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Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2000/2001

Date: 07 February 2001

The meeting opened, in public, at 10.20am.

1. Chairperson's business

1.1 The Chairperson welcomed members of the public and press to the meeting.

1.2 The Chairperson reminded members of the 'Unlocking Creativity' briefing which is being organised by the Department, and being held in the Long Gallery on Thursday 8 February 2001. Members were encouraged to attend.

1.3 The Chairperson reminded members of the forthcoming football conference in Newcastle at the weekend. He asked the two Committee representatives who would be attending to report back to the Committee at the meeting on Thursday 15 February 2001.

1.4 The Chairperson advised members that the Joint Committee on Tourism, Sport and Recreation in Dublin would contact the Committee Office in the near future with proposals for its visit to Belfast.

1.5 The Chairperson updated members on the interest shown in the Cultural Tourism and the Arts inquiry.

1.6 The Chairperson and members discussed arrangements for the forthcoming visit to Boston.

Mr McElduff joined the meeting at 10:25am.

1.7 Agreed - that the Committee Office would seek advice from the Assembly Research Office on which of the four proposed European cities would provide the best cultural tourism and arts examples/information thus benefiting the Committee's inquiry to greatest effect.

1.8 Agreed - that the Committee Office would seek advice from the Assembly Research Office on Irish/European connections. Specifically mentioned was Louvain, Simancos, Steps of Columbanus and Cardinal O'Fee.

1.9 Agreed - that the numbers of places for members to attend the World Canals Conference Ireland 2001 in Dublin and Belfast in May would be extended to four. Members were asked to note that the deadline for full refunds expired on 28 February.

1.10 Agreed - that the Committee Office would provide advice to Mr McMenamin on possible contacts for assistance regarding his query on the fishing competition being organised by Donemana & District Cross Community Youth Club and that the Committee would write to the Department concerning the cost of licences in general and asking whether any thought has been given to reduced rates for young people/disabled etc.

2. Minutes of the meeting of 31 January 2001

2.1 The minutes of the meeting of 31 January were agreed.

3. Matters arising

3.1 There were no matters arising.

4. Disability Sports Northern Ireland

4.1 Agreed - that before responding to the letter received from Disability Sports NI the Committee would invite that organisation and the Sports Council NI to give oral evidence.

5. SCNI - Lottery funding for major international events

5.1 Agreed - that the Committee Office would prepare a draft response for agreement by the Committee at the meeting on Thursday 15 February 2001.

6. NIMC's draft new TSN action plan

6.1 Agreed - that the Committee would await the comments from the Assembly Research Office before considering the draft document.

7. DCAL's Public Service Agreement

7.1 Agreed - that the draft response on the Public Service Agreement would be issued.

The public session ended at 11:00am.
The private session commenced at 11:05am.

8. Fisheries Report

8.1 The Committee discussed the content of the report into Inland Fisheries in Northern Ireland and commenced the first reading of the report paragraph by paragraph.

8.2 Paragraphs 1.1 to 7.18 were read and amended, as agreed, during the meeting.

Agreed - that the Committee would complete the first reading at its meeting at 11:30am on Thursday 8 February 2001.

Mr McElduff left the meeting at 12:16pm.
Mr Hilditch left the meeting at 12:21pm.
Dr Adamson left the meeting at 12:25pm.

9. Any other business

9.1 The Committee discussed the Arts Council's change in policy towards funding Community Arts.

Agreed - that the Committee Office would seek information to show the levels of funding for bodies such as the Grand Opera House and the Ulster Orchestra in current and previous years and to provide comparisons.

9.2 The Committee discussed the latest position on the PRONI case.

Agreed - that the Committee would write again to the Department.

9.3 The Committee discussed the recent 'leaked' memo on Committee interference in matters which Departments believed should be outside the remit of Committees.

Agreed - that the Committee would write to the Head of the Civil Service seeking an explanation as to why this committee was singled out for comment and clarifying for him the actions taken by this Committee in the PRONI case.

10. Date of next meeting

10.1 The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday 8 February 2001 at 11:30am in Room 152.

The meeting closed at 1:30pm..

E ONeill

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