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Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2000/2001

Date: 18 June 2001

In attendance for public evidence session at 10:30am: Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry - Féile an Phobail - Ms Maura Brown, Chairperson, Ms Caitriona Ruane, Director, Ms Carol Jackson, Children's Co-ordinator and Mr Anthony McGrath, Marketing Officer.

In attendance for public evidence session at 11:20am: Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry - National Trust -Ms Ruth Laird, Director for Northern Ireland, Ms Diane Forbes, Northern Ireland Affairs Manager and Mr Paul Mullan, Area Manager.

In attendance for public evidence session at 12:00noon: Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry - Antrim Borough Council - Ms Kate Wimpress, Arts & Heritage Development Officer.

The meeting opened, in public, at 10:30am

1. Chairperson's business

1.1. Members were advised that the Finance Minister was making a statement on the 2002/2003 Spending Plans. Members received copies of the Executive's Position Report to the Assembly, which included details of each Department's position. The indicative figures for next year showed that the Department's total budget remains unchanged, in real terms a decrease of 2.4%, which was of great concern to the Committee.

1.2. Members received a copy of a letter from the Minister setting out the pressures faced by the Department. Members were asked to consider in detail the Minister's letter and the Executive's Position Report, before the meeting with the Minister on Thursday 21 June 2001 when the Committee will discuss with him the Department's spending plans.

1.3. Members received a copy of a letter from Mr Paul Burns in which he again queried the position on Committees' powers to investigate decisions by Departments pre-devolution. Members agreed a response to Mr Burns.

1.4. Members received a copy of the Minister's invitation to the launch of Unlocking Creativity - Making it Happen, on Wednesday 27 June 2001. Members not scheduled to be in Paris were asked to advise the Committee Office of their availability to attend.

2. Public evidence session - Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry - Féile an Phobail

2.1. Féile an Phobail gave evidence, in public, to the Committee on the Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry.

3. Minutes of meeting of 14 June 2001

3.1. Minutes of the meeting were agreed.

4. Matters arising

4.1. Para 9.2 - The Committee Office has established that there is no reason why the content of the reply to the Department concerning the Study on Small Hydro Schemes, which was agreed at last week's meeting, cannot be made known to others. Members will receive a copy of the response.

5. A Single Equality Bill for Northern Ireland

5.1. Members were advised that this was only a very preliminary consultation process and that the Committee will have the opportunity to take part in detailed scrutiny of the proposals for a Single Equality Bill at a future date. Members agreed a response to the Chairperson of Committee for the Centre.

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

6.1. The National Trust gave evidence, in public, to the Committee on the Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry.

7. Promoting Social Inclusion - Consultation on Future Policies

7.1. Members agreed a response, to be channelled through the Committee of the Centre, on the consultation document on Promoting Social Inclusion, produced by the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister.

8. Seminar on Government Finance and the Budget Process (6 and 12 September)

8.1. Members agreed that the 12 September was the most suitable date and were asked to notify the Committee Office of their availability to attend.

9. Update on European Visit

9.1. Members received an update on the European visit to Paris and Barcelona and agreed that the Clerk and Assistant Committee Clerk would accompany the delegation.

The meeting adjourned at 12:15pm.

The meeting reconvened at 12:32pm.

10. Public evidence session - Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry

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

11. Date of the next meeting

11.1. The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday 21 June 2001 at 10:15am in Room 152.

The meeting closed at 12:45pm.

E ONeill
Chairperson

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