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request delegations from IFA, GAA and Ulster Rugby to brief the Committee on progress on their respective stadium developments.

The Committee agreed the draft forward work programme.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to have the Department’s brief on June Monitoring and the 2011-15 Budget covered by Hansard.

14. Chairperson’s Business

The Committee noted that the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson are scheduled to meet the Chairperson of NI Screen on Tuesday 31 May. An invitation to attend the meeting was extended to all members.

The Committee noted that the Chairperson received an invitation from National Museums Northern Ireland to attend the official opening of ‘Titanic, The Exhibition’ on 31 May at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. Members noted that the Chairperson was unable to attend because of prior commitments.

The Committee noted that the Chairperson had attended an event on Wednesday 25 May to celebrate 70 years of BBC’s Broadcasting House.

The Committee noted that the Chairperson had received an informal invite to meet with the organisers of the Arts and Disability Equality Charter.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that an informal meeting should be arranged with the organisers of the Arts and Disability Equality Charter, and that any interested member would be welcome to attend.

15. Proposed Meeting Dates

The Committee agreed the dates of Committee meetings, scheduled up to summer recess.

16. Any other business

There was no other business.

17. Date and time of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure will take place on Thursday 2 June 2011 at 10.30am in Room 21, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.08pm.

Miss Michelle McIlveen MLA 
Chairperson, Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure 
2 June 2011

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