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Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2000/2001

Date: 04 July 2001

In attendance for public evidence session at 10:30am: Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry - Ards Borough Council - Ms Eilis O'Baoill, Arts Officer and Mr Chris Webster, Assistant Tourism Development Officer.

In attendance for public evidence session at 11:10am: Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry - Lisburn Borough Council - Mr Brian Mackey, Assistant Director of Leisure Services, Ms Siobhan Stewart, Arts Manager, Ms Susan Orr, Tourism Development Officer and Cllr Peter O'Hagan, Chairman of Economic Development.

In attendance for public evidence session at 11:50am: Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry - Down District Council - Ms Sharon O'Connor, Director of Cultural and Economic Development and Mr John McGrillen, Chief Executive.

In attendance for a presentation on the work of the British Council in Northern Ireland at 12:30pm: Mr Peter Lyner, Director, The British Council, Northern Ireland.

The meeting opened in public at 10:19am.

1. Chairperson's business

1.1. The Chairperson referred members to the response received from the Minister, regarding the Committee's concerns about the erection of a low-level bridge at Scarva, which will create an obstruction to navigation. The Committee was content with the Minister's response which stated that the bridge was temporary and would be replaced by a bridge with sufficient headroom for navigable access should the Newry canal be re-opened.

1.2 The Committee agreed the issue of a Press Release regarding progress on the Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry. Dr Adamson joined the meeting at 10:20am.
Mr McCarthy joined the meeting at 10:20am.
Mr Hilditch joined the meeting at 10:21am.

2. Minutes of the meeting of 3 July 2001

2.1. Minutes of the meeting of 3 July 2001 were agreed.

3. Matters arising

3.1. There were no matters arising.

Mr Agnew joined the meeting at 10:25am.

4. Fisheries Conservancy Board's Policy screening

4.1. The Committee agreed a reply to the Fisheries Conservancy Board in response to the Board's request for comment on its decision not to submit the proposed policy 'Introduction of a levy on game angling licences' to an Equality Impact Assessment. The reply sought clarification from the Board on a number of issues.

5. Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development's response to Inland Fisheries report

5.1. Members were advised that the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development responded positively to the Inland Fisheries report indicating strong support for 40 of the 49 relevant recommendations, support with minor caveats for 7 recommendations and rejecting only 2 recommendations. Members agreed to consider the Minister's response in greater detail after the summer recess and agreed that the Chairperson would acknowledge the Minister's letter pro-tem. The Committee also agreed to write to the Fisheries Conservancy Board and the Ulster Angling Federation to seek their views on the Minister's rejection of support for the recommendation concerning the proper training of voluntary bailiffs to take water samples which could be used in the prosecution of polluters.

Mr Shannon joined the meeting at 10:40am.

6. Public evidence session - Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry - Ards Borough Council

6.1. Ards Borough Council gave evidence, in public, to the Committee on the Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry.

Mr Wilson left the meeting at 10:58am
Mr Hilditch left the meeting at 11:14am.

7. Public evidence session - Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry - Lisburn Borough Council

7.1. Lisburn Borough Council gave evidence, in public, to the Committee on the Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry.

Mr Wilson rejoined the meeting at 12:00pm..

8. Public evidence session - Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry - Down District Council

8.1. Down District Council gave evidence, in public, to the Committee on the Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry.

9. Response to Finance and Personnel Committee re 2002/2003 budget

9.1. The Committee agreed a response to the Chairman of the Finance and Personnel Committee setting out the Committee's comments on the Position Paper as it affects the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

10. Presentation on the work of the British Council in Northern Ireland

10.1. Mr Lyner gave a brief outline of the work of the Bristish Council in Northern Ireland within the arts domain. The Council's aim is to promote a balanced and realistic view of the arts in Northern Ireland. The booklet 'arts from northern ireland' produced jointly by the Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland has been distributed to all British Council offices. Another magazine 'AlumNI' produced by the Council is distributed to past participants on British Council visits to Northern Ireland.

10.2. Mr Lyner quoted some examples of their work - eg the management of a literary works event of Northern Ireland writers in Canada and the UkinNY Festival scheduled for October 2001 where plans are underway to bring the best of the UK's vibrant, modern and creative energy to New York in a fortnight long celebration of UK arts. In this festival the Ulster Orchestra will be involved in the gala opening.

10.3. Mr Lyner undertook to assist the Committee in the organisation of a major seminar which will involve bringing cultural tourism experts from the Ministry of Culture in France, the Barcelona Tourist Authority and Boston, to Belfast to share their experiences. He also agreed to assist in any other related visits in advance of the international seminar.

11. Date of next meeting

11.1. The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday 6 September 2001 at 10:15am in Room 152.

The meeting closed at 1:00pm.

E ONeill
Chairperson

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